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Catalina Direct Discussion Topics / Catalina 22 Discussion Area / Hull / Keel / Rudder / Tiller / Forward Hatch Area - No Step !
Author Forward Hatch Area - No Step !
Michael Barnes
Newtown Square, PA 19073

Boat Name: Gaper Delay

Model/Year: 74 Catalina 22

Hull No. CTYH37550774

Hailing Port: Philadelphia
08/28/2004 3:36 PM Pacific Time

This boat was bought by a friend at a Christian Young Life fund raising auction. He sold to me - boat, trailer, motor, sails, everything. Only major problem(I hope) is that the forward deck area around the fwd hatch is mpt sealed and is separated from the hatch framing and the deck "gives" 2-3 inches when you step neat the hatch. Appears I need to take the hatch out and inspect everything in and around the area. Appears I also need to build some type of bridge across to take the load of someone on the foredeck near the hatch, or better, jumping down from the dock onto the fore deck - Yikes ! This a typical problem ? Anyone have structural integrity issues with the foredeck ? Any common fixes on how to strenghten it ? Just getting back into boating now that all kids are in or out of college ! I feel comfortable being a Catalina owner with all of you out there !!
Greenville, SC

Boat Name: Kemo Sabe

Model/Year: C-22 , 1973

Hull No. 2229

Hailing Port:
08/29/2004 3:46 PM Pacific Time


I re-did the port side of my foredeck a year ago. It was done from the inside so
that the deck material wouldn't be disturbed and for
aesthetic reasons. I had lots of good advice from my
friend Dennis Slaton on how to do this as he's done
MANY of these repairs for other folks.

The job itself is not that hard, but what "scared" me
was the importance of doing a good job and that I
lacked the confidence to 'jump' on it without
someone's solid, verbal advice on what should be done.
I really wish that the experience had been documented
in pictures, but I just wanted the 'experience' over

These are the basic steps that I used for my
successful foredeck, port-side core repair job.

1. Strip the deck of hardware. Strip the boat inside
as all of the work I did was from the interior. If
you're smaller than 6'3" and 240, it'll be easier for
you than me on the vee berth.

2. Identify the specific part of the deck core you
desire to replace from the interior. Make a line
drawing on the interior deck liner where you will cut
it. (A mark to follow with a side grinder.) I could
have done the whole foredeck as it would have been
just as easy, but only did most of the port side
foredeck, upper chain plate forward, following the
interior molded pattern at the mid-deck forward from
the upper chainplate.

3. Side grinder. (Not as bad as it sounds!!)I used a
small 4.5" side grinder turned with the blade
vertical, with me lying on my back under the work. I
had goggles and good mask. I also had a GOOD box fan
exhausting on high speed lying over the hatch along
with some good interior light, all for obvious

4. Making sure that I had light pressure on the side
grinder, (Never went through the deck, nor even close,
but I was SWEATING THAT!) I followed the lines at the
mid foredeck level, making final cuts toward the
outboard side of the boat. The liner fell on me. I
thought it'd be a pain to pull off. It was a perfect
template for the plywood I'd later cut to replace the
rotted with. Don't cut along the outboard edge of
liner or wood as it's not a problem and will come
loose easily.

5. Remove the liner and rotted plywood. Not a bad
job at all as the wood was rotted and most fell on me.
Rest could be pulled down manually.

6. Clean underside of deck. Clean hull liner/wood

7. Cut plywood using the liner template.

8. Make measured wooden jamb braces to jam between
vee berth and interior deck. Make PLENTY. Use
anything that you can jamb or jack against the
interior of the deck. You'll need pressure to make
the 5200 set. I 'shaped' the deck by using these
braces. Cement blocks were put on top of the deck to
give me downward force to jamb against. This gave me
the pressure that I sought and allowed me to 'shape'
the deck to the correct contour, although that's not
too big a problem.

9. Spread 5200 on the back of the plywood and
brace/jamb them into position with all the wooden
jambs/jacks. I think that you could do the liner and
the plywood simultaneously, but I had time, wanted the
5200 to do its job, so did them separately. I gave
the 5200 a LONG time to kick, too long, but it was
January and I had time.

10. Spread the 5200 on the inside of the liner.
Repeat the same process as with the plywood. The side
grinder will leave a gap in the liner the width of the
blade. Make SURE that you smooth out the 5200 that
squeezes into the gap. Smooth it like caulking or use
caulking to make a smooth seam. I plan to put some
nice wooden strips over mine, if I get around to
it!!:))It really doesn't look too bad the way it is
and is unobservable for the most part. I guess you
could use something other than 5200 to attach the new
wood and liner, but it works, is not as messy as
epoxy. My deck is like new and as I said, I'm a
fairly 'big boy'!!

This is what worked for me, Scoot. Someone else may
have done it differently. I'm happy with the outcome.
Hope this might give you a bit of confidence to jump
on the job, Michael. Sorry you're having the problem
and I'm like you, I wish my boat's previous owner had
kept the 'holes' caulked! Guarantee you that I will!!!

Good luck,

Michael Barnes
Newtown Square, PA 19073

Boat Name: Gaper Delay

Model/Year: 74 Catalina 22

Hull No. CTYH37550774

Hailing Port: Philadelphia
08/30/2004 8:35 AM Pacific Time

Wow ! Very impressive ! Thanks Larry. Send me a note to my email at [email protected] and I will send pictures of the project underway ! Thanks again for the advice and procedure you detailed. I am so pumped to get back on the water ! Boat is in my backyard under self made tent - so I am ready ( and we have the remnant of Gaston hitting tonight !). Off to get this job done - thanks again sir !
Bruce Arnsman
Kalamazoo, MI

Boat Name: Laurenje

Model/Year: C22/1977

Hull No. ...

Hailing Port:
09/15/2004 8:49 AM Pacific Time

I am facing the same sagging deck problem with my recently purchased '77 C22. The leak appears to have come from the fore and port side of the hatch, and has deteriated the core from the bow to the aft side of the hatch over to the rub rail side. The starboard side seems to be in tack as well as 3" to 4" strip (inner liner) along the outer port side rub rail. I'm guessing that was securred with glass/resin from the factory and does not have a core in that area. I'm apprehensive to cutting into the liner and am looking to "insert" replacement core. I need to know the stock thickness of the plywood core? Would another core product work besides plywood, i.e. glass mat, or another matrix? Also, in terms of adhesion, is flexability better in this repair oppose to a more rigid attachment i.e. resin or epoxy? All comments and ideas area appreciated.

Chris Hadden
Newfane, Vermont, USA

Boat Name: no name

Model/Year: 1974 Catalina 22

Hull No. 3439

Hailing Port: Vermont
09/15/2004 9:28 AM Pacific Time

I too have a soft spot on half of the fore deck. Some photos and people who have done it at the following links.
Joe McElroy
Snoqualmie, Washington

Boat Name: Teasel

Model/Year: 1979 Swing Keel

Hull No. 9014

Hailing Port:
09/15/2004 9:31 AM Pacific Time

I’m concerned that 5200 would be poorly spread out by the limited pressure available on the liner. I’m sure that it would not be a problem as far as bonding, but there would be pockets for water to gather. I would epoxy seal the plywood first, if using this method. This is a long term durability issue. You may like your boat so much better after the repair that you may want to keep it for 20 more years.

My other concern is that 5200 will not provide much shear rigidity which is required to obtain beam strength from the glass/plywood sandwich. This may not be a big issue, and would be less of an issue if you used plywood thicker than the original.

Short of turning the boat over, this may be the best way to go, since a “better” method seems to necessarily involve “floating” the plywood in resin onto the underside of the deck. I think it takes quite a liquid material to be able to bond plywood with no voids using the low pressures that we have available in this situation.

By the way, you must be using A LOT of 5200. That seems like a huge surface area to cover with much thickness.
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