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Old 11-19-2016, 01:17 PM   #1
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City: Sault Ste Marie, ON
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Vessel Model: Marine Trader Tri-cabin 44' - 1982 build - 1983 model
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Flybridge removal for sole/salon roof re-coring

Am preparing to remove the flybridge on our 44' 1983 Marine Trader Tri-cabin. This bridge is glassed all around the outside perimeter and is also contiguous with the outside edge of the salon roof. The inside wall of bridge and wheel bulkhead was cut loose with an oscillating saw as it was simply held in place with strips of glass laid along and folded at 90 deg along the floor to wall. Glassed in and finished as it is the outer join is not so easy to understand. At the bow end, inside and fore of the wheel bulkhead, the front wall comes down to the floor and is affixed with screws to, what? On the outside it is finished smooth and I cannot see how it was constructed. Has anyone taken this apart and learned what goes on here? Along the port and starboard sides you can see a seam through the plastic access ports, between the floor and the bridge. So I cut open the aft edge of one side to see this seam in cross section. To no avail so far, there may be a facer board that comes up higher than the bridge deck height. Again has anyone taken this arrangement apart and can give some advice? The hand rails are installed right over where the seam would be if I cut the bridge off right at the deck level.
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Old 11-19-2016, 03:26 PM   #2
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Wow, this is major surgery - what about the option of cutting portions of the floor and recoring smaller sections without taking the lid off - you are embarking on a 100% fix but my mind boggles at the scope of the job.
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Old 11-19-2016, 03:36 PM   #3
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Greetings,
Mr. BD. First things first! Welcome aboard eh? Since you're going to have a major refinish at the mating surface betwixt the FB upright (don't know what else to call it) and the FB sole anyway, how about putting aside the reciprocating saw for a bit and breaking out the grinder? Grind off the gelcoat where you think there may be a seam. You may be able to see abutting layers of FRP indicating the presence of a seam. FRP is sort of translucent so when you get the gelcoat ground off, wet it. This will help you see "through" the layers. You're getting snow NOW (looked it up) so I hope you're under cover...
To add: Mr. B (above) has a great suggestion.
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Old 11-19-2016, 03:49 PM   #4
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I think how you take this off will be very dependent on
whether or not you intend to put it back on. If not reinstalling
it, you should only need to be careful of the cabin top.

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Old 11-19-2016, 03:54 PM   #5
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On many boats there is a wood trim piece that covers a joint.

Unless I am missing something you said....do you have this wood piece that trims off the flybridge?

If so, you need to remove the trim to get to the screws that hold the bridge fairing to the ridges inside the fairing.

Can't say for sure as many of these Taiwan boats were built by craftsman with no clue of boats.
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Old 11-19-2016, 04:11 PM   #6
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The full monty

Hello Brisyboy- Reading around widely it seems that these cores don't fare well over time and mine has all the symptoms of being due for a full inspection fix. That is, the whole central area of the roof/floor sags and collects a little lake, and the roof leaks brown juice down the outsides of the cabin. This means that rot has reached to the outsides. Also, one of the mast fittings leaked badly and on removal of the header reveled rot to the roof/floor and to the frame in that area.

Also hello RT, your suggestion is well taken and I will follow through on it tomorrow. That is, the boat is in indoor storage, though not heated. I've been taking advantage of the mild fall and getting ahead of schedule. Will leave the boat dry next summer to complete roof, majority of windows already pulled and will replace after fixing rotted framing in walls. Will also pull teak on FRP main deck and fix some rot at that level too in one area. Will probably just do non-slip to refinish and mind the budget.

Hi Ted, will put the/a fly bridge back on but undecided still on if I will salvage the current one or build a updated one from scratch with a much better layout and accommodations.

I'm still hoping to hear from someone who has torn one of these apart.

Thanks, Bill.
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Old 11-19-2016, 04:25 PM   #7
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Wood trim

Hello psneld, you are right about there being a wood trim around the bridge. I did expect it to be doing exactly what you suggest. When I got around to it though I find it to be located to a couple inches above the deck and the FRP behind it is formed such that it wraps around the bottom of where the wood is attached and there is no seam that meets there, when inspected from the inside. Also no evidence that anything but a normal thickness of layup is present when there would be two layers if they met and were screwed together. That being said, I would love to be proved wrong as that would simplify the project considerably. Before ripping the teak off to find out I will wait for more comments, and then if no direct insight, I will cut a cross section of the trim out to see if there is a joint there I can work on. Thanks.
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Old 11-19-2016, 04:32 PM   #8
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Many have just ripped the teak off.

Then they filled, faired, trim painted a stripe where the wood used to be.

Looks great and less work for the future without the wood.
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Old 11-19-2016, 05:19 PM   #9
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Pop some pics so that we can pontificate.

Based on observing our TT of similar age: the flybridge enclosure, that is, the structure above the flybridge deck, will come right off after disassembling the electrics and the shift-throttle mechanisms, and the hydraulic steering. The electrics are under the steering position in the flybridge and there are quite a few wires/circuits tagged together on a terminal bar. The hydraulic steering is just flare fitting plumbing and the tubing should relatively easy to be fished apart. The shift-throttle cables (I think, are tagged together under the helm position below, again fairly easy. All this stuff is passed through the flybridge deck and the salon roof below.

Our flybridge deck is a separate cored structure spaced up from the cored salon roof. See my post about that little surprise from August or so. I don't know if the two cored structures are bonded to each other out in the field somewhere but I'll bet they are; getting them apart would be destructive. We have a Europa: there's a fiberglass ceiling extending out from the house. It's bonded to stiffeners on the underside of the flybridge deck, around the perimeter and to the salon side walls. The apparent thickness of the flybridge deck is 3" and that thickness is expressed all around the flybridge; I'd bet that's where the ceiling and flybridge deck are tabbed together and gelcoated. It would have been an easy thing to tab and finish in 1984. If that's all correct then the flybridge deck is spaced off of the salon roof and tabbed to it. No fasteners are to be seen.

Back to your boat, I'd look carefully at the real thickness that you should be able to measure at the holes where the electrics and all pass. If it's 2 1/2" then there is likely to be two cored structures tabbed together around the perimeter and sitting on blocks out in the middle.

RT's suggestions are right on re: grinding for a look-see. Another way to cut fiberglass skins is to use a router whose depth is set to the thickness of the skin. You won't damage substructure that way. (I removed the side of a rudder that way and simply epoxied it back on when I had repaired the internals.)
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Old 11-19-2016, 06:30 PM   #10
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Paint and double cored.

The suggestion to take the trim of and paint the line to save maintenance is in line with my other changes so will pass it by the boss who has committed to doing teak refinishing with her army of friends with skills.

The idea that I would be dealing with two cored layers had not crossed my mind. It did not come up in any posting I found that dealt with doing these projects including those that opened up in whole or part this can of worms. I will check the thickness at the wiring hole, easier said than done right now as it is packed solid with wire, many of which are probably defunct serving removed electronics. I had to remove some wire to get some new cables up for the newly installed thrusters (Sidepower 120 bow, 100 external stern) in the spring. The wiring jam is on the to do list for cleanup as labels get applied and the structure removed.

Thank you D and P.
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