Git Rot
October 03, 2020 03:50PM
I have a MacKenzie double ender that was built in the 80's. Before I bought it, someone had reinforced the floor and outer chine with a pretty heavy layer of fiberglass and epoxy with carbon, then painted the inside of the floor. It has always taken on a little water but I could never tell where it was coming in. I figured with the way the glass isn't really sealed to the boat (see pic) the water was probably coming in all along the chine.
As such I've meant to extend the glass higher on the outside of the boat but haven't gotten around to it yet. So I've just taken care to let it dry as much as possible and hoped for the best.
Well my luck ran out.
I hit a rock pretty hard on the Green river over labor day so I did a more detailed inspection than usual, and I found a section of the inner chine and floor that are rotted out. Luckily the rock hit didn't damage anything and now I'm hopeful that this has been the source of the leak all along.
The rotted area is pretty small and the boat has spent at least the last 10 years (5 in my possession) in a garage in Utah where the air is dry so I think the damage is localized. In the pic with my fingers in it, my index finger is on solid wood while I'm pretty sure I could poke my middle finger all of the way through if I wanted to. The chine log is all but gone for about 1.5 - 2" but then looks healthy. Actually what I said about poking my finger through is not true. The plywood is squishy but the glass on the outside of the floor is stout. From the outside you can't tell there is anything wrong. Water still gets in since the black floor glass is essentially forming a big bathtub that is not sealed to the wood. No mystery about how the wood ended up in that condition right?
I would love to find a way to avoid full floor replacement or anything that involves reglassing the exterior. So, I'm hoping that since the rotten area is small that I can use Git Rot or another penetrating epoxy to harden the floor and then fill / patch the chine with reinforced epoxy with glass over the top for added strength.
Has anybody used Git Rot or similar products successfully?
Does this plan sound feasible to those of you who actually know what you are doing (this is not a category I would put myself into).
If I make this repair and then tape the outer chine to keep water out in the future, will that eliminate the problem or do I need to do something more? I've thought about glassing the inside but that seems like it will just make it that much harder for the wood to dry.
Thanks in advance to all for your advice and help.

Re: Git Rot
October 03, 2020 07:13PM
I've never used Git Rot. Perhaps others with more specific experience will answer too.

Lots of people put glass on the outside of framed boats. Others argue this is maybe not such a good idea if the boat is also painted on the inside, because the bottom will soak up moisture from the inside, through cracks in the paint, and never have a good opportunity to dry out.

For a framed boat with glass on the outside I think it's best to use oil only on the inside, so there is a better opportunity to dry out.

Your boat will be fine. Sharpen an old screw driver and use it to gouge out any soft spots. Then wet those areas with hot resin (so it soaks in). Then fill with epoxy putty and call it fixed.

Why it does leak in the first place? Water coming in from the outside is different than water collecting inside from boots etc. That's a leak. To fix that you probably would have to glass over chine, perhaps with 6" inch tape, so at least 5" inches of glass goes up the side, above the chine.
Re: Git Rot
October 04, 2020 01:16AM
The glass on the bottom and chine traps water....which may mean any patch is going to fail eventually.

That said, a patch may last a reasonably long period of time.

I know nothing of git rot, but have used a System 3 rot fix kit to repair a garage door. The rot fix kit includes a borate solution to kill fungus in the dry rot, a very watery epoxy to saturate the treated area, and an epoxy putty (you can work it with your gloved hand) to fill any voids in the rot area. The bottom frame on my garage door was rotten where water had penetrated underneath the weather seal, especially at the nail holes that held the weather seal. The local overhead door folks wanted $2000.00 to replace the the damaged panel. I repaired it with $84 worth of rot fix kit. The patch has worked for six or seven years now.

Worth trying to repair your boat bottom, recognizing it may need more attention in the future.
Re: Git Rot
October 04, 2020 02:30AM
Replacing a bottom is a lot of work. I've done it.
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