[Public-list] Cockpit Sole

brooks.glenn at comcast.net brooks.glenn at comcast.net
Tue Jul 10 09:33:49 PDT 2007

HI Pete,

My boat has the same problem. (dolce built 1968).  My cockpit floor is laid with end grain balsa core, which had become saturated with water,causing the balsa to rot out leaving a soggy pulp between the inner and other skins of fiberglass.  If you drill holes in the bottom of the glass much of the water will run out and dry the core to some extent.  Surprisingly this works pretty well, except for areas where the rot has disintegrated the balsa and except for the impossibility of getting under the sole to work.

My fix is to tear out the cockpit sole completely and frame in a new floor with marine ply and glass over the top and bond the sides to the bulkheads.  I started by cutting  a permanent, removable  22" hatch above the rear of the engine -   to allow maintenance access to the heat exchanger, rear of engine etc, and to relocate one of my batteries under the cockpit floor--basically higher above the water line.  so the next step for me is to build in some framing around the edges and across the sole and lay new flooring down.

An alternate method is to cut away the upper skin and scrape out the coring, then  bed new coring and glass over the top of the old inner skin and re-lay new  exterior FG skin on top--but it doesnt give access to the rear of the engine, or the rudder thru hull--which I also found to be finger loose--and which I rebedded and glassed back into the hull to stop it from leaking. ( any alberg with green stain and a trickle of water coming down into the bilge from the rubber post means the rudder post is not bonded to the hull anymore and is at risk of coming loose some day-- mine lifted out with a mere pull of the fingers once I chipped a bit of loose glass away from the sides a bit)  So I like my hatch and the access it gives to all the important stuff behind the engine that no one ever looked at for 30 years!

Good luck!

Glenn Brooks
Dolce in Seattle
 -------------- Original message ----------------------
From: Peter Manika <pmanika at sbcglobal.net>
> I have a 1966 A30 hull # 154. I am noticing that the cockpit sole seems to be 
> getting soft, (spongy). Especially around the inspection plate. Can anyone tell 
> me what the cord in that area may be and what would the resolve be? Any help 
> would be appreciated.
>   Pete (Qyteza)
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