Split in Topsides

As reported in Bluster’s last blog post, there was a worrying split in the topsides at the starboard aft end of the cockpit where the aft deck moulding is joined to the one at the side of the cockpit. To repair it, the laminates were stripped back to good wood, leaving approximately one inch overlaps for the new Agba laminates. After stripping back, it became clear that the stringer running along the cockpit edge (under the deck moulding edge), and the equivalent stringer under the aft deck, were both loose from the aft cabin bulkhead where each terminates. The boat could have been made much stronger if this stringer had been continuous or made with a scarf joint instead of just being glued into an oversized rebate in the bulkhead or the frame attached to it.

To rectify this problem, the holes were sealed with masking tape and epoxy glue was poured in to fill up the voids, and hopefully also fix the stringers in place.

The hull laminates, all four of them, were also rotted at this point, probably just by rain water getting under the rubbing strake but no doubt aided by the split in the deck above.

The edge of the deck had also rotted where water had got in down the side of the cockpit coaming, and then having access to the end-grain of the deck laminates and the imperfectly fitted and glued laminate butt joints, had trickled down the inside of the deck damaging the wood.

Replacing the first layer of laminate is always the tricky one as there is nothing to staple it too at the edges, but once it is in place it can be faired with a chisel ready the receive the next layer.

I intend to fashion some solid one inch Sapelle to make the cockpit corners before covering them with Agba laminates so that the guardrail stanchions have something solid to be bolted to.

Having fixed the deck split, I am continuing to work along the starboard side where the wood under the rubbing strake has been damaged all the way to the bow.

  • Starting the Repair
    Starting the Repair
    The three deck laminates have been cut back and part of the first layer replaced.The stringers glued back in place
    The stringers glued back in place
    The stringers meeting at the aft cabin bulkhead were both loose; the voids were filled with epoxy. The dowels are filling holes where a stanchion base had been bolted through.The first laminate layer back on the deck and hull.
    The first laminate layer back on the deck and hull.The second laminate layer back in the deck
    The second laminate layer back in the deck
    The laminates over the curved cockpit corner have been left off for the moment, awaiting some solid wood to be fitted to bolt the stanchion base to.All laminates back in place.
    All laminates back in place.
    The deck and hull laminates, apart from those covering the cockpit corner, back in place and awaiting fairing.Still plenty more to do on the starboard side!
    Still plenty more to do on the starboard side!

2 thoughts on “Repairing the Split in the Topsides

  1. Wow Jonathan
    That was a complicated jigsaw of laminates.
    As you say, if only the aft-cabin and cockpit side stringers were one piece. I wonder if all boats are the same?

    1. I think they are ll that way. It is a weak link. The cockpit section of the topsides and the aft section are all split on the aft cockpit bulkhead, The last ply of the exterior of the deck is a piece of veneer run girthwise. With time this fails. When we complete the rebuild of A146 this will all be one piece, the veneers will cross this seam… The repair is well done.

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