Monday, November 17, 2014

The Nocturne: Re-Coring the Deck

Adam completed one of the most difficult projects on our Cape Dory Typhoon re-do. He re-cored the back deck. Here, you see him sanding some of the gunk off the back deck, after removing all the wood and  hardware.
Then he tapped the entire deck -- the white surface of the boat top -- listening for any variations of pitch as he tapped a hammer lightly across it. I came out and did it for him a little, to help, because he is tone-deaf and can't hear pitch fluctuations very well. When the pitch goes low (instead of "tap-tap-tap" is goes "boom-boom-boom"), then the decking is bad, and it must be replaced.
The deck is two pieces of fiberglass with plywood in between. Sometimes water gets in to the plywood and the damp wood rots. The fiberglass is fine; you can reuse it. But you have to put new wood into the middle of the "sandwich."
In the photo above, Adam has cut out the damaged section of decking. It's the part where lots of hardware was attached, so of course that's where water might get in.
Below, you can see the wet plywood he scraped off that fiberglass. This is a real safety issue; this section of decking is under great strain when sailing. The mainsail is attached here, and the force of the wind is always pulling against the mainsail hardware that attached right here, to this fiberglass, and this wood.
We had other good, dry wood lying around, leftover from an old dinghy someone gave us. Adam cut a square from it.
He bonded the wood to the old fiberglass with epoxy. Then he bonded it into its old place on the deck.
It's good and hard now. Adam needs to buy a grinder attachment for his drill. Then he will be able to grind away all the rough epoxy there, smoothing the deck surface, and he'll paint it pretty as we finish the boat project. He was rightly proud of himself when completing this, a job many sailors would hire out to somebody else. There's one other section of deck that needs this repair, around the mast opening.
She's not looking too pretty right now, but we are on the right road! These decking issues we were not aware of, when we decided to pull the boat, but we're so glad now that we did, for safety reasons.


  1. Adam is wonderfully handy; looks like the job is going very well.

  2. Looks like he's doing a fine job but oh that old cork did look yucky.


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