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Deck Replacement

 Decks

Original deck looks good to the eye, but
is soft and unsteady around side hatches.

Decks have a hard life. They are exposed to the sun; soaked with standing water; worn by scuffing feet; carry the weight of passengers and equipment; transmit structural forces to keep the boat from deforming.

The upper fiberglass skin already removed;
stripping rotten untreated plywood from
the deck's lower fiberglass skin.

Most boat decks are made of untreated plywood between two fiberglass skins. This is very strong, and the untreated wood is protected to an extent, but many manufacturers don't give the wood enough protection to last.

Removed decking showing
pieced structure and decay.

At one time it was common for manufacturers to make the plywood layer by using small plywood squares fitted together like quiltwork.

Freshly cut pressure treated panel
being tested for fit before coating.

If water gets into this type of construction, it will follow the seams between the squares and rot a large section of deck. These days, we see many decks of this type at the end of their lives.

 Replacement

Resin being applied to the new
pressure treated deck panels.

To replace the old wood, we remove the top skin and scrape the wood away. We cut a new plywood panel from pressure treated, water-resistant plywood that exactly matches the shape of the removed panel.

Clamping original fiberglass skin to
new panel so resin will bond.

We saturate the new panel with fiberglass resin until it will absorb no more. This makes it even more water resistant.

Layers of fiberglass cloth and
resin to re-enforce seam.

We use resin to bond the new panel into the space left by the old one, and use fiberglass to strengthen and fill gaps around the edges.

Entire deck is sanded prior to gelcoating.

Then we bond the original fiberglass skin to the top of the new panel, and re-enforce the edges with fiberglass to make the surface strong.

The finished deck.

The repaired deck is sanded to smooth the seams and to remove the old gelcoat. A new layer of gelcoat is applied and given a non-skid finish if desired.

Closeup of the non-skid texture.
Non-skid tape is no longer needed.

We can make the gelcoat's surface texture either smooth or non-skid.

We can also make it any color, or even a combination of colors. The color is in the gelcoat, and not paint (unless you would like it painted).