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  #1  
Old 02-24-2013
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Soft Sole Replacement

Started my spring project list a little early, wanted to open it up and see what I was getting into...

I cut the top layer of glass off with a cordless saw and peeled back the sole...



Going to need warmer waether to thaw out the wet balsa core and get it clean and dry enought to replace, but I have a pretty good idea what I'm up against....Looks like 3/8" balsa core between two 1/8" glass layers...



I have enough 1/2" marine plywood to fill thew area, and was hoping to use that (assuming I can clean and scrape enough depth out....) and then cover with a layer of epoxy and glass cloth...

But now that it's open I'm wondering...??

1. Can I just fill the hollowed out core with layers of glass and epoxy (no wood)...? or

2. If I cut the lip off (that forms the bildge panel opening) could I run some teak/cumaru/holly flooring panels ..."perpendicular" to the keel across the bildge side to side...? or

3. Just rebuild the sole with ply and keep the stock bildge panel covers...?
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Old 02-24-2013
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Re: Soft Sole Replacement

I think it would be unnecessarily expensive and heavy (not to mention a lot of work) to build that all up with glass. A properly bonded dry core and a new top skin will give you back the stiffness you'll need. Plywood should be fine, just a bit heavier than original..new balsa or foam would work too..

If the budget allows, I think I'd buy a 4x8 sheet of 1/4 'teak and holly' plywood (around $250, IIRC) and cover the whole area with that (after rebuilding the liner), with cutout 'lift outs' in the areas of the original bilge access boards. A single sheet would probably do and if you're really careful with the saw you can probably cut the sections out and maintain the grain and continuity, with the kerf giving you the right clearance for easy bind-free liftout. Epoxy seal the underside, and glue the 'cutouts' to appropriate plywood substrate so everything stays level.

This also saves you the trouble and effort of getting a perfectly 'fair' surface on your rebuilt liner top skin..

For the liftouts you can simply drill a clean "finger" hole (use a forstner bit) or install lift rings. Should be obvious which of those options saves you a few bucks!

A nice coat of varnish (shame that Ultimate Sole is not longer available) and your sole will look better than new!
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Last edited by Faster; 02-24-2013 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 03-03-2013
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Re: Soft Sole Replacement

Started to scrape out the old and see what kind of room I have to fill...Looks like the 1/2" marine ply I already have will work in this application...



Unless this stuff has swolen that much....looks to be the same thickness as the replacement ply...

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Old 04-07-2013
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Re: Soft Sole Replacement

Got a chance to do a little more damage in the boat...

Got the sole opened up and the old soft Balsa sub floor out...



Started fitting Marine grade plywood to fill void...



Next step is to coat plywood and epoxy into soleprior to glass work...but for that I'm gonna need some warmer days/nights...my little heater warms up tyhe air enough to work but probably not warm enought to kick the epoxy...That and I want things to dry up a little more before I reseal...
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Old 04-07-2013
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Re: Soft Sole Replacement

For floors and especially stairs that will be walked on a lot we use a lot of Tuf-Shield. Looks ok, and lasts for ages.
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Old 04-08-2013
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Re: Soft Sole Replacement

I'm going to be looking more toward a "non-skid" finish o the topcoat epoxy...
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Old 04-27-2013
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Re: Soft Sole Replacement

Finaly had a couple days up near 60* that and a couple small heaters in the cabin and I layed in the new plywood...I coated the sole "tub" and the bottom and edged of the filler and then held in place with some weight bags...



Due to space constraints I did one side at a time, which gave me time to get everything lined in right...and held in place...I also had time to replace the leaking foot pump for the gally sink...



I ran out of epoxy, when I get my next batch, I'll coat the top of the ply and lay in a couple layers of glass cloth.
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Old 05-05-2013
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Re: Soft Sole Replacement

Had a couple warm days (finally) so I layed up a bit moreepoxy on the sole...

I had already coated the bottom of the plywood as well as edges, then a layer in bottom of sole cavity...let that harden up...

Then I mixed a batch and poured it in the cracks and gaps around the plywood to tie everything together...I coated the top of the plywood and layed in a wide layer of 6oz cloth over the existing sole...

Then another narrower layer of cloth and epoxy to build up the thickness of the original sole.



When this hardens up, I'll sand the lumps and bumps out and be ready for the final top coat to smooth it all out into one texture...

Not sure if I want to go to the trouble of making molds and trying to duplicate the old non skid pattern with borders etc...or just dust it with silica sand in the wet top coat and then cover with paint...
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Old 05-05-2013
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Re: Soft Sole Replacement

looks like you are moving right along. That sole should be stronger than new..

And what are these 'warm days" you are talking about?
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Old 05-05-2013
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Re: Soft Sole Replacement

Been fighting winter tooth and nail to leave...Had our first 50* day last weekend and then Wednesday Thursday and Friday it snowed...

May 3rd at my marina



This weekend we're hitting 60s, but I still have the electric heater going to get the epoxy to kick...
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