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Old 11-13-2000
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Foredeck repair/recoring help/ideas needed.

I have a 20'' Buccaneer whose foredeck is very soft on the starboard sidefrom the hatch to owards the bow. I know the wood has rotted under the fiberglass due to leaking around the hatch. I want to repair this, but don''t know really where to start. Is this a balsa core, or is it plywood? If the port half of the deck is ok, can just the starboard half be repaired, or does all of the wood need to be taken out and replaced under the whole deck? Do you just epoxy/fiberglass new wood in?
Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 11-14-2000
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Foredeck repair/recoring help/ideas needed.

You''ll have to open it up (from the INSIDE,where no one but you will see it, unless you want to redo the deck nonskid, which is very difficult and which will pobably look bad in spite of great efforts) and see what''s going on. Rotted balsa or plywood will need to be scooped out and replaced. You can use plywood instead of balsa - it might be cheaper and easier to get. Make sure the plywood, if that''s what you use, has no voids. Goop it up with polyester resin and fiberglass mat and cloth to equal the thickness of the rest of it, and smooth it down as best you can. To avoid having to work upside down, you may want to tilt the boat some. Use polyester resin, not epoxy for two reasons: 1/cost 2/flex and strength characteristics that match the existing deck. (A super-strong patch will cause the rest of the deck to fail where the two parts join.) It is very messy. Use lots of rubber gloves, wear a hat and goggles. You can use fairing compound - like Bondo - for the final smoothing. Then paint it. Now you know why you got such a good price on your boat, but you''ll also be able to fix it if you hit anything. Happy sailing!
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Old 11-15-2000
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Foredeck repair/recoring help/ideas needed.

I''ll second the use of polyester rather than epoxy....but for an entirely different reason:
Epoxy when layed up **thick** (such as what you are doing in deck repair) will most probably "go exothermic".... inotherwords will KICK catastrophically, generate a LOT of heat and possibly cause the unreacted epoxy to foam and ooze out of the structure. The possibilities are: explosion (very very slow) of the deck, severe burns of the person who is doing the lay-up, epoxy ''foam-out'', etc. etc. etc. etc.

With Polyester, you can do a single sandwich lamination (almost the whole thing at one time).
If strength is required, then epoxy should be considered but layed-up in SINGLE LAYERS ---- to prevent excessive heat build up.
Hope this helps
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