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Old 11-06-2009, 17:33   #1
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Soft Decks - Loss of Structural Integrity?

The hull of my fiberglass 25 ft folkboat is bulletproof, but the deck has a lot of de-lamination. I want to take the boat south from the great lakes to the Caribbean this september/october. The cabin top is solid fiberglass but the decks are cored. It's a full keel boat with heavy ballast and is very stable. A similar design to the Contessa 26. Do I need to be worried about the structural integrity of this small boat for this trip south with soft decks???? Can't afford the time and money to fix the decks yet.

Any experience sailing "soft"?

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Old 11-06-2009, 17:57   #2
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You might be ok IF.... 1) the interior bulkheads are in good shape and provide structural integrity from keeping the hull from collapsing inward; 2) the chainplates and other rig attachments to the hull are in good shape and secured; 3) there is minimal risk of damage to the hull from backstay and forestay tension, since the deck is weakened; and 4) the deck is strong enough to support the weight of you, your crew, and whatever else might hit it.
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Old 11-06-2009, 17:58   #3
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I just replaced the cabin top in my Coronado 25. It had a fiberglass topside with 1/4 marine ply adhered to the underneath, or deckhead. I wish now that I used 1/2 or even 3/4 inch ply as the replacement as the deck still oilcans under my weight.

With 5'6" headroom and me being 6'3" and using an antique 7" angle grinder made the job pretty awfull. It can be done but you got to love your boat.

Don't be stingy with the thickness of the replacement ply. Use a resin epoxy, doesn't matter what brand. I found success after the third attemp with a resin epoxy. Damn the expense. (I am a cheap bastard). Good luck to you and keep us posted on your progress.....Allan
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core, delamination, soft decks, wood core

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