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Soft deck in cockpit
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4/10/2015 at 2:05:13 PM GMT
Posts: 1
Soft deck in cockpit

Looking for advise on how to repair soft deck in cockpit of HA18 1978 Squadron Yachts. Am I looking at cutting out whole section or patch repair, or cover over with wood grate. If I have to cut out deck then we get into the idea of adding inboard motor under deck with hatch cover....anyone tackled this before?


4/14/2015 at 1:35:33 PM GMT
Posts: 23
By adding any gratings or anything else over your cockpit doesn't fix your soft floor and just changes the ergonomics of the floor and seats.
I redid the floor on my '73 HA . It is a lot of work but it is not rocket science either.
Youtube fiberglass repair will give you a library of videos on the topic.

4/24/2015 at 1:43:20 AM GMT
Posts: 1
We bought our 1973 HA about 10 years ago and immediately noticed the soft cockpit floor (seems to be an HA issue). While figuring out how to cut it out, replace stringers, re-fiberglass, etc. we installed a temporary floor grating of a cut-to-size piece of cedar plank fencing from a local "big box" home improvement store (c.$30). Its still there (we have treated it periodically w/cetol). Not the ultimate correct solution I agree...but it works.
Nancy & Justin Baxter

10/18/2016 at 2:12:05 AM GMT
Posts: 2
I seem to be in the same boat (pun intended :-) I just purchased a 1981 Marshall Sanderling with very soft deck and even quit a bit of rot along the lower half of the aft bulkhead. Quality DIY will take me quite a while as I have two teanagers and I figure a phased approach is required. I want to be able to keep enjoying the boat while I'm fixing her, so I was delighted to hear that your interim solution has been satisfactory.

Rather than going back with fiberglass, I'm thinking of taking a more traditional route and going back with wooden teak slats after the stringers are repaired. I was thinking even the bulkhead would have an added charm, were it to be constructed in a more traditional manner, however, there's no denying the single piece (marine) plywood may last longer.

2/20/2017 at 2:02:11 AM GMT
Posts: 6
The Marshall Bulkhead rot is a common issue in boats prior to the new molds. I have done a Marshall 22. Cut the rot out and put in a new piece. Very easy. Hardest part was making sure the clamp for the seat was installed back properly to get another 30 years out of it.
As far as a cockpit sole goes, your best bet is to do it right instead of a bandaid. Hopefully it comes up easy when you cut it out. To really fix it right, you will want some marine grade plywood. Glass both sides of it and epoxy the edges after you have fit it. This will make it impervious to water and will make sure it won't happen again. If you arr going to screw it into the floor timbers, be sure to drill your holes and seal them up as well. After that, its merely cosmetics. Gelcoat or awlgrip with non skid to your preference. Best of luck!

1/18/2018 at 3:56:08 AM GMT
Posts: 2
Thanks for your advice. Agree that fixing it once correctly is the preferred course :-) The article about the Last Cat, is inspiring and summarizes the esthetic traditional wood approach I'd like to take very nicely. However I do plan to be more measured and surgical about it. Read as, take a heck of a lot longer to complete. Fair winds, Nelson

6/17/2018 at 5:03:24 AM GMT
Posts: 3

These boats almost all seem to have this problem. The cockpit sole of my HA18 was completely shot and I replaced it all. I was hoping just the center section was bad, but it turned out to be almost all of it. I tore it out and added four support structures about a foot apart and added a new wooden planked cockpit sole center and marine plywood on the side under the seats. I will be adding a grate over top of it to add some traction to the surface. 

I have been doing a video blog of the process or restoring the boat. I am working on the episode now where I finish the new cockpit sole design and construction, but I do have an episode available now on its demolition and the support structures I put in. I should have the next one done with how I built the new cockpit sole and why I redesigned it the way I did online in a few days, maybe by the end of the week. If you want to see that episode, you can see it here: 

 Attached Images:

8/2/2018 at 11:51:54 AM GMT
Posts: 30
As others have noted, this is a common issue with older catboats (1973 Sanderling here). There is a Good Old Boat article on the topic (2005 I think) that has a lot of useful information and photographs.

11/29/2018 at 2:25:16 PM GMT
Posts: 30
I am planning to replace the cockpit sole in my 1973 Sanderling. I understand that I should use good, marine plywood and at the very least glass it on top and epoxy on all sides. My question is why is plywood the best material? Could I consider using a good grade of Douglas Fir or Yellow Pine?

1/11/2019 at 8:28:49 PM GMT
Posts: 1
Hi J. Semour, I replaced my cockpit sole and floors in my 1973 Sanderling last year . if you are interested I have some photos I could send you. Best to email me direct at you are interested.

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