TAP-TAP-TAP, THUMP-THUMP-THUMP: CORE ROT IN THE DECK (2)
During the bulkhead and fuel tank replacement process, while I had access, I had added layers of fiberglass to the underside
of the deck bulge, so the deck was thicker than normal. This allowed me to remove the top of the bulge, build up the
deck to its proper level, and end up with the normal thickness of deck. I used fiberglass with polyester resin and glassed
in everything including the chain plate holes. Then it was back to the foredeck.
After three weeks of drying,
what wood core I could access through the holes in the foredeck seemed to be dry. Using a syringe I filled all the holes
with epoxy resin. Just as I had hoped, the resin levels went down as the resin wicked into the surrounding core.
I kept adding resin to the holes until they remained full and resin actually started coming out of the lower holes near the
toe rail. This meant that the wood core was fully saturated – just what I wanted.
It was getting
into November, so soon I would not be able to paint or fiberglass. I finished the repaired areas with body filler and
primed them. The following spring I noticed ever so tiny cracks outlining the holes I drilled on the foredeck.
The body filler must have shrunk a little, so I covered the area with a single layer of fiberglass cloth and resin and faired
it with more body filler.
When it came time to paint the deck – getting into July now – the repaired
areas got their final filling and sanding along with the rest of the deck. We (I had help from wife and daughter this
time) masked off the newly spray-painted cabin and white sections of deck, primed and painted it with a single-part polyurethane,
spreading beach sand between coats.
After the new portlights the deck was the next noticeable appearance change.
I wanted a taupe colored deck, but there was not a taupe colored paint available that I could find. I mixed some Interlux
Grand Banks Beige with Steel Gray and added some brown pigment to get what I wanted. After brushing the first topcoat
I spread some very fine beach sand on the still wet paint with a handheld seed spreader. The next day I brushed on a
second coat of paint. For everything in the cockpit, where an aggressive nonskid is not needed, I mixed commercial nonskid
granules in the paint and brushed the mixture on.
The sand idea was a bit of a gamble but it made for
a perfect deck. My experiences with commercial nonskid material have not been favorable. When the deck gets wet
it gets pretty slippery - and when I’m in bare feet, my usual preference, it gets downright treacherous. So I
thought, why not sand? I had heard arguments that the sand grains break out of the paint, and that dirt sticks to the
little peaks. So far, after four seasons in the water and the rest of the time being a construction site, neither has
happened. This has been one nice improvement.