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Author Topic: Rebedding stanchion with wet deck  (Read 454 times)

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ChrisW

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Rebedding stanchion with wet deck
« on: December 15, 2019, 03:11:16 PM »

I found that one of my stanchions was probably leaking.  This is the starboard gate stanchion with two posts that attach to the deck.  I have a '93 MKIi.  I removed it and discovered that the deck underneath was quite wet. I dug out a bunch of mushy wood material (is that balsa?) and attempted to dry out the area with heat lamps, acetone, etc.,  for about six weeks. That didn't work.  My intention was to fill the void with epoxy.

From what I've read, it's really hard to dry out a wet deck core, and that the proper fix is to just replace the deck.  But I am not going to do that now.  The deck is still in good condition. There is no delamination, and two surveyors checked out my boat and said the decks are fine.

My question is, does it make sense to fill the void in the deck with epoxy?  I understand that it may not cure well or adhere to the wood with it being wet.  But is it better than nothing?  I mean, there isn't a whole lot of thickness between where the void is and where the washers are down beneath.
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lazybone

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Re: Rebedding stanchion with wet deck
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2019, 03:22:25 PM »

Donít identify your boat here and no one will be the wiser.
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Noah

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Re: Rebedding stanchion with wet deck
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2019, 03:43:37 PM »

Somethings are not adding up for me. If the deck is still wet after six weeks of your efforts to dry it out makes me think that you have not sealed off the source(s) of water intrusion(s). Two surveyors have said your decks are ok but still wet???

 If it were my boat, I would remove all bad/rotten wood, dry out area. Then fill all voids with as much dry wood pieces as you can fit along with milled fiberglass fibers and epoxy. When reinstalling stanchion, use big aluminum backing plates.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2019, 03:45:10 PM by Noah »
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ChrisW

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Re: Rebedding stanchion with wet deck
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2019, 05:16:10 PM »

Somethings are not adding up for me. If the deck is still wet after six weeks of your efforts to dry it out makes me think that you have not sealed off the source(s) of water intrusion(s). Two surveyors have said your decks are ok but still wet???

 If it were my boat, I would remove all bad/rotten wood, dry out area. Then fill all voids with as much dry wood pieces as you can fit along with milled fiberglass fibers and epoxy. When reinstalling stanchion, use big aluminum backing plates.

So six weeks should be enough?  I have no idea.  Could be that there is another source of leak somewhere and/or I didn't seal well enough after removal of stanchion.  The surveyors didn't use moisture meters.
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ChrisW

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Re: Rebedding stanchion with wet deck
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2019, 05:19:19 PM »

Donít identify your boat here and no one will be the wiser.

I have the feeling it is going to be a whole year before I can sail again.
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Noah

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Re: Rebedding stanchion with wet deck
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2019, 05:29:36 PM »

NO. time (i.e. six weeks) is irrelevant. May solve in a couple of weeks/weekends (?)
1. Stop the leak
2. Dry it out
3. Remove bad (wet or rotten) wood
4. Fill with pieces of wood/fiberglass filler/thickened epoxy
5. Reinstall stanchion (with backing plate) using butyl tape   
« Last Edit: December 15, 2019, 05:31:41 PM by Noah »
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ChrisW

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Re: Rebedding stanchion with wet deck
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2019, 05:47:17 PM »

NO. time (i.e. six weeks) is irrelevant. May solve in a couple of weeks/weekends (?)
1. Stop the leak
2. Dry it out
3. Remove bad (wet or rotten) wood
4. Fill with pieces of wood/fiberglass filler/thickened epoxy
5. Reinstall stanchion (with backing plate) using butyl tape   

Got it.  But how dry is dry?  I'm in a very humid, wet part of the country. I would say exactly where but I've been admonished not to help id my boat by a previous poster.  Is a little dampness OK?  I suspect that there are more places where there is water intrusion.  I might need to rebed literally everything.  I've already rebedded all portlights and chainplates. I might also need to do: traveller, winches, genoa track, handrails, cleats, clutches, the rest of the stanchions, etc.  It's hard for me to know exactly what could possibly be leaking.
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KWKloeber

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Re: Rebedding stanchion with wet deck
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2019, 06:33:50 PM »

CW
You didnít say - did you use heat for 6?
Whatís your climate?
If youíve gotten out all the rot that you can get to, whatís your measurement of it still being wet?
Need more detail to say much specific.

Are you in a situation where you can vacuum bag it - thatís how to dry out core.

Epoxy cures by chemical reaction and temp - not by drying/evaporation so moisture doesnít affect it much. But yes, you wonít get much infusion into the rotted core.

I donít know how well acetone entrains moisture - who said to use that. Iíd use Rubbing alcohol.
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Jon W

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Re: Rebedding stanchion with wet deck
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2019, 06:47:02 PM »

To help with your first question- my understanding is where the deck is cored itís a plywood core not balsa. The plywood core is a critical piece of the deck/boats structural integrity.

Defining ďdryĒ can get over complicated. When fixing a leak, I verify the wood is hard, looks and feels dry. So far Iíve been fortunate and it has been. I would not fill the void with epoxy knowing the wood core is wet.

Before saying anymore, how large is the wet area, and are you getting to the wood through a bolt hole or ?
« Last Edit: December 15, 2019, 06:49:22 PM by Jon W »
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Jon W.
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scgunner

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Re: Rebedding stanchion with wet deck
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2019, 08:24:16 AM »

Lazybone,

Unless you've got something nefarious in mind I don't understand the need to conceal the identity and location of the boat.

Chris,

It's unlikely that everything on deck is going to need a rebed. Stanchions, due to their location, are notorious leakers, I've probably rebedded half a dozen on my boat. The leakers like yours(and mine) are usually mid boat, or the lowest part of the deck. The leak is probably localized to one stanchion, but I'd check the opposite side as well. You can check for other leaks below deck, there are usually telltales such as rusty bolts, drip tracks, etc..

Noah is right, find and stop the leak otherwise any mitigation is a waste of time. Once the leak is stopped then you can figure out the best repair. As far as wicking the moisture you might try starting fluid instead of acetone, it evaporates much faster and comes in a spray can making it easier to apply.
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ChrisW

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Re: Rebedding stanchion with wet deck
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2019, 04:04:03 PM »

CW
You didnít say - did you use heat for 6?
Whatís your climate?
If youíve gotten out all the rot that you can get to, whatís your measurement of it still being wet?
Need more detail to say much specific.

Are you in a situation where you can vacuum bag it - thatís how to dry out core.

Epoxy cures by chemical reaction and temp - not by drying/evaporation so moisture doesnít affect it much. But yes, you wonít get much infusion into the rotted core.

I donít know how well acetone entrains moisture - who said to use that. Iíd use Rubbing alcohol.

Not sure what heat for 6 is.  True, I didn't exactly say how wet is wet.  After about a month I'd say the wood fibers that I digged out of the through-bolt holes was somewhat damp, but not dripping wet like when I first dug it out.  Another thing is, the wood didn't really come across to me as rotten, just fiberous and wet.  I did apply a shop vac to the area, but only once.
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ChrisW

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Re: Rebedding stanchion with wet deck
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2019, 04:06:07 PM »

CW
You didnít say - did you use heat for 6?
Whatís your climate?
If youíve gotten out all the rot that you can get to, whatís your measurement of it still being wet?
Need more detail to say much specific.

Are you in a situation where you can vacuum bag it - thatís how to dry out core.

Epoxy cures by chemical reaction and temp - not by drying/evaporation so moisture doesnít affect it much. But yes, you wonít get much infusion into the rotted core.

I donít know how well acetone entrains moisture - who said to use that. Iíd use Rubbing alcohol.

Forgot to mention that I'm on the Gulf Coast.
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ChrisW

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Re: Rebedding stanchion with wet deck
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2019, 04:16:48 PM »

To help with your first question- my understanding is where the deck is cored itís a plywood core not balsa. The plywood core is a critical piece of the deck/boats structural integrity.

Defining ďdryĒ can get over complicated. When fixing a leak, I verify the wood is hard, looks and feels dry. So far Iíve been fortunate and it has been. I would not fill the void with epoxy knowing the wood core is wet.

Before saying anymore, how large is the wet area, and are you getting to the wood through a bolt hole or ?

I'm not sure how large the area is.  I've been meaning to get a moisture meter.  Nobody around here seems to have one.  The holes are bolt holes. 

There is the non-skid deck surface on top, maybe a thin layer underneath of something I don't know.  Then there is thick wood.  Below that is a layer of what I would just call wood pulp, and it's wet/damp.  It's very easy to dig out.  Below that is the final layer that sits just above where the nuts and washers attach.  That final layer is not very thick at all.
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ChrisW

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Re: Rebedding stanchion with wet deck
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2019, 04:21:59 PM »

Lazybone,

Unless you've got something nefarious in mind I don't understand the need to conceal the identity and location of the boat.

Chris,

It's unlikely that everything on deck is going to need a rebed. Stanchions, due to their location, are notorious leakers, I've probably rebedded half a dozen on my boat. The leakers like yours(and mine) are usually mid boat, or the lowest part of the deck. The leak is probably localized to one stanchion, but I'd check the opposite side as well. You can check for other leaks below deck, there are usually telltales such as rusty bolts, drip tracks, etc..

Noah is right, find and stop the leak otherwise any mitigation is a waste of time. Once the leak is stopped then you can figure out the best repair. As far as wicking the moisture you might try starting fluid instead of acetone, it evaporates much faster and comes in a spray can making it easier to apply.

Thanks to you and the posters above as well.  I recognized this one stanchion because of the drip tracks.  The same spot for the port side one is hidden so that's a good idea to remove some panelling to inspect it.
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Noah

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Re: Rebedding stanchion with wet deck
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2019, 06:08:04 PM »

A lot of writing and re-quoting going on here that (at least for me) may be confusing and/or complicating situation: Donít panic. hard to explain this stuff in a simple ďhelpfulĒ post but:
If it were my boat I would:

1. Temporarily plug the holes on deck using thickened epoxy to makes sure there is no water coming in from there. You will re-drill out later. Do not reinstall stanchion yet.

2. Drill some exploratory holes below (radiating outwards from the old bolt holes) to inspect wood shavings to see if there is any signs of moisture or rot in the core. If NONE and all is good... then move on to step 4.
If wet and/or rotten, cut away section(s) to dry-out and remove bad wood core. This cutaway/dig-out removal can be done from either above or belowóeither way has it challenges, both physical and cosmetic. It may be as simple as using a bent wire pick in a drill or require more radical cutting away with a multitool or chisel-to eliminate rotten core.
ALSO, before digging, make sure you determine if there are any other bedded deck fittings nearby that could also be causing leaks snd wetting area.

3. Once wet core is dry and any rotten or damaged wood removed, fill removed areas with pieces of plywood, milled fibers, and colloidal silica (West 406) thickened epoxy.
4. Re-drill bolt holes and reinstall stanchion with butyl tape and backing plates.

There is lots of info published to learn more about this process, both on our site and elsewhere on the web. It is not rocket science. Check out Compass Marine How to website. It talks a bit about ĒpottingĒ/filling and re-drilling holes in the deck and using butyl tape. There are also many books out there. Good luck. Enjoy the journey!
PS- moisture meters can be hard to use and inaccurate and good ones are expensive too. I would use the exploratory drill method over a moisture meter in this case. But just my opinion.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2019, 06:12:44 PM by Noah »
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1990 hull #1014, San Diego, CA,  Fin Keel,
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