Join Date: Mar 2019
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Unfortunately I don't have a great answer for you. Maybe you have already discovered for yourself.
I have a 1972 Helms 25 and I haven't even began to re-core above the cabin. Funny though my area around the mast is also very solid and relatively dry when I check with a moisture meter. My theory is that there was/is a thin "barrier" of resin between sections of plywood which extends between the upper and lower layers of fiberglass. If there's rot in one section it's not likely to make it through unless the "barrier" is incomplete or had air pockets. I encountered this when I tore off my port and starboard decks on either side of the cabin. Rot very clearly halted at a very specific point between sections of plywood, where it was also nearly impossible to remove the outter layer of fiberglass. Next time I'll measure with the moisture meter and tap for acoustics to mark and cut. If I may I suggest, try to do the same if you plan on doing a lot more core work like I am, it'll save the headache, and fingers, of tearing off those difficult areas that don't need it to begin with.
I am curious what you find around the hatch area and companionwway opening. I'm sure they will be somewhat similar. Before I jump to those areas though I need to do extensive repairs around where I'm currently recoring. The gunwales under the jib sheet travellers are in very rough shape. To get these off I need to crawl into the bilge areas and have someone unscrew them up top while I hold the nuts inside, there's only 1 screw every foot or so front to back...for about 15 feet. I'll have to think small next weekend and or drink a bottle of potion that says drink me....or was it the mushrooms that said eat me that made Alice small... Anyway, once I get those off, the glass under them repaired and the side decks done, I'll be ready for the top.
I figured I'd focus on the areas that keep the mast and sails up first. The chain plates inside the cabin started pulling through those side decks! I almost crapped my pants when I first noticed.