December 13, 2017
Starting on the coachroof, I cut out the top skin in way of the mast step and removed the core beneath. I had to expand my initial cut towards the stern as I found the damaged core extended further from the old wiring holes than my first cut allowed.
On the starboard sidedeck, I cut out a large section of the top skin, keeping clear of the coachroof and bulwarks to allow a sufficient flange of the original decks for tying in the new laminate later. I had to extend a portion of the cut near the forward end in the inboard side to expose all of the damaged core and allow for its removal. Other than a short section at the forward extreme of the cut, where the core was still sound, most of the remaining core was badly deteriorated (no surprise given the softness of the deck before). I scraped and chiseled out all the old coring, and most of the core beneath the cut flanges as well.
On the foredeck, I’d marked two small areas that had seemed slightly suspect: one around the starboard forward stanchion, the other in way of the large hawse hole on the port side. Now, I removed a small portion of the top skin at each location, revealing mildly water-damaged core material that I removed as needed.
Finally, I removed a large section of the port sidedeck, revealing core that had rotted almost to nonexistence throughout most of the area. I removed the detritus, ensuring that there was sound core at the ends of my cutout.
Now I went around all the areas under repair, using various tools to ream out all of the remaining core bits from beneath the flanges on the edges, scraping these areas as clean as possible.
On the starboard sidedeck outboard of the coaming, I pulled away by hand a fiberglass patch that had been part of the previous repair to the stanchion base area, leaving a gaping raw hole that I’d repair anew and, one hoped, more effectively.
To tie in the eventual repairs with the existing deck laminate, I needed to prepare all the adjacent areas by grinding away the gelcoat and creating a tapered edge over which the new top skin would later be installed, and I spent the remainder of the day on this dirty chore. At the same time, I ground out a few cracked or otherwise cosmetically-damaged areas that would require some fill work (there’d be more of this to come), along with the test holes I’d drilled in a few areas on the deck.
In the cockpit, I removed a fiberglass flange around an erstwhile icebox hatch ( there was no icebox beneath), opening up a large hole in the cockpit for later repair. I’d initially thought that removing the flange would leave the inside portion of the hatch intact, but the entire assembly lifted out once I’d cut the flange at deck level.
Total time billed on this job today: 9 hours
0600 Weather Observation: Mostly cloudy, snow showers, 32°. Forecast for the day: Sun and clouds, snow showers or squalls, temperature dropping through the 20s