Engine room hatch repair

Alan Grayson

Hi All, the mild steel that supports the gas struts in my engine room hatch has gotten water into it and is rusting away and expanding causing a bulge in the engine room hatch in 2 spots.
Has anyone done this repair?
I am planning on cutting the whole strengthener area ( which I've been told is end grain balsa) digging all the old balsa out as well as the mild steel backing then replacing it with something, maybe 3/8 plywood then fiberglassing the removed panel back together.
For the mild steel plate I was just going to strengthen that area with fiberglass and thru bolt thru the hatch.
Does anyone have better ideas?
Alan Grayson
SV Ora Pai SM 406
St Lucia

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