After finding out that we do not have to re-core the side decks we were very relieved!! However we still have to fiberglass everything back together! It started snowing today which gave me enough reason to get a jump start on getting the balsa core all sealed up again so any exposed parts couldn’t soak up any humidity in the air. I made a quick call to Jamestown Distributors tech team to make sure that I could epoxy in this cold of weather and hit the road down to the farm. Jamestown suggests that 40 degrees Fahrenheit is the coldest that you should ever epoxy in. It was 50 degrees under the tarp when I got there and about 55 after running the portable heater for a while.
The whole reason we thought there was rotten core all over in the side decks is because there was a diesel fill cut out through the deck that was never sealed. When I took the fill out I noticed that all the exposed core was black and rotten. Since we took the heater out of the boat along with the small diesel tank for its fuel, this deck fill is no longer needed. The main goal today was to epoxy in some balsa core where the hole used to be, epoxy some of the mess that I made tearing the fiberglass skin off, and put the skin back down.
The process went well and we are now one step closer to a solid deck in this area 🙂
The reason the new balsa looks so light compared to the surrounding balsa is that the surrounding core has a few layers of fiberglass on top of it. The new core that you see in the middle fills the old hole and got fiber-glassed over shortly after this photo. Also note that there is a good 4 inches of “solid fiberglass” extending in from the toe rail. I am eternally indebted to Whitby Boat Works for their excellent forethought in making sure that the chain-plates, stanchions, and hull to deck joint were all core-free and solidly built. When we surveyed the boat before purchase I took the time to look at all of the hull to deck joint through bolts from the interior and I was happily surprised to see that they are all in perfect shape and completely leak free. Likewise 90% of the stanchion bases, however these did not have any backing plates which is another story all together.