A little back story...
We're on a 1985 Hans Christian 41, and we are currently in the process of redoing our decks. The boat originally had teak
decks that were removed by the previous owner around 5 years ago and were replaced with Plasteak decking. When we bought the boat, the glue holding the Plasteak down had failed after less than 5 years. We decided to remove the failed Plasteak and go with nonskid. After removing the Plasteak and cleaning
up the decks, we discovered some interesting issues:
1) The deck
is not cored (a real plus in our minds as we were expecting potential issues with our core). The decks are 1/2" solid fiberglass
, I know this as I have drilled holes in several areas of our decks specifically searching for core
2) Though the deck
is not cored, we are finding high moisture meter readings, after 4 months of them baking in the hot sun.
3) The gel coat is severely crazed and mostly failed, flaking off, very easily
4) Large blisters
have formed between the chopped strand mat and the woven glass. The entire layer of chopped strand mat in the areas where the original teak
decking used to be, peel up very easily. As you move out along the edge, where the teak decking ended, the chopped strand mat is very strongly adhered. Some of these blisters
even appear to contain osmotic fluid (very sour/vinegary smell, with a sticky, resinous quality). The areas of crazing in the gel coat correspond directly to the location of the failed seams of the original teak decking as you can see the crazing follows the same pattern as the original teak planking. As well, when removing the chopped strand mat, there appeared to be delamination
that also corresponds to these same seams as there is obvious discoloration and lack of adhesion/long thin blisters that run in the same pattern.
From these observations, it is pretty clear that the seams of the original teak decking were neglected, and water
became trapped along the failed seams for many years. This is what we are assuming to be the cause of all of this.
We have never seen anything like this on any forums
related to the decks, we have only read about this happening on the underwater portion of the hulls. Being as the decks are not cored, our main concern is not the structural integrity, but rather wasting our efforta in repainting and non-skidding. I strongly believe, after what I have seen, that the reason that the glue for the Plasteak failed is due to the high moisture content of the fiberglass
itself (Upon removal
of the Plasteak, the glue seemed to have adhered strongest in areas where the decks had the lowest moisture readings). I don't want to spend tons of money
and my time on a new barrier coat, non skid paint
, and fairing material only to have it fail within a year or two due to a lack of proper prep work.
If anyone out there has had any experience dealing with this, please advise. Currently, we have most of the gel coat and the top layer of the chopped strand mat removed to try to speed up the drying process however the moisture meter readings seem to be decreasing very, very slowly (if at all).
I have attached some photos to help illustrate our conundrum, if anyone has seen this problem before and disagrees with our logic, please let us know as we are a little baffled, frustrated
, and confused as to what the heck is wrong with our beloved old lady. Thanks in advance for you time.