In the Accident that made the boat available to me the bow pulpit was bent and the starboard side stanchion base was ripped untimely from the boat, leaving a gaping hole in the deck. When I bought the boat a plastic bag was stuffed into the hole (completely ineffective). I immediately covered the hole with duct tape (somewhat effective). When the boat moved to the south shore I covered it with blue painter's tape (ineffective) and then reused a styrofoam egg carton and patched it (mostly effective).
Today I cut out, with a jig/sabre saw, the edges of the hole with the idea of patching it with fiberglass (good as new). I was dismayed to find the balsa core of the deck was soaked with water. This is very bad. If not tended to immediately the core will rot out and leave the deck spongy. I'm not sure if the sponginess comes from a softened wooden core or the disintegrated core leaving the deck with a gap between it.
So I drilled out some of the deck to see how extensive the damage was and found it was not as bad as I thought. So I cut a huge hole in the deck, big enough for a man to put his foot through, and hogged out as much of the wet core as I could. The wet core was easy compared to the dry core. The dry core just doesn't want to move, even though balsa is pretty soft.
I left it to dry out until tomorrow when I will glass the crap out of it. The idea is to put alternating strips of dowels and fiberglass matt in the hole, soak it, and then put fiberglass tape over the hole. Should make it good as new.
Then I sanded the bottom for a bit. It's dirty, dirty work.
Then I sanded the stern toe rail.
Then I sanded the starboard coaming.
My hands hurt and my body is tired and the boat looks like hell. A good hell, though. Then hell of getting worse before it gets better.