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    Bow Railing Rot

    I have a 3270 motoryacht. Has anyone replaced the core material that the bow railing bolts thru. I had three of my bow railing mounting bolts leaking. When resealing the bolts I found the core all rotted. I’m afraid that I might be opening a can of worms. I’m thinking the core is rotted from the bow all the way to the fuel cap.

    I’m thinking of digging out the rotted wood by cutting a hole on top.

    Then prying, scraping the wood out.

    Drying it as much as possible.

    Packing the void with fiberglass cloth that is saturated with resin.

    Does anyone have any other ideas to repair the rotted core?


    Tim
    Though I Fly Through the Valley Of Death... I Shall Fear No Evil ...For I am at 80,000 feet and Climbing. (sign over the entrance to the SR-71 operating location Kadena, Japan)
    Pictures of work done on the boat

    #2
    Use fiberglass matt, you can shred it and mix with iso resin then gel coat for a finish, or just use cut strips of 1 1/2 oz matt and soak it with resin.
    3m Bondo has this ready mixed in 1 gal cans, expensive though.
    A foam core bedded in fiberglass on both sides will work, use high density marine foam.
    Pat says: DO-IT-RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!

    Bayliner 3870 "ALASKA33)
    Twin 350 GM power
    Located in Seward, AK
    Retired marine surveyor

    Comment


      #3
      if its not a structural section, you can drill a hole at one end of the CONFIRMED rotted area, and another at the other end, and then pump it full of epoxy resin....

      sometimes this can be done in structural areas where the core material is mostly used for a form for the glasswork.

      yes, epoxy is expensive, but when comparing the simplicity of the process to the alternative of opening the deck and then the finish work invloved in closing it, the cost of the epoxy is usually worth it...

      polyester resin will not be as strong or adhere like the epoxy will, and more importantly, it gets extremely HOT when curing, especially when it is in bulk form, rather than thin layers...so hot that it could cause a fire. epoxy can get warm also, but not nearly like polyester does...
      but I have heard of people using polyester in the same manner in smaller voids with good results...

      use the refillable tubes that go in a caulking gun, and drill a 1/4 or 5/16 hole thru the skin at each end of the work area, from the top down.
      then trim the tip on the tube to fit the holes...... mix the epoxy, fill the tube and pump it into the LOWER hole of the void area until it comes out the hole at the other end... two people make the process easier.

      Is this as good as opening the deck and rebuilding it from scratch?.... if you are a true craftsman, NO... but if you have ever seen how many voids are left around the wood during the layup process in production boats, you would realize this could be as good or better than the original... and it will last forever, where as the original has NOT...

      very little of the encased wood on a powerboat is structural.... mostly its used as form material for the layup, and as void filler so that the bolts have something to tighten against or into, and any material that will allow this to happen, will suffice.

      almost always, the structural strength comes from the design of the layup, rather than whet it was formed around... but when the form rots away, the skin can collapse and lose its structural capacity.... any material that will prevent this from happening, will suffice...


      you may want to blow some compressed air into the hole before attempting the fill, so that you can see if you have any breach in the void down below. then you can plug it so the epoxy doesnt run right on thru and out the bottom..


      NU LIBERTE'
      Salem, OR

      1989 Bayliner 2556 Convertible
      5.7 OMC Cobra - 15.5x11 prop
      N2K equipped throughout..
      2014 Ram 3500 crew cab, 6.7 Cummins
      2007 M-3705 SLC weekend warrior, 5th wheel
      '04 Polaris Sportsman 700 -- '05 Polaris Sportsman 500 HO
      Heavy Equipment Repair and Specialty Welding

      Comment


        #4
        The ones that came loose, were they wood screws or nuts and bolts?
        Might want to check your anchor pulpit if your deck is bad...or not. Some things are better left unknown.
        The rails aren't structural until you rely on them and end up falling overboard if they fail.
        Esteban
        Huntington Beach, California
        2018 Element 16
        Currently looking for 32xx in South Florida
        Former Bayliners: 3218, 2859, 2252, 1952

        Comment


          #5
          Is the core balsa, wood or foam core?
          It makes a difference, you do not want to pump epoxy or resin into wet balsa.
          Pat says: DO-IT-RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!

          Bayliner 3870 "ALASKA33)
          Twin 350 GM power
          Located in Seward, AK
          Retired marine surveyor

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by boatworkfl View Post
            you do not want to pump epoxy or resin into wet balsa.
            and one really doesnt want to tear the deck apart either... but both methods have been done sucessfully. all that matters is whether the filler is structural or if its only a filler piece, and what one WANTS to do...

            pumping epoxy thru a wet core, foam, plywood or balsa doesnt matter, as long as the wood itself was not the structural part of the layup... used as a backer or a filler, it could be bondo, epoxy, wood or steel. it doesnt matter as long as it fills the void so that a bolt can be tightened against or into it...

            as for any moisture that is trapped, again, it doesnt matter if its trapped in a foam core or a void in the decayed wood....i
            there are books written and published on this subject that one can read if one wants to know more about it... its not the right method for every repair, but its works very well for some...


            NU LIBERTE'
            Salem, OR

            1989 Bayliner 2556 Convertible
            5.7 OMC Cobra - 15.5x11 prop
            N2K equipped throughout..
            2014 Ram 3500 crew cab, 6.7 Cummins
            2007 M-3705 SLC weekend warrior, 5th wheel
            '04 Polaris Sportsman 700 -- '05 Polaris Sportsman 500 HO
            Heavy Equipment Repair and Specialty Welding

            Comment


              #7
              Find someone with a moisture meter to check the length of the area for the rail support surface, it may be that only the area near the stanchion is wet.
              I sometimes forget that I have a lot of experience with fiberglass on boats, for me it would not be a big job to cut the top out and repair it.
              It is a lot of work to remove the stanchions because of access..
              It is possible that only the area near the stanchion is wet, but if balsa cored and in freezing weather it will be all wet as the top and bottom of the balsa core can absorb water, it normally does not migrate through the sides of the grain.
              Pat says: DO-IT-RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!

              Bayliner 3870 "ALASKA33)
              Twin 350 GM power
              Located in Seward, AK
              Retired marine surveyor

              Comment


                #8
                If foam cored then remove the rail and re-bed the stanchion and bolt hole with 3M 4200, that would be the easy way.
                If balsa cored you could cut a small hole and scoop out the core and fill it and not worry about the area in-b-tween.
                Pat says: DO-IT-RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!

                Bayliner 3870 "ALASKA33)
                Twin 350 GM power
                Located in Seward, AK
                Retired marine surveyor

                Comment


                  #9
                  Let the next guy worry about it!!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    If you want to check on how far the rot goes just remove the bolts and check the threads for rotten balsa.
                    If no rot just re-seal the base. If it is just the bow then cutting it out would not be that big of a job.
                    Or you can just cut where the stanchions are, repair it and leave the rest.
                    Take some photo.s of what you see when you pull the bolts out, possibly open one up enough to see more, then you may get more accurate advice.
                    Just cut enough so that the stanchion will cover up the repair if it is not that serious.
                    Right now it is all speculation. You see more than we do!
                    If possible to access the bottom where the nuts are, the repair can be done on the bottom if only filling where the stanchion mounts.
                    When I check mine this summer that is what I will do.
                    Sometimes the core is there to facilitate the lamination process and is not that structural.
                    Pat says: DO-IT-RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!

                    Bayliner 3870 "ALASKA33)
                    Twin 350 GM power
                    Located in Seward, AK
                    Retired marine surveyor

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I think the core is plywood.

                      I'm not going to do anything until the spring. It's getting to cold out.
                      Tim
                      Though I Fly Through the Valley Of Death... I Shall Fear No Evil ...For I am at 80,000 feet and Climbing. (sign over the entrance to the SR-71 operating location Kadena, Japan)
                      Pictures of work done on the boat

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Hmm if that's plywood like my bow pulpit then it had to come out and be completely rebuilt.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Our 3270 had similar issues. Over the 16 years we owned the boat I rebed all the bow rail bolts several times. It was an '86 so we had the shorter rail but the the ones on the bow were the easiest since you can get to the back side. The mid boat cleats are also susceptible and Bay only put small washers on the backs. When we sold the boat the surveyor did a couple core samples of the toe rail from the bottom because his meter showed a higher moisture level. It was still clean wood but had a high moisture content. It had been 3-4 years since I had done some of them and they were already starting to loosen. You can pull all of them and over drill the holes fill with epoxy and center drill so you get away from bedding thru the wood core. I did that on the mid-boat cleats and the forward couple bow rail stanchions and those didn't have issues.

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