70's laser deck 'soft' spots

Thread starter #1
I finally got my old beater 70's laser wet today!!! Good news is, I haven't forgotten how to sail after many years landlocked. Bad news is, when I came back home and parked the laser, I noticed some slightly raised spots on the deck in the raking light from my headlights.

When I inspected them (pushed on them) they seemed to flex a bit -- like the deck was delaminating. I woudn't be surprised considering the age of the boat. So, question is, what should I do. Anything? Boat seems dry and deck doesn't seem in immediate danger of breaking through or anything. I was just a bit concerned when I noticed all of the patches of raised areas.

Suggestions?
 
#2
If you don't mind drilling into your deck......

Find the smallest drill bit you can find known to man. Measure no more than 2mm from the head of the drill bit so you have a measure of how far to drill (You don't want to go right through the deck.

Very carefully drill a hole into the centre of the soft section.

Then find a mixing syringe with a needle about the same size as the drill bit.

Then simply fill up the gap in with glass resin.

Try not to over fill your hole for a neat finish. You can then put a drop of gell coat over the top and cover with tape for that final finsh, but if your hole is neat and you dont overfill you may not even notice.
 
Thread starter #3
So how bad is it to have these soft spots? I mean they aren't REALLY soft. I couldn't even see them without the light shining acoss the deck. Not sure I could find them all without recreating that lighting situation.

That said, there were a fair amount of them. It is worth it to go through this repair on such an old Laser? Is it dangerous not to?
 
#5
So how bad is it to have these soft spots? I mean they aren't REALLY soft. I couldn't even see them without the light shining acoss the deck. Not sure I could find them all without recreating that lighting situation.

That said, there were a fair amount of them. It is worth it to go through this repair on such an old Laser? Is it dangerous not to?
Search thru the old threads, we've covered it.
Here's one
http://www.laserforum.org/showthread.php?t=3013&highlight=drill+deck

Soft decks/delam'd decks are a fact of life with lasers that have been sailed hard and put away wet (especially deck side down) :D

For cruising around, and club racing, a soft deck is not a big deal, unless you have a lot (couple of sq feet) of delam around the mast area and sail in big winds. My old 70's boat's deck looks like a bad wood floor in a barn, but it's still sailable as is..
 

fox

New Member
#6
I have a '78 laser--fix up boat. When I bought it I checked the deck and found one soft spot. Took the boat home and kept it outside -(covered up) and a few weeks later that one soft spot was now over 95% of the deck. The boat was stored indoors before I bought it and not used for years. I think taking it out into the cold was enough to debond the core.

Since then I have cut all the deck skins off, removed/replaced the core and re bonded the skins back on. I am now finishing the job and will paint the deck soon.

This boat was built in Canada and I found the port-side core was 0.25" thick, and the starboard-side core was 3/8" thick. Very interesting and so much for 1-d for these old boats. Considering the core size difference it does not surprise me that the bond may also be lacking some quality control when the boat was manufactured.

Either way it has been a good project and should be fun to sail this summer.

-df
 
Thread starter #7
Wow fox, you cut the deck off?!! I don't think I am up for that big of a repair job, at least not this year, but I would LOVE to see pictures if you have any. You just took the whole thing off, fixed the core and put it back on again? Did you use West System epoxy for the repair? How'd you get it off in the first place? Just cut and pull in several pieces? Yikes.

My Laser was Canadian-built too #4364.

And Ross, if I could afford a new Laser, I'd buy one, but as a single, working mom of two teenagers, that's out, I'm afraid. So, the vintage sailor will just have to make do with the vintage boat :)

As I am not racing and just out for fun, no square footage of delam at the mast (already a proper mast step patch in place), I think I will just sit on it (literally!) for this year.
 
R

Ross B

Guest
#8
damn burke, that thing is old!!!

but as long as your out there, thats all that matters. good on ya!! and I wish you the best
 
#9
Since then I have cut all the deck skins off, removed/replaced the core and re bonded the skins back on. I am now finishing the job and will paint the deck soon.



Either way it has been a good project and should be fun to sail this summer.

-df
holy moses, has it cost more to repair than buying another one with a decent deck?
 
#10
holy moses, has it cost more to repair than buying another one with a decent deck?
That's usually not one of the considerations when a project that big is undertaken. It's the reward of knowing you did it "with my own hands" along with the knowledge gained.
 
#11
---snip---
As I am not racing and just out for fun, no square footage of delam at the mast (already a proper mast step patch in place), I think I will just sit on it (literally!) for this year.
Sounds like a good plan - way more fun sailing then fixing...

If it doesn't already have an inspection port (or two) I would consider adding those if you plan to keep the boat for a couple of years.
Reasons are:
1. Access to thru bolt fittings like hiking strap, gudgeons, traveller eyes. Those are items that typically pull out when the boat ages, so unless they have already been thru bolted, putting a port just off center in the rear deck and next to the daggerboard on the slanted cockpit deck might be considered.
2. Help keep the boat dry. If you do decide to drill/inject the deck, the inside needs to be bone dry for a good bond and you can't get the moisture out w/o ports unless you live in the desert or can store the boat inside a climate controlled room for months...
 
#12
i just bought an 84 laser that has soft areas around the deck on the port and starboard sides. When i push down on it you can feel the softness. The bow and stern are stiff. Is there anything i could do to fix this problem without adding a lot of weight?
 
#13
i just bought an 84 laser that has soft areas around the deck on the port and starboard sides. When i push down on it you can feel the softness. The bow and stern are stiff. Is there anything i could do to fix this problem without adding a lot of weight?
Search thru the old threads, we've covered it.
Here's one
http://www.laserforum.org/showthread...ght=drill+deck

(You could contact Georg W.F who used foam instead of resin as reported in that thread and see if his repair has stood up after two years.)
 
#14
I actually PM'd GeorgWF a couple of weeks ago and he said that the foam eventually became soft. However, he used the same holes he drilled to inject epoxy and that has held quite well over time.
 
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