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Old 05-08-2016, 19:38   #1
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Location: Upstate NY
Boat: Paceship PY23K
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Deck repair

I have a Paceship 23 PY23K that we purchased last year with the intention of doing "some" work.
To date I have gutted and cleaned the interior and plan to rebuild the cabinets.
The deck has been opened in several places due to core saturation.
That I am starting to rebuild now.

The deck beneath a station was in poor condition and I have a six by 12 area ready to recore and deck.

My question is, do I replace the balsa core or build up a fiberglass pad instead?

My boat uses 1/2" core and I am using West.

Yes I am also over drilling and making epoxy plugs in areas where the deck does not have a core problem.

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Old 05-08-2016, 20:05   #2
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Re: Deck repair

Weight may be an issue. Balsa is very light, resin isn't. Another option could be expanding foam. With foam, you fill the void, trim off extra and then laminate over new fiberglass like any repair. Foam comes in different densities. Usually the lightest is enough in a small boat. You mix equal amounts and have about 30 seconds to pour. Comes in quarts and gallons. Ebay about the cheapest.

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Old 05-08-2016, 20:49   #3
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Re: Deck repair

I've replaced about 15 square feet of my balsa core at sections averaging 2 to 3 square feet at a time. I replace my original balsa core with end grain balsa tiles that I place slightly apart so that there is a distinct epoxy dam between each so that no water intrusion or decomposition may traverse these areas in the future and I can still retain the light weight.

I cut off the top deck plate with a grinding wheel anf remove all the remnants of decomposed material making up the inner laminate. Then I spread a thin laer of epoxy on the dried bottom layer to seat the array of new balsa tiles. I then grind down the tiles so that I have about a 1/16 inch gap between the top of the tiles and the bottom of the removed deck plate.

At this point I fill the gaps between the tiles with poured epoxy and begin laying fiberglass cloth saturated with resin on top of the tiles and followed by seating the top deck plate. I carefully measure the height of my work so the reinserting the formerly removed deck surface is flush.

After all is cured I take a grinding wheel and taper the edge where the removed plate meets the undisturbed deck so that I have a wide shallow trough that I will span with layers of cloth and resin.

After faring my finished repair flush I I have been using an Interlux one part epoxy paint (Brightsides) with quartz sand sprinkled from a salt shaker to blend with my existing non-skid.

My repairs are can not be distinguished from original sections of m deck.

Please note that this seam was fared out to a far wider area after this next photo!

Re-cored area

Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 05-08-2016, 21:32   #4
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Re: Deck repair

Nominally, you want to replace degraded core with new core. Not only for reasons of weight, & cost, vs. the solid glass route. But also as, if you replace a big chunk of the deck with a solid, you'll likely create a hard point.
Meaning that it'll create an ultra stiff section of deck. Which won't at all behave the same, under load, as will the rest of the surrounding deck. And this may cause problems.

If you do go this route, then you need to be sure to taper the new sections very well. And some of that's addressed in some deck rebuild threads here on CF, as well as in other online resources. Which also have plenty of other wisdoms & tips on deck re-coring. Though don't be shy about asking questions either.

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Old 06-08-2016, 00:13   #5
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Re: Deck repair

It is my understanding that epoxy will bond to polyester, but not the other way around, so that if you are laminating over a large area that has been flooded with West epoxy you will need to prep or treat the surface before using matting and poly resin.
Also my other 2 cents is that a wet deck core is a sad thing that will give you mould issues and possibly cause structural weakness and corrosion to fasteners and chain plates. If its in enough spots, cut the surface off carefully to reset later and replace the core. best of luck
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Old 06-08-2016, 07:10   #6
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Re: Deck repair

Thanks all for your input.
Last Fall upon realizing I had core problems I started from the source point and drilled many holes through the top fiberglass layer. Working outward until reaching what appeared to be good balsa.
With Winter approaching I wrapped the boat.
This Summer I have been removing sections of the outer fiberglass deck along with the core-some is in pretty bad shape.

Using West epoxy and Baltec balsa I have been gradually replacing sections.
I take the Baltec and using a piece of pvc tube open the gaps and spread slightly thicken resin. Turn 90 degrees and do the same.

After beveling the deck at the joint I lay on a layer of 1708.

Priming and painting will come later.

What I was wondering is if there is any advantage to using a more solid core under the station or just saturated the balsa. Then overdrill and fill the future holes with resin.


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