After cutting up the deck and removing the top layer of fiberglass all of the rotten balsa core was removed. Once the nasty core was gone the entire area was sanded heavily to get back down to fiberglass and then cleaned with acetone. This is what we were left with:
I then cut out the new balsa to the exact shape and dry fit it:
Once I was satisfied with the fit I mixed up a big batch of epoxy and wet out all of the balsa, including in between the little squares. I wet out the bottom layer of fiberglass as well and then mixed up another big batch of thickened epoxy and put it down. Once all the epoxy was in place I carefully put the new balsa down and weighted it down so that the epoxy squeezed out of the sides a little bit.
After it cured I sanded it down:
Then I regretfully turned my attention to the fiberglass skin. It was a total mess with lots of balsa still hanging on.
I used the multitool to scrape/saw all of this off:
At this point I sanded everything again and mixed up another large pot of epoxy which I used to wet everything out. I really really like wood, I think its beautiful and warm and unique. If it weren’t for the maintenance I would have lusted after a wooden boat. I always really like how the wood looks at this point.
And here you can see that I added a bunch of thickened epoxy before putting down the top layer of fiberglass:
I then weighted and screwed everything down in place and let it cure. Next up is my least favorite part: grinding the bevel 😦