[Public-List] Cockpit Floor

crufone at comcast.net crufone at comcast.net
Wed Jan 26 06:44:47 PST 2011


Balsa works well if you have compound curves in the surface that you are recoring. Balsa is traditional and I believe fine if set in Epoxy resin and carefully sealed where there are any penetrations. My thought, because this is such a small area and relatively flat would be to use a non-wooden coring material. Coosa, Kluecell, polyfoam, etc. I prefer Coosa and most vendors will sell you a half sheet. It comes in 4 x 8 foot sheets and different compression ratings. One doesn't want to do their entire upper decks with this because of the weight gain, but the lower and smaller cockpit sole done with Coosa would not add that much weight. Then you could decide later where to put your hatch and know that you are cutting thru a solid core material anywhere you cut the hole. 

Epoxy resins are superior to use for repairs to weathered and older polyester surfaces. You must paint the Epoxy surface for UV protection and to make it the color you wish. Colored or clear Gelcote will not adhere to Epoxy only to Polyester surfaces. 

Michael #133 
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mel Martin" <mel.martin at utoronto.ca> 
To: public-list at lists.alberg30.org 
Sent: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 9:07:35 PM 
Subject: Re: [Public-List] Cockpit Floor 

Gord, Mike, George, 
Thanks X 10^6 for your suggestions, links, and advice: my courage to   
do this grows by leaps and bounds. I do plan to add additional   
reinforcement to the floor (if they'd done this when installing the   
inspection port, I wouldn't have to do it now. The inspection port   
weakened the floor sufficiently that every time someone jumped into   
the cockpit, the integrity of the skin was challenged. Eventually, the   
skin cracked, water seeped in and did its damage to the core. Now the   
core is mush and the floor is buggered!) 

Anyway, I think I'll need to reinforce the edges of the lower skin all   
the way around, and glass in some stringers athwartships. The   
suggestion to frame in the hatch while replacing the core is a good   
one. I'm still dithering between plywood and balsa for the core. Since   
I am also replacing the fuel tank (the original was rusted paper-thin   
on the bottom, though the top looked as good as new), I'm not sure yet   
how to configure the hatch. 

When I bought her, I knew I was buying a boatload of work, but I don't   
regret it for a single moment - she's a beaut! 

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