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post #56 of Old 10-27-2013
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Location: Toronto, ON
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Re: Cored deck soft spot repair

Looking for a little reinforcement!!! Working on a 1978 Catalina 27.

After a ton of research, I decided to go for the peel the skin option. As sync mentioned, I was able to make quick work of peeling back a 6-8 ft section using a dremel to cut a nice clean line in the skin. As suspected, the wood was soaked (due to years of window leaks & improperly bedded hardware). The good news - I was able to quickly scrape out the wood and clean the whole area. The bad news - is that there is only one sheet of fiberglass underneath the wood. The inner liner is quite thick, but that stops 2" short of the hull. This means that I only have a 30+ year old layer of brittle fiberglass mat for the length of the hull where the liner ends to the hull.

My plan was to cut away a 8ft length on the starboard & port side and let it dry out over the winter - then glass, laminate & glue the skin in the spring. I am worried about the structural integrity now if I cut away an 8ft length on each side and am thinking that I will need to do this in sections to make sure the integrity remains.

Plan A - clean out and dry out a section, add a layer or two of glass, then continue.

Plan B - try and add a layer of glass tape from underneath first, then cut away the rest. My concern with this is that I am glassing in the brittle sheet, need to glass upside down and in very tight quarters.

Plan C - Panic

I am going to post some photos shortly as soon as I figure out how to do that.

Would love to hear from any C27 owners who have taken on this project. I feel like I have most of the skills to do this job. My plan was to cut away, clean out, re-laminate ply and hire a professional glass person to do the final top layer glassing - either by putting the skin back down or by laying new mat. I was going to paint the top with quik grip so not concerned about the tread pattern.

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