Best caulking product for sealing wood boats

Good evening

What is the best product on the market for caulking seams on a wooden boat.



Caulking Products
by: Mike

Hi Maureen,

I’m not sure about there being a ‘best product’.

It does depend on what you are caulking.

Is your boat a new build a restoration or are you just intending to patch up a leaky seam?

What type of construction is she, carvel, clinker or other?

And by product do you mean the ‘stopping compound’ or the caulking fibers, e.g. cotton/oakum or both?

With a traditional wooden boat restoration it is usually best to restore and maintain them with traditional products.

There are modern marine sealants that can be used in place of the traditional compounds, however, they do come with lots of caveats about moisture levels and the timber being oil free etc.

And some modern compounds are for use below the waterline only others for use above waterline only.

My own preference, for restoration, is to use old fashioned, cheap linseed oil putty mixed with red lead powder, unfortunately the red lead powder is becoming virtually impossible to get hold of.

‘Pettit’ do seam compounds and seam cement, which are oil based and thus better for restoring old boats, where it is virtually impossible to achieve the moisture and oil free levels required by silicon.

For most traditional ‘leisure’ craft with fine seams, cotton (wicking) is the preferred caulking fiber, though oakum can be used on wide seams.

And deck seams are something else again.

If you can tell us a bit more about your boat we might be able to be more specific.

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by: Anonymous

Pettit Seam Cement

Best Caulking?
by: Maureen

Good morning :)

The boat that we are working on is a 1965 Monk McQueen and it is a restoration.

There is presently cotton in the seams and would like to know what caulking compound you would suggest for below the water line.


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