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Old 12-04-2007, 08:07   #1
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CS 36 Moisture in deck

I may be purchasing a CS 36 that is in absolutely immaculate condition...however the survey has found that there is moisture in the deck. I don't know the details yet, except that estimated cost of repair is around 20k. If I can get the boat for the right price I'd like to consider doing the repair myself.

Anyone have any experience replacing part of a deck and know the details?

Is it possible to replace the rotted/rotting balsa with foam or starboard?

Is it better to go from below where you could more easily hid the repairs with the liner, or go from above?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-04-2007, 17:37   #2
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Moisture in the deck can be a minor problem or fairly extensive. The work to repair the problem is fairly straight forward and the part I fiind most difficult is in the final finish. Generally if the deck core its rotten you can cut out a portion of the upper skin and it will lift off. I have also gone in from the bottom with mixed results. For specific instructions check the West Systems. The key is getting all of the wet core out and because of that I can't reccomend trying to drill and fill.
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Old 12-04-2007, 18:22   #3
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Check this site for product and applicationn details. I have to do the same repairs and it can be done without removing the outer skin - it is done by drilling small holes and then injecting epoxy products - this site has the best system for this purpose.

Rot Doctor-Wood based epoxy products to repair and resist wood rot.
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Old 12-04-2007, 22:45   #4
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It depends on what your moisture readings are. You need to get the survey. If it has not delaminated extensively then you can put the boat into storage for the winter months (heated, inside), take off all of the fittings and let it dry out. This takes months to happen. When the boat is dry, assuming that the core and the glass are still in one piece, you can seal all of the holes, rebed the fittings and sailaway for a few years. If it has delaminated, repairing it si a messy, time consuming job. Consider doing the easier parts yourself, and hiring a pro to complete the finish work.
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Old 13-04-2007, 01:49   #5
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Major dental work...

I found three references on the web for core repairs. Sounds similar to dental work (dig out the rotten area and fill with sound material).

1) Minor repair

2) Cockpit floor repair

3) Delamination is not spelled d-o-o-m

Your estimated repair cost indicates 200 - 400 man hours. Could be more.

Whether it is practical for an amateur probably depends on personal skill, time and facilities available. Materials would not be cheap.
Sometimes a repair like this can have some really nasty surprises in it.

I have not done any major fibreglass work but my take is that this job could need to have all deck fittings (possibly down to chainplates and mast) removed first.

Bill Sandifer in "Delamination is not spelled d-o-o-m" did it in stages as he used the boat, but he would appear to have major skills.

Your call as to whether it is worth it in the final judgement.
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Old 13-04-2007, 05:16   #6
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Again go to the site I specified in my first post. This system and products are specifically designed for do it yourselfers. As Sailormann states, it depends if there is delamination as to what you do. Leaks into the deck core are almost 100% due to fittings and ports not bedded properly or the sealant has failed and they needed to be re-bedded at some point but were not and ultimately leaked. If the moisture is only around those fittings, then removing them and letting them dry out over a period of time may be an easy fix. I would doubt that the moisture is only confined to those areas if a surveyor has noted the problem. One of the products called CPES is specifically designed to penetrate into the wood/core and the core can be damp - not wet - during the application. So it would be best to determione a couple of things:

1. How much moisture is in the core and how widespread and

2. Is there any delamination.

The surveyor if given very specific instructions will be able to determine fairly accurately these conditions.

Only you can decide to proceed with a purchase at a much reduced price and if you are able to perform the required repairs. Dr. Rot answers all emails or phone calls about the problem you are facing and gives free advice thereto. Don't let this problem scare you away from buying the boat as most older boats have some level of deck moisture. You may be able to get a much better deal and with a little sweat equity have a good boat.

Hope this helps.
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Old 13-04-2007, 05:55   #7
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Deck Delamination

I am in the completion stages of re-doing my deck, and it had extensive delamination. My project is at Talkspot . Look under the "All decked out" section. I am about 70% of the way there, and I am glad I did it. My brother and I have done all of the work, and although time intensive, it is not really difficult if you plan your work, do it neatly and are detailed.

I can say that once the core turns to mush, that simply drilling holes in the deck and filling with epoxy will not fix the problem, but lead to a decompost heap above your cabin. The deck will also continue to harbor water.

My final step is to sand the top deck panels, lay down an 18oz layer of Roven Woven and Epoxy and paint.
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Old 13-04-2007, 06:08   #8
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If I owned a boat that I loved and had to deal with deck problems, I would do it. If I found a boat for sale that required deck replacement, I would walk away.

There are too many good boats out there for sale. Prices are running lower than average, especially for those who have purchased another boat without selling the old one first. You would be surprised as to what offers are accepted under those situations. Keep looking.

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Old 14-04-2007, 06:34   #9
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First off thanks for all the great replies, there is a lot of valuable information there.

I have some details from the survey now, but it is not yet in hand. There are multiple small areas (only inches in diameter) of delamination around the deck area. The architect of the boat was reached and he has said that it is not a structural problem and is fairly common with this boat (and it is almost 30 years old).

With this in mind the suggestions of drilling small holes in the infected areas and filling with epoxy in my mind is a good one. With this in mind I will actually leaving the country for a few years for a job and the boat will be on the hard for about a year before it is used, therefore I could drill the holes and let it try for more than just a few months.

Does this sound like a good plan to anyone else? The boat is in such great shape otherwise and even its offered price is low enough to make this problem more negligible.

Thanks again.
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Old 14-04-2007, 08:29   #10
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After hearing from the surveyor, it would "appear" that the moisture problems are minimal. With that information in hand, I would drill the holes and let it dry out. Saying that, you can't allow it to be exposed to the elements as more moisture will fall into those holes. Given your time away, perhaps having the boat shrinkwrapped with some proper ventilation will do the trick.

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Old 14-04-2007, 10:19   #11
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I have found in the past as a yacht Broker and service tech that most surveyors have very little knowledge in how to use a moisture meter and with many it is just a show for the individual paying for the survey. Before I began any major or minor repairs I would get a second opinion from an knowledgeable and qualified surveyor with sound references. The slight additional cost to check just this problem might save much in unneeded repairs or at least confirm how serious the problem actually is. Why drill holes in a perfectly good deck?
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Old 15-04-2007, 04:09   #12
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Moisture Meters:
The moisture meter is best utilized as a quick, clean, & non-destructive, confirmation tool, when the area or surface shows other evidence (Visual inspection and Sounding) of potential deterioration.
However, there are also limitations: they do not quantitatively measure moisture on/in fibreglass & composite substrates.
The surveyor’s diagnosis should be based on the overall profile, or distribution pattern of meter reading comparisons (gradients, or more vs less) - not any specific percentage reading. Compare all readings with a known dry reading. What the meter is showing is a relative reading based on a resistance or capacitance in relation to a laminate that has had no water exposure. This is good information, as it verifies what is already suspected, and can often locate the boundaries of the trapped moisture.

Meter readings, taken from inside the hull, are generally more accurate & useful than those taken from outside.

The Visual & Hammer Sounding inspection should always remain your first survey technique.


Moisture Meters on Boat Hulls: Do They Produce Reliable Results? ~ By David Pascoe
Moisture Meters on Boat Hulls - Do They Produce Reliable Results?

Surveying Fiberglass Power Boats ~ By David H. Pascoe
Chapter 7: Using Moisture Meters (begins page 173)
Surveying Fiberglass Power Boats - Google Book Search
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Old 15-04-2007, 11:06   #13
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have you been to:

its a cs owners website, has reviews of the cs 36 and also a discussion page. have to register, don't know what's there, but perhaps other cs36 s have had the same problem.
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Old 15-04-2007, 21:15   #14
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Or just buy a boat with a solid hull and a solid deck?

No present or future problems in that area.

Have seen plenty boats around here with deck-cancer and the price goes way down as the survey is based on proffesional repairs, not the do-it-yourselfer.

-20K is a start.

All these builders claiming light weight and high performance as the reason they core their boats are not looking 10 years down the road.

Some guys, including myself would not touch a cored boat with a long stick, let alone pay for one.
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Old 16-04-2007, 05:02   #15
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Had this problem with my 2nd vessel, a Blackwatch 37. Major de-lam in the decks around the winch pads. 6 ft. long by 1 ft. wide, both sides. Used a carbide bladed skillsaw, cut only as deep as the upper skin. Needless to say, the skin came right off. Dug the ply core out. Not a difficult job but with chisels and other impliments of destruction. Epoxied new marine ply in(screwing it from under to get it to lay flat and true) and epoxied down the old skins usining battens to keep the skin flush to the old deck level. The seam that was left was ground out with a grinder and filled with regular glass resin and F/G rope strands. The usual feathering follow with the entire decks getting a non-skid job. You could not even tell the decks had any problems prior. Cost was under $400 and took 10 days of 4 hours an evening after work.
As far as drilling hole and inserting epoxy? I've heard of this but view it as 1/2 measures. Of course maybe some jobs are more extensive than others. Good luck..If you love the boat, do her a favor and restore her. She will pay you back 10 fold.
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