I have looked a many, many plastic classics the last few months. Many of them have soft decks. This seems to be the death knell for a boat that has max value of maybe 15 to 20 thousand. Wouldn’t it be lovely (queue “Sound of Music” soundtrack) to come up with an efficient way to fix a deck to save these boats. I know the right way to do it. I’ve seen the pictures
Maybe there is a quicker way that for some boats would be good enough. Better than the alternative, the chainsaw.
The following methods will probably not work; I have never seen them in print before. The intent is to provoke discussion, possibly learn a technique you have used successfully but never discussed in public. Maybe one of my wacky ideas could be mutated by wiser people into something workable.
Bad Idea #1:
1. Remove the cabin port lights and hatches, deck hardware, rub rail etc. I know, I know there are a ton of things to take off and reattach.
2. Build a cradle just like a hull cradle but with many more contact points for the deck to support the deck shape.
3. Use a metal saw to cut the hull deck bolts.
4. Invert the whole deck. Now you know why you need the deck cradle. How much can a deck weigh anyway?
5. So far I have not seen much softness in the cabin but always on side deck. Cut large portions of inside deck liner off. Fix core and reattach deck liner. Patch joints with accent trim.
6. Flip deck over and reattach.
Bad Idea #2
1. Create a Sistine Chapel type of scaffolding inside the boat so you can lie down and work on the underside of the deck in comfort.
2. Using a plumber’s saw cut out 4” to 6” holes in the inside skin in a honey comb pattern.
3. Replace core material and glue back circles.
4. Add a layer or two of fiberglass cloth for strength.
5. Finish with wood strips, soft headliner etc.
Of course it is unlikely to expect that any deck job is going to be easy. The problem with the Triton381 restore method is that re-faring and refinishing the deck takes a very high level of skill if it is to look good. I’m hoping that working from the inside where mistakes can be hidden easier may be faster.
What do you all think?