This spring, I removed relocated, and resealed a lot of the deck hardware using butyl rubber. While I had the hardware off, I also took the opportunity to seal up the balsa core around each hole. I was surprised that most of the holes in the deck weren’t sealed with epoxy–even the ones that were drilled at the factory. Luckily, I didn’t find too many spots where the core was damp.
I removed this anchor roller that was mounted at an odd angle and interfered with the mooring lines on the port side. I also replaced the aluminum 8-inch cleat with a 10-inch stainless cleat.
I used an allen wrench mounted on a drill to remove the balsa core around the holes, then filled them with MAS Epoxy’s “Gluzilla”
This two-part thickened epoxy in a tube fits in a standard caulking gun. It comes with nozzles that mix the epoxy as you need it, so you can just cap the tube and put a new mixing tip on it when you want to use it again. It’s more expensive than standard epoxy, but the convenience and cleanliness are well worth the extra cost.
Here’s the bit I read about after I bent my Allen wrench multiple times. It’s a Dremel #115, and it works great for removing balsa core and plywood from around mounting holes. It is much easier to use than the Allen wrench in a drill, especially if there are any hard spots that can catch and bend the wrench as it spins. I used it when I replaced the deck cleat, as that has a plywood core for extra strength., and I’ll probably use it for the rest of the deck holes.
The new deck cleat in front of the old aluminum cleat. Plenty of room for the mooring pendant to pass through the center.
I was able to somewhat reuse the aft holes, but had to drill new forward holes. Here they are ready to be filled with epoxy, then re-drilled.
Someone installed this solar vent without sealing any of the balsa core. Luckily, almost all of the edges were dry. I removed the core past the mounting screws so that they would be seated in epoxy, too. I also filled those VHF cable holes (not sure why there were two).
Lifeline stanchion bases ready to be reinstalled in to re-drilled, epoxy sealed holes.
I also replaced the water-soaked core in the cockpit hatch. I removed the hatch and took it home to work on it.
I cut the fiberglass off the bottom of this hatch using a Ryobi multi-tool. I then scraped all the soaked core out and ground the edges of the fiberglass to prepare it for the repair.
Here’s the finished fiberglass hatch cover. I used CoreMat to replace the balsa core (mostly because I already had it and options were limited during quarantine–but it is lighter and it won’t rot). It does soak up an incredible amount of resin, though.