glass deck repair

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by fishinAK, Dec 9, 2010.

  1. fishinAK
    Joined: Dec 2010
    Posts: 5
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    Location: AK

    fishinAK Junior Member

    Hello all. first thanks for all the help this forum has already provided!

    Now...I own a 1989 24 Olympic. It a nice boat but I need a new deck. It is not in horrible shape yet. but I want to fix it b4 it get there. There is a crack thru the decking directly about the starboard stringer. The deck is ever so slightly soft around it but not too bad yet...when you poke a knife inthe crack the striner is still solid. The deck is also sagging between the 2 stringers (above the gas tank).

    So I need to fix the deck and while it is up may as well replace the alum gas tank.

    So i took it to the 1 of the only 2 fiberglass guys in town. His solution was to rip up the middle section of deck (warped section between the stringers) install new gas tank, lay plywood back down and then glass over the new wood and fair into the two side pieces. All for $4k...ouch

    My question to you guys is...Is this the correct way to do it? Do you still use plywood? I thought there maybe somekind of composite to use for the deck that works better. Is it same to assume the other 2/3 of the deck (the pieces on outside of the stringers) are ok

    I hope this is clear enough. Please thanks for any and all advice or opinions!
     
  2. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    Location: maine

    alan white Senior Member

    For a repair such as this, more information is needed. Pictures would help and also more detail. No two decks are going to be identical in construction. You say there are stringers supporting the deck. Bow or stern? Is the original deck plywood?
    To answer about the composite you mentioned (plywood WITH any other material is also called a composite! I'm sure you meant foam or a similar inorganic material.)
    Plywood, PROPERLY installed, is probably going to be the best course for you personally, and other synthetic materials are out there but maybe best left to pros who can find it and work with it.
    Plywood would be my choice because it requires no interior glassing and none externally except at joints. It has its own strength and its easily found (AB grade fir plywood can be found more easily than marine plywood, and it's cheaper. If well sealed with epoxy inside and out, it will be strong and long lasting. I like 3/8" for decking but many here will insist 1/4" is fine. Depends on plywood quality much more with the thinner stuff. I'd recommend 1/4" plywood only if it's stamped marine grade. With 3/8" you could get away with quality construction fir plywood in the grade mentioned. You may have to order it. Hopefully you can find some nearby in stock.
     
  3. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    About where are you?
     
  4. fishinAK
    Joined: Dec 2010
    Posts: 5
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    Location: AK

    fishinAK Junior Member

    Thanks for the reply. I am in Juneau.

    I guess plywood is still ok. For some reason I just thought that most glass boats now are using that stuff like "nida-core". the current deck is plywood with glass over the top.

    My biggest fear is that there will still be low spots that will still hold standing h2o, coming in from scuppers or that we will discover rot in the stringers. But I have heard that the stringers on olympics are encased in fiberglass. So I would think they would be fine.

    I guess I just wanted reassurance that plywood is still a good base. for the glass.
     
  5. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    Location: maine

    alan white Senior Member

    "Encased in fiberglass" is almost a guarantee that the stringers have some rot. The polyester resin originally used will have allowed water ingress over time. They make perfect rot chambers.
     
  6. LMB
    Joined: Nov 2008
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    Location: North Carolina

    LMB Junior Member

    If you want an alternative to plywood, look at Penske or Coosa panels. Its high density and handles much like plywood. It's expensive though and exterior grade plywood is the most cost effective solution. Nothing wrong with polyester resin when properly used. The only way to prevent future rot is good workmanship and boat maintenace. The wood has to stay dry.

    In a boat that age that already has some rot will likely have more rot if you look for it. If you are not seeing any signs of structural failure ( excessive stress cracks in the bottom or transom) you may get away with just a new deck or section of deck replaced.
     
  7. Commuter Boats
    Joined: Oct 2006
    Posts: 177
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    Location: Southeast Alaska

    Commuter Boats Commuter Boats

    It's been my experience that once some of the plywood has gone soft it all needs to be replaced ( the complete deck). Our freeze thaw cycles are really destructive to wet plywood but would agree that a properly installed plywood deck is the correct route for you to go. In light of the fact that your boat has so little reserve buoyancy ( the scuppers are below the waterline with two people at the transom) you might consider raising the deck a couple inches while you're there...
     
    1 person likes this.

  8. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    I'm sorry you're down in Juneau - It just seemed that four grand was a lot and I wanted to look at it. Without seeing the project, far be it from me to second guess what he's doing. I'd do it in plywood, from what you describe.
     
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