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  #1  
Old 05-12-2009
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Gel Cracks @ Mast Foot

Hi All,

I know there's a million and one postings about gel cracks out there, but I was hoping some of you wouldn't mind giving me your opinion on these photos. I'm in the midst of restoring a 1989 Catalina 22. I've stripped the deck clean of everything and cleaned off all the old sealant. Eventually, I'll be coating the deck with Interlux 404/414 and finishing it with perfection. However, before I do that, I wanted to address some of the gel cracks.

Obviously, the first priority is structural integrity, but I'm giving as much attention as I can to asthetics. The second picture is of the deck at the foot of the mast. There's some significant cracking. My plan is to grind out with a dremel and fill in with either a) interlux epoxy resin, b) interlux watertite filler, or c) a combination of the 2, resin first. Underneath this spot in the deck is the finished ceiling, so there's not all that much reinforcement that I can think to do.

The third photo is of where the lifeline stanchion fastens to the deck. Similar cracking, centered around the holes. Same game plan.

If anyone has any thoughts, I'd sure appreciate an outside opinion. Thanks!

CS
Attached Thumbnails
Gel Cracks @ Mast Foot-low-res-deck-photo.jpg   Gel Cracks @ Mast Foot-mast-foot-crack.jpg   Gel Cracks @ Mast Foot-stanchion-crack.jpg  
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Old 05-12-2009
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These cracks will need better cure. You better grind a good amount to apply glass fibre and epoxy.
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Old 05-12-2009
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Filling in the cracks is definitely recommeneded. Though the cause is more of a concern. Since the problem will re-occurr. Make sure the shrouds are not over tensioned. This would be a contributing factor to seeing those cracks at the mast base.

If there is coring around the stanchion I would over bore the hole then remove some of the core and reset epoxy to cover the larger hole. Then drill for the new bolts. Rest assured they will never leak or cause you a problem is done properly.

Easy jobs.
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Old 05-12-2009
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Thanks for the replies.. CD, would you mind elaborating on coring around the holes? I'm not all that well versed and am not sure what coring would look like. There is some chipping away of the gel coat around just about every hole in the deck, but I figured the bedding would fill those in just fine.

CS
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Old 05-12-2009
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CS, here's a link to a great write-up on coring and holes: sealing deck core.
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Old 05-12-2009
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Before attempting any repairs, first verify the mast step on the keel is not rotted or otherwise damaged as this looks like deck deformation due to either step rot or over-tensioned stays, either of which will make your repairs futile until to fix the cause(s).
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