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.