Dealing with seams after fiberglass core replacement

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by Tiger51, Jul 10, 2020.

  1. Tiger51
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    Tiger51 Junior Member

    I have a 22’ bay boat with soft floors. All fiberglass shops I’ve talked to want to cut out the entire floor and reskin. I want to cut out my top skin, recore and then reuse the original nonskid. I know this has been done by others on this forum. My question - can you tape and fair seams that are only 1-1/2” wide? That’s the width of the flat areas running between nonskid sections. It would seem to be possible if the top skin is bonded to the new core(coosa). Thanks.
     
  2. Tiger51
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    Tiger51 Junior Member

    Added a picture of soft area.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. bajansailor
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Welcome to the Forum Tiger.
    What you propose is what I would be inclined to do if I was in your shoes - although I would use epoxy to glue the top skin back down after you have taken out the rotten core in that area and installed some new core.
    I did this on our cockpit floor - mark out the panel(s) and cut it / them cleanly. A layer of 1.5" wide glass tape (if you can buy it in that width) over the joint should be ok if you are using epoxy.
     
  4. Blueknarr
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    Blueknarr Senior Member

    Tiger51
    Reusing the skin is a very tricky pia.
    The skin will rarely come off in one piece.
    The skin isn't a uniform thickness.
    The new core will have some lumps and bumps.
    The peaks and valleys of the old skin won't align with the peaks and valleys of the core.
    There will be voids between skin and core.
    Skin failure and core rot will happen soon.

    The repair joint would be closer to four inches wide.

    It's tempting but not a short cut.
     
  5. Tiger51
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    Tiger51 Junior Member

    I really like your response because it’s what I think, lol. It just looks like a good bond to the new core should take a lot of stress off the seams. Thanks for the “welcome”.
     
  6. Tiger51
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    Tiger51 Junior Member

    You raised some really good points and are probably right on all of them. I just want to keep the original nonskid deck May be a mistake I have to make!
     
  7. Blueknarr
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    Blueknarr Senior Member

    Some options to sort of keep deck.

    Remove interior and work overhead. Hope you like epoxy hair gel

    Make a mould of original deck surfacing. Squish it into the un-cured gelcoat of the repair
     
  8. Blueknarr
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    Blueknarr Senior Member

    Is the repair just the smallish (one foot square) section outlined in black or the majority of the deck?

    If it's the whole deck. I have flipped boats upside down to repair normally overhead surfaces.

    If it is a spot repair. Textured sheets that match the factory non-skid are available or make your own copy cat mold
     
  9. bajansailor
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Blue Knarr, I don't think that flipping the boat is going to make life any easier - there is no access to the cockpit sole from underneath.
    The area shown in the photo appears to be on the starboard side of the centre console(?).

    I took up the whole 'top lid' area of our cockpit sole as the plywood core underneath was rotten - I divided the sole up into sections about 2' x 2'6" and then cut the top skin with an angle grinder.
    The various sections came out easily - probably because the core was rotten - and it was then easy to clean up the aperture and the underside of the various lid sections.
    I then bedded foam down in the aperture on to polyester putty leaving about half an inch clearance around each section, which was then filled with putty.
    The different sections of the lid were then bedded down on epoxy, and it was relatively straightforward really.
     
  10. Blueknarr
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    Blueknarr Senior Member

    How did you reistablish the structural connection between the various"lids"?
     
  11. bajansailor
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    The lids were bedded down on epoxy, and then strips of tape applied over the joints.
     
  12. Blueknarr
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    Blueknarr Senior Member

    Applied over or scarfed into the joints?

    You still lost some of the original non-skid pattern. How did you restore it?
     
  13. Tiger51
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    Tiger51 Junior Member

    All good points.
     
  14. Tiger51
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    Tiger51 Junior Member

    I really appreciate the above responses. Actually a post on this forum back in 2005 got me to thinking about reusing the nonskid on a repair. His name was LC Heatherly and oddly enough down in my area near New Orleans. At any rate, I will really have to do most of the deck either by recoring or injection - the two main sections measure about 22” x 10-6”. I’m a retired builder and have come to respect the structural value of a skinned envelope so I think rebonding the original skin will work and keep the original look of the deck. But, I could be wrong!! I’ve attached the original post from Mr. Heatherly. Love to talk to him.

    Easier way for balsa core deck replacement? https://www.boatdesign.net/threads/easier-way-for-balsa-core-deck-replacement.7516/
     

  15. bajansailor
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    I didn't - it was in pretty poor condition already, so I sanded it and painted it with non skid.
     
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