SailNet Community banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I have an inspection port/light mounted in the cockpit sole just aft of the helm. Over the last few months I’ve noticed that the cockpit sole in that area has become spongy. I’ve looked on the Internet for articles advising how to repair this area, but I can only find instructions on replacing the entire cockpit sole (not required, thank you).

I seem to remember from past readings a procedure as outlined below:

1 – Remove light, mine is about 4 inches in diameter.

2 – Using a nail bent at a 90° angle and placed in an electric drill, run it along the outside diameter of the hole to remove what I suspect to be rotting balsa core.

3 – Construct a floor from underneath probably made of heavy cardboard larger than the existing hole.

4 – Fill the void between the two layers of existing fiberglass that was created by removing the rotted wood.

5 – Allow the filler to set up, and replace the light.

Does this sound like the proper procedure? If not, what would you recommend? What is a good way to fill the void so as to assure all the open spaces are filled? What product would you recommend to use as filler? Do you think Bondo which is locally available would be suitable for this purpose?

Thanks in advance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,955 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,181 Posts
If that area feels spongy, it probably means that quite a bit more core is rotten then what you can remove with a bent nail. And whatever repair you make, you will likely need some added structural strength in that area. Make sure the surfaces epoxy will bond to are very dry.
Maybe instead of using just filler in this area you could cram loose fiberglass cloth saturated with thickened epoxy in the void around your port hole.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
372 Posts
If you can get at it from underneath why not cut out the thin glass layer from the under side! Go to a boat yard that has a bunch of derelict boats and see if you cut out a flat section to fit your cut out! Then fit it for the cut out, cut your plate hole! Use west system 6-10 to bond it using a prop from underneath to hold till cured! then just lay some glass cloth on polyethylene on a piece of ply wood, wet it out, and prop it into place, and your done! Then re-drill your screw holes and remount the inspection plate!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
The first thing you need to do is to estimate the extent of the wet core. If you can take the inspection plate out your able to dig around until you get dry core coming out then great, but I'd be surprised if you could. I agree with one of the previous posts in that if it's spongy, then it's probably a bigger area than you think. It's worth a shot though, because the alternatives involve MUCH more work.

It's possible to do it from below, but there usually isn't much room to work under a cockpit sole, but I don't know the boat.

If I were to do it and couldn't get all of the old bad core out, I would drill out samples radiating out from the inspection plate until I found good core. Then I'd cut the top skin off corresponding to the area of the bad core. Dig out the mush and then grind a 12:1 bevel in the existing deck to tie it back together. Epoxy in new core (minus the inspection plate area). Isolate the new core from the inspection plate with thickened epoxy to prevent water from getting back in there.

Then it's a matter of choosing to reuse old skin or laminating a new one on. I personally think that laminating a new one on is the way to go, because unless you are able to make the cuts for your old deck in an area where there is no nonskid pattern, then your going to have a strange looking perimeter where your bevel is. Both options are viable though, but each has its pros and cons.

Good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,264 Posts
Assuming it's a normal inspection plate. You can also just replace the 4" with a 6". This will usually get rid of the rotten core around the plate if it hasn't spread to far, and larger ports are always nice.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top