Rebuilding the Foredeck on a Devoti

Some people have expressed interest in this repair I did recently so I thought I’d write it up for everyone’s edification.

Joe had taken a 2008 Devoti on trade from Rob Coutts and chartered it to some guy in Miami for the OCR there.  This guy failed to tie the mast in and capsized it in Biscayne bay.  The mast won’t fall all the way out in a Finn but it’ll fall out far enough to beat the hell out of the boat and it did.  It wrecked the deck and destroyed one of the watertight bulkheads in the bow, damaged the other one.  Joe called me and asked if I wanted to buy it and I jumped on it.  At the time I was working on Vesper ( and couldn’t really afford the mental bandwidth of fixing 2 boats at once so I put it off for 2 or 3 years till I could get to it.
Initial condition was that it wasn’t so bad, but upon inspection the tray for the mast gate was destroyed and cracked all the way back to the inspection port.  Integrity of the foredeck was completely gone.
I cut all of the bad section out along the line of the internal bulkhead and along the reinforcement stringer behind the inspection port, planning on using those as my anchor point.
The trash portion of the deck is actually laying on the upper right corner of this pic (click to expand).
I knew I wanted to make a mold and build a new deck replacement but wasn’t sure how to go about making a perfectly sized mold.  I spent a couple of months thinking about different ways to make a plug that was within a mm of the right size.  I thought about making one from wood and routing the edges and had actually bought the router bit to do so when I realized I already had the right tool for this.    I 3d printed the plugs for the mold and it worked great.  I sprayed them with Duratec primer which will polish up to a perfect finish for a mold.  In retrospect I should have attached the plugs and sprayed the entire thing with duratec but it worked out okay.  Things for next time.
Next I layed up glass according to calculations based on the previous layup schedule to try to replicate the thickness of the original deck.  The deck is like paper in places.  I layed it up using WEST System epoxy and fiberglass purchased from  Lay up is a layer of 2 oz glass to prevent print through, 2 layers of 9 oz S-glass and stitched biaxial glass.  Finished thickness was spot on.  I vacuum bagged the whole thing while it cured.
Output was a perfect replica of the deck that just needed to be glassed in.
I repaired the internal bulkhead issues with the duct tape trick on starboard and a sheet of glass/epoxy that I laid up on a sheet of table glass and then glued in to cover the giant hole in the port bulkhead.  There wasn’t enough left of the port side to repair it so I had to replace a big chunk of it.
Creative clamping.  The duct tape trick is laying out duct tape in a sheet with repeated rows, then putting wetted out epoxy glass on the duct tape and then sticking that over the repair.  It acts like a poor man’s vacuum bag and makes very neat repairs for small areas.
I ground down the deck and tapered the new deck so the overlapping parts would fair in nicely.
I then glued the deck on with some epoxy/high density filler mix and clamped it using a variety of crap found in my garage.
Once it was on I laid in a fillet of epoxy with high density filler and 4″ tape below decks to bond it to the internal structure.  I glassed tape on the top seam also to tie it into the deck and make sure it was bulletproof.  The mast gate structure is probably a bit stiffer now than a stock devoti but like D has said in the past, stiffer is better.
All of that got sanded and filled.  At this point it’s just drywall work.  Fill, sand, repeat.
Eventually I primed with Duratec to get a really solid paintable surface and then shot Interlux Brightside White over that in my driveway out of a $12 Harbor Freight HVLP gun.  It’s not perfect but only if your nose is right on the paint  It’s fine for racing.
After all the work is finished it weighs 116.3kg according to my digital hanging scale.

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