I recently took my locker cover to a local fiberglass business…the balsa was water saturated, and leaking into the locker…lots of hairline cracks, etc…he quoted me 750 to replace the balsa with a high tech polymer used on the space shuttle, then gel coat and fiberglass…this was over 1000…the alternative was to use plywood as the structural piece, and continue for 750…i decided against and am doing the project myself…using 3/4 inch plywood, or leftover 3/4 inch hickory…any suggestions from those who have had to do the work themselves…? Thanks…Thom L.
Plywood is OK as a replacement so long as you can keep the water out. Any leaks will wick through the ply very quickly, since the grain runs flat across the sheet, and ruin the whole thing. Same with a plain board. It will work, but is not the best solution. This is one reason why end-grain balsa is actually better as a core. If water gets into a section, the grain will wick it in… all of 3/4". Each block of balsa tends to get walled off from the others by the resin, which also helps to keep moisture from spreading. It’s also lighter.
Materials for your repair should not cost a lot. You should save about $500 doing it yourself.
…Hey Paul…thanks for your input a sailboat neighbor helped me with the resin, and fiberglass…i used 3/4 inch cedar…i did a pretty crappy job, but i believe there are no ways for water to get under…not pretty, but, hey how does the song go; “if you wanna be happy for the rest of your life, take a pretty woman for your wife, but from my personal point of view, get an ugly girl to marry you”…structurally after the fiberglass it was a little high and i only put 2 layers on…i’m able to lock it up and walk on it…cost about 75 dollars for the whole job…
Making it happen! At least cedar is somewhat rot-resistant, and now you can go sailing! What are you going to do with all the money you saved? Drinking that much beer would be bad for you!