From: May 25, 2003 Yahoo Groups - Watkins


My79 cabin top had an outer layer of similar dimensions, a core of "tiles"about 1/4-3/8 thick and maybe four inches square, with about  1/8 of what looked like chopper gunned bottom layer. Beneath that, and separated by various distances ..1/8 - 1/2 or so was another fibreglas "headliner".  This was apparently installed like most inner pans or liners, with  many globs of"mishmash" spaced randomly which sort of glued the decorative inner liner to the structural deck or cabin top  To visualise the process, Imagine letting a fleet of dysenteric puppies loose on your front lawn, and then laying down a tarp, or a bunch of newspaper on top to cover it up.... Mishmash  was a mixture of polyester resin and ,WATCH OUT! ASBESTOS!  In later years the filler was changed to cappasil or other safer fillers.  I don't know which Watkins used. I had thought that the later (81-83 models) didn't have the separate inner liner.  I don't think ALL spiderweb cracks are indicators of delaminations underneath. An old Watkins dealer told me that they could be from pulling the structure out of the mold in a "green" state. I agree with Hunter. Dremel the cracks out and fill with whatever.. I used gel coat with a little yellow and brown tint.  Changed in the sun anyway, but who's looking? Most deck and cabin top delams are due to neglect, not design flaws. ON mine, I found that the hand rails, hatch slides, chain or hawse pipes, chain plates,mast step, pulpit installations,cleats and rails had not been properly prepared at the factory, nor maintained by the numerous P.O's Every bolt or screw hole that goes through a cored area should be drilled oversize, filled with an epoxy, and then re-drilled to size, so as to seal the core off from water invasion. GOOD designers specified solid glass construction in every area where screws or bolts went through the structure..  (See Gibbs and Cox ) or (Du Plessis) Too expensive for low to mid-end producers like Watkins.( or a lot of others I could name that cost a lot

more!) It wouldn't hurt to pull all the hardware, dry the holes, and swab them with epoxy. let them cure, and then rebed everything with life caulk or similar.  Remember.. smearing silly con all over the outside of leaking parts don't work!

Most every Watkins I have seen has a few delams. I guess they are sort of like blisters.... ya fix 'em, and next year there ain't so many. They are harder to fix. Some fix them from below ( better men than I, Gunga

Din!) On mine, I used a pin router to cut carefully along the edges of the non skid panels in question, then scraped out all the gunk and rotten cedar/luan/balsa,, never figgered which, and laid in shaped plywood sections in epoxy resin, covered it all up with the original deck or cabin top section, set also in epoxy. Clean out the excess in the grooves as the resin sets up, and fill the gaps with gel coat, as in crack repair.  Aft of the mast step, where I had a lot of delam, I cut out a big opening and installed a BOMAR sea hatch so my 79 became a late model! (Less messy than chasing cores) Some yard bosses will tell you that an 'ol Watkins ain't worth the effort or the cost, but this is the type of repair that most any owner can do for himself given time and sufficient motivation.....I sure though my old 27 was worth the effort Every time I got smacked by a tall bit of Gulf chop, I thanked myself! Did WONDERS for deck leaks, also.

Some of them leaked down from hatch slides and hand rails, and looked exactly like window leaks!


Dr Dave Parker






Deck Core Repair