I had to replace about 40% of the balsa core on my boats foredeck and
roughly 30% of the core on the cabin top. You are correct in that it
was a difficult and time consuming job, but it's one that I see no
The main problem I see with the quick-fix solutions you propose is
that the reason for the rot in the first place is water intrusion--in
my case from poorly bedded deck hardware. Once the water gets in
there, it stays in there. When I removed the top skin on the foredeck
what I found was a soupy mess of rotten core mixed with water--lots
of it. I can't imagine injecting anything into that mess and having
it cure properly. If the rotten area is small, drilling a series of
holes and using acetone to flush out the water might work, but for
larger areas I don't think there is any way around removing the skin.
You are certainly free to do as you wish, but regardless of what you
paid for it, I personally think these boats are such a wonderful,
timeless design, they deserve to be restored with care.
:: I'm rather sure my deck core is rotten. I know that the :: best way of fixing this is to cut the deck skin off to :: remove rotten core, replace the rotten core with fresh :: wood, then re-attach the deck skin. That sounds like way :: too much work for a boat that I got off of craigslist :: for $1200, and honestly, it doesn't sound very :: necessary. :: :: I know a lot of people think they can put unthickened :: epoxy into holes drilled into the deck, but because :: epoxy runs all over, I've heard this isn't very :: effective. :: :: What if I pumped expanding foam from TAP Plastics or the :: aerosol foam insulation from Home Depot into a grid of :: holes drilled into the deck skin? Once each hole is :: filled, I can then fiberglass over the holes. What's :: wrong with that? If such foam is too weak, what about :: epoxy thickened with microspheres? Sounds like it makes :: sense, but evidently nobody on the interwebs has done :: this and posted about it, so I'm wary of trying to do it :: myself.