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Old 02-28-2010
laHolland laHolland is offline
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Wet plywood deck core - how to dry?

We noticed that there was some coffee-like liquid oozing from a seam on our Cal 27's cabin ceiling. So we knew we had a soggy deck, though it doesn't feel spongy when walking on. The boat cabin isn't lined, and there isn't any paneling or furniture in the way, so it is easy to access the deck from the interior. We cut out a small section with a dremel tool, without going through to the top. The construction of the deck is, from the top to bottom, gel coat, fiberglass layers, plywood, fiberglass layers. The small section we removed revealed that the plywood was damp but does not appear to be rotten or mushy. The plywood was still attached firmly to itself and both layers of fiberglass. So my problem is -- how to effectively dry out this plywood? The area that needs to be dried is large - I think the moisture wicked along the wood grain, from a leaking chainplate nearly back to the companionway. I expected the plywood to be rotten, but it is quite firm and we really had to pry/chisel it off, though it is clearly damp.

So, I am thinking we can pry/peel away the inside fiberglass layer, and attempt to dry the plywood from underneath using a heater, but I don't know if this will work, as the water vapor cannot escape upwards without putting holes in the deck surface (which I'd rather not do).

Anyone had any experience with this, or any ideas?
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