After 2 years of heavy sailing my solution has been holding up well so for someone who doesn't want to replace an entire cabin deck this may be an ok solution.
10-25-2010 03:53 PM
There really isn't anything left to rot in there as the entire core was totally rotted. After sitting with a 2 foot section cut out at the mast step for the winter it was fairly dry (after the -50 weather we had this winter it was freeze dried). My hope is that there is enough fiberglass in there that is bridging the inner and outer skin that it will keep for years to come. If it does fail it will mean removing the whole deck but repairing it properly would have meant that anyway. Here's hoping.
10-25-2010 03:43 PM
Filled it full of epoxy and fiberglass cloth
And then patched the holes. Worked great and quite easy
10-25-2010 03:43 PM
If you removed all the moist core it should work. But if not the moisture left will cause rot and with freezing cause delamination as well. By using epoxy in the holes you drilled any future repair becomes much tougher to accomplish.
10-25-2010 03:41 PM
Then I dug out as much rot as I could
10-25-2010 03:38 PM
Well I ended up just cutting out the area around the Mast step (not the whole cabin deck) and laying it up with solid epoxy and glass. Made a rock solid repair there but with the rest of the deck rotten and spongy I decided to try some other options. Taking the advise here, but not wanting to replace the whole cabin deck (4x6 feet) I tried something different. I drilled a series of 1" holes in the deck, used a coat hanger to dig out rotten material and then pored epoxy resin into the hole followed by strips of resin soaked fiberglass cloth then patched over the holes and painted with a non slip paint. You couldn't tell there was a repair and the deck ended up totally ridged. I know this isn't the proper way to repair it but it seems to have worked and I now have a totally solid deck. After a season of sailing it is holding up great. Here are a couple of pictures. Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures of the finished product.
FIrst I drilled the holes
11-08-2009 12:49 PM
This has been very helpful in putting together a plan of Action. weathers getting cold again and looks like snow so I will now put this project to rest till the spring and do lots of research. The other big project for the spring will be dealing with the blistering gelcoat but that is for another post. The West system manual looks like it will have lots of great ideas.
11-08-2009 07:00 AM
While there are some epoxy manufacturers/sellers that claim their epoxy products will restore wood's strength... I'd have to point out that very few of them will work well if the wood isn't BONE DRY. Cutting out the wet, rotting material and then laying the area up with a new core and leaving a ring of solid glass around the opening itself is really the best way to repair something like this.
11-08-2009 02:02 AM
Based on my experience and reading it doesn't exist - or exists but doesn't really live up to the claims made for it. According to West Epoxy you can thin epoxy with acetone, lacquer thinner or denatured alcohol upto 5% but the loss in strength is 35%. This will hold true for any brand as really they are formulators, working with the same basic items in different proportions.
Here's a link to West's Fibreglass boat repair manual. http://www.westsystem.com/ss/assets/...aintenance.pdf
The information that concerns your repair is in section 5, pages 28 to 33. But it wouldn't hurt to download the whole pdf as it's full of good info that would apply to any brand of epoxy. I prefer West and have been using it for almost 20 years. (I paid for my manual as the internet didn't exist then) I hope this helps. I've also included below a section from their Wooden boat repair manual concerning thinning epoxy.
11-08-2009 12:40 AM
Yes I would love to know what that material is as well. I do remember reading about a company that claimed their epoxy could be used to reconstitute rotten wood but when it came down to it the rotten wood had to be totally dry and the epoxy ended up just holding the fibers together. With the wet core I am dealing with where I cut the outer skin away I didn't have to scape or gouge the rot out. It is so rotten I just used a shop vac and vacumed it up.
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