• Mobile App For Android Now Online!

    Download it here. The app is searchable in the Google Play Store under Sailboat Owners.

    Sorry iPhone/iPad users, we are still waiting on Apple. :(

    Click the X in the upper right corner to make this go away

O'Day 34 cabin top going soft

Nov 26, 2019
Oday 34 Port Clinton
I thought I had re-bedded the fittings on the cabin top of the 1984 that I bought just a few seasons back, but it seems I was too late and the cabin top has turned very soft and cracked. I appears I will be cutting it out and rebuilding from the top side with new epoxy FG and birch plywood.

Someone had a post of doing similar on the captains seat and finishing with marine teak deck plywood.

If anyone can find that post or show me a similar project it would be appreciated!
May 17, 2004
Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE Havre de Grace
38 pages of O’Day deck recoring (and other assorted projects) at
Feb 22, 2010
Oday 322 Delaware River
Core rot in the decks of old boats is the unfortunate reality, as prior owners (and even the factory) seldom take the time to drill-fill-drill (smaller) all the holes in the deck for fittings. And so when the sealant fails (and it will eventually) then the water seepage into the core begins. One of my prior owners installed a bimini with tracks, by just screwing into the deck. What were they thinking ! And so , of course there is some small areas of rot. So far I have lived with it as it is on the side.

There are tons of projects on YouTube of core replacement from small projects just around a stanchion, to whole deck replacements. It is hard to beat the extensive DIY projects of Mads Dahkle and his Warrior 38 "Athena" on youtube channel "Sail Life". He is fearless in tackling any project. In his series, he replaces the entire top deck. Whether you do a little bit, or a more extensive project, I cannot imagine doing it from the bottom (with dripping epoxy everywhere). Cut out as much top as needed, recore, refiberglass, and then top it off with KiwiGrip nonskid solution. It isn't going to match the other parts of the deck, but hey - it is a good old boat, and it will be secure for another 30 years. If your non-skid is grey and KiwiGrip is also grey then not too bad a coordination. I did my lazarette hatch as water migrated into the core all the way from the edge hinge area. (again factory sloppiness).

Google "youtube Sail Life core replacement" to get started on about 10 or so episodes completely documenting the process. "Sail LIfe"

"SailLife" channel and Andy's "BoatWorks Today" are the two best DIY boat repair channels out there.
Last edited:
Sep 23, 2009
O'Day 34-At Last Rock Hall, Md
Before you start, some here posted a much simpler technique. They drilled some small holes, used harbor frieght vacuum pump to dry the core, then injected epoxy to fill voids. Hopefully they will answer op.
Feb 22, 2010
Oday 322 Delaware River
Here is another video with good documentation on evaluating where the deck is bad, ripping it up, and inserting new core. He is a bit long-winded, but the video images are good. Unfortunately, there is only a part 1 (ripping it up) and a part 2 (inserting new core), he did not get to part 3 (overlay with new glass, and nonskid), but as far as it goes, it is very instructional. I think one of the messages is, it isn't rocket science, you can do it, it is just a process. Notice how the lower glass flexes significantly after disassembly. SailLife did the entire deck, so he built a support structure for under the deck. that depends on how big your problem is.