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Balsa core rot in cabin roof at companionway…suggestions?


bkitchens
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I am considering purchase of a 700 series J22 which looks solid but has 2 issues.  

Issue 1 - The top of the cabin roof between the jib tracks for approximately 3 ft x 3 feet is showing rot and softness on the inside of the cabin. I suspect the source of the water intrusion is the tracks of the sliding companionway panel. The deck/exterior shows no cracks around fittings and the deck seems solid (inside and out) around the mast step.  I expect repair would require removing the hardware, peeling away the skin from the roof of the companionway, re-coring, re-glassing and re-installing hardware.

The Question….Anyone have experience with this repair?  Cost estimates to have it done professionally?  Who (in the mid-Atlantic area) would you recommend to do the work?  I’ve done my share of amateur glass repair…and it’s generally not very pretty.

The other issue is the presence of antifouling on the bottom…but I’ll save that for another entry.

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The cabin-top (over the slider for the companionway) is an independent piece.  It can be unscrewed from the boat, and worked on independently.  Mine suffered from water intrusion from the various cleats and turning blocks on the cabin top.  Once off, you can remove the slider rails and cover if you wish.  My tracks were brittle, so I replaced them when I rebuilt the cabin top.  Note:  You need to keep an eye on any build up on the cabin top from the repairs.  Otherwise the hardware from the cleats, etc. will interfere with the slider.  

Ken

USA-45

 

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Thanks for the link and comments.  The core replacement video is definitely helpful in gauging the effort…with the understanding that I’m looking a a much bigger area.

Question regarding the Administrator comment about the cabin top.  You indicate that you replaced the “tracks” which were brittle.  Are the tracks independent pieces or are they molded FG supported by wood or other structure?  

I’ll attach a video of the interior…if I can get it uploaded.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/18/2021 at 12:03 PM, bkitchens said:

Thanks for the link and comments.  The core replacement video is definitely helpful in gauging the effort…with the understanding that I’m looking a a much bigger area.

Question regarding the Administrator comment about the cabin top.  You indicate that you replaced the “tracks” which were brittle.  Are the tracks independent pieces or are they molded FG supported by wood or other structure?  

I’ll attach a video of the interior…if I can get it uploaded.

Here's the plastic track, it's a pretty easy job to replace. I'd call Waterline first to make sure it's in stock. https://waterlinestore.com/new-products/hatch-slide-extrusion-pvc 

The cabin top that covers the slider and where some of the cleats for halyards are often attached can be easily removed. If it's in the deck, it's a bigger undertaking but well worth it.

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  • 1 month later...

In your video where you tap around under the cabin top I don't think you are hearing a dead core. I think you're hearing the hallow space between the cabin top cover and the actual deck. You may have some water intrusion around the screws that are holding the cabin top cover down, but unless the cabin top is actually starting to pull away from the deck or you need to change the layout of the cabin top I'd say just leave it since it's not really structural to the boat. Don't go cutting away a bunch of material. A good fix/start if you want would be to remove the cabin top, drill out all the fastening holes, dig out any core although you likely won't reach any since there is a lot of glass there and hallow space, leave the section of the boat you suspect water damage under a heat lamp for a few days, fill holes with structural resin epoxy or poly will do, refasten the cabin top cover back down with new screws and either sika flex 291 or a lot of 4200. Be careful to maintain the original shape or the companion way cover could end up being difficult to slide open.

To answer you're bottom job question...it aint cheap or easy to change from antifouling to a racing bottom. I had hull 16 with old ablative paint that was dried and caked on so bad we couldn't reasonably strip it. We soda blasted it with glass down through the ablative and the awl grip paints that was over the original gel coat. That was about 2k. This was done from the toe rails down to the keel and centerline for the entire length of the boat. Then the process followed:

- Heat lamp any spots that may have experienced osmosis through the paint over the years. This is the closest you will ever be to the original lament and core throughout the entire hull

- roll on a thick layer of epoxy barrier to the entire hull - recommend interlux interprotect paint for this

- Skim the entire hull with fairing compound - recommend something cheap such as total boat's fairing product, you don't need the awl grip fairing compound. Don't worry the next layer of interprotect will stick, for that matter it would stick to your dusty floor.

- Fair the skimming down to create the hull shape. Areas of importance on the hull are right in front and around where the keel meets the hull. All J boats are notorious for having a 'low' section there. Second area of importance is the center seem running from the trailing edge of the keel to the trailing edge of the hull

- Repeat applying faring compound and sanding until the boat is fair enough to your liking 

- Spray on layers of interprotect and sand as necessary the entire hull

- Now you are ready for 545 primer from a little bit above waterline and down the hull - spray and sand as needed

- You could spray the whole boat with the 545 primer and leave it gray, but i went the extra step top have white topsides

- Spray topside paint - recommend awl craft acrylic paint. It turns into a hard outer shell that is easy to spot fix as you ding her up. Rubbings racing after all...even though the dock will probably be the first dinger.

- Spray as many layers of VC Offshore paint on as you can - this wears away over a few seasons and depending on your location and how much you race she'll have to be cleaned every week if left in the water over the summer

- Burnish the VC Offshore paint with 200 wet and then 600 wet 

- You will see your reflection in the black vc offshore if done well

Using a pro shop total estimated cost is 8-12k depending on how you get the boat stripped down and how far you go into the details of fairing the hull and materials used. It's about a 100-120 hour job with normal shop rates of 70/hr or so.

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  • 5 months later...

Mike,

Thanks for the great comments.  I apologize for the (really) late reply...got tied up with all the mid-winter regattas on my other boats and then the season started.  Regarding the comments about the sound of the "soft" spots, I don't think the video did a good job with the sound.  The inner skin is definitely detached and the black staining appears to indicate rot.  I'm not sure how much the structure would be impacting and the deck appears solid.  Your recommendation of drilling the holes wide and filling may be a suitable solution.  Your comments on the cost to refurbish the bottom are pretty sobering. 

Bill

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