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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So along most of the hull of my boat i have leaks on my '72 Irwin 28. Im pretty much doing a full refit and before i start my interior redo i want to stop the leakes. On the irwin the deck is screwed to the hull which im not a fan of. My plan because i never want to do this again is to drill out and epoxy all the screw holes even though its solid fiberglass at the flnge. Drill .250" holes and coutersink them for coutersunk bolts. Bolt both sides sealing the bolt with butyl tape. once all the screws are in. router the edge of the boat and lay 3 layers of glass doubling in size from 2"-6" the length of the boat. Im thinking this will be alot easier than trying to pry the joint apart and scrape and fill every thing. The majority of the reason why i had so much water was because the previous owner removed the teak toerail and for some reason 30-40% of the hull deck screws and never but them back and just installed the toe rail. so i dont actually know if the deck join is leaking or if its just where the screws were but i dont want to replace all the screws with bolts only to find out the joint is leaking and have to pull everything apart again.

let me know what you guys think
 

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I don't know how your flange is designed but if the cloth has to bend or curve around an edge then it is best to cut your own tapes on the 45 from cloth. you could use 45/45 biax tape that is supplied in rolls but I have found it to be a bit stiff to form around small radius. 45 degree fibers lay around a curve much easier and will not bubble. cut the tape in approx. 24" long pieces and alternate the tape joints between plys.
 

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I'm not an expert on this, but, I would imagine it would be strong enough to just leave the screws where they are and glass over the whole mess (after filling and fairing). You will then be painting the deck and topsides?
 

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I am planing on doing this to my Irwin 40 but will be taking a different approach. I plan to remove the toe rail and hull deck fasteners. Then lift the deck enough in sections to clean out the dried up butyl tape and fill the gap with Plexus adhesive that will bond the hull deck. Just to make me feel better I will thru bolt every 24" before re-securing the toe rail bedded in lifeseal. Will be doing this over the winter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Also when I read on the Irwin website it said the hull deck was sealed with 5200 so you might run into that issue my joint is really ugly looking it's so bad that you can't tell where the split in the joint is
 

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Maybe some of the later Irwins have 5200 but I know mine does not. I know for sure it is dried out butyl tape as I have removed some. I have never seen a Irwin with 5200 in the joint but that does not mean some did not have it. I have read that to on the Irwin site but many builders changed things all the time.

Plexus is a Methacrylate structural adhesive that is stronger than the fiberglass. It is good at gap filling and bonding to less than perfect surfaces. Many builders use it in place of mechanical fasteners for stringers and hull deck joints. The only reason I will use bolts is to make myself feel better as I am old school. That and the screws from the toe rail will add fasteners.

Not trying to tell you how to do your boat just offering an option based on what I have learned building and repairing boats over the years. Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
you know what im wondering if mine has butyl also because from inside where you can see the joint there is this black rubbery stuff that looks like butly squeezing out in a spot. I am huge fan of butyl but the only thing that makes me cringe about it is that if its not squeezed down enough you dont get that seal. saying that i have bolts going in almost every 6 inches so maybe i will use it i have 6 50ft rolls at home. Im also thinking butyl might be easier to apply into the joint I really dont wanna use 5200 becasue i hate that stuff .

@Sailvayu are you going to use that plexus stuff on your irwin?
 

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Yes I am going with the Plexus because it is structural adhesive and will also seal. A secondary seal will be made with the toe rail. Butyl will add nothing to the strength of the joint. Butyl in my opinion is way over rated, it was widely used by builders in the 70's and 80's but was abandoned because of failures and better materials but I will not get into that argument as I know many swear by it. Also you do not want to squeeze it down too much or it will all just come out leaving nothing to seal. I do not think it is good for this application but you go with what you feel comfortable with. Once again I can only say what I will use.
 

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I know for sure it is dried out butyl tape as I have removed some.
Good butyl doesn't dry out. What was used by CS on my boat in 1977 is as soft and pliable today as new butyl. There are no leaks after 37 years. CS used good quality butyl for everything above deck including the hull/deck joint, also bolted every 4".
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Sailvayu I like that plexus stuff from what I read I think what I will do is use plexus for the joint and butyl for the bolts to seal it. Once that's done I'll spray down the hull for leaks and if it's good I'll life caulk the new wood toe rail. If it still leaks I'm just going to glass evenly thing.
 

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"so i dont actually know if the deck join is leaking "

Then any talk about sealing it is premature. First, find out what the problem is because water can travel great lengths invisibly from the real leak.

Take a leafblower or the exhaust from a shopvac, stick the hose through a big piece of cardboard trimmed and taped to replace a companionway board. Tape up any vents that cannot be secured, shut all ports. Pressurize the cabin of the boat.

Now go on deck with a bucket of soapy water. Start at the bow and slop it around. BE VERY CAREFUL, THE DECK WILL BE TREACHEROUS and it will be very easy to fall off the boat. But you will plainly see bubbles being "blown" from wherever the water is actually getting into the boat. Mark those spots, fix those spots. Repeat to see if you got them all.

Sealing the entire hull-deck joint is a major operation, why even think about it unless you know for certain it is a problem?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I think you need to read the whole thread where i mentioned about knowing hull deck screws were missing but if i replace the screws and i still have a leak then i have to remove everything again and am out quite a bit of material.

"so i dont actually know if the deck join is leaking "

Then any talk about sealing it is premature. First, find out what the problem is because water can travel great lengths invisibly from the real leak.

Take a leafblower or the exhaust from a shopvac, stick the hose through a big piece of cardboard trimmed and taped to replace a companionway board. Tape up any vents that cannot be secured, shut all ports. Pressurize the cabin of the boat.

Now go on deck with a bucket of soapy water. Start at the bow and slop it around. BE VERY CAREFUL, THE DECK WILL BE TREACHEROUS and it will be very easy to fall off the boat. But you will plainly see bubbles being "blown" from wherever the water is actually getting into the boat. Mark those spots, fix those spots. Repeat to see if you got them all.

Sealing the entire hull-deck joint is a major operation, why even think about it unless you know for certain it is a problem?
 
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