Cockpit Sole Rebuild – Part 1 Demo

Now that we’ve been working on this project for weeks, I wish I had posted mini-project updates as I went.  Since I wish I had, I’m going to split it up into pieces and backdate them to the actual dates done.  The first piece…demo. We removed all the fittings that we thought would get in the way.  This turned out to be “Removing Fittings – Part 1” because I hadn’t thought about painting the whole footwell!  Anyway, some fittings had been installed with 5200 and some with epoxy and some without any bedding whatsoever.  Above, I’m using a scraper to break the bond of 3M 5200 that kept the stainless binnacle stuck to the cockpit sole. Here’s a short 101 on re-coring.  Most decks, cockpit soles, and cabin tops are sandwich construction, meaning that there are two layers of fiberglass with some sort of core material.  Our decks and cockpit sole are (were) cored with plywood and our cabin top is cored with something called honeycomb and which I can’t find good information on.  If you know what kind of honeycomb was being used by Danboats in the early 1960’s, let me know. When the core is punctured (to install fittings, for example), water can make its way under the top layer of fiberglass.  It will eventually rot the plywood or other material, creating soft, squishy, and/or very flexy decks.  Our cockpit sole flexed terribly under our feet, feeling very soft.  And so we knew that we would have to replace the core. Best case scenario on re-coring, one cuts the top skin carefully and evenly, removes a portion of core, replaces it with the same material, and glues the top skin back into place.  That wouldn’t work for us because we were cutting the inside angle along the sides[…]

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