Friday, December 11, 2015

Alberg 30 Refit: More Rotten Core on Side Decks

For the last few day we have been experiencing some abnormally warm temperatures here in the mid-Atlantic.  It has been in the mid 60's to low 70's. I have been taking advantage of this weather and have moved the repair process on to the side decks. If you remember from my last post I cut open a few small sections of the port deck and found them rotten and damp.

Reminder of what I found over Thanksgiving weekend when I cut a few sample areas; more rotten balsa

Here is a short video I took the other night after removing a good portion of the side deck. It shows what core looks like. 

In this photo you can see the rotten core extending up under the lip left from the cut.
I will dig all that out and fill with thickened 406 West Systems epoxy

I decided to buy Core-Cell A500 for the side decks. My local supplier did not carry 1/4" balsa but did have the Core-Cell in 1/4". I bought an entire sheet and had them cut it into 2ft x4 ft sections.

I cut the decks back until I found good core. I ended up cutting a 6ft section that is about 12" wide

Here is the  is the entire section, it is almost ready for new core.

Still digging out core from under lip left from cuts of original top skin.

This picture may not be clear but what you are looking at is where a stanchion for lifelines bolted thru the deck. Someone tried to repair this area before, and they did NOT do a very good job. 

If you look closely you can see hairline cracks in area where the stanchion was mounted. I took the angle grinder and sanded away all the old paint and gelcoat. What I found was a solid and cracked chunk of what I think was resin.

Took out the oscillating multi-tool and began digging into this area, what a mess!

Getting better!

Now that looks like something I can work with. The only real issue will be that there is not much original top skin left near the toe rail to attach new top layers of fiberglass. Whatever I come up with will be better than what was there; on this I am certain.

This is where I left off. Started laying out and planning placement for the 1/4" G10 for stanchion base and inner jib track area.

For those following our deck re-coring, here is an illustration I made to give a better understanding of how it all comes together.

I have about 6 hrs invested in getting the side deck area prepped, which is not too bad. If winter stays like this I should have ole Sal re-cored in no time. But we all know this is a fluke and mother nature likely has other plans in store for us soon. Stay tuned as I hope to continue as long as the weather holds out.


  1. Well, when you work on a project, you certainly dive in with both feet.

    6hrs is pretty good for all that work. At least you'll know it's done right rather than that previous flub you found.

    So far, so good.

    1. Hi Dan,
      I did jump into this project pretty deep. Really was not my intention. But I want it right! I am too cheap to do it wrong.
      I will take my time a repair it to the best of my abilities. Hopefully these new decks will turn out somewhat respectable when finished.
      How is your Nor'sea project coming? I saw a Nor'Sea 27 headed south on ICW last weekend, aft cabin model.
      Happy Holidays

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    3. Nice, that was probably Jerry from Tennessee. He had his boat launched from my marina in Deale, MD headed to Florida. I got to check out his boat for the short time he was here. Similar layout to mine.

      My project is progressing. I just started to break away the resin and foam holding in my fuel tank. Still a lot to do there. The engine is out and will be worked on while I have full access and will be replacing a few parts on it like the fuel pump, exhaust mixer, fuel/oil/water lines, gaskets/washers... and more. Plenty to do, but never enough time.

  2. I went through the same side deck coring issues with my Bristol 29. The only advantage was that Bristol did not extend the core to the chainplates, terminating the core inboard of that area. Good luck with your project. You're doing really nice work. David Browne