1995 Sailfish 176 Deck Replacement

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by 95Sailfish176, Feb 26, 2020.

  1. 95Sailfish176
    Joined: Feb 2020
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    95Sailfish176 Junior Member

    Ok, so I have a 95 Sailfish 176. Deck is rotten. On this boat the deck is actually integral to the cap as far as I can tell. It’s all one piece. Has anyone ever replaced a deck in a boat like this? I’m hoping it can be done without removing the whole cap. My plan is to cut around the edges about 2.5” from the sides and remove everything and go from there. Probably replace all the foam, possibly tank, check out stringers, etc. Pretty sure I glass the underside of the new deck pieces, then topsides up onto the liner/cap after grinding the gel coat off a bit. Not sure why but I’m worried about how to blend the glass I lay up onto the liner so that there’s not a line of some sort. Guess that’s what fairing compounds are for. This far I’ve only cut my teeth on repairing some glass and all the cracks and chips on the console. It’s smooth as butter now and primed with 2 part poly. I plan to paint the whole boat when complete. I’ve had other boats in the past but never a project like this. It was pretty cheap and came with a good Yamaha f115 so I figured why not? Give me some encouragement, I need it!
     

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  2. kapnD
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    kapnD Senior Member

    Might be a good idea to cut more like 6” in and leave a 2” or so gutter around the edges.
    Then incorporate enough crown in the new deck to shed water to the gutters, and out the scuppers.
    This could put the glass joint at the inside corner, rather than up the wall, cleaner looking and easier to hide.
    Many rotten decks are victim to sagging, which promotes the rot problem.
    Apparently manufacturers don’t see this, As flat decks are the norm.
     
  3. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Boats where the internal coaming you can brace your knee or thigh against, is further out than the internal "wall" you kick you toes on, should be outlawed, they are a horror. If I was going to cut the internals out, I would want that corrected, as part of the plan.
     
  4. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    It will be less work to remove the cap. Also, if the floor is rotted, the stringers are probably too. Might as well do the complete job.
     
  5. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Maybe that boat relies on a moulded-in non skid, certainly it would be good to retain that.
     
  6. 95Sailfish176
    Joined: Feb 2020
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    95Sailfish176 Junior Member

    Thanks for the replies. Got some work done last night. Pulled the top skin off in 2 pieces. A mess of wet and rotten plywood squares is what I found. Started cleaning it up thinking I could save most of the bottom skin and only remove a portion but I think it all has to come out tonight to dig deeper into the hull and check more things out as suggested.
     

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  7. 95Sailfish176
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    95Sailfish176 Junior Member

    100% agree with you. But this is just a little boat for short runs in inland waters, mostly freshwater rivers. Mostly for relic hunting water trips with occasional sound or bay fishing thrown in. I’ll likely fab up add some coaming pads down the road to help make up the difference. Not gonna be carving up this hull any more more than I have to for my purposes.
     
  8. 95Sailfish176
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    95Sailfish176 Junior Member

    Appreciate the good advice but with limited space I’ll have to find another way to get this done. I’m hopeful that because the deck and cap were molded as one piece the water intrusion below deck will have been mitigated over time to some extent but we’ll see. The water got in from bozos drilling multiple holes for a ttop and different seats over time. But at least it was all glassed together as one piece. I know it’s wishful thinking on my part but I’m hoping I’ll be ok underneath. Will know more soon. Thanks again.
     
  9. 95Sailfish176
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    95Sailfish176 Junior Member

    Little more work done. Drilled into a bunch of stringer sections. Some spots dry, some spots wet, some spots real wet. Gonna pull some foam out next and keep checking them. Definitely very far from breaking up on me. There’s a couple 2 ft long gelcoat cracks on port side so I think I’ll remove the foam there down to the hull and check there next. No other stress cracks on the hull that I can see. Drilled down into the transom bolt holes and it’s dry as a whistle there. Many older but sealed screws in the transom I’ll pull later at some point.
     

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  10. 95Sailfish176
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    95Sailfish176 Junior Member

    Dumb question- looking through the hull compartments and cutting out the foam I’m finding that anywhere from a quarter to an inch or two of the deepest areas have absorbed water. The vast majority is still dry. Is that a positive or a negative? I think once I get all the foam out I’ll take some bigger core samples of the stringers. Should I use a hole saw? How big?
     
  11. kapnD
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    kapnD Senior Member

    Big enough to get a real snapshot of the stringer, I’d start with something like 2”.
    Don’t go clear through, just one side of the glass and the core to make repairing the divot easier, if you need to.
    Take the arbor bit out once the holsaw is well started.
    I’ve explored stringers with a Long 1/4” bit, drilling from the top down, just be careful not to drill into the bottom laminate! (Mark the bit with tape at appropriate depth where you’re drilling)
    If the laminate over the stringers/bulkheads is heavy, you may be ok even with rotten wood.
     
  12. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    That is a pertinent observation. If it is just a case of minimal tabbing or encapsulation, then the timber is doing the lion's share of the structural "work", but if the encapsulation is substantial, then the rot may not be the end of the world.
     
  13. 95Sailfish176
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    95Sailfish176 Junior Member

    Thanks for the replies and advice!
     
  14. 95Sailfish176
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    95Sailfish176 Junior Member

    Well I really screwed up. While I took a pretty good look over this project before buying it knowing it needed the deck replaced at a minimum I overlooked something so glaringly obvious that I’m truly embarrassed and ashamed! I got to cleaning out the bilge a bit and noticed that some ***** decided to cut squares out of the rear stringers where they meet the hull in order to route the bait well and bilge pump hoses through. Then at least they smeared plenty of 5200 against the transom. WTF?!?! The wood is exposed. It’s still firm but needless to say it’s pretty wet. I guess cutting out a section of these stringers and replacing is what’s required. I don’t know who’s the bigger *****, me or him. I was getting ready to order a new tank and start fabricating the deck. Man this sucks. I got about $3K left in my budget and I’m half tempted to give this project away and find a decent used hull to put on this trailer and slap the f115 it came with on there. The other part of me says I can do this. Wow, very frustrating.
     

  15. 95Sailfish176
    Joined: Feb 2020
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    Location: Virginia

    95Sailfish176 Junior Member

    Pics
     

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