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Core Repair Around the Forward Companionway

Click on thumbnails to view pictures.

The area around the front companionway leaked and after removing the trim and headliner it was obvious some of the balsa core material was wet and rotting.  I cut out the fiberglass from below in this area and cleaned out all wet material.

The bright spot in the picture is where one of the screws holding the "turtle shell" came through.  I cut two pieces of 1/2 inch exterior plywood to fit the opening.  The cutout and plywood were coated with West Systems epoxy.  The plywood was fitted into place with liberal amounts of thickened epoxy and clamped into place and allowed to set.

After cleaning up the surface I coated the plywood and the fiberglass pieces that had been removed with thickened epoxy and clamped them together until set.  Using a Dremel with a sanding disk I cleaned off any rough epoxy - gravity had caused a number of drips to form.  I then finished it off with more epoxy and glass matting.

After smoothing off any drips and rough spots I reattached the headliner mounting panels.

There were two other spots that I was able to dig out the bad core material and insert an epoxy coated piece of plywood without cutting into the deck.

A drop cloth or plastic sheet is necessary to protect the floor and an effort must be made not to allow any dripping.  A fast set epoxy and a lot of smoothing over will minimize the drips.