National 12 - find out more...

Wooden hull repair - advice needed

Started by intheboatshed, 14 Jun 2010, 11:41

« previous - next »


I need to state up front that I am a
completely novice boat repairer, but keen to learn. So I apologise now
if I ask very basic questions.


I need some
advice on a problem I have discovered on the inside of Token Gesture’s hull, a
cold moulded Baggy.


She has longitudinal
stringer’s that run either side of the hull interior starting at the transom,
but stopping at about where the helm sits i.e. they don't run the full length of the hull. I had already noticed that the hull skin around the forward ends of
the stringers didn’t look in particularly good condition. This weekend I started to ‘prod’
around, as the hull really needs a coat of varnish ASAP.  It seems that the ends of the
stringers are trying to detach themselves from the hull and have even started to
pull away the top laminate of the hull skin as well (there is a 6 inch tear running
diagonally from the end of the stringer towards the stern quarter â€" although it is only a very fine crack at the moment).


Someone, at
some point in the past, has dolloped some epoxy resin on the problem, but
clearly their preparation wasn’t very good, as the resin came away very easily,
and the wood underneath isn’t clean.  Having
removed the epoxy there is a gap of approx 2mm between the underside of the stringer
and the hull (for about ¾ inch from the end).


The first
question is, does anyone have any theories as to why this has happened (a fault
with the way she was originally built?).


secondly, any advice on how to go about rectifying the problem would be really

     * self tapper from the outside of the hull - to pull the stringer and hull together again? 

     * how much should I dig around the exposed hull skin (interior) - I'm worried if I dig away too much I'll end up going all the way through the skin? Or have I just got to be brave and hope there is still enough good wood?

     * reinforce the area with epoxy and glass tape?


Tim Gatti

Hi Tim
I've been dealing with a similar problem recently on a cold moulded Tigress.
You have a couple of options
Option 1: You could bodge it with epoxy and tape but, like the earlier repair, because you won't have sorted  the root of the problem it won't last long and you will end up in a worse mess than you are in now.
Option 2 (there may be more) is to remove all damaged timber, ensure the site is totally dry and replace like for like.
Unfortunately, once water gets into an older cold moulded hull it can travel quite a way along the grain and between the laminations- the fact that the epoxy repair has come away is a clear indication that there was still a problem underneath it.
I'd suggest that the job isn't the easiest one for a novice to approach so you may want to get a quote for repair from a professional - not sure where you are but you could try Gerry Ledger or Brian Herring for starters?
If you want to have a go yourself, then it would be worth posting some photos of the damage so contributors can get a clearer picture of the extent of the problem.  They can then give you clearer guidance.
Tim G


Thank you very much for taking the time to read my post, and for your advice, much appreciated.
In truth I guess it was what I was expecting to hear.
I live in South Bucks.

Finally, I'll post some photos in the next couple of days.


hi Tim,
As Tim says, the crucial thing is to get back down to sound dry wood.
If it's only the top laminate coming away then it might be possible to strip the top layer off and replace that with a new veneer. It sounds a lot more complicated than it is but you need to take your time.
It has the advantage that you don't cut have to cut right through the hull. You may find that the middle laminate is rotted too so this may not be an option.


Thanks Dan.

I'm also interested to know why the problem has occurred. It doesn't look as though the boat has suffered any abnormal damage, and it seems to be suffering at the same place on both sides of the hull. Therefore my logic suggests that I would need to do more than merely repair it, to stop the problem coming back again in the future - although she is 30 years old now, so I guess if a repair lasts that long then it wont be my problem to sort it out next time :)



Here are some pictures of the effected area:


gerry ledger

Hi Tim the problem is caused by the batten ending in the middle of nowhere making a hard spot. I learnt years ago that this hapens with knees an d floors. Best way to solve it is to replace the batten whith a full length one or with a ply pad at the end to spread the load.Hope this helps.


Thank you for sharing your expertise with me.

The job of replacing the battens with ones that run the length of the boat is made more complicated by several stiffening ribs that run across the boat, from side to side.

Is this a repair you might be interested in having a go at (Tim recommended you earlier in this thread)? If okay, I think I should make contact with you directly to discuss.



Just a thought - would it make sense to extend the stiffener up to the rib? Then it doesn't end in the middle of nowhere (as Gerry said).


That would make a lot of sense.

I've got her at home now, to take off all the fittings and find out what other problems lie below.


n12 Bottom Banner