Originally Posted by m2m
Marmot, I never heard of vinegar treatment what does that do?
Wood is subject to a form of electrolysis that creates sodium hydroxide, a strong alkaline chemical (lye - Drano) that dissolves the lignin that binds the wood fibers together and destroys the structure. When it gets really bad you can see white crystals all around the metal bits that appear to be sinking into a bundle of loose wood fibers.
Vinegar is acidic and it neutralizes the hydroxide and stops or at least seriously inhibits the process. If you have such a process going on, the vinegar (white apple cider vinegar - nothing fancy) will fizz and bubble when it soaks into the wood. If it doesn't fizz, you are OK and only stunk up the place for a bit.
Unbonding the throughull opens the circuit that is responsible for the electrochemical process that produces the hydroxide.
Go talk to some of the old timers at the wooden boat school in Newport, they can probably tell you some horror stories.