Sailboat renovation

Plastic crack with rotten wood

September 2018

While we worked with the fiberglass we took the time to open up a plastic crack on the wall of the cockpit. The crack didn’t look bad at first sight, but we thought it would be better to open it. Otherwise it could have been something we would regret later. And it was a good thing that we opened it up, because inside the plastic crack there were a lot of wet and rotten wood.

A picture of the crack before we started to open it. At first sight we didn’t think it would be specially bad, but then we opened it up…
… there were a lot of wet and rotten wood inside the plastic crack..

plastic crack with wet and rotten wood inside

A closer look at the wet wood inside the plastic crack.
We removed the rotten wood by hand and opened the crack even more by grounding it.
A good thing we noticed when opening the crack was that at some point in the history of the boat, the wall of the cockpit had been increased with about a decimeter. The plastic crack with the rotten wood was located in the new part. This meant that the rotten wood hadn’t affected the lower parts of the cockpit wall.
We let the crack be opened for a while to let it dry, with some help from our cabin heater to speed the process up.
We used PU foam to fill the crack up, when it was dry enough.
Then it was time for polyester and fiberglass to seal it up and make the wall strong again.
We also added some fiberglass on top of the wall, as an extra reinforcement.

One thing we learned from this is that it is always better to do the extra work if there is something that we feel unsure about. Otherwise it would only cause worries later on, or in worst case, something could break when we want it the least. In the middle of an ocean, for example…

If you want to read more about all the other work we do with  renovating our sailboat, you can read more about it under Renovation.

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