Definitely sounds like water has gotten into the deck.. that's a bad thing. While potting the holes as described by Paul is a good idea... you'll probably have to remove the stanchions and pot the holes for them as well. However, you need to find out whether the core has rotted or is just wet. If it is just wet... you can dry it out by drilling holes to let air in and water out...
Did you get a survey on the boat??? If not, this is a good example of why you get a survey... and if you did, ask your surveyor about it and why he missed it... Wet core is definitely something that should have caused a price adjustment in the purchase price. It can be an expensive repair. However, from your description I would guess that the deck is cored with end-grain balsa and that the damage is fairly limited at the moment. The reason I'm guessing end-grain balsa rather than a foam or marine plywood, is that water tends to migrate more freely when it has been cored with the latter two materials. End-grain balsa tends to keep water confined due to the way it wicks water.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.
Last edited by sailingdog; 04-08-2007 at 11:57 AM.