Wood Ski Boat problem

Designs for inboard or outboard power

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woodruff
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Wood Ski Boat problem

Postby woodruff » Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:03 pm

I have a 1961 Bennett wood ski boat mid engine set up. I have been checking things out and rounding up a nice engine. Today I went out the remove the floor boards and clean the bilge area. At some point it the life of this boat someone had lost loads of auto trans fluid into the bilge. For the most part the bilge got cleaned but while sitting in the sun I saw that the area previous cleaned was leaking tranny fluid. I again wiped it clean and again fluid came weeping up from below. Like right through the wood. This process is happening through out the bilge area and seems to be quite extensive. Seems like the fluid had been sitting for so long that the ply just soaked it up and it is now weeping out. The boat feels solid but I am now afraid to use the hull for a speed boat. I know the ply wont' glue up any longer if I ever needed to do that. Guess I will just bite the bullet and either build the Ski King or Mist Miss. I currently have the plans for the Mist Miss.

Well I at least have all the hardware I will need. Now to build a boat.

Lesson, never let oil sit in the bilge and don't let auto trans fluid sit at all. make a tray or something to keep it from ever having a chance to soak into the wood.

Damn, a good boat ruined by tranny fluid. What a waste.

woodruff

http://www.inertext.homeunix.com/flatbottom

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kens
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Postby kens » Sat Apr 28, 2007 4:38 am

I dont know that it is all junk at this point. I have seen wood bleed oil when layed in the sun. My own workbench is wood & ply and it would bleed also if left in the sun. I still work, push, shove and use this bench, doesnt seem to have lost any strength.
I would be tempted to try to do a test on it. Is the wood pithy? Soft?

John K
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Postby John K » Sat Apr 28, 2007 5:02 am

I am with KenS. I am not so sure that anything will happen. I would feel different, if it were gas. I am sure there is someone on this site that would know more about your problem.

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woodruff
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Postby woodruff » Sat Apr 28, 2007 7:21 am

No, the wood is solid as a rock. Just keeps weeping this dang oil. I figured that the oil would destroy the bonding between the layers of ply and weaken the boat. Also the keel had been trimmed to allow the previous engines/transmissions to fit. It does look like it was used this way for a long time. Seems that the powerglide trans that was used was a well made home built unit specifically for racing. I will get some pictures this morning to post of the inside that I am talking about. But as for the wood, it''s rock solid. I can walk on it anywhere with out any spongy feel. The reason I got this puppy is because it's so dang solid. Could it just be that the oil is only soaked into the first layer of ply and blocked by the adhesive so it's just weeping out from that thin layer?

Thanks guys for the encourgement and excellent words that all may not be lost.

woodruff

Nova SS
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Postby Nova SS » Sat Apr 28, 2007 9:01 am

I guess to me worse case senario would be that I would replace the hull sheating in the affected areas....personally if the rest of the boat is in great shape I would repair it before I decided to scrape it..JMHO

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woodruff
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Postby woodruff » Sat Apr 28, 2007 11:25 am

Can't just reskin the bottom. If fluid has soaked into the ribs then you will be unable to glue the new skin unless you know of some glue that will work with oil. I think I am going to see what happens with the way it is right now.

Here is my new phot album on this boat. Check it out and let me know what you think.


http://inertext.homeunix.com/insideflat

Pete
woodruff

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v-driver
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Postby v-driver » Sat Apr 28, 2007 5:00 pm

Woodruff,
Try some "Fuller's earth". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuller's_Earth
It is as absorbant as any sweepable material readily available. It's a very fine powder that will soak up any oily substance, really well. You can order it online. Use it like you would use any oil absorbant on your driveway. Put it out, spread it, let it soak, rub it in, let it soak, and sweep it up then do it over again.
Paul Miller in Memphis, TN
"Yeah, I had lunch with him last week at the Cracker Barrel out on I-40."

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kens
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Postby kens » Sat Apr 28, 2007 5:25 pm

Well, hell. Take a core sample from it. Get a hole saw and take a small hole in a spot where you could put a plug back in there. If nothing else you could put a thru-hull fitting in there.
Then examine the core plug.

Caber_Feidh
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Postby Caber_Feidh » Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:32 pm

I agree 100% with V-Driver, Fuller's of even well crushed kitty litter will take allot of it out. Just dumped into the hull, and changed regularly it will get allot of it. Follow the clay up with an acetone wash before bonding. (or better yet, toluene but wear proper haz-mat protection with that nasty stuff).

The adhesive in marine ply should be resistant to ATF.

My biggest worry would be the fact that if ATF could get in, so could H2O, the same goes for the frame components. If they are sealed against water, they should be relatively oil-free.

I had a call-back last year (oops....) on some Cocobolo pieces that were not holding up too well. (oily, dense, hard, and generally a pain to glue.) One of my vendor recommended Senseal multi-prime, and Glue-It. It's pretty impressive stuff. If it can handle an oily, waxy, nearly impenetrable rosewood (that the client leaves on his dock all year around) I would bet it can stick fresh ply to a cleaned, but nasty frame member.
For some reason my boat was much faster before GPS came about


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