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Old 09-17-2012
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Rot in hull/deck joint - thoughts on necessity of reinforcement?

Hi all,
Our cold-molded cedar strip/fg sailboat is up on the hard before we start a two-year Pacific cruise, and among other terrible rotten things we discovered over the past couple weeks we found that the top strip of our hull is wet and likely rotten down the starboard side. The shear clamp on the inside of the hull (where the nuts on the hull/deck bolts go) is also rotten, but it's got a pretty thick layer of fiberglass over it, and there is a 12oz combined thickness of glass on the outside of the hull too. Combined though, this has us concerned about the structural integrity of our hull/deck joint.

So the question is this: With a weakened shear clamp mechanism on the stbd side, do you think that the boat will make it safely down the Pacific coast while we let the shear dry out for a later fix? The forestay and chainplates go through the deck to good anchors, our center bulkhead has hull/deck reinforcement, and we've observed no leaks or cracks in our fiberglass. How likely is it that the hull could twist apart or that the deck could peel up? Does this kind of thing actually happen?

If we try to repair it now, we have to option to weld metal strips to the toe rail and through-bolt them lower down on the hull, or alternatively to epoxy some wood knees to the hull/deck joint inside the cabin. However, I'd rather avoid the extra project if I can help it. My Dad is a worrier though, so I come to you for good (well, more) opinions.

Many thanks!
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Old 09-17-2012
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Re: Rot in hull/deck joint - thoughts on necessity of reinforcement?

IMHO you need a pro to look at this. BAD NEWS!

But CharlieCobra of Baggett and Sons Marine Restoration is not too far away from you and it might be worth getting his opinion.
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Old 09-17-2012
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Re: Rot in hull/deck joint - thoughts on necessity of reinforcement?

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Originally Posted by TQA View Post
But CharlieCobra of Baggett and Sons Marine Restoration is not too far away from you and it might be worth getting his opinion.
That's what I would do if there's any way to work it.
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Old 09-17-2012
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Re: Rot in hull/deck joint - thoughts on necessity of reinforcement?

why does the hull /deck joint have fiberglass over it? a true cold molded hull does not use fiberglass. the wood is impregnated with epoxy and does not rot. if there is fiberglass over the cold molding it may be the reason there is water in the shear strip. is the boat cold molded or cedar planked covered with fiberglass?
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Old 09-17-2012
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Re: Rot in hull/deck joint - thoughts on necessity of reinforcement?

Hmm, now that you parse out the two types, I'm not sure. When we bought it four years back we were told that it was cold-molded in the style of the Gougeon Brothers, but it's also true that it is a cedar strip boat with glass and epoxy inside and out. The primary reason for the rot is probably that it traveled from the end-grain at the bow once the bow stem had rotted through (it's been a fun couple of weeks).

So, while the cedar was at least surface coated with epoxy, it doesn't appear that it was impregnated, for what it's worth. The builder must have thought that a layer of glass around the shear clamp was a good idea to keep water out and tie it even more into the hull/deck, but of course in our case it operated to trap water in.

Regarding the survey suggestions, we have had a local surveyor here in the yard (who I think knows his stuff) look at our boat a few times over the past couple weeks. When I described the problem to him the other day, he suggested the wood knee approach if we were going to do anything about it, but he kind of threw his hands up in the air when I asked whether we could make do without it. That sent me here in search of more points of view, or possibly first-/second-hand experiences.
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Old 09-18-2012
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Re: Rot in hull/deck joint - thoughts on necessity of reinforcement?

Doesn't sound good to me, but some pictures would help. You'll need more than a few wood knees to hold the deck together once the boat starts twisting over the ocean swell (a knee has to have something structural to work on) and the last thing you want in a storm at sea to have the deck open up on you.

In sheltered waters you might be fine, but if you're planning a 2-year cruise away from quality repair facilities, best get CharlieCobra onto it right now. Give him a call - he will know what to do.
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Re: Rot in hull/deck joint - thoughts on necessity of reinforcement?

If you are planning to 'take to the sea', presumably you also plan to 'return from the sea'. Pro now, thankful later.
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Old 09-20-2012
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Re: Rot in hull/deck joint - thoughts on necessity of reinforcement?

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Originally Posted by JeffBurright View Post
...So the question is this: With a weakened shear clamp mechanism on the stbd side, do you think that the boat will make it safely down the Pacific coast while we let the shear dry out for a later fix?...
If you mean down to Southern California, probably it will. Odds are much improved if the boat has decent ability to travel under power and you plan to use the engine extensively if necessary. Also if you go now, or yesterday, or several months from now.
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Old 09-21-2012
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Re: Rot in hull/deck joint - thoughts on necessity of reinforcement?

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Originally Posted by JeffBurright View Post
So the question is this: With a weakened shear clamp mechanism on the stbd side, do you think that the boat will make it safely down the Pacific coast while we let the shear dry out for a later fix?
It ain't going to dry out at sea. It ain't even going to dry out at the dock. If it is as bad as you make it sound, cutting it out and laminating new wood in is the ONLY cure.
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