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Old 12-09-2006
equitiman equitiman is offline
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Extra steps to refinish deck necessary?

I bought a sailboat earlier in the summer and now that it's too cold to sail I plan on refinishing (or beginning to refinish rather) my deck. I bought all the materials I needed and was ready to go, but then the guy at the boat store inquired about my plan and made some suggestions. Currently my deck is in decent condition except for some cracks due to flexing around the cockpit sole, some starburst cracks around hardware attachment points, and a fair number of general-use scratches. Also, the previous owner decided it was a good idea to paint the deck with house paint, but I want to repaint it with two-part polyurethane. My plan was to simply fill the all the cracks and scratches with epoxy filler, then apply a couple of layers of Epoxy for extra protection and as a conversion coat, and then paint. To help with starburst cracks I was going to install better backing plates, and I decided to simply fill the cracks around the cockpit sole with epoxy and paint over them with the knowledge that if/when they reappear I'll just live with them since they aren't so bad. Soooo...after a little background, here are the two suggestions the guy at the boat store made and I was hoping someone could give me a second opinion.

First he said that simply adding a couple of layers of epoxy to the deck won't fix any of my problems and that I should add a layer of fiberglass (at a cost of €171 I might add!). He said that simply filling all of the cracks and scratches with Epoxy won't be a long term solution and that all of the cracks will reappear. I'm not sure if he is right about this but he seemed to be pretty insistent that he knew what he was talking about. With this in mind, he said it is not much more work to add a layer (and three or four layers where there the cracks are around the cockpit sole) of fiberglass to the entire deck if I am going to put some coats of Epoxy on it anyway. He also said that it is worth the investment to put an extra layer of fiberglass on parts of the deck where there are no cracks because it will strengthen the deck and increase its lifespan (in case you are lost at this point...basically he says I should add 1 layer of fiberglass to the entire deck and then 3-4 layers where the cracks due to flexing around the cockpit sole are). So my question is, a) is he right about this and b) is it worth the extra cost?

The other question is that I was planning on sanding all of the non-slip surface down so that it is smooth and flush with the non-slip portions of the deck. The current non-slip is so old and has been painted over enough times that it doesn't really serve its intended purpose anymore. To replace it, I was going to add some of that "paint on" non-slip between the epoxy coats and prior to the two layers of polyurethane. My question related to this is whether or not it will still have enough grip after it has been painted over by two layers of polyurethane.

Oh one last question too! I bought the West System catalyst for use down to 5 degrees Celsius but he told me not to use it under 12 degrees. The problem is that it could be a lonnnnng time before it is 12 degrees again, but I want to refinish the deck now when I can't sail and not in the spring when it is sailing weather again. I planned on ignoring his advice and following West Systems instructions for cold-weather use. Is this a good or bad idea?

Sorry for the long post but I wanted to give enough background so that anyone who cares to answer would have all the information. Thanks for any help!!!

Bob
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