Concerned and curious, Gabrielle and I removed the fiberglass skin from the portion of cabin top at the mast step that felt soft, and discovered a blackened area on the plywood underlay about 20” in diameter. Dry rot. The spot seemed to have a little black tail that trailed off the forward edge of the cabin.
We followed the tail as it expanded, cutting larger and larger pieces of fiberglass from the side of the cabin and then from the deck until day became evening and we couldn’t see to continue.
The next day, I had to go to work. Gabrielle opted to continue ‘exploring’ for dry rot.
“How far should I go?” She asked.
I shrugged. “‘Til it stops.”
Perhaps now is the time to explain how wonderfully tenacious and energetic my wife can be. I sometimes call Gabrielle my little rat terrier, (rest assured it is said with only the greatest affection) because she has the remarkable capacity to sink her teeth into a project, cause, or goal with such vigor that there can be no doubt as to her reaching a successful outcome. She is my inspiration. And I want to be like her when I grow up.
I came home from work to find the foredeck and a good portion of the bulwarks gone!
“It just kept going.” Gabs said with an exhausted smile.
Thus began our saga of rebuilding the decks of Moontide, from bow to transom.
I told Gabrielle “From this point on, if we find rotten wood, it’s going to have to be on someone else's boat.”
Yes, for all this we are grateful... still, we hope we never have to go through this experience again!