June 10, 2017 at 9:27 am #223554ewanolearyParticipant
Repairing core under the stanchions – fun times, for sure!
Some photos on the process attached.
1. Remove leakiest stanchions and all screws etc from the underside of the deck. Removing the screws in the area provides a little ventilation if you need to dry things out. In my case, the deck is wetter than I’d like, and there were literally tens of holes for things like cable ties and the electrical wiring raceway. These holes were leaking water and contributing to the rot.
2. Cut away skin on surface to find rotted core edge. I went a little further to expose about an inch of wet core around the sides. I allowed this to dry, using lamps. I was a bit dismayed, but oh well. I used my Dewalt Multi-Tool with a combination of cutting and scraping blades to get this done. I sanded with the sanding attachment – I have to say that without this kind of tool, this repair would be a lot more difficult.
3. Allow to dry. Well, in my case, the weather was awful, so I had water coming in for a couple of days before I could take the next step. I painted the area with un-thickened epoxy to seal it a bit, and used a couple of lamps to help dry things out. Down below I sealed all the exposed holes with tape to prevent drips.
4. Template out and cut new core material. Balsa. I have worked with it before, and I like it. I left a gap between old core and new core material that I would seal with thickened epoxy (West Systems 403). I wet out the core material and the surface after sanding and wiping with acetone. It sucked up the epoxy, so I covered it with wax paper and used an old length of chain to flatten it out against the deck. Wax paper doesn’t like epoxy adhering, so it helped.
5. sanded the new core material to even it out and create space for a good taper. Cut the biaxial and cloth. I used two layers of 17 oz biaxial and two layers of cloth. I used a really high quality shears for this – pro-tip, don’t try to use regular scissors.
6. Filled the gap with thickened epoxy. Wet out the whole area.Begin placing biaxial and cloth. I wet out the cloth in place. In hindsight, it might have been better to do this beforehand. I was using Slow Hardener, so I had about 90 mins with temps as they were. Afternoon thunderstorms threatened, so I was left worrying about that, but fortunately they missed the boat yard.
7. I used a small foam roller from Ace Hardware to roll the repairs and saturate the glass. Because this is at the edge I ground out an area to adhere up the bulwarks, and managed to get some biaxial up there too. Highly recommend this approach.
8. Once the repair had cured, I repeated on the second stanchion area towards the aft scupper. Only 8 more like this to go! It took me about 4 hours of labor in total, excluding the epoxy curing time, and waiting for the weather. Curing to solid was about 2:00 hours.
Success! I was able to jump on the repairs the next day and they were SOLID. No sponginess as there had been previously. No leaks either!
What is next:
– sand the areas with 80 grit and use an epoxy filler to smooth things out.
– repair and strengthen the underside of the stanchions most likely to be used as hand holds while boarding
– replace stanchion bases with shiny new ones from Schaeffer.
– Cut G10 Stanchion bases to raise the stanchion bases from standing in water. I’ll use my router on the edges to smooth them out and create a solid platform.
– Use G10 backing plates for the undersides. These should be a bit bigger than ones on the top side.
– always use a respirator and gloves.
– I use three disposable gloves with epoxy – two on my right hand and one on my left. I usually get epoxy on the right hand one first, and if I need an epoxy-free hand, I just dump the outermost glove and get back to it.
– clean up with acetone and clean rags, before and after
June 15, 2017 at 6:19 pm #223562ReveryModerator
Great work, Ewan. Oh, the memories of doing all but two of my stanchions, the mast step (deck stepped), and entire forepeak on our C&C. I take comfort in knowing that we only have 4 to do on Revery. ha!
All in all, it’s really an easy (but tedious) job. Curious, though, what shears did you use? I found that a good quality kitchen scissors worked fine…just threw them away afterward.
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