Deck Delamination

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After the first season of use, I noticed two sets of cracks in the gelcoat on the deck right where you would stand to tend the bow line or raise the anchor. They looked remotely like a foot print, and I was curious as to what caused the deck to crack. Although they were largely cosmetic, they needed to be fixed as water would penetrate over time and cause further damage.

I tapped lightly around the area to get a sense of the problem. Along the way, I came to learn that the deck on a Catalina has a plywood core, and that some delamination is common as the boat ages. The fix is quite simple - you drill a couple of small (1/4") holes in the effected area(s) and fill them with penetrating epoxy (like "Git-Rot" or similar product).

I used an electronic stud finder to chart out the delamination areas. The delamination areas look like hollow wall from the stud finder's point of view. It turned out that there were two small areas of delamination adjacent to each other. I drilled two holes in each (one for expoxy in, the other for air to come out), filled the cavities completely, and let it cure overnight. I finished off the holes with color matching gelcoat; good as new.