Iota Refit | January 8, 2008

I turned my attention to the sidedecks, and carefully re-sounded both sides in order to determine the extent of the areas I needed to open for recoring.

The forward section on each side remained sound, but the chainplates on both sides had leaked over the years and damaged the surrounding core--a problem exacerbated on the port side by a holding tank deck plate--so after drilling some test holes to determine the general extent of the problem, I removed the top deck skin from long, narrow areas on each side.  On the starboard side, I had to extend my original cut area inboard an inch or two once I'd opened up the deck, as I found that in one area the suspect core extended in further than expected.

For these smaller areas, I planned to install new fiberglass to replace the old skin, as well as installing solid material around the deck penetrations to prevent any future leakage into the new core.  Reuse of skin panels makes the most sense in large areas.



The after ends of both sidedecks were in poor condition; sounding clearly revealed the presence of heavily damaged core beneath, beginning at the cockpit and running forward to about the step in the cabin trunk.  In these areas, I worked to remove the deck panels without damaging them, since I planned to reuse them on top of the new core later.  As before, I cut the deck open using a small circular saw and Roto-Zip tool as required.

Removing the deck panels from the sidedecks revealed wet core in very bad condition, as expected.  Once I had opened the areas, I removed all the old core from within, as well as from beneath the remaining narrow deck flanges, as required.  With the poor condition of the core and no presence of previous repairs, core removal and cleanup was straightforward and much faster than in the foredeck areas.





After a lunch break, during which the remaining moisture on the deck's inner laminates dried, I sanded the inside of all the opened areas to remove any remaining core residue from the inner skin, and to generally flatten and clean up the surfaces to accept new core.  I also sanded tapers into the edges of all the openings in preparation for reinstalling the panels or new fiberglass.  This took the remainder of the day to complete.





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