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Old 09-17-2012
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Rot in hull/deck joint - thoughts on necessity of reinforcement?

Hi all,
Our cold-molded cedar strip/fg sailboat is up on the hard before we start a two-year Pacific cruise, and among other terrible rotten things we discovered over the past couple weeks we found that the top strip of our hull is wet and likely rotten down the starboard side. The shear clamp on the inside of the hull (where the nuts on the hull/deck bolts go) is also rotten, but it's got a pretty thick layer of fiberglass over it, and there is a 12oz combined thickness of glass on the outside of the hull too. Combined though, this has us concerned about the structural integrity of our hull/deck joint.

So the question is this: With a weakened shear clamp mechanism on the stbd side, do you think that the boat will make it safely down the Pacific coast while we let the shear dry out for a later fix? The forestay and chainplates go through the deck to good anchors, our center bulkhead has hull/deck reinforcement, and we've observed no leaks or cracks in our fiberglass. How likely is it that the hull could twist apart or that the deck could peel up? Does this kind of thing actually happen?

If we try to repair it now, we have to option to weld metal strips to the toe rail and through-bolt them lower down on the hull, or alternatively to epoxy some wood knees to the hull/deck joint inside the cabin. However, I'd rather avoid the extra project if I can help it. My Dad is a worrier though, so I come to you for good (well, more) opinions.

Many thanks!
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