Boat Journal

Chronicling a love affair with sailing

Month: December 2010

Soft Spot – Part 2

I doubt I could get all the water out of the core. But it seemed to be doing pretty good, so I started phase 2 – get some epoxy back in.

Despite my best efforts to avoid it, I felt it best to add more holes to the top of the deck. Casey had recommended the holes be no more than 5″ apart. The directions on epoxy I picked up at West Marine suggested 1″.

Core repair supplies

New holes drilled, I again put in some acetone to see which ones allowed it to soak through and which just puddled on top. I figured the latter wouldn’t do me much good. I got the 3M epoxy, the stuff that would harden more quickly, and patched those holes on top. I then checked underneath and patched another hole I’d just created that went through. Of course, I still missed one of the holes underneath and ended up pouring alot of the deck epoxy down into the cabin and onto the carpet on the inside wall. Luckily, the acetone cleaned it up quite well.

Other oops I did was not wear gloves right away. I ended up with alot of goo on my hands.

The directions stated to not mix more than the amount of epoxy that you could use in 15 minutes. So I mixed about a cup and a half (2:1) in a disposable plastic container. I then grabbed one of the syringes I’d also picked up at West Marine and headed topside.

I started on the lower end/aft on the deck. I found that trying to pull the plunger to get the goo in didn’t work very well, so I poured it in. Since the plastic container was quite bendable, and the syringe reservoir was fairly wide (about 1/2″?), that didn’t prove to be too much of a problem.

Repairing the deck

Some of the holes took it readily – too readily – which is how I found the one hole underneath I hadn’t plugged. But others still took it pretty easily. For others, I had to squirt a little bit, let it soak in, and add more. I squirted about even amounts in the slower holes, more in the fast ones, putting about half the goo into the holes on the after side of the repair. I then refilled the container and did the top half.

I did use the boat hooks to press the lower side up, since that side was more pliable than the deck. The directions do suggest putting weight on the deck to press it down. But it took a few days until I figured out that I could probably take the weights off the barbell at home to use for that purpose. Until then, I couldn’t think of anything to use that would withstand the weather and not slip off.

The whole thing made about 4 cups of goo. I squirted it all in, still not sure if that was enough. I’m guessing that, if I ever sell the boat, or whenever I get the rigging replaced, this repair will need to be redone. Hopefully not. But we’ll see.

The directions say that it will set in a few days at 72 degrees. Since it’s winter, and our highs are in the 40’s, and because I”m out of town now, the next stage – putting epoxy in the holes I created and around the fitting hole – will have to wait a couple of weeks anyway.