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Old 09-28-2023, 05:00 PM   #1
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Replacing teak deck

My decks leak on our 40 Albin. What else is new. I removed all the screws and filled the hole with epoxy and bungs. It slowed things down but still we get water in the aft cabin, which is the low spot. So I'm going to remove the teak and fiberglass the deck. I'm looking for feedback on restoring the deck stiffness by using a couple of layers of 1/4" or so plywood epoxied to the deck in the same dimensions as the teak. This would restore the original thickness and not require relocation of fittings.
What is the best way to cover the plywood? Is a layer of epoxy then paint enough or should there be fiberglass cloth or mat and then paint?
Looking for some guidance because I know squat about this but I'm open to learning.
Also this is an 86 Albin so I don't intend for it to look like a Hinckley.
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Old 09-28-2023, 06:48 PM   #2
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The best way would be to cut the top deck fiberglass off and dig out the core. Replace the core and then glass the top deck back on. The core is wet and will continue to deteriorate as time goes on so it needs to come out. Adding plywood on top of a wet core is a stopgap but not really a fix.
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Old 09-29-2023, 11:14 AM   #3
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I didn't do anything to my Albin's decks other than re-caulk them.
However, I replaced much of the decks on my old Mainship I because of wet balsa core.
I have pictures of that project. If you want to see them, send me a PM with your e mail address.

I basically followed step by step what LBI in Groton told me to do. If they are still in business, it might be worth a trip to talk with them. They used to sell all the supplies, and maybe still do. Much cheaper than west marine or Defender (I guess they are West now).
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Old 09-29-2023, 04:31 PM   #4
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Any suggestions on core materials? Does the top skin usually peel away or does it break? Guess I'll find out.
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Old 09-29-2023, 05:28 PM   #5
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Any suggestions on core materials? Does the top skin usually peel away or does it break? Guess I'll find out.
You can use plywood or something like Coosa board. The top skin will likely have to be pried off. You donít want to crack it though since you can reuse it. How big a section can you get off will depend on how well it is still adhered. You might use some wedges to put pressure on it. Sometimes it helps to put pressure on it and let it sit for some time and it may give way then. Check out BoatWorks Today website for some good videos. No affiliation.
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Old 09-29-2023, 09:39 PM   #6
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Old 09-29-2023, 09:43 PM   #7
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You can use plywood or something like Coosa board. The top skin will likely have to be pried off. You donít want to crack it though since you can reuse it. How big a section can you get off will depend on how well it is still adhered. You might use some wedges to put pressure on it. Sometimes it helps to put pressure on it and let it sit for some time and it may give way then. Check out BoatWorks Today website for some good videos. No affiliation.
A second for Andy Millers Boatworks Today. Heís a bit loquacious, but easy to understand and excellent advice.
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Old 09-30-2023, 01:21 AM   #8
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A second for Andy Millers Boatworks Today. Heís a bit loquacious, but easy to understand and excellent advice.
Ha, yes, he likes to chat, but certainly gives great advice and relevant warnings
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Old 09-30-2023, 08:35 AM   #9
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I used 5/8 exterior plywood.
I used a saw to cut the top fiberglass layer, but I did not save it, and removed the wet core. After the plywood was cut and fitted, I drilled a bunch on 1 inch holes thru it (think swiss cheese). Then mixed up polyester resin, thinned 25% with acetone (to allow penetration into the plywood), then painted the ply and let it cure a day.
Used bondo to stick the ply to the lower fiberglass skin allowing the bondo to protrude thru the holes in the ply. Once cured (10 minutes) I shaved off the protruding bondo.
Then it was 2 layers 1 1/2 fiberglass mat, a layer of woven roving, and more mat until I got the desired height.
The flybridge deck was crowned, so we had to grind that back, then non skid vinyl ester gelcoat with plastic beads mixed in to make it non skid.
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Old 09-30-2023, 10:26 AM   #10
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My decks leak on our 40 Albin. What else is new. I removed all the screws and filled the hole with epoxy and bungs. It slowed things down but still we get water in the aft cabin, which is the low spot.
From your description I think you are concerned about your side decks. Since you have already pulled and sealed all of the screws, there should be no more leaks originating in that particular source. The conclusion that I would draw is that your continuing leaks are originating somewhere else.

My experience supports the conclusion that you need to do some more investigation before concluding that you failed in your first repair.
On my boat I had a difficult leak to locate. This on the foredeck. I pulled and replaced a teak trim board, which, now that it is perfect, made no difference. I spent many hours trying wetting different parts, to see what would make a difference. What I found that actually worked was the seal between the forward hatch and the cabin top. Once the water was inside, it travelled to the lowest point before making its presence known on the inside, a journey that was not obvious. Once sealed up, which involved only a bead of caulking, I have had no more leaks.

Take the time to be sure that the extensive and costly work you are contemplating will actually make things better.
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Old 10-09-2023, 06:01 PM   #11
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Any suggestions on core materials? Does the top skin usually peel away or does it break? Guess I'll find out.
I found Nida-Core easy to use, light weight, and bendable to a point so you can cut pieces about a foot long (width of deck in other direction) and force the edges under the remaining "lip" of the top layer of fiberglass. Use weight to hold the pieces in place, then replace the top layer of original deck fiberglass and use vacuum bagging to get good adhesion.

After removal of the teak, you can cut off the "lid" of the deck to get to the core. Scoop/scrape it out. Go all the way under the edges that are left when you cut off the "lid" (you'll be leaving at least a 1" edge). I used a portable circular saw to cut through the top layer of fiberglass.

It's not as difficult as it might sound, but it takes time.

This is the only way to stop the leaks.
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Old 10-09-2023, 06:24 PM   #12
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We have what is branded as a Pacific 36 here in Australia. Looks like an Albin in all respects. Replaced the fore and side decks last year. Teak was worn down, numerous screw heads showing etc. No noticeable bounce in the deck but always damp below after rain. Pulled up most of the teak myself using a wrecking bar which was pretty easy then hired some guys from a local boat builder to do the rest on weekends. Located a fair bit of core rot around the samson post and winch switch by jumping on and drilling the deck. The deck was cut out around this area and the core replaced with Coosa board.
Having removed the teak which was originally 5/8 thick I wanted to bring the level back to near original so put down a layer of 1/2 Coosa and then glassed over the top with a couple of layers of matt and some non skid. Difference in dampness below is amazing.
Having seen the amount of glass in the existing deck I am not worried about losing strength in the original core, old deck plus new Coosa make a rock solid platform. I choose Coosa over ply as it will never rot, however we did have some issues getting a solid bond to the original deck, maybe priming the board with epoxy prior to laying it down would have helped.
Very happy with the final result, no leaks. Interesting to find that our samson post was set into the deck but not through it, we have had some brackets made to absorb side strain.
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Old 10-09-2023, 09:10 PM   #13
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If you are having a difficult time getting the core to bend to match the camber in the deck you can cut some relief cuts on the bottom of the core. Cut every 1/4Ē or 3/8Ē but not all the way through. The relief cuts will allow the core to bend more easily. You can fill the cuts with some thickened epoxy and let the excess squeeze out. As you bend it the epoxy should squeeze out and just leave what is needed.
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