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  #11  
Old 07-26-2006
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I have been told that once you have a problem it might very well recur. The deck on my boat is spongy near the base of the tiller. I am planning on drilling and epoxying the deck and will try to address the leak/cause - but am considering building a teak grid and simply overlaying it on the cockpit deck/sole. Also I would think that if done right it will look cool. Comments?

Last edited by banshee; 07-26-2006 at 08:21 AM.
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  #12  
Old 07-26-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banshee
I have been told that once you have a problem it might very well recur. The deck on my boat is spongy near the base of the tiller. I am planning on drilling and epoxying the deck and will try to address the leak/cause - but am considering building a teak grid and simply overlaying it on the cockpit deck/sole. Also I would think that if done right it will look cool. Comments?
Actually, if you take the proper steps to repair it the right way, the problem will actually be less likely to occur again. For instance, in the case of your tiller, the problem is probably that the deck core was not sealed from water intrusion when the hole was drilled for the tiller to pass through. Another common source of water intrusion into a deck core is the holes used for the fasteners that hold the hardware to the deck.

A proper repair, which probably involves replacing the core at this point, would also include potting the holes that the hardware and fasteners pass through the deck with thickened epoxy, to prevent water from entering the laminate core. This would be far more secure and stronger than using a teak grid, which is just a stop gap measure.

The deck is a structural element of the boat—a cockpit teak grid is not. Having the deck be "spongy" means that the deck is delaminating and the core is rotting in that area—which will greatly weaken the deck there. If the deck there is used as a structural element, which is most likely the case, any weakening of the deck there will allow other parts of the boat, such as the transom, to flex, and can lead to serious structural problems, like the bulkheads and transom separating from the deck.

Ignorance and mis-information is a big part of the problem... and only by getting the right information, can you actually solve the problem. Having a a problem, doesn't mean it is likely to come back...if you properly repair the problem to begin with.
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  #13  
Old 07-26-2006
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I have used both methods.

Bill

The injected epoxy method is good if you can ensure the wet rotted core is completely dry. We did this method on two boats - one on a curved section of coachroof and the other on the cockpit floor. The coachroof repair lasted longer because it was dried better. On the cockpit fllor there was marine grade plywood rather than end core balsa as the core. This led to delamination and a lot of pockets to trap the water. It was never completely dry before the injection - and after two years some water would actually weep around one or two of the drilled holes on warm days. This led to a recurring cycle of water getting in/freezing/etc...

On the cockpit floor boat there was also water around the chainplates which was end core balsa. In these areas the top layer of resin and the rotted core were removed. Then layers of glass cloth and matt thouroghly saturated with resin were laid and new core material. This was followed by more cloth & matt & resin. Finally it was skim coated with epoxy with a sandable filler and sanded smooth. Is as solid as any other part of the deck, looks like new and has held up very well. My deck is painted so was easy to blend in.

This Spring the cockpit floor was redone following same procedure. Very strong and like all well done jobs no one would ever know why 4 days was spent on the boat during this process. This was done with polyester including the skim coats.

Two comments about the recoring procedure.

1. A lot of us like West epoxy. The cure times and the number of applications make a West job take a very long time. Polyester resin (do not use the waxed resin) cures in an hour and is ready for sanding and application of the next layer. This speeds up the process considerably and makes the recoring a two day job. (of course the refinishing is always just as long due to cure times of paints ....)

2. Before you decide on Polyester or Epoxy resin determine what you will refinish the deck with. Many things do not adhere to epoxy as well as to polyester. I have been told you can put epoxy on existing ployester surface but that polyester resin will not adhere properly to existing epoxy surfaces.

A satisfying job that removes the possibility of a new buyer hacking thousands from the price of the boat due to a surveyed problem of water in the deck. The cockpit core recoring job was under $200.

Mike

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  #14  
Old 07-26-2006
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One other thing I have mentioned on other threads about epoxy and polyester resins. If they are painted a dark color, they can heat up to the point where the polyester resins will cure further and may lead to the fiberglass cloth thruprinting and showing up in the resin as a visible texture. The epoxy resins can heat up to a point where they will soften...and most epoxy resin systems will warn about this.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #15  
Old 07-27-2006
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SalingDog, Blue Mac etc are absolutely right and you might even consider action against the "surveyor" The core needs to be fixed before any real damage results.

The most important thing is to find out how extensive the problem has become and you can do this yourself by drilling some holes (not too deep) at intervals around the suspect area, If the bit comes out wet and mushy, that is all the evidence you need. With luck, injection with West System epoxy will fix the problem, but do not be too dismayed if you have to cut out a section of the deck, scrape out the rot, dry it all out and replace the core (I would use foam, not balsa) then bond on a new layer of glass with epoxy over the top. Leave it slightly lower than the surrounding area, then fill it with Epoxy mixed with Microlight. If you work carefully and smooth out the filler, there will be very little sanding.

Hope this helps

Alan
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Old 07-28-2006
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The core and inject method is a great option if the wood is viable. It's cheap, and easy... I had that problem in one area on my deck. My goal in fixing it wasn't to harden up the deck, but to keep the water from penetrating further out.
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  #17  
Old 07-28-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alanl
SalingDog, Blue Mac etc are absolutely right and you might even consider action against the "surveyor" The core needs to be fixed before any real damage results.

The most important thing is to find out how extensive the problem has become and you can do this yourself by drilling some holes (not too deep) at intervals around the suspect area, If the bit comes out wet and mushy, that is all the evidence you need. With luck, injection with West System epoxy will fix the problem, but do not be too dismayed if you have to cut out a section of the deck, scrape out the rot, dry it all out and replace the core (I would use foam, not balsa) then bond on a new layer of glass with epoxy over the top. Leave it slightly lower than the surrounding area, then fill it with Epoxy mixed with Microlight. If you work carefully and smooth out the filler, there will be very little sanding.

Hope this helps

Alan
BTW, the inject epoxy idea is great...but only if the core is not rotted completely to mush and you can dry the core material out. If you use the West System Epoxy with a wet core, I'm pretty sure you're just adding weight to the area, but no real strength, as the epoxy won't cure properly.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
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  #18  
Old 07-28-2006
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Coring from Underneath?

My boat does not have a fibreglass headliner so I can get access to the deck from underneath. This allows me to cut out the lower laminate and remove the rotted/wet balsa and complete the repair without having to cosmetically alter the deck.
Works just as well and does not show from topside. This maybe an option and is easier than you may think.

Good Luck
Gary
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Old 07-28-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary M
My boat does not have a fibreglass headliner so I can get access to the deck from underneath. This allows me to cut out the lower laminate and remove the rotted/wet balsa and complete the repair without having to cosmetically alter the deck.
Works just as well and does not show from topside. This maybe an option and is easier than you may think.

Good Luck
Gary
It may not show from the topside, but the repair may not be as strong either. The core and lower replacement laminate may not bond properly to the exterior laminate on the deck, as gravity will be working against the repair, which is not the case if you cut the exterior laminate and work from the topside down.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #20  
Old 07-30-2006
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I recored a major portion of my deck from underneath. I decided to go from the bottom because I also had to replace the main bulkheads. Getting the new balsa to stick wasn't a big problem. I used a plastic panel and a screw jack to push it into place, and I did it in sections. The real problem was getting the glass to go up and stay up. Ever try to hang a 60x60 piece of wet fiberglass cloth overhead? Getting it up there wasn't too bad. Getting it to stay was an hour long job.

Doing a re-core from the inside is a major job. It's doable, but it sucks.
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