When you've got a big problem that you don't know how best to deal with it, find someone else who is already dealing with the same problem. Or even better, someone with a bigger problem that can put yours into perspective.
There's a boat yard just 400 metres from my house. In a shed in there is a 39' foam sandwich catamaran that has the gel coat stripped away to deal with an osmosis problem. Water is dripping out in a couple of places. With the gel coat removed, the outer layer of glass is clearly visible, and the foam below that. I went to visit with my moisture meter. I was relieved to see that where the moisture levels were high, there were very few places that had any sign of delamination.
|A 39' Catana with the gel coat stripped off.|
Clearly, my boat needs drying out, and the sources of the water ingress dealing with, but the repairs to the laminate may be necessary only in the worst affected areas.
I've decided to bring my cat to the same yard, and put it in the shed there for the summer. I doubt I'll have to strip away the whole of the gel coat, but repairing the laminate will require warm and dry conditions.
So there goes my summer sailing. But if I sail back down the river at the end of the summer with a solid dry boat, newly painted and ready for the high seas at last, I'll have plenty of confidence in what I'm sailing, and I might get it all done in time to sail south of the winter.