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Old 14-10-2020, 10:36   #1
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Delaminating plywood under deck in forward cabin

Well, I decided to do some inventory on the boat this week and emptied the storage area under the forward berth only to find that the plywood at the bottom was soft. I ripped it all out with the intention of simply replacing that section. Come to find out that there is also some delamination that made its way under the nice, finished deck right beside it. There doesn't seem to be any flex or weakness there when jumped on, but I cant help but feel like I should address this as well. I just don't know the best way to go about it. I'm wary about ripping up a finished section if I don't have to, and if I do have to, any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 14-10-2020, 10:56   #2
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Re: Delaminating plywood under deck in forward cabin

I doubt I would rip any more out. I might inject epoxy where I could etc. It's not really structural and is mostly cosmetic. Once you start down that path....
What boat is this?
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Old 14-10-2020, 10:59   #3
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Re: Delaminating plywood under deck in forward cabin

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I doubt I would rip any more out. I might inject epoxy where I could etc. It's not really structural and is mostly cosmetic.
+1. Protect the area from water (as possible), keep an eye on it, stop jumping on it. Just be prepared to someday do more surgery as needed...in the mean time you may come up with better ways of doing this instead of grabbing the saw now.
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Old 14-10-2020, 11:18   #4
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Re: Delaminating plywood under deck in forward cabin

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I doubt I would rip any more out. I might inject epoxy where I could etc. It's not really structural and is mostly cosmetic. Once you start down that path....
What boat is this?
It's a slippery slope, I know haha. I think I'll see if I can't go the epoxy route. Not a whole lot of room to work but I like that idea much more than ripping the cabin floor up.

She's a Rafiki 37.
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Old 14-10-2020, 11:20   #5
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Re: Delaminating plywood under deck in forward cabin

Similar to others would probably not rip it out and do a fix w/o messing up the finished side.

Fairly obvious, but you need to identify where the water is coming from and attempt to eliminate the problem. If not, eventually you will need to replace that piece. Is it coming from you anchor locker or an AC overflow that is in a near by cabinet?
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Old 14-10-2020, 11:40   #6
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Re: Delaminating plywood under deck in forward cabin

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Similar to others would probably not rip it out and do a fix w/o messing up the finished side.

Fairly obvious, but you need to identify where the water is coming from and attempt to eliminate the problem. If not, eventually you will need to replace that piece. Is it coming from you anchor locker or an AC overflow that is in a near by cabinet?
I suspect the chain locker, but I'm investigating thoroughly before I close it up again. Previous owner seemed to do a quick fix to this by (poorly) running a drain hose down to the bilge. Perhaps they didn't know the extent of the damage and merely found some moist spots at the time.
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Old 14-10-2020, 12:08   #7
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Re: Delaminating plywood under deck in forward cabin

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It's a slippery slope, I know haha. I think I'll see if I can't go the epoxy route. Not a whole lot of room to work but I like that idea much more than ripping the cabin floor up.

She's a Rafiki 37.
The asian ply seems to do that a lot. Even if it's not wet. Poor glue or dry rot maybe coming in from the edges? The trouble with starting replacing is it may be throughout the boat.
I could see a scenario, if it's just not at the edges, where you drill part way from the top, inject epoxy with a syringe, and then plug the hole with a teak plug. Another thought, because you cant really clamp it, is to inject Gorilla glue, it actually likes water and expands filling the gap. It's pretty rigid when dry too.

You could investigate though and see how extensive it is. If really only under that portion of floor, it appears you can take the teak floor strips out and replace the ply.

I knew someone with a Tayana 37 20 years ago that had to tear out the head floor for the same issue. That boat was less than 15 years old at the time.
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Old 14-10-2020, 13:50   #8
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Re: Delaminating plywood under deck in forward cabin

It's unfortunate that builders assemble furniture on the sole. It makes repairs very difficult. As others have said, replacing the sole requires removing furniture. If you have time and are handy it can be done but going down that coal mine may be dark and unpleasant.
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Old 15-10-2020, 10:12   #9
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Re: Delaminating plywood under deck in forward cabin

No way to repair that and it will wick water very readily. if you don't fix it now it will get worse and probably spread rot to other areas. The builder used the wrong grade plywood.
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Old 15-10-2020, 13:12   #10
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Re: Delaminating plywood under deck in forward cabin

While many may turn to Git Rot, Home Depot has a similar product, PC Products PC-Rot Terminator 24oz. for less than $35 vs 4 oz Git Rot fro $24. I've used it and it works fine. Once stabilized, back-fill with "plastic wood filler". JMHO
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Old 15-10-2020, 13:36   #11
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Re: Delaminating plywood under deck in forward cabin

Rot doesn't appear to be so much the issue here as delamination.

As mentioned above, injecting epoxy is an option but you do want to also try to bring the laminates together while the epoxy sets. If you have good enough access to screw it up from below that would be ideal. If not, drill a few holes through the timber sole and use threaded rod and backing plates to pull the plywood up and then plug the holes (or fill with epoxy).
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Old 15-10-2020, 15:15   #12
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Re: Delaminating plywood under deck in forward cabin

You must find the source of the water ingress and determine the full extent of the damp timber.
Then clear away all damp wood and dry out the area with an electric heater, while watching if the source of water has been fixed. Time and temperature are the operative principles.
When dry, apply wood preservative and then repair the delamination using brass or stainless fasteners followed by several further applications of wood preservative and then epoxy can be applied.
The area will always be suspect and should be inspected regularly.
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Old 15-10-2020, 15:43   #13
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Re: Delaminating plywood under deck in forward cabin

I would get an inexpensive moisture meter and a 3/16 inch drill bit and do an assessment of the extent of the damage before I would make a decision on the repair
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Old 22-10-2020, 22:26   #14
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Re: Delaminating plywood under deck in forward cabin

Thanks, everyone. Some good ideas in there, I have decent access to the underside so I think I will inject epoxy and screw upwards into the teak to hold while it sets. Painting the bottom this week, I'll post back with results from the epoxy probably next week.
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Old 22-10-2020, 23:10   #15
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Re: Delaminating plywood under deck in forward cabin

The problem with Git-Rot, epoxy, etc., is that unless you do a nice finishing job to hide it, it going to show up in a survey when you're selling the boat.
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