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Admiral Hornblower

Laser deck soft spots?

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These you simply live with.

IT's a '73. You should have seen my '73 Ford Galaxy--in 1988. Lumpier thatn taht

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1 minute ago, fastyacht said:

These you simply live with.

IT's a '73. You should have seen my '73 Ford Galaxy--in 1988. Lumpier thatn taht

So these bumps are just cosmetic, they will not affect the structural integrity of the boat?

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1 minute ago, Admiral Hornblower said:

So these bumps are just cosmetic, they will not affect the structural integrity of the boat?

The deck will soften more and more and eventually fail. When it has big cracks in it with water downflooding, then you can do something about oit. Until then, sail it:-)

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55 minutes ago, Admiral Hornblower said:

So these bumps are just cosmetic, they will not affect the structural integrity of the boat?

No, those are structural, but unless you want to cut the deck skin off, replace the core in the deck, and then re-skin the deck, you'll have to live with them.  What's happening is that the outer skin and core are separating from each other.  This does happen in old Lasers, especially from the seventies.  I fixed a buddy's 70s last year but only on each cockpit side.  It was too far gone to keep the inner skin so I replaced inner skin, core, and outer skin.

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"If you don't mind drilling into your deck......

Find the smallest drill bit you can find known to man. Measure no more than 2mm from the head of the drill bit so you have a measure of how far to drill (You don't want to go right through the deck.

Very carefully drill a hole into the centre of the soft section.

Then find a mixing syringe with a needle about the same size as the drill bit.

Then simply fill up the gap in with glass resin.

Try not to over fill your hole for a neat finish. You can then put a drop of gell coat over the top and cover with tape for that final finsh, but if your hole is neat and you dont overfill you may not even notice". 

 

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A laser the age of your boat has the structural integrity of a soggy loaf of bread, a few voids between the deck laminate and core caused by poor build quality are not going to make it any worse than it is.

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Actually on looking a bit closer those look more like dents, probably from storing  or transporting the boat.

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1 hour ago, Major Tom said:

Actually on looking a bit closer those look more like dents, probably from storing  or transporting the boat.

I could be wrong but it's likely core crush as a result of the laminate failing.  

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2 minutes ago, WCB said:

I could be wrong but it's likely core crush as a result of the laminate failing.  

What causes core crush due to laminate failure? I have built hundreds of boats and have never heard of this .

The outer skin of a laser is probably about .8 mm gel and 2 layers 300g CSM. I have seen many voids between the gel and laminate but never delamination or failure of the outer skin. The inner skin is a completely different story. There are also no visible signs of damage to the gelcoat. If there is a void between the core  and outer skin then you would  expect a large blister, ie, a raised section of outer skin. However, as the Laser is built with a very low density core on the deck it does dent easily especially If continuous point loading is applied to small areas.

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Looking at the first picture & Ad Hornblowers comment, they are "bumps" not hollows, which I think are caused by swollen core material. I've got a few of these on my Laser & to be honest don't worry about. Just get out on the water & enjoy abusing your new toy & more important enjoying yourself. :-)

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The decks have a certain life expectancy. Measured in decades, but when the time/load cycles are complete, it's done.

I am caretaker of a fleet of Lasers owned by our district NJROTC and there is not a single deck in the bunch that is not like a trampoline. Some have actually cracked and have splits all the way thru.

DSCN0487.JPG

Because there are several, and they are fleet boats not somebody's personal baby, I am thinking of a simple repair laying over top instead of a lot of fancy cutting, grinding, etc.

As you can see, the foils are nothing to write home about either. But they still sail!

FB- Doug

 

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If you saw the state of my Laser you'd laugh. I've had it about 25 years & it has had a lot of abuse & lot a lot of love. Bumpy deck & a hull that looks like someone has scribbled all over it with a marker pen. It's so deeply scratched that algae has grown in them! I wish I could show you some pictures. Yet I still win club races against some very good sailors in our handicap fleet, I even won the local Laser Open last year!!

To me the most important part is the sail, (the engine). I have got quite good at judging when I need a new one, but I suppose that comes with 30 years of Laser sailing. I'm quite lucky living in the UK, as Laser squad sailors regularly sell sails off after a regatta & they are more than good enough for club racing, so I have had a few of them over the years. 

The other winning factor is actually getting out there & doing it. Sail adjustments, steering & hiking techniques. I'm still learning things after all these years!

I've got a Radial sail for stronger wind racing & can usually beat full rigs on the water as you can pull a better shape in the sail as opposed to having to let the full rig flog a bit, probably something to do with drag. To me if it means I can get out more & enjoy myself, bring it on.

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On 11/13/2020 at 1:40 PM, Major Tom said:

What causes core crush due to laminate failure? I have built hundreds of boats and have never heard of this .

The outer skin of a laser is probably about .8 mm gel and 2 layers 300g CSM. I have seen many voids between the gel and laminate but never delamination or failure of the outer skin. The inner skin is a completely different story. There are also no visible signs of damage to the gelcoat. If there is a void between the core  and outer skin then you would  expect a large blister, ie, a raised section of outer skin. However, as the Laser is built with a very low density core on the deck it does dent easily especially If continuous point loading is applied to small areas.

While I have never repaired a Star, I was told that the dents that Stars suffer from are a result of the core and the outer skin not having a good bond.  Maybe I got bad information and passed that on, I can't say.  However, I do know that the 70's Laser that I repaired for a friend last year had full delamination of both inner and outer skins.  I was hoping to re-use the inner skin but after I realized that it had failed too, I had to cut the whole area out on both sides where the skipper sits.

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