Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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Boy is this thread full of misinformation. Solid fiberglass decks without cores of any kind are extremely rare. Some early boats had plywood cored decks, like the early Cals. Early on the English employed a boat building method that had closely spaced glassed in deck frames (similar to a wooden boat) and eliminated coring (my boat's decks are built this way). Except for a very few examples, plywood coring was abandoned by most of the industry because plywood was more prone to rapid rot problems due to the orientation of the fibers. By the mid-1960's most of the quality boat builders had shifted to either the more expensive and more rot resistant end grain balsa coring. A few manufacturers had shifted to the even more expensive closed cell foam coring.
It was not unusual for value oriented manufacturers to use plywood or aluminum coring in areas where hardware was being bolted, but many of the better manufacturers would simply eliminate the coring and either build up the are with a polyerster resin/chopped fiber slurry or else simply bring the interior and exterior skins together.
Cheap trailerables had limited amounts of deck coring because coring a boat is expensive.
Deck coring plays a very crucial role beyond the tactile. Fiberglass is very fatigue prone and without coring or framing of some kind the decks would be extremely heavy reducing stability and hurting motion comfort, or else would be prone to flexing which would weaken the decks due to fatigue over time.
I know of no manufacturer who 'potted' their fastenings with Epoxy and I have not heard of a manufacturer who potted hardware prior to the 1990's. Even then it was only small shops who potted their hardware and it was generally with a polyester resin slurry. I have not heard of any manufacturer who even claimes to pot their fastenings with epoxy.
In terms of specific claims and specific boats, Almost no 60s and early '70s production boats had solid fiberglass decks, but with plywood laminated to the underside. Some manufacturers used plywood backing plates on their cored decks which may be what the poster is seeing.
The Olsen 30's that I knew had closed cell foam deck cores and not balsa core.
Depending on who you believe, there may have been less than a dozen Tritons built without coring and apparently some or all of them allegedly had plywood coring in the foredeck, doghouse top, and cockpit.
The Hunter 27's and 30's that I knew had balsa core decks with plywood reinforcing where hardware was through bolted and aluminum that was drilled and tapped where hardware was blind installed.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay