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  #1  
Old 06-21-2012
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Spongey Deck-Converted to Anchor Locker

Today I decided to resolve my mushy deck up front near the bow pulpit area. The balsa core was already bad the day I bought the boat and I knew sooner or later I'd have to fix it. Previous owner attempted to fill the core from below with drilled holes and household spray foam and it was, honestly, a waste of time/money type of repair. So today I bit the bullet and used a 5-1/4 angle grinder with a very thin concrete cutting blade and got ready to saw through the top fiberglass layer and take a peek at what was underneath. Before I started, I drew some lines to decide where to cut and it hit me all of a sudden, there is no place on my tiny 19 footer to stow my anchor hardware. I had a ton of room below deck and so I decided to make a triangular locker about 10" deep. One thing I did in my planning was that I made the hatch offset to the left side. This left me a 14" space on the right to stand on while the hatch was still wide open. The hatch will have stainless hinges that let the hatch pivot up to the left and lean aginst the pulpit while in the up position. I may even put a small latch/bungee/velcro tie there to keep it open if its rough that day. I will 1st be building a plywood box that I'll epoxy in from below and will have an intentional cant to the floor of the box leading to a 1/2 through-hull at the bow. I will be able to wash my anchor and line in the box when I dock at the end of the day. Any venting issues here I need to consider????

So today the cut was successful and almost all the balsa under my cut was complete wet damp mush mixed in with yellow foam !!! The gap to refill is about 1/2 high and I will be adding a lot of bracing to my new hatch lid. I am even thinking on making a very rugged cleat mount below the hatch with a slot in the hatch for a tie off for my rough weather anchor line. The hardest part was getting started and making that 1st cut. The saw worked perfect and only consumed about 2mm of width of the fiberglass. I will have no problem re-using the original deck triangle I cut out and keeping the gel coated no-slip texture that comes with it. By the way this is not my 1st fiberglass project, just the 1st one I'll be doing on a boat. I will update as I progress on the project, and as always any input or criticism is appreciated. Bruce
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Old 06-21-2012
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Re: Spongey Deck-Converted to Anchor Locker

Good job... we did a similar project on a former boat, we carved the core out around both the edge of the hole and the edges of the 'new' cutout, filled and faired that to seal the edges and then applied support lips underneath around the edge of the hole. Same idea with a sloped floor locker and drain hole at lowest part of that. We had no issues with 'venting' as the lid is an imperfect seal anyway and you may as well leave it that way.

I think it's important to have a large enough drain port to get rid of the water as quickly as possible. It is nice to be able to simply hose the entire rode sitting on the locker after a trip.

The drain hole we added was about 3 inches back from the stem on one side. On our current boat the locker lid is offset as you describe, the drain is straight through the stem itself. We've had no issues with that either.

You'll find this a great improvement.
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Old 06-22-2012
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Re: Spongey Deck-Converted to Anchor Locker

Looking forward to following this. I hope you'll post some pics!
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Old 06-22-2012
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Re: Spongey Deck-Converted to Anchor Locker

Consider cutting a half-round notch in the forward edge of the cut-out so that you can leave unused line in the well and close the lid while anchored?

Also, you may get a significant amount of water across that foredeck on a rough day, so both a semi-water-resistant lip under the lid and a substantial drain would be good.

I'd love to do something like this, but don't have a good enough excuse to cut up a perfectly good foredeck without the skills to make teh result look original.
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Old 06-22-2012
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Re: Spongey Deck-Converted to Anchor Locker

excellent fix!!!
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Old 06-22-2012
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Re: Spongey Deck-Converted to Anchor Locker

make the cut out of the upper skin bigger then the lower this gives you the lip to set the cover on and somewhere to glass the inside box to. then fill the open edge between the skins with structural filler. almost everything can be done form the top. if you make the box with a lip you can install it from the top also.
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Last edited by overbored; 06-22-2012 at 12:18 PM.
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Old 06-23-2012
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Re: Spongey Deck-Converted to Anchor Locker

Quote:
Originally Posted by arf145 View Post
Looking forward to following this. I hope you'll post some pics!
Yes I will document the entire process with clear pix as well as a list of materials!!! Have to put everything on hold for a week as I have an out of town work related obligation that calls. Will resume the projects on the 29th.
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Old 06-23-2012
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Re: Spongey Deck-Converted to Anchor Locker

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbsl98 View Post
Consider cutting a half-round notch in the forward edge of the cut-out so that you can leave unused line in the well and close the lid while anchored?
Great suggestion, and I'll need to make make it wide enough to prevent any chafing of line as the boat rocks.
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Old 06-29-2012
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Re: Spongey Deck-Converted to Anchor Locker

Ok I'm back. I am a teacher at a Technical High School and had to go to Kansas City MO for a student to compete at the nationals for SkillsUSA. Kid did good, 9th place overall for his 1st time at that event. I prefer my tiny sailboat to a busy jet airliner for sure, OK, its time to get back on the project.

Will try to upload some pics, 1st attempt so be patient ...

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Old 06-29-2012
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Re: Spongey Deck-Converted to Anchor Locker

deck cutout
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