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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Forward deck hatch -- the dreaded soggy wood
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Thread: Forward deck hatch -- the dreaded soggy wood Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
08-27-2008 07:39 PM
sailingdog BlackPearl—

Generally, if the area is larger than 1'x1' or so, it is a far better idea to re-core the area, rather than drill and inject epoxy.
08-27-2008 03:36 PM
TheBlackPearl I'm going through this exact same situation with my 1980 Hunter 37. The P.O. did a half-a#$ rebuild job of the deck, amazingly he used virtually no sealant and the wood has become soggy (though thankfully intact) over a large section of the deck from window and hardware leaks. I used the method mentioned above and drilled so many holes in the deck that it truly terrified me! After injecting epoxy in a 2'x5' section, i can say that it works marvelous! I've drilled some test holes between my injection holes and found that the epoxy penetrated and stiffened the wood quite nicely. It even took care of a couple of random squeaks. Good luck, it's a major job but much more time consuming than anything. Of course i have to repaint the deck and non-skid anyway, so surface damage didn't bother me that much.
05-26-2007 05:34 PM
saurav16 Ok this is the method I think might work for you without taking off the top layer of skin. What you want to do as others have mentioned is sound out the area. Draw a large circle where your mallet sounds dull as there is probably delamination and/or wet nasty plywood under there. Now starting from the middle of the circlish figure drill a small pilot whole with at stopper on the drill so you don't drill down too far that you put a whole in the cabin. Take the drill out see if its wet. Do this all the way in the circle. You can now try to let it dry with heat gun, rubbing alcohol (combines with the water in the wood then when it dries up takes water with it, acetone(same as alcohol only flamable). Now for each of the holes put some screws in all the holes except two. Now take a nail and bend it at a 90 degree angle. Put one side in your hand drill. Slip the other side in the hole. Spin slowly meanwhile take a shop vac and place it over the 2nd hole (the only ohter one that doens't have a screw in it. While the nail spins it will remove all the wet **** and the vac will pull it out. Do this wiht ever hole keeping only two open at a time. Now let it sit and dry again in the sun for few days. Now take some epoxy and inject it into the holes starting with (i think) the highest point first (btw remove all the screws b4 doing this. Fill all the holes in a sequential order and then place tape or wax paper with a few bricks over the section. Let dry, then repaint. If you want to go the cheap way mix some of these polymer balls in the paint to get a non skid else by some non skid. Let me know how it worked out for you. Good luck. (sorry for the long post)
05-26-2007 01:09 AM
DeepFrz Check the West System web site. They have a booklet on repairing fiberglass boats, and also I believe I saw an article on deck repair in their online magazine. It will give you a better idea of repairing the anti skid after the deck repair.

WEST SYSTEM Epoxy

Good luck
05-26-2007 12:34 AM
camaraderie It's a 35 year old boat worth a grand or two. You don't want to go nuts pouring a lot of money into her. Sound out the extent of the rot with a plastic hammer tapping on the deck. If the bad areas is more than a few inches...Mark off the extent with masking tape and then use a roto-tool to cut out the deck section. Cut out the bad wood and insert good wood and epoxy it back in place. Then put the glass back on and epoxy that in place as well. Fill in the cut out grooves and do the gelcoat repairs and go sailing.

If the bad area is only a small patch...just drill a few holes in the top of the deck and squirt in lots of epoxy. Gel coat the holes and go sailing!
05-26-2007 12:28 AM
sailingdog
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailormann
If you end up having to recore the deck... It is very difficult to refinish the top and make it look nice. It will end up looking different from the rest of the boat - regardless of how careful you are.

Repairing it from the underside can be pretty soul-destroying...messy and you're working in very cramped quarters.
For a small area, it isn't too bad to do... provided you have decent access. Since he's talking about the area around a hatch IIRC, the access should be fairly decent.

Quote:
My suggestion would be to do it from the top. It will be much quicker. When you have finished, sand the entire deck smooth - and then apply the Vetus non-skid (or similar product) everywhere that you currently have a non-skid surface. There are a couple of Catalina 30's at my marina - side by side funnily enough - that have done this and it looks very good.

It will seem expensive when you first consider it, but in the long run it's not going to be too much more than you'll spend on various products trying to get a decent finish. You can even do it in stages.
Yes, several friends have re-done the core on their boats and have gone with Tredmaster or something similar... looks quite nice IMHO, but a bit pricey.

Quote:
If you ever decide you want to sell the boat, and if it has a poorly finished deck repair...you're going to get zilch for it.
No kidding.
05-26-2007 12:08 AM
Sailormann If you end up having to recore the deck... It is very difficult to refinish the top and make it look nice. It will end up looking different from the rest of the boat - regardless of how careful you are.

Repairing it from the underside can be pretty soul-destroying...messy and you're working in very cramped quarters.

My suggestion would be to do it from the top. It will be much quicker. When you have finished, sand the entire deck smooth - and then apply the Vetus non-skid (or similar product) everywhere that you currently have a non-skid surface. There are a couple of Catalina 30's at my marina - side by side funnily enough - that have done this and it looks very good.

It will seem expensive when you first consider it, but in the long run it's not going to be too much more than you'll spend on various products trying to get a decent finish. You can even do it in stages.

If you ever decide you want to sell the boat, and if it has a poorly finished deck repair...you're going to get zilch for it.
05-25-2007 09:00 PM
CharlieCobra Dang! Aren't these things a BLAST???
05-25-2007 08:56 PM
sailingdog If the core is wet but not rotten, then you can drill a series of holes over the wet area to allow it to drain and dry out. Then you can inject epoxy into the same holes and allow it to cure... which will solve your problem without having to cut away the laminate.

However, if the core is rotten... mushy and no longer able to serve its function, then you will have to cut away the skin and remove the rottten core, and replace it with a new piece.

You can do this from either the top or the bottom... doing it from the top is generally easier, but requires that you take more time to repair/replace the non-skid.

Doing it from the bottom would leave the deck's non-skid surface intact, but is a bit more difficult to do since you're fighting gravity. If you decide to do it from the underside, and have fairly good access to the area, you can do it in two stages... the first is removing the laminate and rotten core and laminating an new core to the upper laminate. Then the second stage would be to laminate a new inner skin. This makes it a bit easier than trying to do it all at once.

BTW, you should really remove and re-bed most of the deck hardware and pot all the holes with thickened epoxy if you do this repair, as that will help prevent having to do this type of repair a second time.
05-25-2007 08:45 PM
CharlieCobra If you decide to recore, go at least 6" past the wet wood to remove the deck laminate and go 2" past the wet wood to replace it. A Dremel works pretty good for cutting the glass.
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