Spongy cockpit floor

Thread starter #1
Hi everyone!

We just pulled my son's 1989 Laser down from its winter perch in our garage. It seems to be fine but on further inspection it seems that the cockpit floor is spongy. When you push down on the floor you can hear a "spongy" sound. The centre of the floor also "seems" to be slightly raised.

Thoughts on this? Any and all advice appreciated.
 

LaLi

Active Member
#2
Hi again!

Is the floor actually soft? Is it softer in other places and stiffer in others? What does it sound like when you knock on it at different places, and compare it to how the deck sounds? Does "spongy" include the presence of water?

The front corners of my cockpit floor went soft many years ago quite quickly; the foam between the fibreglass layers had broken down where you push down with your front foot when going downwind. Got it fixed (professionally) by injecting an epoxy/glass mix into the affected areas. As a worst-case scenario, you might need to do something similar.
 
Thread starter #3
Lali........

To answer your question.....yes, it visibly moves when pushed. Not a ton of movement but definitely moves. It's worse near the front of the cockpit than the back. And worse at the sides than the middle. As for knocking.....yes, it sounds more hollow in the spongy parts.

To add....this will be his last year of sailing school and competitive racing. Is this a problem that we can still get through one more season? I really don't want to buy a new hull just for this season.
 
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LaLi

Active Member
#4
Sounds pretty similar to what I had. Purely sailingwise, it's not a huge problem, and won't make the boat slower (except psychologically maybe). It's not likely to get much worse in a few months, and probably isn't a safety (leaking) issue either. So you would get through the season without doing anything, but...

It's a marketing problem. A knowledgable second-hand Laser buyer will notice it, and either the price will drop, or there won't be a deal at all. So, what I would do if I were in your position would be to find a good fibreglass repair shop with as much dinghy knowledge/experience as possible, and get it fixed as soon as possible. The boat will feel nicer to sail in the summer, and you'll get it sold in the fall.

Isn't your son going to continue sailing?
 
Thread starter #5
Thanks for the info. As for sailing.....son plans to keep sailing in future years. But, he'll be 18 in May and, this is his last summer of kid freedom, if you know what I mean. So, if he continues it's on him. He'll be working starting September with free room and board at home (I'm not ready, nor is he, for him to enter the real world) so he can choose what to do with his disposal income at that time.

As for the repair.....what are we looking at dollar-wise? Son is sentimental and attached to this boat. He's also super practical money-wise so I doubt he'll want to buy a new hull. What's it cost for this sort of repair?
 
Thread starter #7
Well, I've called around...... quotes are in the $1000 range. Seems steep to me.

Okay, wise Laser people.......now I need DIY repair advice or hacks to get this fixed. Hubby is pretty handy and we have lots of tools. If my understanding is correct, there is about a 15 mm space of foam right under the fiberglass deck and it is this space that needs to be filled.

Can we drill holes and fill it? If so, do we need to re-Gel coat the deck floor after?

Lay the advice on me!
 
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