April 7, 2020
The mast beam and filler required some sanding first thing, to remove any excess epoxy and otherwise prepare the surface for new work.
After cleaning up, I made a basic paper pattern of the repair, and cut a single layer of 10 oz. cloth to fit the inner skin and cover and tie in the mast beam and new work below. To ensure that the additional fiberglass and the new core didn’t end up too high, I test-fit a piece of the 3/8″ core in several places to judge its height against the existing edges; the height looked good, so I could proceed with my plans.
I cut new core to fit the areas to each side of the mast step and test-fit and fine-tuned the pieces in place. The fiberglass mast step was intentionally higher since it would ultimately become part of the original raised step platform. To prepare for the work ahead, I masked off and covered with plastic the adjacent deck and cabin trunk areas, and the forward hatch. I’d looked into the possibility, early in the project, of removing the forward hatch to keep it out of harm’s way, but decided the risk of damaging the hatch during removal was too high, so decided to leave it be.
After a final round of cleanup and prep, I skim-coated the new mast beam work with an additional layer of thickened epoxy, to make up any low spots and generally smooth the area. At the same time, I filled the reamed-out edges around the perimeter of the deck with thickened, strengthened epoxy, and wet out the entire inner skin to prepare for the inner layer of fiberglass.
I took a break to work on other things while I let that new epoxy work start to tack up slightly before returning to install and wet-out the new fiberglass layer over the entire area (within the existing deck edges). I considered whether to try and install the new core once the fiberglass had started to tack up, but thought this would have ended up too late in the day and would have rushed things, so I decided to let the new work cure overnight before proceeding.
Total time billed on this job today: 4.75 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 32°, mostly clear. Forecast for the day: Mostly sunny, 53°