Would a crack like the one shown in the first photo below concern you? It did us and so we set about trying to repair it, as much as our limited repair skills would allow. The crack existed just at the top of the stairs leading down into our starboard hull. The cause of the crack is uncertain but thinking that perhaps it was due to having our shrouds too tight, I have since backed them off a couple of turns.
Fortunately I had relatively easy access to the underside of the crack, the area directly below it being inside our main electrical cabinet. My procedure for repairing the crack was as follows:
- Slacken the wires running immediately underneath it. This in itself was the most time consuming part of the exercise as the wires were quite taut. For some reason, I put all my efforts into getting the slack from one end of the wires. It wasn’t until I realized that I could free up slack in either end to get the result I wanted that I got anywhere.
- I cut several pieces of fiberglass cloth to reinforce the underside of the cracked deck.
- Using West Systems epoxy, I wetted out the cloth and applied it to the underside of the deck. I allowed the first application to dry before applying a second group of cloth strips/epoxy.
- Once the underside was reinforced and the crack sealed from below, I filled in the gap on the deck with a product called Capt. Tolley’s Creeping Crack Cure. I purchased this stuff some time ago with the intent of applying it to some gelcoat cracks in our bimini. I have yet to tackle that job so this was my first experience with the product. I’ll let you know how it turns out.