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4207 Side Deck Repair

 
 
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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4207 Side Deck Repair

I traced a water leak in the AC to rainwater coming through a series of fine cracks in the "step-on" side deck (terminology?). I started cutting in the center of a slightly soft area and then moved aft and forward until all evidence of moisture penetration was gone.

The deck appears to be cored with about an inch of end grain balsa. See attached pic of exploration in process. I've since squared the edges and cleaned out all the wet balsa. While the cavity dries out, I'd sure like some advice on the next steps.

I think I need to re-bed a new core with thickened epoxy and then lay up a series of cloth laminae, allowing each one to harden until flush with the rest of the deck ... right? Also, do I need to go out and find balsa or will something else do, e.g., pine plank or plywood?
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I would use coosa board in place of the balsa core then cover that with 1 1/2 oz chopped mat. You need to grind the existing deck around the patch to a taper so the new layers step out more with each layer ( like a scarf joint). You don't want the layers to dry between laminates. What is the toe rail made of?
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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As an aside, I see you took it right up to (and it appears inside of) that stanchion. Are you positive that stanchion is secure?
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:01 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I had to google "coosa" but now I understand what you mean. I watched a Jamestown video that demonstrated beveling the edges, thanks. The toe rail is simply molded mat, sort of curved into a half circle. As far I can tell there was no balsa, or even solid resin filling that section. I'm wondering if I should work epoxy into that area or leave it hollow - maybe it's meant to be "springy".

Under the stanchions in the background of the image (near the saw) the wood is a two-inch thick plank laminate (Two 1-inch planks) around the perimeter of the boat. Balsa in the walkway, plank under the stanchions. That wood was dry where I could see it. I removed another stanchion that should be in the foreground heading aft, up two steps to the aft deck over the aft cabin. That single stanchion was screwed through the surface ply, the balsa, and then the lower ply. Covered by the PO with a mass of caulk but still leaking into the aft cab needless to say.

So over 25 years, hefty passengers jump from the aft deck, skipping the two steps and landing right where I've removed the balsa. And the lone stanchion screwed into the balsa probably got a good yank going both ways.

I see the need for something water resistant with good compressive strength to replace the balsa (eg coosa). But I'd like to use a 3.5 inch wide solid plank near the toe rail like under the rest of the stanchions. Doesn't that make more sense? When I replace the single stanchion near the steps, that would make it more secure. And I'd like to stop the screws BEFORE they penetrate the bottom ply.
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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That stanchion you removed was all that saved me when the lanyard gate clasp gave out while fueling a 37. So make sure that and the next are very well secured.
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Old 02-21-2012, 02:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The area under the toe rail doesn't need to be filled. It will have sufficient strength from the channel iron shape. I would be tempted to use a/c grade fir plywood instead of a solid plank. You could laminate two layers of 3/4" and stagger screws about every 8 to 10 inches to screw the two layers together. I would rough it up with a 36 grit disc and bed it in thickened west epoxy or a comparable brand. Unless I could get a partial sheet of Coosa board from someone, a piece of 1/2" fir plywood will work fine for the balsa replacement. Try to get a grade of 1/2" ply that has more than 3 layers. Something like appleply or baltic birch may work if it is rot resistant enough. I personally haven't used either one of those so maybe someone can offer some advice about those. A/c fir may be as close as you can get to marine plywood. Kemah Hardware used to carry that type of material if they are still in business.
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Replace the balsa with 2 lams of 1/2" marine plywood bedded in epoxy resin, like you said, but, also address the structual attachment. Don't trust only the glue line. Taper the edges (mitre joint), lap the ply, and/or, glass the joint. Is there a beam underneath, or need one? Compress/attach the inner skin from inside with boards until set. You need minimum glass on top...3/4 oz./epoxy. For toerail, use most any aged clear wood with horz. grain and no heart.
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I would also remove the screws in ALL of your stantions and re-bed them with 5200.
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Old 04-15-2012, 07:28 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt J View Post
I would also remove the screws in ALL of your stantions and re-bed them with 5200.
3M 4000/4200 will work fine, 5200 is over used for this type app. and 4000 won't yellow in the sun...
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