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Author Topic:   dry mahogany
83bws posted 08-01-2003 12:55 AM ET (US)   Profile for 83bws   Send Email to 83bws  
i just bought a 13 ft and it had a few peices of the original mahogany still left inside. i sanded it down and i think it looks pretty good but somebody told me it was no good because it was all dried up. is this possible. i know this sounds like a stupid question but i dont want to waste a good peice of mahogany if i dont have to.
Dr T posted 08-01-2003 01:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
Don't confuse DRY mahogany with DRY ROTTED mahogany.

When I reworked the wood in my 13, the side of the console (where it contacted the sole of the boat) and the backing piece for the side of the console (sole plate?) (which was in contact with the sole ) were both badly dry rotted. It is easy to tell. If you can make a big dent in the wood with your fingernail, you have a problem. Also, if you can sand large amounts of wood off very easily, you have a problem.

If you have a small amount, you can approach the problem like a dentist: Sand or cut out all of the rot and fill it in to the original contour with some sort of putty. There are pros on this board that will have a lot of suggestions.

If you have a large amount of dry rot, I suggest that you fabricate a replacement using the old piece as a pattern.

I ended up replacing the two pieces mentioned. Since mine is a fresh water boat, I glued up a piece of cypress to the right width (using buscuits to join the pieces). It is not very pretty (and I painted it), but it works.

Why cypress? Mahogany will not rot in salt water. It will rot in fresh water. Cypress will not rot in fresh water.

Good luck,


SpeedBump posted 08-01-2003 11:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for SpeedBump  Send Email to SpeedBump     
All wood is dry and needs to be dry to hold a good finish. Moisture content below 7% is preferred. you don't mention which pieces of wood were left and where the "Dry spots" were. If they are seat planks or risers you shuold not experience dry rot except at the ends where fasteners go through and that is unlikely. Pieces that come in contact with the hull decking or tend to hold water in joints would be most likely to get dry rot. As previously suggested if lots of wook abrades off when sanding or you can chip the wood out with a finger nail or easily scrape wood out with a blunt screwdriver/tool it is probably dry rot and needs replacement. Avoid fillers/putty they usually enhance the rot process unless the surrounding wood is properly conditioned and sealed prior to filling. Even if you are a novice at woodworking you can replace all the Mahogany wood on a 13' Whaler for a few hundred bucks and put a durable varnish finish on for another hundred doing the work yourself.

If the wood takes a good finish and feels secure when fastened you whould not worry about it being "dry". IF it is rotted it simply wont hold when fastened to the boat.

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