s/y Nine of Cups
Deck work
New Zealand Summer 2010
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We opted to do our work at Ashby's
Boatyard work dock. We were
impressed with the level of craftsmanship
here in Opua. We hired professionals to
do most of the work, but David worked
as an apprentice to learn and document
the process.
We removed Cups'
teak decks in Ecuador
5 years ago because of
on-going problems
with leaks. At that
time, the deck was
repaired, faired and
painted professionally
and we thought we
were done with deck
issues. Not so!  In
Opua, we had several
fiberglass experts
evaluate the problems
we were seeing and
delamination was
apparent.  We agreed
repairs were necessary.
Above, the "before" pictures. Left, you can see where the deck was
cracking and oozing. Once the top layer of the deck was cut out, it was
apparent the balsa core needed replacing. Notice the white "dots". These
were epoxy fillers inserted by the work crew in Ecuador.
After a workable area of the deck was
decided upon, the top layer of the deck in that
area was cut out, removed and faired
Now the grunt work began. The old core was
removed used chisels, grinders and sanders. It was
important to get all the core out and a smooth
surface on the lower layer of the laminate.
The grinding process was tedious because it
was important to undercut and get all the core
out from beneath the adjoining surfaces.
Using the removed top layer of deck as a template,
David fabricated an oversize plywood core which
was then cut into "puzzle" pieces which would
easily fit into the prepped deck void. A dry fit was
done before epoxying began.
A layer of thickened epoxy is applied to the lower
surface, the numbered puzzle pieces were snugly
fitted into place. All gaps and voids were filled
with epoxy. Then a final top coat of epoxy was
slurried on the top.
The faired deck insert was put in place and held down
with a number of battens screwed down over the top. A
number of holes were drilled into the deck insert to make
sure the epoxy slurry underneath had no voids. It was left
to cure overnight.
Above left, the cured deck insert is shown ready for the final fairing process.
To increase strength and avoid cracking and stress spots, it is important to
bevel the edges of both the insert and the deck around it, so that the insert can
be scarfed into place.  Glass mat and cloth are epoxied over the joints.
Sanding, fairing, sanding, fairing, sanding, fairing and priming
were next to prep it for final painting.
We wanted to add a non-skid surface but ran out of time in
Opua...we needed a
temporary break to get some sailing in!
So the non-skid will be added in NZ's autumn before we leave
for the South Pacific. Check back later for more deck details.