Thanks for the advice.
I have always used epoxy for repair projects. It has better adhesion to most things and I have always felt a bit more "in control" with it. I try to get each coat or layer added after the previous one has gelled, but before it has cured hard, to get the best bond between them.
For structural plywood I have usually used okoume plywood in the past, and it has done well for me. I am a bit of a weight nazi on the boat, so a solid glass panel in the bow is not in my plans... but I am not so hard nosed about it that I feel I need to go with a foam core panel either. Plywood seems the good compromise balancing weight/cost/ease of work. I am comfortable that I can seal it well enough that it will last at least another 20 years!
Our anchor rode is all chain, so it doesn't carry a huge amount of water below, and I am pretty sure laying the chain out on deck to dry before stowing would cause more wear and tear on deck than I would save in the locker.
Back Creek, Annapolis, MD
---In amelyachtowners@..., <lokiyawl2@...> wrote :
I inspected a 1984 Maramu which also had rotten panels in the bow locker. The bottom of the panel forming the floor of the two side lockers was not glassed on the bottom of that boat. The bottom of the same panel on my boat is glassed over and seems fine. If you go back with plywood, I would strongly suggest using a panel with a Loyds stamp to insure that the adhesive used passes the boiling water test to insure that you will not have delamination of the plies. I would also select a wood species in the durable category to reduce the chance of rot. The Sapele has held up pretty well for me. Using epoxy resin will do a much better job of sealing the wood against moisture than polyester. I have had good luck with the West System Epoxy which was developed for cold moulded boat construction and has been proven effective over decades of use. Just be sure to remove the amine blush between coats or layers. I am sure that there are other good epoxies out there, I just have not used many others. If you start with epoxy, also use it to bond in the panels since polyester does not bond well to epoxy. You might also want to consider using a panel cored with a non cellulose based material or if you can stand the weight go with a solid glass panel. On my boat, I pull out the anchor rode, rinse and dry on deck whenever possible. I also wash out the anchor locker and usually keep the access door to the anchor locker partially or fully open to vent. Anything that you can do to keep the humidity level down is helpful. Wood is a good choice for the core as it is stiff for it's weight. Wood will last essentially forever it you can just keep it dry. Wood is used to form the internal structure of our boats so the same concerns about moisture apply. The bilge area under the forward head is another area that I am very careful to keep perfectly dry since it is a very structurally important part of the hull. Best of luck with the repairs.
James Alton SV Sueno