Cored deck soft spot repair
I know this has been asked here before, I did a search on this forum and many others but still have a few questions. Iím new to doing work on boats and I just recently moved into my í76 Catalina 27. I got the boat for a pretty good price and it seemed very solid. I also did have several people in the know (as far as boats are concerned) tell me the same.
I have been noticing a few smaller soft spots on the deck lately (forgive my terminology or lack there of) near the edge of the deck on the side where the mast stays are bolted down. I have one soft spot on the port side that is about 2-3 sqft and another in the same place on the starboard thatís about 1 sqft. Iíve been doing a lot of research about how to fix this. I am a bit concerned with the location of the spots due to the fact that my rigging is bolted there, which is most likely what caused it anyway (water seeping through the bolt holes.) I did notice that it looks like some glass work has been done in that area on the port side before so maybe its possible it wasn't done right the first time. Either way, Im planning on waterproofing all my bolt holes on deck when I figure out what Iím going to do about the soft spots.
Iíve read about the ďdrill and fillĒ options where you basically pump epoxy into the core but have found very few people actually advocating this. I know that injecting epoxy into a hole full of wet (Im assuming) plywood isnít going to solve anything, but I live aboard in a marina in the Tampa area, it rains a lot, and if I start cutting my deck apart to replace an entire section of core, I have no idea (whether being in a boat yard, or in my slip) how Iím going to keep everything dry. Im not even totally conviced I can do it myself. Im pretty handy but Im not completely sold on the idea of tearing into my deck. Is there anyone out there who has done this themselves or who has had success with the drill-and-fill method? Any thoughts at all? I am planning a haul out towards the end of the year (after the rainy seasion) so I could do the work while on the hard but it will all still be weather permitting.
Any advice or comments would be greatly appreciated.
1976 Catalina 27
St. Pete, FL