Hi there! Jibsail,
Your boat sounds nice.
MMNETSEA has a good knowledge of wooden boat construction and it seems that his sources can help you as well.
Caulking or seam compound???
A proper, traditional cotton/oakum caulking job with seam compound over it should last many, many years. Like--10, 20, 30...50...a long time. Our 54' (deck length) wooden schooner was built in 1931, and never recaulked once until we did it last year--it did have the traditional seam compound replaced every 20 to 30 years, this we know. When we purchased the boat, part of it did need to be re-planked and we decided to do all of it for cost and efficiency reasons. After hubby and another fellow completed the full hull re-planking, I did all 75% of the caulking, hubby did about 25% of it. It is not rocket science. It took me a couple weeks though since our boat is large. If you don't have access to someone who can show you how to do it, you can read up on it in a couple places (PM me for reference book info) and you can even see it being done in some UTube videos.
"minor seam cracks at the stern which wee made good by the yard carpenter with expoxy cement mixture"
If you are thinking about putting fabrics/resins over a traditionally planked boat, it is probably time to get out of the wood boat and into a boat that was designed to be cold-molded or just a fiberglass boat, btw.
IMHO polymers, epoxies, etc, do not belong on boats of traditional wooden construction such as yours seems to have. Stick with the traditional caulking materials (of cotton/oakum) and seam compounds but not things like 3M 5200, roofing tar, cement and the like the former you will find unwitting yacht owners allowing to be used and the latter you will find fishing boats repaired with.
We did a major, major rebuild on our boat and thus it was out of the water for a couple years. The oak keel had some very large/long cracks in it which were NOT seams but cracks from drying and we used a compound called Dolfinite bedding compound to fill those cracks until the boat was back in the water. Once re-launched, the oak soaked up water, the cracks closed and squeezed out the Dolfinite and when we do our 1st year year haul out later this spring, we'll clean it off of the bottom and repaint those areas. An epoxy or something like 5200 would have Permanently! kept those cracks open forever more. Not good.
If regular boat seams open up while the boat is dry, putting something permanent and non-flexible in the cracks will help to ensure that the boat sustains damage and leaks.
You have ongoing leaks which may be normal or maybe not. Knowing where the water is coming from is rather an important thing. Usually if you have a large leak, the bottom paint (outside of the hull) around a crack will begin to flake or chip away and you'll see the primer or underlying wood in the areas of leaks. You might wish to dive on the boat and inspect seams from the outside as well as looking around inside to figure out where things are leaking. I worried excessively that our garboard seams would leak since I did the caulking and I was afraid that I didn't do a good job. They don't leak thank goodness. The only seeping we have comes from between layers of deadwood. It is minor and at this point we are probably getting 1 gallon of water per day max. It is so seldom the pump comes on that I am now estimating this number.
Good luck to you in getting together with a good caulker or doing the work yourself. If you have questions about DIY please do feel free to PM me.
You should be able to find cotton or oakum caulking as well as seam compounds locally. If you cannot, it is possible to order through USA sources and have things delivered to you. Downwind Marine
in San Diego CA sends things to cruisers worldwide. It is owned by SD Marine Exchange and I have purchased cotton caulking as well as seam compound from them. Chris Frost there at Downwind is a wooden boat owner (former, he doesn't have one now) and knows all the materials you might need. Other sources include The Wooden Boat Foundation in Port Townsend Washington. Their online store
has caulking irons, mallets etc. You don't need fancy tools though you can make many yourself. Jamestown Distributors has many of the traditional materials and I have also purchased Dolfinite
as well as Interlux seam compound from them.