[Public-List] foredeck compression, (and bedding deck hardware)

Kirk Little kirkalittle at hotmail.com
Tue Jan 18 23:15:58 PST 2011

I spent more time than I care to admit removing nearly every single piece of deck hardware, boring out about 1/4 inch of the core around every hole, filling with west epoxy, then re-drilling and re-bedding each piece, most with substantial (1/4" aluminum) backing plates.  Forgetting about deck compression / strength, if the hardware can move at all then the deck sealant is going to leak sooner rather than later.  Then you have water in your core and probably inside the boat as well, nasty little problems.  Re-bedding through epoxy-reinforced holes will not only protect the deck core from the inevitable leak, but I strongly feel it will drastically increase the amount of time before it even starts leaking as the hardware is now bolted to something stronger and more stiff.  This improvement also allows you to seal not only on the deck side but on the underside as well to improve and prolong the seal.  Of course if you are bedding straight through the core (without epoxy filled holes) then you wouldn't want to seal the inside of the boat as this would prolong and hide any evidence of the water seeping into the core.  Nearly three years and 15,000nm at sea, none of my re-bedded hardware has leaked not even the windows where I implemented a similar improvement, not even after beating into the trade winds for several days with the deck constantly awash (however every other leak became painfully apparent).  Boring out core and filling with fiberglass is a bit of a pain but it is a once in the life of the boat job that might allow you to rebed and seal the deck hardware a lot less often in the future plus protecting your core.  Having said all that, I don't think I would recommend it unless you were heading offshore or plan to keep the boat 5+ years.  Just my two cents.  

-Kirk Little, Salsa #504 www.SailingSalsa.com (currently in Thailand and heading for South Africa this year)


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