Delaminating bilge hatch - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 12-24-2007
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Delaminating bilge hatch

A leaking bilge pump, spraying water up onto the bilge hatch, has caused it to delaminate. This is a small hatch, perhaps 8” x 24” and is simply a piece of ľ marine plywood, with a teak and holly veneer. The delaminating is only on one end and has affected four or five layers of the ply and has not damaged the veneer.

If this were not in a marine environment I would repair it by simply using yellow carpenters glue and clamping it for 24 hours. Something tells me that I will need to do more then this to prevent it from happening again. It looks like the bottom and the edges had been coated in something to make it water proof.

Can someone give me any suggestions on the best way to repair this and what the coating might be?


Thanks and have a Merry Christmas!


JLBJR
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Do the yellow glue thing, but use epoxy, perhaps something like Git-Rot, to fully saturate the delaminated area.

The coating on the bottom is probably resin. You are experiencing the same moisture retention that causes fiberglass encased wood to rot.
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It's not marine plywood more likely than not. Good marine plywood doesn't delaminate like that. Sounds like they used regular plywood instead.

I would replace the piece with a new one, and epoxy coat the plywood and then add the veneer to the top of it. Saturating it with epoxy will seal it and prevent water from affecting it.

BTW, you really should fix the bilge pump. It shouldn't be spraying water into the bilge... if it is, that means it isn't pumping the water out of the bilge and isn't working properly.
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Yes, marine ply, epoxy-based, does not delaminate.
It is expensive stuff, but the job is done once, and that's it.
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I love Smith's epoxy. Its like git-rot, but better. I had some really nasty compression post and bulkhead rot I dealt with using smiths. Saturate with penetrating epoxy, clamp together, should hold.

I was able to repair this:

after removal of the completely rotted material of course. The compression post was completely gone. Only thing holding up the stick was bulkhead and deck. Makes a rotted hatch board look like a day in the ark eh?
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I did fix the pump already, it was a broken nipple and a quick replacement did the trick.

I think I am going with the complete replacement idea but I am a bit unclear on the "coat it with epoxy" part. Is Smith Epoxy and Git Rot something I can find off the shelf at West Marine?

I think I may have found a place to buy the plywood with the teak and holly veneer already on it over in St. Pete.

Thanks everyone,


JLBJR
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Old 12-26-2007
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You can git Git Rot (pun intended) at West Marine. I'm not sure about the Smith's epoxy, but West carries West System epoxy which is very high quality. From you original post, you don't indicate if there is any rot- only delamination. If so, then you should be able to inject epoxy into each of the layers. be liberal with the epoxy and let it seep into all the crevasses. Clamp using a crush boards between the clamps and the plywood to distribute the load. Consider using slow set epoxy hardener to allow it to seep adequately. When hard and after cleaning up the re-lamination, mix another epoxy batch and brush on a couple of coats on the entire bilge board (and any others that you have) to seal the wood. This is necessary because there is almost always moisture in the bilge even if you have a very dry boat. Consider using a thickening agent like West System Colloidal Silca for the second & third coats to keep the epoxy from running off. The first coat should not be thickened because you want it to soak into the wood.

I hope that this helps. I'm sure that there may be other techniques (like vacuum bagging instead of clamping) to repair the board, but this one should work with minimal cost and tools. Good luck.
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Thanks Sabreman, excellent advice.

In case you have not seen my profile or gallery, I too own a Sabre, albeit considerably shorter. (28 foot MK2)

Happy Holidays to all!!!


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JLBJR - Great boat. We had a 28 for 15 years before this one. Hull #521. We only sold it because we wanted more space liveability, sea comfort, and increased maintenance.
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Roger that Saberman, we have had "Intermission" just over a year, hull #306and are very happy. Perhaps after the second college tuition is finished we can think of moving up in size and increased maintenance!!

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