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deck stringers?


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What would you use to replace stringers under a deck?

I've read pine or cedar, wondering about structural foams...


"Why Worry?" is made from chopped-strand fibreglass sheet, over a timber frame. It weighs about 76kg, and has very flexible panels, so is very slow. You might say get rid of it, but it's fondly remembered by many owners who have had it over the past 36 years, and it is booked in to attend 2 more regattas this season.

On the weekend during the Twofold Bay Regatta, the rear section of the starboard hull filled up with water. It has solid fibreglass bulkheads beneath the front beams which helped stop the whole hull sinking.

The leaks were mainly from the deck lifting off the top of the centreboard case. When we (skipper Max & I) removed some screws there was a clunk, as the internal stringers fell off inside the boat. These were water-logged and no longer attached to the deck. Possibly Meranti timber.

We've cut rectangular holes around the centreboards cases, thinking we could just add a lip & re-attach these panels. It revealed how very heavy & flexible this fibreglass sheet is. No wonder no-one uses it for boats anymore!

Previous attempts to use screws to attach the stringers had failed as the screw holes went down the sides of the timber instead of into the middle. Layers of epoxy, silicone and polyurethane showed many attempts to glue the deck down to the centreboard case.

We now have access to replace the stringers, and maybe grind out some of the big solid lumps of resin previous owners have deposited along the keel.

Any suggestions welcome,


Tony Hastings


mobile: 0427 534 548

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Hi Tony,

Good luck with your repair, i wonder if it would be worthwile replacing the entire deck with ply, i imagine the flexing of the fiberglass will continue to cause problems.

Western Red Cedar should be fine for the stringers, if you have the opportunity it is a good idea to de-hydrate the timber (in a paint booth for example) then apply a thin coat of boat-cote or similar epoxy while it's still hot.. This seals the timber, and helps bond strength when you glue it to the deck.

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Thanks Tom,

For mostly financial reasons the original (silver glitter finish) deck has been retained. The stringers were painted with "Crystal Clear" water-based polyurethane (because I had some already) and glued in with "Sikaflex" polyurethane ($20).

The urethane glue was tested for adhesion and strength, and it's true what they say; "that stuff sticks like shit to a blanket!" It is also very flexible, so any potential failure will be the cedar splitting. It seems the amount of movement is within the flexing range of the cedar, so should all be OK!

"Why Worry?" will be back on the water in time for the Wallagoot Lake Regatta. Meanwhile it's skipper Max has the idea of adding to our Mallacoota fleet with an even older Tiger:


It's sail number 696, and from the look of it, is in genuine 1960's trim; no downhaul, 3:1 vang, etc. Classic.



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Wow, that IS a classic!

A bit over-priced, I would think. Should be able to talk it down a fair bit. Just have a close look where it sits on the trailer. Boats supported via the hulls (as opposed to the beams) are likely to have suffered indentations in this area, especially ones this old!

Paper Tigers should always be supported by the beams when trailering.

Love to see old boats like this getting a new lease on life!



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