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Old 08-17-2014
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topside panel repair

so i dinally have hauled out my 1974 balsa cored beuty and lo n behold contrary to everything folks had said, shes checking out. just fine. the only spot of rot is on the stern quarter where a chainplate bolt had been leaking in. i cut out the wet area after testing for the perimiter with eighth inch holes and found a interesting structure. overtop of the glass inerskin is a layer of plywood squares, one inch by one inch. then over a half inch of glass on the outerskin. while reading a previous survey. i learned that this ply was there to add stiffness to the chain plate area for mizzen caps and main back stays. im wondering opinions on how to lay this back up. ive gutted the wet plywood. and am now thinking of just replacing it with balsa coring for ease of installation. anyone?
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Old 08-17-2014
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Re: topside panel repair

Plywood out.... Plywood in.... Thats how I'd do it, with one change, I'd use epoxy and coat the plywood before it goes in.
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Old 08-17-2014
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Re: topside panel repair

Balsa will crush under compressive loads, when plywood would not. I'd either use marine plywood, or solid fiberglass, i.e. G10 board is/was available from McMaster and other suppliers. Pre-cut plywood squares, mounted on a mat the same way mosaic floor tiles are, should also be available.
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Old 08-17-2014
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Re: topside panel repair

The original engineer thought plywood was the way to go. Not sure I would weaken it, unless I thought I was a better engineer.
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Old 08-17-2014
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Re: topside panel repair

Hello has it right - I'd use G10. New plywood is still going to be plywood which is less than perfect in a cored laminate. Solid glass has all the advantages and none of the negatives of ply.

Balsa doesn't work well in areas of high localized stress.
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Old 08-17-2014
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Re: topside panel repair

Any reason why ply would not be good for another 40 years?
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Old 08-17-2014
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Re: topside panel repair

If it doesn't get wet It might well be, but solid glass will be good into the mists of time. For localized areas of reinforcement, I'd take solid glass every time.

Of course, the only fiberglass work I had to do on my C-43 restoration was replacing wet plywood core in the deck so maybe I'm not the one to ask.
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Old 08-18-2014
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Re: topside panel repair

thanks for tour comments everything helps. had to go balsa core. spilled an bottle of hardener , had to buy another and now runnin so low on funds im not sure theyll even pit me in the water at rhe end of the month. gonna lay heavy glass over top no prob
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Old 08-18-2014
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Re: topside panel repair

oooooooooooK ive had a change of heart. turns out i had a bunch of three quarterbinch marine ply kickin around. ripped out the partially set balsa and now onto the new material. i have it cut into roughly seventy one and a half inch squares as the previous core was. im gonna clean up the rest of the poly resin and epoxy them in. one at a time with a screw in each to hold it in place, after ill sand in down flush. add a wacknof cloth to er and replace the old exterior panel. then bevel the repair. sound food every one?
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Old 08-19-2014
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Re: topside panel repair

No need for 71-1/2 screws. Just use a slow-setting epoxy, lay them all in place, cover with a sheet of kitchen wax paper and couple of sandbags to weight them down while they set. Then peel the wax paper, solvent clean with some acetone and paper towels to make sure no wax stays behind, and generously fill and batter with more epoxy, setting the fiberglass into the top of it and weighting down the final skin to bond it.

Screws are just "more stuff" that can rust, or create galvanic problems with the ply. And more work.

West Systems should have some PDFs online about how to do the job. Their tech support is a free (not toll free) phone call, even if you're not using their products. #1 in the business.
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