wet deck - repairs to foam cored deck - SailNet Community

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Old 04-21-2002
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wet deck - repairs to foam cored deck

I have recently purchased a 1980 Kirby 30 (similar to a J/29), hull #4. The deck is "wet" - with water extending 6+ inches in from the edge of the deck. I know this problem can be fixed in balsa cored decks by filling in the balse with fiberglass and epoxy - can the same be done with foam cored decks?

Also, the bulkhead is getting wet (and mouldy) on the floor - can I just cover with epoxy or should I use fiberglass mat and epoxy?

Thanks for the ideas.
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Old 04-22-2002
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wet deck - repairs to foam cored deck

If the entire deck is wet and delaminating 6 or more inches in from the hull-deck flange, you have a MAJOR problem and I hope they paid you well to haul the boat away for them. It is fixable, but will not be easy. All the delaminated material needs to be removed and replaced with new. While you''re at it, it would be worthwhile to determine the cause of the leak(s) and fix them so as to not have the problem recur. (Possibly poor or no bedding on hull-deck bolts? Possibly same problem with genoa track bolts?) I don''t understand exactly how the bulkhead can be getting the cabin sole moldy. If water is coming through the bulkhead, it has got to be delaminated as well (what does your surveyor say?). Most bulkheads are likely to be layers of fiberglass over a core of plywood. If this is the case, the plywood is likely rotted, and will need to be replaced (see third sentence, above). For materials, be cautious about using epoxy on anything that flexes or bends - such as the fiberglass hull or deck. Epoxy is stiff, and doesn''t bend the way fiberglass does. Using epoxy other than to fill small holes or dings in fiberglass creates a "hard spot" that will likely fail again. This is similar to why you repair a tear in your spinnaker with 3/4 ounch ripstop tape. If you used strong and stiff mainsail weight cloth, it would cause even more tears in the joint with the flexible and stretchy nylon. I hope your delaminations don''t keep you from sailing this season.
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