Preparing bare wooden hull and topsides for winter storage

by Larry Yackle

I have just sanded all the paint off the bottom and topsides of my wooden catboat.

So I'm down to the bare wood.

I will store the boat outside on stands.

Do I need to put any kind of sealer or oil on the bare wood for the winter?

PS: Next spring, do I need to put on some kind of primer before painting the bottom and topsides?


Larry Yackle.

Comments for Preparing bare wooden hull and topsides for winter storage

Click here to add your own comments

preping wooden hull
by: Anonymous

Any of the above but under no circumstances epoxy unless you have a boat in such a state it is virtually a write off.

I am too old for all this, but what is wrong with starting to apply the finish you want to end up with?

In other words finish the job now and keep her dry and aired until the next launch.

Why are you complicating this?

Wood Preserver
by: Michael

The two things to consider are one keeping her dry and free from moss, lichen and most of all rot spores that thrive on damp wood.

The second is painting her come spring, you don’t really want to have to remove any waxy or oily residue before starting nor do you want to darken the wood if you wish to paint her white.

Main thing is the cover/roof open but not touching.

Coating with turpentine and linseed oil is fine but natural oils are also delicious food for mildew and algae.

Susan Gateley has some tips for rot prevention here.

However, thanks to all those health and safety nuts you may have problems sourcing borates.

Larry Pardey in his book "Detail of Classic Boat Construction" recommends good old-fashioned creosote, he uses it for protection against marine borers but just a useful out of the water.

Perhaps the easiest way is to check your local hardware shop for wood preserver for outdoor wood.

Or even give her a sealer coat of epoxy.

Another question for Michael
by: Larry Yackle

M: Someone else recommends coating both the bare wood bottom and the topsides a mix of turpentine and linseed oil.

What do you think of that?

Question for Michael
by: Larry Yackle

M: Thanks so much.

But I am a novice.

Do you have a specific brand name for the anti-fungal preservative you would use?

Bare Wood
by: Michael

I would suggest that she needs a cover such as a tent with open ends to keep the rain and snow off but allow the air to circulate.

And I would treat the surface with an anti-fungal exterior wood preservative treatment.

You could use a diluted solution of borate.

However a water repellent treatment type preservative will also naturally discourage the growth of molds and fungi.

Priming before you paint provides an opaque base coat that blocks stains and prevents bleed-through.

As primers have high solids content they will also fills the grain in wood making the finish coat smoother.

They also stick to wood better than paint, and paint sticks to it better than it does to wood.

For best results, you should paint within a week of priming.

by: Barb

Very interested in your question.

Looking forward to seeing what advice you get. Thanks for posting!

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Your Comments.

Want to add more photos?

Photo Uploader

If you are having problems uploading Photos or would like to add more click on this link for the Upload Form.

Show / Hide