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Hi all,

I found a small crack in the paint on the top side my Tiki 21. I thought it was time for a coat of paint anyway so I started to sand the crack I noticed wet wood underneath. It is just a small area. I scraped the area and it seems it's just a thin strip (see picture). I didn't build my Tiki 21, so I have limited experience. Can I just use a Dremel and remove all the damaged wood and fill it up with epoxi filler?



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Kristian - you could clean it out soak in preservative and fill, but it would be a temporary job for a season or two.  Not only will the filler probably come loose in time, attached as it is to dubious wood, but the rot will likely travel farther along that soft run of grain and re-appear farther along. Really you should be planning to replace a length of rail a metre of so longer than the visible damage. The neatest solution is to join this on with a scarph joint. Since this joint is the real work involved you save very little by not replacing a decent length, rather than just the minimum.  For a situation like this where clamps cannot be used I pull the parts together when gluing with woodscrews with washers under their heads. these are removed later and the holes repaired.

paint the area with anti freeze poly ethyl glycol let it dry .. the paint over it .. fixed.

fungal rot can only spread if fresh water is present and the timber stays moist ..the anti freeze will kill off any fungal spores present  the paint will keep out any future moisture .. go sailing in the sea .. no rot 

Hi Kristian,

There's a lot of debate on the internet about whether polyethylene glycol is good for preventing rot in damp wood.  Have a read of this link:-


Some people love it, but some don't think it's any use.  One concern I'd have about painting it on to an area that's already wet and rotting is whether it's going to get right through and replace all the water in all the damp wood.  If you could fully dry it out first maybe it would be ok but I'm not at all sure.

One important thing to bear in mind is that paint doesn't fully keep water out unless it's epoxy and it's applied perfectly to dry wood, so if you've got rot in there it all needs to be treated or it all needs to be cut out.

Different people have different attitudes and different approaches, it's up to you...

My own boat is a Tiki 26 which has had about eight previous owners.  It's obvious they had different attitudes and levels of expertise.  Last year I put a lot of work into completely replacing the rails all around because of rot and badly done repairs.  My own approach in your situation would be to cut out the damaged wood plus enough to be sure there was no more rot running along the grain.  From the look of your picture maybe you don't need to go too deep, but you probably need to go along quite a way.  Once you're completely sure you're back to good wood all around you'll see whether epoxy filler will do or whether you need to let in a new bit of wood.

Thanks a lot for your posts. 

It seems it is just a thin strip in the middle of the rail that is affected. Right now I'm drying it out and after that I'll remove all affected wood. I guess that will give me answer on what to do. I was hoping not to have to replace the whole rail.

Kirsten - I don't think any of us yet know how far this has spread or not. Cut back the paint for 2m past the damaged area in each direction. This looks like a run of sapwood in the grain. Notice how the grains are not parallel or aligned fore / aft ?? See how they cut across the direction of the timber ?? Clean away the paint and probe with a small screwdriver especially following the run of the grain from the damaged area. I give 50 / 50 you will find more soft areas this way. Even if not rotted all this sapwood needs to be treated.

Geminidown who is a fellow Galwayman and more importantly a Lloyd's  surveyor has posted that timber must be treated to 1.5 m beyond all visible damage. Not just beyond all obvious damage but past all rigorous examination. I find it difficult to believe that any treatment locally will penetrate this far. As to paint excluding moisture and therefore guaranteeing no possibility of rot - this was already painted in what way will the new paint be better ??

Personally I would do a quick treat / fill job and go sailing . But this is a timber boat and I would add this to the to - do list and expect to do a more thorough job in a year or two. By then probably you will have a list of to - do 's to keep you ashore for a month !!

I will try to post a sketch of how to do a simple scarph joint in these circumstances - More of a graving - in - joint really but I would be happy with it.

Thanks Galway Bay. I don't have the boat at home, but hopefully I'll have time this weekend to do some more sanding and probing.

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