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

Gordon Laco mainstay at csolve.net
Thu Jan 20 11:25:16 PST 2011

OK - 

I'm in the US warehouse now and in front of a computer.

The cockpit floor job was completed last spring after years of being put
off.  It was easy.

I cut the top of the cockpit sole off using a large dremmel-like tool, being
careful to only go through the top laminates and not past the balsa.

With not too much trouble I was able to rip the intact top layer off...
Where the balsa was reduced to mush it came off easily, not so easily

With a wide chisel and a scraper I removed all the balsa and mush, and
excavated an inch or so under the undisturbed top layer.  I then sanded and
vacuumed both the removed top layer and the upper surface of the bottom
layer of glass.

That was the work of Saturday morning.

Saturday afternoon I 'painted' the excavated under edge areas with raw epoxy
then with a spatula forced in a paste of thickened epoxy - it was about like
peanut butter.  Then I painted the whole exposed top surface of the bottom
glass layer ...   In the mean time I had prepared a piece of marine plywood
cut to fit the removed balsa, complete with 1" diameter holes in a close
spacing.    I smeared the bottom of the plywood with the thickened epoxy
then pressed it into the sole cut-out.  I poured epoxy into the holes and
around the edges until no more would go in... Then I went away and had

While eating supper it occurred to me that the plywood might float up on the
epoxy so I dropped my fork and rushed back to the boat with waxed paper and
a few bricks.   I put the bricks on the waxed paper so they wouldn't stick
to the plywood.  (it hadn't floated...)

Sunday morning I sanded the top surface of the plywood, vacuumed it then
painted it with raw epoxy.  I prepared the old top laminate of the sole with
thickened epoxy on its undersurface, then pressed it in and piled the bricks
on them.  I then kept pouring raw epoxy in around the cut edge seam until no
more would go in... Then covered that with masking tape to prevent epoxy
from flowing out.

Monday after work I went back, sanded the tape off, masked out and painted
off-white over the glue as a sort of finish... Put the tiller head and its
fairing back on... Presto.

Gord #426

On 20/01/11 7:13 AM, "Jeffrey" <fongemie at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hey Gord,
> Did you ever re-core your cockpit floor? If so how did it turn out?
> -jeff
> On Thu, Jan 20, 2011 at 4:31 AM, Kirk Little <kirkalittle at hotmail.com>wrote:
>> Roger, The technique I used was to put slightly modified (cut them with a
>> grinder) allen keys into the drill and bore out only the  balsa core keeping
>> the original holes in the fiberglass.  Then tape the bottom hole inside the
>> boat, fill cavity with west epoxy via a plastic surenge, then redrill (make
>> sure you drill straight).  I think Nigel Calder or one of the other boat
>> maintenence how-to books gives a detailed description.  It really isn't that
>> much work if you are re-bedding something anyway.   I might add that I had a
>> small amount of rotted core especially around some of the old poorly bedded
>> pieces, and by getting aggressive and using various sizes of Alen keys, and
>> a few extra small holes in the deck, I was able to adequately stiffen the
>> deck and eliminate the 'sponginess' by digging out rotten balsa and
>> injecting epoxy without actually pulling up any of the deck.  Maybe not what
>> some consider the proper or 'best' fix but for smaller areas it seems to get
>> the job done
>>  well enough with minimal time, effort, or skill.  I also agree with using
>> the slow epoxy, slightly thickened.  Less bubbles and other issues
>> especially when filling larger cavities. Oh, I also did this same job when
>> re-bedding the chain plates, and although it takes work with drills, rasps,
>> and files to re-form the holes, like everything else, they haven't leaked
>> either, in years.
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