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Author Topic:   How to fix a soft floor
myback posted 07-30-2002 02:38 PM ET (US)   Profile for myback   Send Email to myback  
I recently bought a 1962 whaler hull. The floor is soft. It is soft in a large area. The hull is pretty strong. Does anyone know how to do this. Am I wasting my time?

Cpt Quint posted 07-30-2002 03:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for Cpt Quint  Send Email to Cpt Quint     
Its delamination and can be fixed by drilling pilot holes, squirting west systems epoxy, applying pressure. It is a bit more detailed than that.
Go get a beer, sit down,and scroll this forum back a year and you will become a pro at knowing how to do this, what to look for, and why this happens.
The key is you need to get as much moisture out as possible so step one involves drilling the holes getting the vessel out of the weather and seeing if you can let it dry or vacum the moisture out.
Not uncommon on age, mines 63 and she is still sea worthy with a soft spot or two.
Cpt Quint posted 07-30-2002 04:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Cpt Quint  Send Email to Cpt Quint     
By the way, if you really want to go all the way, check out the cetacea pg 30 last 2 pictures on this website.
David Ratusnik posted 07-30-2002 05:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
I have a 22' 86 OR with a few soft areas in the central floor area- gas tank floor cover. This Jan/Feb. I contemplate having the T top, console etc removed and the floor redone. Big job. I'm interested in the notion that the job can be done via drilling external holes and injecting hardener. What say? Thoughts. Thanks David
JFM posted 07-30-2002 07:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for JFM  Send Email to JFM     
The problem I see, is if the foam is shot. Some guys have removed the floor, bad foam, and then refoam, reglass, regel. I don't know if West System will bond to bad foam. Regards, Jay
David Ratusnik posted 07-30-2002 08:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
Jay- Thanks for thoughts. As I see it, the difference in price to fix, R and R the floor versus external drill and fill is considerable. Like 2K versus several hundred. I think I need an expert to knock around inside the boat, jump up and down, and render an opinion. I want the boat perfect. Regards David
DIVE 1 posted 07-30-2002 09:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for DIVE 1    
If you have soft spots in the removable floor section it has to be removed and repaired. There is 3/4" plywood under the non-skid flooring and it is probably rotten. The West System trick only works on non-removable floor sections. There is foam under the non-removable flooring.

Which hull do you own?


whalerron posted 07-30-2002 11:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerron  Send Email to whalerron     
myback, check your email for the "floor fix" article.
- ron
myback posted 08-01-2002 03:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for myback  Send Email to myback     
Dive 1

i just bought a 62 16 ft hull

whalerron posted 08-01-2002 05:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerron  Send Email to whalerron     
David, I tried to send you the article but the email bounced back as undeliverable.

Here is the text from the article:

The following is the short letter I promised regarding an easy fix to a soft floor problem. A recent purchase was a 1966 16'7 with many soft spots in the floor. To solve this a friend told me about a fix that essentially recreates the original chemical bond between the foam and the floor.

I went to the local marine store and bought West System epoxy, epoxy fillers, 50mm medical syringes and re-fillable caulking tubes that fit in a standard gun. All the products are available through West System and sold at West Marine Stores. Next, I drilled 1/4 inch holes about six inches apart beginning at one end of the soft spot. Then inject epoxy using the syringe or caulk gun, depending on the size of the void. Work quickly as the epoxy will set up fast. As the epoxy seeps from a vacant hole, cap it with a 1/4" wood screw. This holds the epoxy in place until it sets. Be careful not to bulge the floor with excess epoxy.

After you have capped those holes, move to the next set working in one direction. Repeat the above process. After the epoxy has set, remove the screws and fill the holes with filler. Then take a hammer and tap lightly to check the floor for voids. If you find one, drill another hole and fill that void.

I've been very happy with the outcome of this process and feel it has advantages over injecting additional foam under pressure into the voids.

David Ratusnik posted 08-01-2002 05:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
Whalerron- Thanks David
myback posted 08-01-2002 06:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for myback  Send Email to myback     
thanks will help
DIVE 1 posted 08-01-2002 07:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for DIVE 1    
With the hull that you have, Whalerron has provided the best recipe.
whalerron posted 08-01-2002 10:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerron  Send Email to whalerron     
Sorry jimh, I inadvertently posted an article without giving credit to the author.

The above article was written by John Kaloper ( and it was printed in the May 1998 Issue of "The Classic Whaler News", Volume 6, Number2.

- ron

Whalerdan posted 04-23-2003 11:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerdan  Send Email to Whalerdan     
Well it has happened to me. One of the screw for the RPS has been leaking water into the deck and about a 1 to 1.5 ft. circle around the screw is slightly soft. I have pulled out the seat and tank (Montauk) and have drilled some holes in the area. Then Used a shop vac to pull as much water out as possible. I was reading Whalerron's repair and have a couple of questions.

1. How do you keep the wood screws in when the expoxy isn't set-up? Do you really need them?

2. How do you get them out when you done?

3. Will West systems expoxy melt the foam?

4. When I redrill the screw holes for the seat, how much larger than the screws should I drill to keep the expoxy from cracking?

Whalerdan posted 04-24-2003 08:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerdan  Send Email to Whalerdan     
Hawaiian Bob posted 04-26-2003 11:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hawaiian Bob  Send Email to Hawaiian Bob     
If you need to put in alot of epoxy, use a mix of epoxy and glass bubblee and use squeeze bottles from a kitchen store. You can get 8 to 10 oz plastic bottles with a screw cone top. Clip to fit your hole and squeeze in the hole. Works much faster than syringes.

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