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Repairing a rotten cockpit sole
Back in 2008 I posted a question on the Forum regarding the repair of a rotten cockpit sole, and subsequently effected the repairs. Since they appear to have been effective (survived 40+knot winds and rough waters of Georgia Strait), I thought I'd record what I did in case others might find it useful.
Passtime is a Mark 4, with an Edson wheel steering.
Symptoms: dark brown water in the bilge.
On investigation, identified the means of entry was through the rudder-post fitting in the cockpit sole, supporting the head of the rudder post. When the wheel steering was installed, a hole had been cut through the cockpit sole, but not sealed in any way, so the water had access to the plywood core. Essentially, the cockpit sole in the back two-thirds of the cockpit consists of the upper glass deck, about 1-11/-32-inch plywood core, and the bottom glass skin; the two glass skins are each about 15/32-inch . The rudder post head fitting is secured in place by four bolts.
I did not want to take off the top glass skin because I didn't feel I had the skills to replace it and make a good job. I also wanted to do the repairs in the water (boats are left in the water year-round on the wet coast -Vancouver, BC, area - and storage on the hard expensive).
1. Covered the cockpit with a tarp to keep out the rain – started the process in March 2008.
2. Removed all the wheel steering stuff in the cockpit, including the pedestal, which is bolted to the deck by four bolts.
3. Before removing the rudderhead fitting, I measured the distance between the bottom of the quadrant and the top of the tube in the hull (roughly 1½"); cut an equal length of 1¼" black ABS pipe which was cut in half lengthwise and fitted it into the space, then secured in place around the rudder post with a hose clamp. This was to prevent the rudder from dropping down when the rudder head fitting was removed.