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Old 10-10-2007
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Question soft deck - Catalina hatch

I've posted this on some other forums, but just trying to find some ideas.

I put my camera on the step ladder tonight so the perspective wouldn't change while I did this. First I just put the tape measure in the hatch showing the normal non-stepped on measurement. 19 inches from the v-berth cushion to the top edge of the hatch. Then in the second photo, I stood on one foot so all my weight was next to the hatch edge (at last check, I was about 185-ish lbs). It seems that at least at that location, there is about 1/4 inch of flex, and the flange between deck and hatch splits open. Probably where the water got into the core in the first place. Now that I measured this, maybe my problem isn't as serious as I make it seem and need to quit freaking out so much? I've read of decks that sank 3 inches! Maybe I just need to drill some holes in the deck, and do the epoxy squirting and fix it that way. As for the hatch flange, it would be nice to remove it clean it up and then reinstall it. But that might not be needed. The port side (in the photo) will lift slightly, but the starboard side of the hatch still seems pretty tight, so maybe I could just epoxy and seal it better. Hmmm....

Anyway, here is the photo. Comments, ideas or just pointing and laughing are welcome. http://home.comcast.net/~tegwilym/bo...mp/decksag.jpg

(enlargement of the measurement is on the left side)
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How old is your boat? Caulk/epoxy it and forget it. (I'll probably catch holy hell from the conservative group for that one.)
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Last edited by bestfriend; 10-10-2007 at 07:29 PM.
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1/4" of flex isn't all that much, but it really depends on the span of unsupported deck, the thickness of the laminate, etc. Have you checked with other Catalina owners to see if this is normal or have you done any moisture measurements, either via a moisture meter or by drilling exploratory holes to see if the core is wet???

If the flex is due to the deck being wet...what is the extent of the wet core/delamination?? Without knowing this, it is hard to say what would be the best way to fix it. If you have an area less than one square foot, you could try drilling holes and then letting the core dry out and then following up by injecting epoxy into the area. If it is larger than one square foot, I would highly recommend re-coring the deck there.
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When I first noticed it, I thought it was much softer. Then I tried to measure it and noticed it was only about 1/4 inch - and that was right next to the hatch.
I have posted this message around on a few place to see what kind of response I get.
I think I should drill a few holes for a core sample and go from there. I do need to repaint the deck anyway.

Tom
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Epoxy and forget!

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Originally Posted by bestfriend View Post
How old is your boat? Caulk/epoxy it and forget it. (I'll probably catch holy hell from the conservative group for that one.)
I like that solution! I just need to figure out what condition the wood is in. I guess I need do drill holes. Ugh.
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You could post this on www.catalinaowners.com or you could tell us which model and I could get you a web link for it and perhaps the e-mail of the tech editor of that model.
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Old 10-11-2007
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I really think that you have a little too much time on your hands. The deck is going to flex because it is fibreglass and unsupported. If you were on a 35 foot boat with a lot of reinforcement there, then you might, and I say might, want to devote a few minutes to determining if there was any wetness inside.

However - kudos for taking the time to check it out - but I'm pretty sure you can find something a little more important to deal with...
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What about deck soundings with a screwdriver handle? It's the best way I know of to find the wet deck.

John
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailormann View Post
I really think that you have a little too much time on your hands. The deck is going to flex because it is fibreglass and unsupported. If you were on a 35 foot boat with a lot of reinforcement there, then you might, and I say might, want to devote a few minutes to determining if there was any wetness inside.

However - kudos for taking the time to check it out - but I'm pretty sure you can find something a little more important to deal with...
Hehe! Yeah, you are probably right. I guess I'm probably a bit paranoid when I was poking around looking for trouble. There definitely is some delamination in that part, and found that when I tracked down a leak.

This is a view of the underside where you can see some pulling on the shroud. I did re-seat those this summer and the wood seemed sound, and I put a larger washer on those too.
http://home.comcast.net/~tegwilym/bo...mp/dimpled.JPG

....and this is a very rough illustration of the "thunking" rather than "pinging".
http://home.comcast.net/~tegwilym/bo.../temp/soft.JPG

Then again, it's only going down 1/4 inch.
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Model

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Originally Posted by SailinJay View Post
You could post this on www.catalinaowners.com or you could tell us which model and I could get you a web link for it and perhaps the e-mail of the tech editor of that model.
I did post this over there also, and got some comments also. My boat is a 1971 Catalina 22, hull number 880. It's one of the old "Hall of Fame" boats since it was one of the first 1,000 made. Pretty good shape for it's age, I'm just trying to do some improvements and repairs over this next winter.
Tom
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