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  #11  
Old 03-04-2011
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This, like most other "quick-fix" methods generally results in a pretty lousy repair. Epoxy does not adhere to wet core materials as a general rule and this type of repair doesn't really dry the core out. In most cases, the water has taken months to penetrate the balsa core, and unless the core has disintegrated almost completely, it will take a long time for it to yield up the water it has taken so long to absorb.

Letting the epoxy saturate the area in this method will make replacing the core material when you do a proper repair job much more difficult. If you're going to fix this, please do it the right way and remove one side of the laminate, clear out the wet core material and then replace it and then glass in a new skin to replace what you removed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by travlineasy View Post
I have some wet spots on my 33 Morgan's deck near the mast boot. The boot is completely sealed, but nonetheless there are wet spots. I talked with a fiberglass repair guy at the marina who said he can fix the problem by drilling a few holes in the top of the cabin, then attaching a Hi-Vac to the lowest hole and over a period of a few days, draw the water from the balsa core. He then pours acetone into the highest hole while the Hi-Vac is still running and draws it through the core to finish the drying process. Next, he pours a very slow drying Epoxy into the highest hole, again while the Hi-Vac is still running. When the Epoxy resin reaches the Hi-Vac he shuts it down, waits about 4 days, then seals the fares the openings. He said the process essentially solidifies that portion of the core that was previously wet, adheres it tightly to the surrounding fiberglass, and does not add a significant amount of weight. No, it's not as good as new, but if everything goes well it should last about 20 years, which is longer than I'll probably be on Planet Earth.

Good luck, and keep us posted on how the repairs progress,

Gary
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  #12  
Old 03-04-2011
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I'll let you know if it works! I'll also let you know if it does not work. I was told that using the Hi-Vac system that 99-percent of the moisture will be removed, but it's not something that takes a few hours--it takes days of constant high-vacuum suctioning before the acetone is injected for the completion of the drying process. At today's labor prices, the cost of replacing the core and then re-doing the deck surfaces would likely be higher than the cost of the boat. Hey, if I get another 10 years out of this old tub, and I don't loose too many of my body parts in the next decade, I'll be more than happy with the repair. A decade from now both me and the boat will be ready for the scrap yard.

Cheers,

Gary
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Old 03-04-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travlineasy View Post
I'll let you know if it works! I'll also let you know if it does not work. I was told that using the Hi-Vac system that 99-percent of the moisture will be removed, but it's not something that takes a few hours--it takes days of constant high-vacuum suctioning before the acetone is injected for the completion of the drying process. At today's labor prices, the cost of replacing the core and then re-doing the deck surfaces would likely be higher than the cost of the boat. Hey, if I get another 10 years out of this old tub, and I don't loose too many of my body parts in the next decade, I'll be more than happy with the repair. A decade from now both me and the boat will be ready for the scrap yard.

Cheers,

Gary
Gary,

PLEASE keep in mind that acetone can SOFTEN and can potentially DESTROY any bonding you have left between the balsa and the glass skins. I have seen the results of both drill & fill and vacuum dried/filled decks. I can assure you it is a band-aid at best. If the boat was hand laid the resin usually just rides the kerfs but the acetone has already softened the bond so you really get...well .. a high tech solution that really solves little... You can almost always excavate and do it right in less time. You still have to fix all your drill holes anyway so paint or gelcoat are going to happen either way. I often wonder if any of these yards charging an arm & leg for these "solutions" ever have a cut away section of deck they can show a customer? I know why they don't...
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  #14  
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And setting up this vacuum system, as well as using the acetone, over the course of days is going to be less expensive? Cutting off the old skin, scraping out the bad balsa core material, and then re-coring it is probably simpler and faster than trying to dry the existing core, and certainly more likely to result in a sound repair.

Quote:
Originally Posted by travlineasy View Post
I'll let you know if it works! I'll also let you know if it does not work. I was told that using the Hi-Vac system that 99-percent of the moisture will be removed, but it's not something that takes a few hours--it takes days of constant high-vacuum suctioning before the acetone is injected for the completion of the drying process. At today's labor prices, the cost of replacing the core and then re-doing the deck surfaces would likely be higher than the cost of the boat. Hey, if I get another 10 years out of this old tub, and I don't loose too many of my body parts in the next decade, I'll be more than happy with the repair. A decade from now both me and the boat will be ready for the scrap yard.

Cheers,

Gary
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  #15  
Old 03-04-2011
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The two estimates for re-coring the wet areas were both in excess of $15,000. The Band-Aid approach will be about $1,900. Labor charges alone averaged $75 to $100 per hour. Some fiberglass guys are charging as much as $130 an hour in the upper Chesapeake Bay area. I would hate to think what the labor charges would be in Annapolis.

BTW: I have seen wet transoms in power boats dried out using the Hi-Vac technique with excellent results. Of course, in the case of a deck you are dealing with a nearly horizontal surface, while the transom is nearly vertical so drainage may be more effective with transom repairs. I know of at least one instance of transom repair that has held up for at least 12 years. It was done on a 210 Proline powered with a 150-HP Mercury outboard that is transom mounted. Obviously, I haven't seen a cutaway section of decking or transom that has been repaired using this technique so I couldn't tell you anything about the bonding. If anyone has some photos and documentation of this I would really appreciate it if they were posted.

Cheers,

Gary
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TravelinEasy—

Doing a core repair like what you describe isn't rocket science and doesn't require a whole lot in the way of esoteric tools or knowledge.

Depending on the size of the area, your skill at fiberglass repair, and such, you could probably do this for less than $500 or so in materials in a weekend. Several of the boating magazines have had articles regarding this exact subject in the past five years.
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  #17  
Old 03-04-2011
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West describes the procedure that Dog and Maine are strongly suggesting here.
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Old 03-04-2011
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I will be dealing with this type of repair in the coming weeks so I have an interest in this thread. The repair solution SD and maine are proposing makes sense in my circumstance with one small but important problem, the cosmetic finish of the deck after the repair. I have minor water damage(as far as I can tell) around one of my stanchion bases and could "fix" the problem by drilling holes thru the non-skid, and then re-paint the non-skid(currently non-diamond finish). If I cut thru the deck to repair/replace the core as suggested I will have to re-gelcoat.
So, does anyone have any advice or can you point me to a resource that can provide info on how to apply gelcoat? I understand that I will not get a perfect colour match but I am hoping for something close.

Any thoughts?

John
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Old 03-05-2011
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Thank you sir... may I have another.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JKCatalina310 View Post
Congrats on the recent purchase. Good luck with her.
Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by JKCatalina310 View Post
If it was me, here is what I would do:

1) The water coming into the deck is the first problem... I would suggest you go to Maine Sail's site and searching these forums for details on how to do this.
GREAT site link. Looks like the way to go. I have rebedded a small sailboat before... while I feel like I did a good job, I see now that I could have done a little better. (Flare/counter sink) Live and learn... I will try this technique at the end of summer on the rest of the boat (that is not leaking yet) as well as the repair to the current problem spot.

Very helpful thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JKCatalina310 View Post
2) If you core damage around the deck hardware, you should fix this before you re-bed the hardware...
Yes... otherwise I'd seal in the moisture and the problem would get worse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JKCatalina310 View Post
3) Then, if the deck damage is bad enough, look at the epoxy injection or core replacement.
Yeah. With it being a small area (and not under the mast or vital chain plate), I think I will try the epoxy injection first (time and money being a factor). If the problem comes back... I will re-core.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JKCatalina310 View Post
Hope this helps.
JK
Yes Thanks.


Now two new questions...

1). How fast do you think this problem will spread?

2). The weather is crappy for the next couple months. Temperature in the 30's to low 40's and rain right now. What can/should I do to prevent more damage with "quick" damage control fix?

Thanks

-Wingnut247

Last edited by Wingnut247; 03-05-2011 at 12:12 AM. Reason: typo
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  #20  
Old 03-05-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyandjebus View Post
I will be dealing with this type of repair in the coming weeks so I have an interest in this thread. The repair solution SD and maine are proposing makes sense in my circumstance with one small but important problem, the cosmetic finish of the deck after the repair. I have minor water damage(as far as I can tell) around one of my stanchion bases and could "fix" the problem by drilling holes thru the non-skid, and then re-paint the non-skid(currently non-diamond finish). If I cut thru the deck to repair/replace the core as suggested I will have to re-gelcoat.
So, does anyone have any advice or can you point me to a resource that can provide info on how to apply gelcoat? I understand that I will not get a perfect colour match but I am hoping for something close.

Any thoughts?
Just this:
WEST SYSTEM | Projects | Fiberglass Boat Repair and Restoration - Repair non-skid and get professional results

And MAS Epoxies sells FlexMold - which provides the manufacturer non-skid pattern.

(follow the links)
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