The Rot Doctor


Subject: Sailboat Deck Repair
Date: Mon, 04 Oct 2004


I'm having a problem with my old Snipe deck repair, and I don't know what to do about it. The last batch of L&L Resin I mixed up and loaded into the deck to replace some rotted balsa has not set up properly. It's been a full week since I placed it in these three areas. The other three areas I had done earlier have set up "like a rock." But these have not hardened. Well, one is just about hard, but it still has sticky spots scattered about on the underside of the deck where some of the L&L Resin leaked through. I've tried turning a fan on it for a day at a time, and I've tried heating up the deck from below with light bulbs. The heat seems to work better than the fan.

Toward the back of the deck, there are two holes that have fittings to anchor a rope line with a block that feeds the mainsheet tackle. I cleaned out around theses holes on the inside to make an area about two and a half inches in diameter clear for the resin. I plan on drilling out the hole for the fitting in the same spot, but it's supposed to be stronger with everything bonded together better. Only trouble is that the resin is not hardening. I haven't tried any heat or a fan on these two areas. I had put some clear plastic packaging tape on the underside of these areas, and none of the resin has leaked through, but the hole in the top deck is wide enough for me to get a finger through to touch the top of the resin, and it's like very, very thick honey. My finger makes an impression, but in a little while it's settled out again and there's no sign of my fingerprint - just a shiny lookin' honey color. I thought I mixed the resin properly, and waited ten minutes before filling the holes. But it just isn't getting hard. What can I do about it? Should I try injecting some hardener only into what's left of the void?
Please HELP!!!

Pete S.


In colder weather, the L & L Resin can take quite awhile to cure. A week is not uncommon. Hopefully this is the problem in your case. Heating up the area to warm the resin is the best way to cure it. I would try warming the resin with a heat gun or hair dryer, then use light bulbs underneath, with a blanket over top to hold the heat in overnight.

Hopefully this is the problem and some heat will finish your slow cure. The other common problem is incomplete mixing, but since you have successfully used the resin in the past, I would seriously doubt that this is the problem in this case. I would not try putting hardener in the holes. Even if you had filled the holes with resin only, putting hardener in on top would only cure a thin layer on the top of the resin. If the resin has hardened even a little, I would expect that keeping the area warm overnight would allow the resin to complete its cure. The resin does need some time over freezing each day in order to cure properly. And if it has cured some, then keeping it above freezing, and as warm as is practical would be the way to go. If for some reason the resin is not curing at all, the only thing to be done is to remove the uncured resin and start over with a new batch.

Let me know if I can be of further help.