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Side deck - top wood-ply cracks - best repair?

Postby Peter Hill on Thu Nov 03, 2016 3:31 pm

I have some cracks (more than "scratches") opening up in the top layer ply of my plywood side decks. The wood grain of these top ply layers runs fore-and-aft, so it looks like residual stress cracking. Boat is otherwise in good condition, especially for a 10 year old boat.

I'm thinking of using a thin fibre-glass cloth mesh and polyester resin (FRP) sheathing to restore the deck strength and prevent further deterioration. Obviously I want to minimise weight increase and and to retain the good appearance of the varnished wooden decks. Any helpful advice here would be much appreciated.

Regards, Peter Hill, BYS
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Re: Side deck - top wood-ply cracks - best repair?

Postby harold on Tue Nov 08, 2016 10:13 am

Hi Peter
This is a common problem particularly for heavier guys. It usually occurs where we sit on the side deck so is probably the result of regular flexing. I have fixed our club boat very successfully using the method you propose. Its important to make sure you get all the varnish or paint off as resin does not like paint. it produces a slightly roughed surface which is very nice to prevent you sliding around the boat but not so attractive as a nice varnish finish.

Harold Medd
SSAA National Measurer
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Re: Side deck - top wood-ply cracks - best repair?

Postby Rumblefish on Tue Nov 08, 2016 2:49 pm

I would suggest using epoxy not polyester resin as it will bond to the ply much better.

And look around for some 135gsm cloth
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Re: Side deck - top wood-ply cracks - best repair?

Postby Peter Hill on Tue Nov 08, 2016 5:41 pm

Rumblefish wrote:I would suggest using epoxy not polyester resin as it will bond to the ply much better.

And look around for some 135gsm cloth


Thanks, Rumblefish and Harold for your prompt helpful replies.

To Rumblefish: I note your advice to use epoxy instead of polyester resin. My understanding of 2-pot epoxy resin is that it is rather prone to solar UV degradation, whereas polyester is much less so prone. Are there commercial formulations of epoxy resins that have enough UV resistance?

Thanks & regards, Peter Hill
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Re: Side deck - top wood-ply cracks - best repair?

Postby Rumblefish on Thu Nov 10, 2016 8:28 pm

yes epoxy can be prone to yellowing and some degredadatio in UV but that's with substantial exposure, like 12 months solid. Would take most people ten years of sailing to have the equivalent exposure.
Plus if you varnish over it then the varnish prob doubles the epoxies UV exposure time
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