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Hatteras - balsa ROT

Balsa-cored decks can be the biggest headache, especially if water finds it's way into them. Nofziger Marine (NM) was hired for two major re-coring projects in 2018, both of which were coincidentally Hatteras yachts.

People are often drawn to the spaciousness of a Hatteras. They also cruise nicely on the water and most have a beautiful style to them, new and old. But one huge drawback to consider when looking into a Hatteras, at least the older models, is their balsa-cored decks!

This boat had years of core-rot. The pictures shown were areas at least 10 feet long. NM was only subcontracted out for these two sections because the owner wasn't ready to replace the entire deck, so she focused on the worst sections. "Spongy" is an understatement, these sections felt like you could practically fall through the deck.

These jobs were done with marine plywood, as at the time NM wasn't yet using the favored fiber-reinforced foam board. As with any project, prep in 90% of the job. Martin took his time making sure these rotted areas were properly cleaned and prepped, and he finished off these repairs with West Systems epoxy and Knytex.

After the coring was complete, the areas faired and sanded, I came in with a colleague and finished off the job with a two-part primer and two-part paint. The client was so happy with the deck that she decided to get the whole boat repainted; why not? Woodward Yachts LLC subcontracted us to complete the roll and tip paint job in the slip, which took another couple weeks or so...

So if you've got yourself a Hatteras, or if you're thinking of purchasing one, be sure to have it surveyed thoroughly. Make sure the decks are sound, and if they aren't, make sure you know how bad the core damage is!

Penelope the pirate cat approves this post!

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