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 Post subject: Deck Repair Options
PostPosted: 20 Oct 2020 11:49 
Rail Meat

Joined: 06 Aug 2020 09:02
Posts: 13
I've been working on #240 almost constantly for the last 4 months. I may be getting fatigued because after my last bout with a deck repair (see pics) I'm seriously considering other options to re-coring the deck. I have to be realistic. The boat is 40 years old and while it hasn't really been used hard in the last 30 (barely left the dock!) it hasn't exactly been maintained to perfection. I have some big off-season maintenance plans but the two jobs that really give me anxiety are the deck and the port lights. Recent deck moisture meter readings indicate about 50% wetness and may be more. I have a few soft spots but nothing crazy. I'm thinking now that for all but the worst areas I should consider some type of epoxy injection method rather than ripping up skins. Looking for some opinions and experience with alternate methods.

The pics below are from a repair I'm doing on the port side. The stanchion bases were "repaired" at some point but the technician cut out a section of deck flange and never replaced. Also, no backing plates were added. Add to that that the inboard bolts go through an area where there was no core - just skins and apparently a void! The stanchion had gotten compressed by a sheet recently and the deck cracked under the stanchion base. So, between that and a wet core inboard and I had a very weak area of deck. This is the kind of thing that frustrates me and I have to draw the line between my own time and what I can afford.

File comment: New core added after bottom skin rebuilt and backing plates added. High density filler and cabosil filler used outboard.
Deck Repair 1.jpg
Deck Repair 1.jpg [ 4.36 MB | Viewed 0 times ]
File comment: Cut section of top skin. Tried first to repair from under the stanchion bases but core rot was bad.
Deck Repair 2.jpg
Deck Repair 2.jpg [ 7.25 MB | Viewed 0 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Deck Repair Options
PostPosted: 21 Oct 2020 08:57 

Joined: 09 Aug 2017 15:35
Posts: 467
Location: Maine/USVI
There's a lot of deck repair videos online. You won't be re-inventing the wheel. Here's my take: if I HAD to make sure my decks were solid, I'd study the deck, remove all hardware, leave the toerails (which sit on the aluminum flange) and consider cutting up the largest sheets possible, using the center of the "smooth" (no nonskid) areas separating sections of decking for all the cuts. Then it's a matter of slowly lifting the deck and separating it from the balsa, scraping out the bad balsa with a light hammer and heavy duty steel blade, bedding in new (carefully), laying West System over the top of it and putting the large sheets back down. There's some cool tools out there for the miniscule work (you have one), and I picked up one of those mini belt sanders (1" wide?) at Harbor Freight that would undoubtedly prove very useful in re-attaching the fiberglass deck overlay. But it's a freakin' project. I'd probably go so far as to fill and re-cut the chainplate holes and everything else. I don't see it as overwhelming. Just a longer-than-usual project. I've done decking before, but we have way better, finer tools than the grinder I used to cut it up back then.

The biggest pain will be getting to the stanchion bases and the genoa track. That's dismantling woodwork below decks, pulling bungs, marking parts and eventually re-assembling the furniture.

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