• Mobile App For Android Now Online!

    Download it here. The app is searchable in the Google Play Store under Sailboat Owners.

    Sorry iPhone/iPad users, we are still waiting on Apple. :(

    Click the X in the upper right corner to make this go away


Not open for further replies.
Nov 7, 2012
1978 Catalina 30 Wilbur-by-the-Sea
Our somewhat new to us old boat has dry wood termites.

We had found them in the plywood hatch covers of the settee uder the seat cushions. Thinking they were just isolated to those we removed all the hatches of that type (about 6) and placed them in the oven for 3 hours at 200 degrees. However it appears the little buggers may be in the main bulkhead, this weekend we found some wings and new signs of pellets in that area.

Does anyone have a fairly cheap method of fumigating the interior of the boat? I have read that a fairly large amound of dry ice can do the job but have found it difficult and pricey to locate enough.

A quote from some local pest control fellow was $1000. He stated they had to wrap the top of the boat with a tent. Ehh, considering it is pretty water tight I imagine a few plastic bags and some painters tape would seal it.

Anyone have any suggestions on a solution for under $1000? I just have a hard time paying that much money to kill some bugs in such a small area.


Feb 14, 2005
Tayana 37 cutter; I20/M20 SCOWS Worton Creek, MD
You might want to check with your friendly county or local ag-college 'agricultural extension service' .... usually free and good up-to-date advice.
Oct 26, 2005
- - Satellite Beach, FL.
You could seal it up as you say and pop maybe a dozen bug bombs? Trying not to gas yourself in the process!
Jun 2, 2013
1980 Catalina 27 Dana Point
Same problem here. They are in some plywood. Let me guess; Previous owner didn't inform you? I've got an exterminator that did a free inspection and is coming back to apply orange oil to the affected area(s) for $150.00. Comes with a one year guarantee. Will let you know how it works out. From what I have read, bombs don't work to kill termites.
Nov 7, 2012
1978 Catalina 30 Wilbur-by-the-Sea
I ordered some Copper Brits termite pRufe on Amazon. Will dust and inject a solution of it this coming weekend. Lucky I have a bunch of horse needles sitting about to inject it into the galleries with.

I may also get the orange oil and do that as well, better to do the overkill thing.


Sep 22, 2006
Catalina, Luger C-27, Adventure 30 Marina del Rey
I had my house done a couple of years ago and the exterminator used a solution of borax and water. He soaked the exposed frame with the solution. It is non toxic to us but kills termites. While in solution the water is able to penetrate the wood and when it dries the borax crystals are left.
Oct 5, 2010
Catalina 30 mkII St. Augustine
Dry wood termites tend to form small colonies and it takes them a long time to do any real damage. Unlike subtrainian termites which form large colonies and can eat the wood quickly. If you have access you can treat with bleach.
Nov 7, 2012
1978 Catalina 30 Wilbur-by-the-Sea
Ok, so yesterday I made it out to the boat and did the first treatment.

I purchased Copper Brite Termite prufe on Amazon for about $11. Pretty interesting stuff, add one pound (a container) of the powder to one gallon of water, mix and apply.

I first used a knife as a prod to check the wood for soft areas or areas of galleries. Poking every inch or so rather hard. I found to trouble spots on the lower edge of the starboard main bulkhead. I checked the others (they now have gouges in them from my work) and all seemed good.

I took my solution and injected it into the wood with a 1cc 22guage needle, jamming it in at an upward angle as far as possible before injecting. I could tell it was flowing through the galleries and wood as it would bubble out other bore holes and the bottom of the panel.

After many injections in the bad areas and potentially bad areas I used a brush to apply a liberal coating of solution on all the unfinished and finished wood surfaces / bulk heads and hatches I would find and reach. I also applied a liberal amount of solution to the bulkhead seams with the etc.

Hopefully this does the trick. Time will tell.

I also have a bottle of orange oil, if this does not work that will be next.
Mar 26, 2011
Corsair F-24 MK I Deale, MD
You could seal it up as you say and pop maybe a dozen bug bombs? Trying not to gas yourself in the process!
Or explode the boat. Sort of like a bad propane leak, apartments go every year.


Mar 5, 2011
Catalina 30 N/A
I've heard of a lot of rot problems in boats, but never termites!
The boat must have spent a long time in dry dock. I have heard of wood boring
on wooden hulled boats, but I never thought they would bother with a fiberglass hulled boat. Borates do work by the way, and are a lot less toxic method of treatment.
Not open for further replies.