new (to me) sailboat needs interior work - SailNet Community

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Old 08-19-2011
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new (to me) sailboat needs interior work

I am new here and I don't know where this thread belongs so let me know if I'm in the wrong place.

I picked up a 20' ensanado the other day for the right price. The hull and deck are in great shape along with all the rigging and sails. It came with a trailer and 7.5 hp motor. Its a really ideal set up for me being that it is a swing keel with a really small draft. The bad about the boat is that the interior is a mostly wood and a lot of that wood is very rotten (it is a mono hull). I have several questions regarding how i should go about this repair and what this entails. I am a very handy guy and I have worked with fiberglass a decent amount so to me this is very doable.

First is this interior structure designed for structural support and to what extent? It does not appear to provide much support to me but I could be wrong. I know what they say that everything on a boat is structural so.

Second it looks like the builder basically took pieces of wood plywood and then attached them to the hull using strips of fiberglass that adhere to the hull and then about 4" up the wood. What i am thinking is that when I replace this wood I should basically attach it in a similar manner is that a good idea or was that design prone rotting in the first place. Is there another mounting option or is that what I should do?

It is in the water right now at the dock in my backyard and I plan on keeping it their until winter. I plan on working on it here and there after work to get the interior up to snuff and I'll be sailing it in the mean time. If anyone has tackled a problem like this am I better off removing all of the interior pieces using them as a guide and then putting it all back together with new wood or should I do it piece by piece?

Thanks for any thoughts you have on this. I'm sure I could do it on my own but I know that plenty of people have done work like this before so I would like as much input as possible before I start the work.
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Old 08-19-2011
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It sounds like you've got a pretty good grasp of the situation. I don't know your boat (posting pics would help get a lot more answers, probably), but when it comes to structural support, in a lot of boats there is an area near where the mast attaches to the deck, below, that needs support, due mainly to the weight of the mast itself.
Gluing firring strips to the hull and then attaching woodwork to these strips is right on, but remember to use something like 5200 to attach the anchor points. Be careful with selecting screw lengths. I know that sounds logical and a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised at the number of people who "forget" and end up drilling through their hull/deck/cabin top etc. etc. etc. Good luck and welcome aboard.
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Old 08-20-2011
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There is a lot of good info on what you are doing

and here WEST SYSTEM | Projects - Boat Repair

You will get a better bond with the existing fibreglass using epoxy.

If you fit a new bulkhead the edges should NOT touch the hull directly there should be a layer of resiliant foam between the edge and the hull with the connection made by the glass tabbing.

WBP plywood is a LOT cheaper than marine ply - painted they look just the same.

The one bulkhead that is mission critical to the structural integrity of the boat is the one under or closest to the mast. If that is rotten it needs replacing before the hull is stressed in anyway.

Last edited by TQA; 08-20-2011 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 08-20-2011
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Welcome to SailNet and congratulations on your new boat.Definitely on the right track. It's usually better to epoxy/fiberglas battens/furring in place and as previously stated, be mindful of proper screw lengths.
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Old 08-20-2011
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In addition to the above, I'd like to say that it's a good idea to seal the edges of the plywood before you install it using whatever type resin you plan to use. Also, my preference is to tab the faces in, but not the lowest edges, do everything you can to prevent moisture from getting to it, but make sure it can get out.

As a general anything securely mounted to the hull from the factory should be considered structural, anything screwed in, or lightly tabbed to the hull (shelf supports etc) are cosmetic.

You have a perfect opportunity to remodel, so do the structural supports and have fun with the rest.
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