Water trapped in cabin top core???

7 years 3 months ago #2509 by George Myers
My Brewer 12.8 had 2 leaks in cabin top when I got it. One was the tube holding the centerboard rope just aft of mast. The teak base on the turning block fitting on deck had split and deteriorated and the previous owner just kept tightening the bolts holding it and crushed the core making it leak -probably for a long time knowing him. I fixed all this but do not know how much water has entered . The other leak was the deck mounted triple stacked blocks on a Merriman fitting designed to leak -this holds the reefing lines. I fixed the block mount but water has been migrating down slope and coming out at the end of the cabin top Track end cap and bolts. At this fitting the Cabin top thickness of the core material was over 1 inch and contained both balsa and foam! So I'm wondering just how much water remains in the cabin top core area???? There definitely has been some flowing in there! Good thing the top layer is very strong. My idea is to drill several drain holes along the cabin sides right down at deck level in the vertical sides of the cabin top and see what happens then. Say 1/4 inch holes that I could then plug with caulked ss screws. Anybody do this ? COMMENTS PLEASE?? Thanks.

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7 years 3 months ago #2511 by Steven Lott
You might want to think finding a yard with a hull moisture meter. (They're really expensive, you don't want to buy one.)

Tapping holes at the low point makes sense. Water can drain out for a surprisingly long time. We had water in the aft cabin side wall (between the portlights.) I drilled a matrix of small holes. (maybe 3/16", ΒΌ" seems too large... But I'm not on the boat right now.) I taped a plastic cover over the matrix and let it weep for months. I was sure there was no more water when there was no condensation inside the plastic. (I think I saw this in an article in "This Old Boat")

I refilled the matrix with West 610 injected into each hole. It's a little thick. Something slightly thinner might have filled more of the voids.

The West System "Fiberglass Boat Repair & Maintenance" (002-550) section 5 has the recommended way to inject epoxy through the matrix of holes to refill the areas that have been rotted away.


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