September 11, 2016 at 2:01 pm #221483
You may remember my previous posts on deck delam work, but Iâve been thinking about what I might have done differently, and I think Iâve come to the conclusion that I might tackle it from the bottom, vice top. I believe the fiberglass skin on the bottom is measurably thinner than the top layer, so once the core is out, the top would hold shape better than the bottom. My bottom layer became all distorted when the core came out, and created all kinds of problems as a consequence. PITA to work from the bottom, but in retrospect might have been a better option. And the core in the deck area on my boat is ½â, another lesson learned. It is 3/8â on the side decks.
September 11, 2016 at 2:01 pm #221484
Iâve repaired rot in my deck in various places but have no evidence of large scale delamination. What caused your deck issue?
The repairs I made are around the main cabin hatch and at the stanchion bases. For the stanchions, I did the repairs from the top using thickened epoxy in a caulking tube. The only issue I had was to keep the stuff from leaking out the bottom through the crew holes.
September 11, 2016 at 2:04 pm #221487
I canât imagine what caused flexing in your deck. Iâve had no such issue and Iâve heard of no other owners who have reported a similar issue. I can only assume that there was something wrong with the epoxy when they laid-up your deck. Iâve had more than a dozen adults sit on the cabin top on an evening race, all on one side of the coach.
June 9, 2019 at 3:07 pm #225083
A friend of mine is trying to sell his Endeavour 40 and has run into problems because his deck has moisture in it. A survey showed moisture on his moisture meter and a prospective buyer backed out because his lender wouldn’t approve the loan on that basis. This got me thinking about my deck. My decks are solid but I think I may have moisture in some limited areas. I’ll be selling my boat someday and don’t want to have problems like he has.
I purchased a non-contact Ryobi E49MM01 pinless moisture meter and ran it across my deck. At $40, it seemed worth risking that it would work on fiberglass. It appears to work well though I don’t know how accurate it is. Most of the deck shows zero moisture but I found several areas that register over 10%. Small areas around a few stanchions, the deck around the maincabin companionway hatch, and the bow area forward of the anchor locker under the windlass register as wet. This is expected. The stanchions and hatch are already repaired. The bow area will be later repaired. The deck area forward of my mast registers as much as 15% moisture. I have a cabin heater that vents through the deck and is likely the cause of this moisture though it may have entered from the mast collar as well.
Yesterday, I pulled the chimney cap from the heater and examined the deck core. The chimney is about four inches in diameter and the hole a bit bigger. There is a small bit of rot around part of the hole. I removed perhaps an inch or two of soft balsa using hex wrenches on a drill. I filled the exposed deck with thickened epoxy and replaced the heater cap. There is no way for water to enter around this hole now.
As I said above, there is no sign of delamination but I’d like to get the moisture out of my deck. I’m planning to access the underside of the deck and will drill a pattern of holes in the wet areas through the underside. I expect the core will dry over time if there is a way for the moisture to evaporate. This might take months or even years but I’m in no rush.
I plan to examine the mast hole this winter when the boat is on the hard. I’ll probably dig out a bit of the plywood core and fill with epoxy as was done elsewhere. I’m pretty careful about keeping the mast collar well bedded and I keep a water-tight boot on the mast. Leaks at some point in her life might have let water in the deck though the mast hole however. Once the whole deck area around the mast is filled with epoxy, a leak will be annoying but harmless.
The moisture meter will let me check the deck on a periodic basis to identify leaks and determine how well my drying technique works. I recommend that owners gain access to a meter and examine their decks before damage ruins your boat.
June 10, 2019 at 7:14 am #225085
I’ve got similar concerns about leaks, core rotting and soft spots on the deck and under the headliner. I haven’t yet taken on the deck yet but my approach in the main cabin has been this:
I removed the headliner and with a Tramex moisture meter I mapped out wet locations. (I did start with a basic meter, but after seeing how much more sensitive a built-for GRP meter was, I ponied up.) The upshot is that almost everywhere something penetrates the core, there is some moisture. I had already rebedded the port lights. And on the ceiling, deck hardware was removed. Using a one inch drill saw bit, from below I drilled the core from each hardware attachment point. I then used gorilla tape to cover the one inch hole on the ceiling. Then from the outside I injected six/ten epoxy into the cavity. When the epoxy cured I drilled new holes for the hardware and rebedded with butyl tape. I plan to finish this by glassing in a patch over each of these plugs to give the assembly a bit more grip. I’ll have to remove the deck hardware (again!) for that so it’ll wait until I repaint.
All the hatches were leaking somewhat, with a friend we removed and rebedded them. The sea hood was then removed and the area around the port side companionway was resealed. There is still the mast hole and the area around the cabin heater to attend to.
The big question remaining us what to do about the damaged core in the cabin ceiling. The moisture around the companionway and a few of the hatches is extensive. We tried to use a long drill bit to carve out the rot, and this works for five or so inches, but our attempts to inject epoxy into an area that large created quite a mess. And some moisture has penetrated well beyond it’s likely entry location. At this point, I’m seriously considering just cutting the fiberglass ceiling from below replacing the wet sections with new balsa, and reattaching the original fiberglass.
But having sealed the worst leaks, replacing the rotten core has been put on hold as I’m in the (hopefully) final stages of repowering with a Nanni 4.65. Will post on that project when done.
June 10, 2019 at 7:54 am #225086
As for the main cabin companionway issue, leaks there are a problem. Pearson used silicone sealant to bed the teak hatch frame. This is the wrong stuff to use. Here’s what I did.
This gets rid of the rotted balsa and seals the hatch frame from further leaks but it doesn’t remove moisture trapped in the deck. I did an exhaustive web search to see if I could find a thread that discusses drilling a pattern of holes on the underside of the deck to allow damp balsa to dry; no luck. If it works, it would be a simple and harmless way to get the moisture out. Getting the coach liner down and back up will be a PIA. Velcro tape holds the panels in place and the adhesive is shot. I plan to add wider teak strips over what’s there to hold the liner panels and ditch the velcro.
My moisture meter shows no moisture around most of the cabin attachments. Leaks under grab-rails are a common problem in older boats but the meter shows no intrusion in my boat. I plan to use the meter on a periodic basis to find any new leaks but I don’t plan to start removing hardware that isn’t showing signs of leakage.
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