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Old 07-03-2014, 21:18   #16
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Re: Deck core repair - Do I have everything I need?

Pics? What's your intended finish? What is your current finish? Gel or paint? Molded in skid or aggregate?
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Old 07-03-2014, 21:22   #17
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Re: Deck core repair - Do I have everything I need?

I've done many recores above and below waterline and would not consider epoxy above. It's a tough enough job (see photos) without the complications of epoxy.
This job was done in winter under shrink wrap it could not have been done with epoxy.
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Old 07-03-2014, 21:38   #18
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Re: Deck core repair - Do I have everything I need?

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Originally Posted by minaret View Post
Pics? What's your intended finish? What is your current finish? Gel or paint? Molded in skid or aggregate?
I'll be heading to the boat tommorrow and can snap some pics. The nonskid is a textured surface, no real pattern to it, just random lumpy/bumpy. To be honest I'm not sure if the current finish is paint or gelcoat. I'll ask the Aloha 34 owners association about that. I've only owned the boat for a month so I still have alot of specifics to figure out! I'd like to just try to get a close enough match on the finish that I don't feel the need to refinish the whole cabin top just yet. I'd like to do a good job, but I'm not too picky about it if its just cosmetic.
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Old 07-03-2014, 23:14   #19
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Re: Deck core repair - Do I have everything I need?

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Originally Posted by redpointist View Post
I'll be heading to the boat tommorrow and can snap some pics. The nonskid is a textured surface, no real pattern to it, just random lumpy/bumpy. To be honest I'm not sure if the current finish is paint or gelcoat. I'll ask the Aloha 34 owners association about that. I've only owned the boat for a month so I still have alot of specifics to figure out! I'd like to just try to get a close enough match on the finish that I don't feel the need to refinish the whole cabin top just yet. I'd like to do a good job, but I'm not too picky about it if its just cosmetic.



Take a piece of chalk with you and mark out the soft area. Take pics with the marks on. A moisture meter will give you a much more accurate indication of the exact area which needs to be cut. If you cut the top skin and then have to cut more because the extent of rot is larger than you thought it makes re using the skin difficult. You need to know for sure whether both smooth and skid are in gelcoat or paint, and if paint which paint. Not uncommon for smooth to be original gel and nonskid redone in another product. Find out.
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Old 08-03-2014, 19:04   #20
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Re: Deck core repair - Do I have everything I need?

Went to the boat today and did some more recon. The suspect area is inside the little ducktape strips that i placed at the edges of the soft spot (I also used ducktape to seal the leaky handrails for now!). Is there likely a wooden stringer at the edge of the cabin top about where the nonskid ends that I'll need to be careful not to cut?



Heres the area from below: (you can see the edge of the handrail on the left, which lines up with the left handrail on the top that i ductaped. The two screws on the right go into the handrail on the right side of the previous picture. I'm going to have to decide which side (top or bottom) of the deck to sacrifice. It'd probably be easier from above, but I'm guessing it'd be hard to try to match the nonskid gelcoat?



It looks like the nonskid is the original textured gelcoat. Heres a close up of the texture...



And getting off topic a bit, heres a super close up of a spot where the nonskid has started to wear through (its only done this on one spot of the boat). I can probably just touch this up with some paint or something.


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Old 08-03-2014, 19:43   #21
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Re: Deck core repair - Do I have everything I need?

Imagine try to put very wet wallpaper on a ceiling, it can be done but its a bitch.
Working from the top surface will be much easier and readily available deck paints can easily replicate the "pattern". Last year I did mine with Kiwi Grip.
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Old 08-03-2014, 19:45   #22
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Re: Deck core repair - Do I have everything I need?

That's not too tragic. It's still not a small job, and if you have a pro to consider I'd start considering. If not, or if you must DIY for reasons financial or otherwise, dig in!


A few points-


Definitely 100% a poly job.


Definitely do it from above.


You can do this whole repair in the nonskid, without having to do a gel blend on the smooth. This is important as it will save a ton of work.



Matching said nonskid afterwards will be a PITA! If I was doing this job professionally, I would recommend grinding that entire skid pad flat and rolling thickened gelcoat to match the original pattern. Can't see how big the skid pads are in these pics though.


Option two would be grind off all skid on the boat and paint with Griptex and Awlgrip in a different color, for a two-tone deck. That is obviously a big job but the results can't be argued with.



Still want to tackle it yourself?



PS-Remove that duct tape quick, before it becomes a mess!
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Old 08-03-2014, 21:30   #23
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Re: Deck core repair - Do I have everything I need?

Polyester resin it is then! I think I'll go ahead and give it a shot. How much would you recommend buying if I'm going to be reusing the top skin? Is it ok to use a "finishing resin" for the whole thing? I noticed they sell "laminating resins" too, but I'd rather just buy one type if possible.

Should I give any preference to one of these 3 options over the other (prices are about the same)?...I guess itd be better to get one of the ones from west marine so I can drive out there and pick up some more if I dont have enough, but I'll order the totalboat stuff from jamestown if its better suited for some reason.

TotalBoat Polyester Finishing Resin

WEST MARINE Boaters Polyester Resin | West Marine

EVERCOAT BoatYard Resin | West Marine
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Old 08-03-2014, 22:31   #24
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Re: Deck core repair - Do I have everything I need?

Why polyester instead of epoxy?
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Old 09-03-2014, 03:52   #25
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Re: Deck core repair - Do I have everything I need?

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Originally Posted by redpointist View Post
Polyester resin it is then! I think I'll go ahead and give it a shot. How much would you recommend buying if I'm going to be reusing the top skin? Is it ok to use a "finishing resin" for the whole thing? I noticed they sell "laminating resins" too, but I'd rather just buy one type if possible.

Should I give any preference to one of these 3 options over the other (prices are about the same)?...I guess itd be better to get one of the ones from west marine so I can drive out there and pick up some more if I dont have enough, but I'll order the totalboat stuff from jamestown if its better suited for some reason.

TotalBoat Polyester Finishing Resin

WEST MARINE Boaters Polyester Resin | West Marine

EVERCOAT BoatYard Resin | West Marine


No finishing resin. You want poly isotropic resin. Don't use ortho (laminating resin). Also get MEKP, pots, stir sticks, chip brushes, laminating rollers, acetone, shears, core material, glass tapes, core bond, a grinder and discs, Tyvek suits, a respirator and cartridges, boxes of rubber gloves, plastic spreaders, Rage for fairing, knives for spreading, notched spreaders for core bond, a longboard with assortment of grit, a DA, an 8" soft pad setup, a good shop vac, lots of masking tape and film, and probably a few other things too.


Do you know what your core material is? You want to order that sooner rather than later.


The cut here is critical. You want to carefully tape off 2" inside of the edge of the skid pad. Triple tape the smooth or tape with preservation seal right away to protect the smooth from scratches for the duration. Lay out the rest of the cut. Make it a rectangle. Cut off the top skin using a circ saw with a cheap abrasive blade (tile or masons blade). Set depth of cut carefully. Use a batten hot glued to the deck as a straight edge to run your saw against for perfect cuts. Then remove all core in the area exposed. Then decore the outboard strip under the 2" strip and the smooth, all the way out to the cabin sides (which are probably solid glass). Use a long drill bit and chisels to decore. Clean up well, make sure all bad core has been removed, the edges are dry, and grind the bottom skin for prep. Then install new core. I prefer vacuum bagging but I assume that is beyond your skill set. Just cut a piece if cheap ply to fit the core patch, stretch plastic over it wrinkle free, put it on top of your core patch, and load it with weight as evenly as possible. Use plenty of core bond and make certain there is squeeze out everywhere. You will have to cut a strip of core material to insert into the area at the outboard edge which you decored. Resin coat your core material first. Then grind the core material squeeze out for prep. Now install the top skin you cut off, grinding the bottom if it first as well. Use lots of weight to ensure it goes down even with no lumps and bumps, and use Core Bond for it as well. Now you have the original deck with a big rectangular saw kerf in it you need to fix. Remove the 2" tape you put over the skid around the edge, and grind a 2" taper either way from the seam into the upper skin. This will be a heavy grind. It will result in a 4" seam. Now go buy pre made rolls of 10 oz boat cloth tapes, one 2", one 3", one 4". Tapes have sewn edges and won't fray or come apart on you, easy to work with. Get a few yards of 1.5 oz matt too, and precut it into tapes as well. Then glass the 4" seam. Start with a 2" matt, then 2" cloth, then 3" matt, 3" cloth, 4" matt, 4" cloth, and a final matt to grind on. Finish with peel ply if you can obtain it, it makes a huge difference. Then grind the seam flat. Apply Rage fairing compound with a 6" wall knife. Longboard rough fair. Then get out the DA and/or 8", and sand the skid off the entire pad, after careful protective taping if course. This will be a bear. Then all you have to do is match the finish by the method of your choice. Color matched gelcoat thickened with cabosil and carefully applied by nap roller is how you get to your current nonskid finish. Good luck!
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Old 09-03-2014, 05:54   #26
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Re: Deck core repair - Do I have everything I need?

No doubt in my mind I would use epoxy.
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:49   #27
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Re: Deck core repair - Do I have everything I need?

You can make your own bonding putty by mixing in some cabosil and microbaloons in the for a job like this.

I don't believe the difference between isopthalic and orthopthalic polyester is important for this job, boats are built out of both.

What you need to understand is the difference between polyester waxed and unwaxed resins. Waxed resins can be used if you work continuously but that likely won't happen on your first job. I started to explain this but I erased it ... it's easier just to google "waxed, unwaxed resins".

Let me just say I prefer to use all unwaxed resins and then seal the surface with saran wrap for a hard cure surface.

Doing these jobs is not a lot of fun but it ain't rocket science. Any reasonably handy person can do it. It's not as complicated as it sounds. It is possible that you may be able to re-use the skin (i've done it before) and tape the edges but weighting is critical.
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Old 09-03-2014, 07:15   #28
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Re: Deck core repair - Do I have everything I need?

One more very important thing you need that nobody else mentioned yet....

A very deep breath before you start...

You can do this... It will take longer, and be harder than you think... BUT... In the end you are going to learn a TON... Be proud of yourself... AND... Be able to tackle another resin project with confidence...

Nobody piped in with the "brand" recommendation, But obviously everybody has used West and it works..... I've used Total boat, but epoxy, and it is every bit as good... (I do think I had a bad hardener one batch)...

Also... Try US Composites.... You might save quite a bit...

PS: You're still in exploratory phase... But if you don't document the process and results... we will hunt you down... And be employing a line and a yardarm...
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:16   #29
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Re: Deck core repair - Do I have everything I need?

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I'm a bit nervous about tackling this project!
This is going to sound bizarre....
Take a hammer & punch a couple of holes in a sheet rock wall in an out of the way place in your home, say a closet. Go buy some joint compound & tape from the local hardware store. When the repair is complete & it looks like the damage never existed, head to the boat.
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:52   #30
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Re: Deck core repair - Do I have everything I need?

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No doubt in my mind I would use epoxy.


And how would you match the gelcoat finish, since you can't put gel over epoxy without a ton of extra work?
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