I've done this for other people several times in the past year. Usually where you think there is a little rot
, there is a lot of rot
I've been working on a 1977 POS skiff boat the wealthy owner (ironically a mechanical engineer
that manufactures things with plywood) wanted to fix up cosmetically despite my urgings from the beginnings to ditch the project
. He was attached to the boat which he said he had "rebuilt" mechanically with his sons, which amounted to rewiring the console and powder coating two cockpit
lights. The deck was a little "boingy" in multiple areas and the owner just shrugged it off saying it was "functional." So I drilled a 3/8 inch hole into the deck and showed him the wood seemed deteriorated (but was not obviously wet.)
On three further occasions I expressed doubts about the deck, stringers and fuel tank
. Fast forward $2000 worth of body work etc... After taking off the console and large deck inspection
plate underneath it, the fuel
filler hose was completely deteriorated at the hose clamps to the fuel tank
(when the tank was filled fuel
would leak out into the foam the tank was surrounded by) and had to be replaced which required cutting into the deck. Despite the boat being stored inside a building for four months, the wood in the core was SOAKING wet and so mushy you could take it out with a spoon. I say wood, because they must have run out of plywood
the week they built the boat and there were three inch wide boards of wood between the fiberglass skins instead of plywood
. The project
is now on hold as he will definitely end up with $8000 into a $5000 boat if he is lucky.
The point of this long story is that the most common "boat killer" by far is rotted core material if you don't count general neglected maintenance
. Pet peeve: on sailboats, "boy racer" types frequently festoon their boats with improperly bedded gadgets and gauges which are useless to the average cruiser and cause extensive damage from water infiltration. When a sailboat has a liner, these areas are very difficult to detect and often missed by the surveyor
who is not obliged to drill or do other destructive testing.
Four years ago I thought my Cal
34 had a nice tight deck. It didn't. In several small areas there were obvious signs that someone had repaired the deck using the technique Lepke mentioned above. When I read on Compass
Marine's website the exquisitely detailed article on how to bed
deck hardware, I stripped my deck and found lots of rot. The areas that were repaired with the "drill a bunch of holes and inject epoxy" method were hardly affected- still delaminated and ripped off the ceiling as easily as the rest of the wood. Besides not being effective, the numerous drill holes are impossible to disguise on a nonskid surface.
Don't put screws in with epoxy, use butyl tape and don't forget to campher the holes.
On a Cal
, the interior
skin of the fiberglass-wood-fiberglass laminate is very thin, not enough to support any weight which almost requires doing the job from inside unless it is done in small areas. Having done it from the inside once, the next time I would do it from the outside in small areas with something other than plywood as core.
I'm working on an affordable substitute for the expensive "rot proof" core materials and "rot prone" organics currently available. If you are interested PM me.