Repairing Soft Cockpit Floor

Thread starter #1
I have a mid-1990s Laser with a factory defect in the foam core's adhesion to the fiberglass floor in the front left corner of the cockpit. This boat has been stored indoors and dry its whole life and never has been sailed hard, or extensively; it must be a manufacturing defect. The ~6"x~10" area of the floor basically is at the oil-can level of stiffness after one light air regatta.

The method I have seen used is to drill holes in a grid pattern about 1/2-3/4" apart and inject thickened epoxy, then cover the holes with gelcoat.

Is this an effective repair method or is this boat too far gone?
 

LaLi

Active Member
#2
This problem is common, and the described method very effective. Happened with my early '90s boat in the early '00s (on both sides), and the floor has been totally stiff since the repair, about 15 years ago.

Whether it should be called a "manufacturing defect" or not is open for discussion.

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Thread starter #3
Thanks Lali. I'll give that method a try. Any advice on what size the holes should be? I'm thinking no more than 3/16", probably 1/8". This boat is like-new otherwise and I'm just shocked at how quickly the floor went from stiff to soft in one day of regatta racing with zero abuse.
 

LaLi

Active Member
#4
I could measure the holes in my boat, but I'm not going to the club before Sunday evening. They are maybe 6 mm across, and located apparently randomly; I have always assumed that the guy who did the repair (possibly the best fibreglass boat repairer in this country) had some way of detecting the optimal injection places in the core. I could ask him next Monday (if he's at work).

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Thread starter #5
I ended up sticking with the original plan but discovered the afflicted area was more like the front 1/3 of the cockpit area upon closer inspection. I shoved as much WEST 610 epoxy into the holes as possible. The floor is stiff again! I'm going to dollop some white gelcoat on top this week and make it look better. Appreciate all of the advice!
 
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