In order to eventual get to the hull/deck joint modification, cockpit modification, and paint work everything on the deck has to come off; all fittings, hardware, and all trim. Much off the wood is in bad shape but I intent to save what I can. What I can't reinstall in its original configuration, I'll attempt to use in another manner. Much of the wood is teak.
Most of the trim is not too hard to take off but the most surprising thing is the number of holes in the boat. I'm not sure why it is so necessary to inflict so many opportunities for water to either intrude into the deck core or make its way below. And this in a boat designed and built for off-shore work.
I don't want to be too critical of Cape Dory, but I removed both of the deck hatches the end-grain balsa core was totally exposed completely around the hatch opening for both the forward and main salon hatch. I am forever reading about builders who state that all the holes cut in the decks of their boats--to include screw holes--are always sealed with epoxy and they always put plywood under all deck fittings to withstand crushing when the fittings are tightened down. Hmmmmmm. Not here. Also both the hatches were installed with only screws into the balsa core. Would think they would be bolted down. On a good note, none of the exposed end-grain had any sign of water intrusion.
The stern pulpit was not difficult to take off. I also removed the hatch and the two turning blocks. I removed the wood trim that ran across the aft deck behind the . There were signs of water intrusion under the trim at the hull deck joint. That situation will be fixed when I use multiple layers of epoxy and bi-axial cloth to glass the hull and deck joint.
I pulled the plastic sleeves out of the aft deck that the dorade vents plug in to. The dorades serve as inlet and exhaust openings for the engine compartment. When I took the sleeves out I learned that Cape Dory did not cut back the balsa core and fill with polyester or epoxy resin. They were rotted out from water intrusion. Like the deck hatches, the screws penetrated the outer fiberglass skin and penetrated into the balsa core only. This will not be too hard to fix, depending on how far the water intrusion extends. I am very glad I have a solid glass hull. How many times have I read that builders do this or that around through hulls and high stress points on the hull. And we know they do this because they say they do . . . . A few extra minutes and a little polyester resin mash or thickened epoxy when the holes were cut when the boat was built and Cape Dory could have prevented this.
An example is the "eyebrow" trim. This is a 3/4 x 3/4 piece of trim work about 17 1/2 feet long that runs along the top edge of the cabin trunk for its entire length on both sides. There are 28 screws holes per cabin side for a piece of trim that provides no real use other than aesthetic value. This could just as easily be painted on if the contrast helps the look of the boat. The screws penetrate the side of the fiberglass trunk, and in fact have allowed water to run in and cause rot in the 1/4" teak plywood veneer that serves as the inside of the cabin trunk. There would be no way to know it is leaking since the water would run down the inside of fiberglass headliner (which extends from the top of the cabin between the teak cabin side veneer and fiberglass cabin side, then under the side deck to the inside edge of the hull) where it drips out somewhere along the side--on to charts, into expensive electronic equipment, into bunks, etc.
The Eyebrow Trim
The toe rail had to come off. The wood was in bad shape. Some had dried out and cracked. The plan is to take the toe rail off and glass over the hull deck joint with three layers of biaxial cloth/mat and epoxy resin completely sealing the hull deck joint. Then install a raised 1 x 4 teak bulwark either fastened to stainless plates welded onto the stanchion bases or a custom made fitting. Glassing the hull deck joint will be one of the most significant projects undertaken.
To the left are two pictures of how I removed the toe rail. I used the Dremel Multi Max with a cutting blade to get under the toe rail--after I removed all the screws holding the toe rail down. After a while, the Multi Max couldn't even get under the toe rail. So I used wooden wedges I cut in the shop and then drove them under the toe rail with a big mallet. Then I leapfrogged down the rail with alternating wedges till the toe rail came off. This was not difficult. Removing the old caulking was the hard part. I used 3M Scotch Brite pads and acetone.
The bottom picture is the coaming removed. There were a lot of screws holding it on. Some were not obvious so you have to look real close and don't force it off. If it does not come off easily then there is a screw holding it on.