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Old 18-01-2010, 09:26   #1
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Fixing Soft Cabin Sole

Hi Folks

I have a bit of a problem with my Cabin Sole. It has a soft area at the bottom of the stairs. The sole is not balsa core it is just fiberglass, the bilge is not deep enough to get some wood or steal cross beams in to support it.

I was thinking about using expansion foam, the type you would use to insulate a door frame on a house. My only concern with this is would the chemical make up of the foam have any adverse effects on the fiberglass hull?

Do any of you think this would be a good fix? Do you have any other suggestions?

Looking forward to your feedback!
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Old 18-01-2010, 09:55   #2
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I'm not sure of the stairs you have but I imagine that it is flexing when you step down off the last step. What about a teak step right at the bottom.

Glue or fasten it so that it absorbs the stress and distributes it over the entire surface rather than at the point you put your foot down.
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Old 18-01-2010, 10:20   #3
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Thanks Solitude

Thanks for the feed back, you are correct that it is where you step down from the stairs.

It is not a Teak and Holly cabin sole just fiberglass and the diameter of the soft spot is about 2 feet wide by 1 foot long, the bilge entrance is at this point as well so I can't put anything in the bilge to support it.

Not sure if you know what I mean or not.

I just thought expansion foam would harden quick and can be cut once it is hard to allow bilge pump replacement and access.
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Old 18-01-2010, 11:27   #4
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Expansion foam will help for awhile.
I think what Solitude was describing was a piece of teak on top of the soft spot to take the load of a person stepping off your companion way ladder onto your sole. I would even suggest a few nicely rounded thin (1/2") teak strips running athwart on top of your sole which would also give your feet a good grip.
Expansion foam degrades under pressure and you might end up with the exact same problem again later.
regards,
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Old 18-01-2010, 12:40   #5
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Thanks SkiprJohn
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Old 18-01-2010, 13:30   #6
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if you have access to the bilge there why can't you cut some braces that run out beyond the soft spot, and can be put underneath the sole there and slathered with epoxy bog on top, clamped in place an allowed to cure. seems odd that you have a problem there, unless someone came down hard off the ladder and fractured the core bond or laminate
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Old 18-01-2010, 14:20   #7
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If the fiberglass in that area is not painted, or can be sanded, you could epoxy in some bracing material and hold it in place by inflating a basket ball (or other appropriate inflatable) under it.

The material you use could be a piece of 3/4" plywood covered with glass, or a layup of fiberglass u-channel over a carved foam core.

If its an opening to the bilge, I would not completely block it.
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Old 19-01-2010, 08:06   #8
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The Hole to the bilge is only a round 6" hole. Not big enough to get wood or other material in. I can cut it and do the job as a perminate refit, I was hoping to find a nice easy quick way....lol.

Thanks for everyones input.
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Old 19-01-2010, 17:20   #9
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Do what the first poster recommended. Make a plywood floor panel ('cabin teak & holly sole') that distributes the load over a wider area and relieves the stress created by stepping down onto that same area of fiberglass.
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Old 19-01-2010, 17:35   #10
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Check the Marinco/AFI products and build a cockpit grate.
Exterior Teak | Marinco
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