Sole ( deck ) and stringers replacement HELP

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Bermack, Jun 7, 2007.

  1. Bermack
    Joined: Jun 2007
    Posts: 3
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    Location: Houston

    Bermack New Member

    I just got a 20' open bow Charger, with I/O engine. As I was cleaning it up (was previously sitting outside) I noticed soft decking under the captains chair as well as one other place on the same side of the boat. I removed the carpet to find a layer of fiberglass (now I understand that is the way boats are made) and so I started cutting and removed the layer of fiberglass on the starboard side of the boat all the way back to the motor. The wood was like powder. I literally just took my hands and was able to get 90% of the wood out. the remaining 10% I used a paint scraper.

    I did a ton of reading on this forum yesterday and that is when I realized that the deck was not sitting on fibergass (part of the hull) , but rather a layer of fiberglass over wooden 2 x 4's. So guess what else was rotten... (the 2 x 4's)My question is about the structural element the 2 x 4's provide. Are these there simply to support the deck, or are they an integrated stuctural component of the hull?

    This boat is my first powerboat and I have been doing minor boatwork for years with my father. This engine is perfect, but now I am at a cross roads, do I spend a ton of time and money to remove the foam, and rotten stringers in the entire boat and replace, or do I go cheap, remake the decking, and if I end up keeping the boat redo it in a few years?

    Of course doing it right the first time is the way to go, but there is the money thing as well. :?:

    I really enjoyed reading the posts yesterday and your help is greatly appreciated.
  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    You email is one the way . . .
  3. Bermack
    Joined: Jun 2007
    Posts: 3
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Houston

    Bermack New Member

    Sole and stringer replacement


    Thanks for the reply. For those of you who are looking for similar advise here is the information from PAR...

    Yes, the stringers are structural elements in the boat. They add
    localized stiffness to the bottom and tie the sole (decking) to the
    hull shell sides, which transmits "racking" and slamming loads to the
    hull. It's necessary to spread these stresses or localized fractures
    in the laminate will occur, which isn't good.

    In that era boat, the foam will be an open cell variety, which,
    unfortunately absorbs moisture, fuel and any other liquids that get on
    it. This adds considerable weight and usually speeds up rotting issues
    in the wooden components.

    Current production practices, by the major manufactures have addressed
    much of these problems. Closed cell foam, vinylester resin instead of
    polyester, better wet out of wooden structural members, etc. all
    result in a better and longer lived boat.

    So, yep, you have to replace the wooden elements, I'd recommend
    Douglas fur or Southern Yellow Pine for the dimensional lumber (1 by's
    and 2 by's) and marine grade plywood for the sole.

    Applying carpet over the sole is a great way to trap moisture under it
    and rot out the wood. Vinyl flooring is no different. The best coating
    is an applied texture (for the non-slip properties) with the paint. It
    can be renewed when necessary, removed for repairs and is the least
    costly to apply.

    Materials choices will govern how long your efforts last. Better
    materials last longer, of course.

    At the forum, there are literally hundreds of previous
    posts covering all the things you'll need to do. You've likely seen
    many of my contributions there. Weed through them as best as you can,
    there's a ton of good information available.

    What the manufactures didn't do and you can, is to be careful and
    generous with material application and quality. In other words, don't
    skimp on resin, fabric or use cheap Lowes/Depot plywood, if you'd like
    to pass this boat onto your son someday. It much like buying tires
    for your car. You can run down to the local AutoZone and pick up some
    of the cheapest tires they have and need new ones in a couple of
    years, or you can get better ones and still have them on the car when
    you sell it four years later. The choice is yours and much depends on
    what you want from the boat. If a few more seasons is all that is
    desired, then hell, slap some goo on the old girl, have fun and let
    someone else worry about doing it right. If you'd like something more
    then that, well then the project will become more involved, but you'll
    know it's done the way YOU want and that it'll hold up.

    Best of luck and get that old gal working again soon, the summer's

  4. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    Location: maine

    alan white Senior Member

    That email from PAR needs no embellishment. At least most of the job is labor you can provide. Carpet seems to be ridiculous on a boat. It traps moisture and hides problems, including poor construction techniques and sloppy fits. Not to mention it holds odors, dries slowly, and makes inspection difficult.

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