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Old 06-09-2013, 06:10   #1
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Soggy decks

Hello All!
Maybe it's just my luck, or what I'm finding is indicative of the general condition of boats of that era, but let me start at the beginning...
I'm looking on the Great Lakes for a 27-34 foot monohull (70's) in half decent shape but seaworthy for around 10K. I have seen lots of boats and without exception, they have the soggy deck or cabin top situation. Yachtworld photos are beautiful, but after some research I find that the photos are 10 years old and the boat has been sitting on the hard for a long time.
Should I give up my search and get back to saving, or factor in the cost of repairing the deck and make a lower offer?
I have been looking all summer and I'm really getting discouraged.
Let me know if I'm dreaming!
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Old 06-09-2013, 06:16   #2
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Re: Soggy decks

I have a painted plywood cabintop and teak over plywood decks. Fixing them requires new plywood, epoxy, and paint. It's not rocket science and the boat is usable and liveable during the repairs. Well maybe not in the middle of cutting a hole, but generally speaking.

If everything else is dialed in (engine, rig, steerage) and you're okay doing some rough carpentry I wouldn't sweat it. Especially if you're in the smaller range scale there, it's just not that much material.

I look at construction and maintenance as part and parcel of being a sailor.
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Old 06-09-2013, 06:20   #3
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Re: Soggy decks

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I have a painted plywood cabintop and teak over plywood decks. Fixing them requires new plywood, epoxy, and paint. It's not rocket science and the boat is usable and liveable during the repairs. Well maybe not in the middle of cutting a hole, but generally speaking.

If everything else is dialed in (engine, rig, steerage) and you're okay doing some rough carpentry I wouldn't sweat it. Especially if you're in the smaller range scale there, it's just not that much material.

I look at construction and maintenance as part and parcel of being a sailor.
Thanks, Eric! I am following your exploits, an appreciate your advice. The boats I'm looking at mostly have balsa core decks. I don't mind a bit of grunt work, but don't want to take on more than I can handle. A permanent project in the yard is not what I'm looking for!
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Old 06-09-2013, 06:28   #4
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Re: Soggy decks

If it is a balsa core then most of the time the wet area will be limited to just around the leaky fitting. Bottom line, depends on how wet. If you find a boat you like see if the ower/seller will let you remove one or two fittings in the wet area. Then use some sort of pick or wire to scrape out a little of the balsa to see if it is really soaked and rotted or just damp.

I would hesitate to take a boat with a lot of water, rotted core and delamination but a little bit is curable without too much work.
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Old 06-09-2013, 06:28   #5
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Re: Soggy decks

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Originally Posted by Tomi View Post
Thanks, Eric! I am following your exploits, an appreciate your advice. The boats I'm looking at mostly have balsa core decks. I don't mind a bit of grunt work, but don't want to take on more than I can handle. A permanent project in the yard is not what I'm looking for!
It won't be a blast and you'll definitely curse my name from time to time saying "that a-hole told me it wouldn't be that bad". It really depends on your desire and capacity to do it yourself.

I've spent the last two weeks in pure hell heat conditions here doing 4-5 hours of manual labor a day, and did about the same in La Paz for a couple of weeks before we got up here.

Some people should just buy new model Toyotas, and others are happier driving around a pimped out 1967 VW bug. It all comes down to whether you find work enjoyable and if you're good at it.
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Old 06-09-2013, 06:30   #6
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Re: Soggy decks

Tomi, what makes you think they are all wet?

I wonder if it's a climate thing, hot summer and freezing winters, be easy to imagine what would happen to a water logged deck in the depths of winter?

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Old 06-09-2013, 06:39   #7
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Re: Soggy decks

Meh! maybe just my luck so far, but Eric, I'm not afraid of getting dirty or doing some work, just cautious of taking on more than I can handle. When I have such a low budget it's hard to justify a full survey on every boat that catches my eye!
Skipmac, you give me hope!
Side note - I have a wee place on the Yucatan and I have heard that repairs are quite reasonable in Progreso or around the Cancun/Isla Mujeres area - in fact a lot of Floridians and Texans take their boats there for repairs - does an yone have experience there? <grasping at straws>
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Old 06-09-2013, 06:42   #8
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Re: Soggy decks

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Tomi, what makes you think they are all wet?

I wonder if it's a climate thing, hot summer and freezing winters, be easy to imagine what would happen to a water logged deck in the depths of winter?

Pete
Actually a couple of brokers have told me NOT to buy their listing for that reason. Maybe it isn't as bad as I thought, and it's only in a small area that I could repair. How to tell without a survey? Moisture-meter?
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Old 06-09-2013, 06:54   #9
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Re: Soggy decks

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Originally Posted by Tomi View Post
Meh! maybe just my luck so far, but Eric, I'm not afraid of getting dirty or doing some work, just cautious of taking on more than I can handle. When I have such a low budget it's hard to justify a full survey on every boat that catches my eye!
Skipmac, you give me hope!
Side note - I have a wee place on the Yucatan and I have heard that repairs are quite reasonable in Progreso or around the Cancun/Isla Mujeres area - in fact a lot of Floridians and Texans take their boats there for repairs - does an yone have experience there? <grasping at straws>
Mexican labor rates are usually quite cheap. $50/day is 10x the minimum wage and what I would pay for a top level finish carpenter upon completion.

The problem I have down here is the availability and cost of materials. Marine plywood seems to be non existent, and epoxy materials are 2x the cost if you can find them.

Really though, the stuff isn't rocket science. I'm kind-of-sort-of planning on removing my teak decks this winter, maybe, and wouldn't outsource it. The hardest part of the job is dealing with hardware which in my case includes a bowsprit and stern platform.
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Old 06-09-2013, 06:56   #10
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Re: Soggy decks

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Originally Posted by Tomi View Post
Actually a couple of brokers have told me NOT to buy their listing for that reason. Maybe it isn't as bad as I thought, and it's only in a small area that I could repair. How to tell without a survey? Moisture-meter?
Yes, but expensive, or tapping with a small hammer. A change in sound means something. It could be the edge of a bulhead, plywood insert or mushy balsa. On ours if you take the headlinings down you can see the balsa through the fibreglass, especially with a bright LED torch.

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Old 06-09-2013, 07:22   #11
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Re: Soggy decks

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Mexican labor rates are usually quite cheap. $50/day is 10x the minimum wage and what I would pay for a top level finish carpenter upon completion.

The problem I have down here is the availability and cost of materials. Marine plywood seems to be non existent, and epoxy materials are 2x the cost if you can find them.

Really though, the stuff isn't rocket science. I'm kind-of-sort-of planning on removing my teak decks this winter, maybe, and wouldn't outsource it. The hardest part of the job is dealing with hardware which in my case includes a bowsprit and stern platform.
would you replace the teak with glass or re-teak?
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:33   #12
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Re: Soggy decks

the decks on my formosa were teak when built--those were ripped off prior to my ownership---teak decks are the best nonskid made--replacements are slippery. good luck with happiness on decking after the ripping out of the decking. your boat loses a lot of weight and will perform differently, so prep self for that eventuality.
i want teak decks as they are a good thing, IFF one know how to care for them, which is very easy.
yes they are hot, but, then so are the replacement fiberglass and nonskid decks. i know--am there.....
re-teaking a deck is done at a price of over 15000 usd. that decision is all yours, and green teak that is used to make them is no longer available at a reasonable price.
no green teak is not available in mexico.
materials here are not that difficult to find unless you dont know what to ask for. i have found fiberglass available and not as pricey as in usa--but one must look for it and must be in a place where pangas are built.
i have found plenty fiberglass in pv, zihuatenejo, and melaque. if you seek you will find.
also , one of the best injector pump rebuilders on west coast happens to live and have a shop in a location not that far from barra de navidad.
mexico is not as backward as some folks think--except their correo system is a lil limp, but there is a way to reliably receive your mail--but that is another story for another thread.

oh yes i forgot--as i have only been here 3 plus years repairing/completely refitting a ketch while cruising... i wouldnt know as much as someone who hasnt been in mexico as long...or in as many locations in mexico as long......lol
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:40   #13
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Re: Soggy decks

There are 2 kinds of teak decks: those that leak and those that are going to leak.
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:52   #14
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Re: Soggy decks

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would you replace the teak with glass or re-teak?
Probably replacing it, I'm still on the fence. There are big sections of plywood (under the teak, above the beams) that are delaminated and can crumble in your hand. Maybe 10% of the deck, but of course in the hardest to repair areas.

To fix it I really need to pull deck fittings, pull the teak, and then epoxy/screw in new plywood to the beams, then lay up teak or glass-plywood over that.

The idea of putting the teak back down at that point just seems insane.
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:55   #15
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Re: Soggy decks

oh yes i forgot--as i have only been here 3 plus years repairing/completely refitting a ketch while cruising... i wouldnt know as much as someone who hasnt been in mexico as long...or in as many locations in mexico as long......lol[/QUOTE]

LOL!
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