Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Soggy Core

   With finding out by phone that a major part of a major project....hadn't even got shipped yet, gears got changed here on "Painkiller."
   The stanchion bases on the boat had a bead of goop around the bases which is of course a sure sign that they haven't been re-bedded in years. The real give-away to me was when I twisted my body, leaned back, stuffed in an arm, and twisted my head while holding a flash light upside down to observe in the forward cubby of the galley's outboard locker looking up, that the dusty old headliner was covering the backing plate  washers and nuts, to that stanchion base. No one has gone before me!!!!! 33 years!

   Yeah, I had to move a few wires too to get at these two in the galley and cut away the old headliner to expose the whole backing plate. There were two others just as difficult to get too that Vicky and I managed to expose, unbolt and ready. I really should have a picture of this space from afar to grasp the true difficulty in getting there, cutting the headliner, etc. It's a lot easier working from the deck side.

   Once we got this far, we knew the surprises ahead would be worthy of a long days work, damn good thing I got the tools. The two most stressed bases at the boarding gate, either side, were crushed into the fiberglass deck with all those years of pulling and hanging to help people get aboard. As the years went by without proper maintenance of re-bedding the bases, water leaked into the balsa core and rotted away crushing down ever move as the bases got looser and looser and leakier and leakier, so about the only thing a guy could do other than digging as deep as we to add the goop!

   With so much spongy wet, rotten core around the bases, for a good repair you have to spread out a little and dig out as much of that rotten core as you can and leave the lower layer of fiberglass in tack. Just for those that may not know, this deck is two layers of fiberglass with a 1/2" wood (balsa) core glued in between as a thickener, without the added weight of solid fiberglass,. In this bottom picture you can see the lower layer still intact and on the cut out piece laying on the deck....what's left of the core.

   After a good cleaning, scraping and vacuuming  as deep into the core as I could, it was time for a base filler of solid epoxy and at the same time transferring the existing holes in the bottom layer of glass to the deck surface so everything remains copacetic when the re-bedding takes place.

    Tomorrow will be a top filler coat of epoxy with microlight filler, clean and flush with the decks.

   We had a good day, got a lot done for a bit of a surprise that we kinda knew was coming. The next day will be the actual re-bedding and bolting of all the stanchion bases on the port side!

    Also ...let us pray to the epoxy Gods that the epoxy that Vicky got on her coat sleeve while helping below is completely unnoticeable after the extensive cleaning with denatured alcohol. 


  1. nice! It's horrendous and I knew it when I bought it. Being a wood guy it's tough not to dig into it right away, but other things are taking priority. We'll let the sun beat it up for awhile longer to make it that much easier to strip it to bare wood and repair. Lot's of screw removal and set deeper with new bungs. Would love to find a deal (winning lottery ticket) on some 4/4 teak to replace the whole thing!


Talk to me...