Join Date: May 2006
Location: Left Coast USA
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Re: Islands 17 Spongy Deck
Core is rotten. Decks are generally made with a sandwich of fiberglass on each side with plywood or end laid balsa wood in between. When water gets in the wood rots. Proper repair involves cutting the deck open from above or below, replacing the bad wood and re-glassing. Stop gap repairs involve drilling holes and injecting acetone into the wet core. The acetone evaporates rapidly and takes the water with it (for the most part). The thinned epoxy is injected in the holes. This is still a lot of work and results in a so-so repair. Or - live with it if it's not a safety issue.
Don't know the boat so can't make any real suggestions on using it, but you need someone local to help you figure it out. Find a local sailor that can show you the ropes, so to speak.
Patience, be careful and have fun.
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Currently in Long Beach, CA