Repairing Wet Decks

We recently restored a boat with a small area (7 inch circle) of deck rot by removing the bad area from below and replacing with new wood. This was pretty simple and straight-forward.

A used boat just came to my attention that was surveyed and is known to have wet decks from bow to cockpit. It’s a shame, because the rest of the boat is very clean and nice, and the price has dropped accordingly.

Now, I’ve seen the application of Git-Rot before– the pattern of small holes, the drying out, the application of the two-part fluid until absorption stops. Now, even in a perfect application I know that some of the strength properties of the original wood are lost, but it supposedly prevents further rot. Also, I’ve not too concerend about filling the holes and painting the decks afterwards (having prepped and painted decks before).

Alternatively, we could use the “work from below” method again and remove the bad core and replace it with new plywood. The boat in question is a Cal 2-25, and I’ve read about this being done with a Cal 2-29:

So, what’s the wisdom on this? Should we run away from wet decks, or are there straight-forward (though time consuming) solutions that are worth while?

I found this photo collection and process notes by a person who replaced the balsa core on the decks and cabin house of his C&C 27:…pair/deck.html

This is one of the best links I’ve found on the process. As it is, I’m going to pass on the Cal 2-25 with the wet decks, but we’re seriously considering the C&C 27 we checked out earlier.

A Small “All-Rounder” — C&C 27

Yesterday we looked at a C&C 27 that is intriguing. It’s a ’73 Mark II model, meaning it has the higher mast but retains the “swept back” rudder. It has the original Atomic 30 hp gas engine (2700 hours, but looked well maintained and reportedly runs well), as well as the pressurized alcohol stove. The head room isn’t perfect for me, but in other details the boat is very appealing.Compared to other “pocket cruisers” we’ve looked at this year, this boat has been cared for exceptionally well. There are few stress cracks on the deck, and chainplates looked fine. The sails of are high quality, and several are only 1-4 years old. The standing rigging is new from ’99, and all electronics (depth, speed, gps that can control the autopilot, and the four engine gauges) are working have been replaced or maintained well.

The C&C 27 doesn’t have quarter berths under the cockpit, and as a result the space under the cockpit seats is wide and open. (Good access to just about everything there, including the gas tank.)

The boat has been raced (it comes with two spinnakers) and taken offshore for the trip up to Puget Sound. (The standing rigging is heavy, it’s has an emergency rudder that mounts on the transom, and the motion comfort in the sea way was reported as good.)

So, it might be nice if it were 3 feet longer, but at 27 feet it doesn’t seem like a bad boat for day sailing as well as family cruising. The boat reportedly backs well, and the new folding prop is off-set to improve handling when motoring. It even has a Mark II head, which is supposedly legal for direct discharge.

Lots to think about with this boat– it’s a compromise (like all boats) in terms of age, size, tankage and other issues, but for us it might be a good “all-rounder” for sailing and cruising the Columbia River, and maybe making our first “good weather” forays off the coast (Newport or Puget Sound).

Cal 34s

I’ve been surprised recently by doing some research on Cal 34s. The Practical Sailor review of them wasn’t bad, especially for the Mark IIIs, and I noticed that even these start in my area at around $23k. A search on the Latitude 38 site shows that one was circumnavigated, and others have done significant touring in both the Pacific and Atlantic.

Obviously, these boats are getting old, but owners continue to invest in them. A Mark II is listed in my area with a new diesel, peel job, nearly new sails, etc.

As for now, I’ve lined up about two weeks of charters for next summer, but in the future the Cal 34s might be worth a closer look for a less expensive family cruiser with the possibility of longer-range work with appropriate enhancements and structural review.