in the road, but there are not supposed to be bumps on our cockpit floor!
I noticed this about a year ago. It seemed like one day it was just there, as if it had appeared overnight.
After doing some research, I found out that this flaw is fairly common with the Super Maramu. The cockpit floor also serves as the engine room hatch. Located on the other side of this bump, is the bracket mount for the gas struts that support the hatch and keep it upright when it is in the open position.
During the manufacturing of the hatch, the shipyard opted to glass in place steel plates to bolt the brackets to. Somehow, moisture, salt air, salt water, or a combination of these, was able to penetrate the fiberglass and cause the metal to rust or “bloom” which caused the metal to expand as the iron was converted to iron oxide.
To rectify the situation, we had to remove the hatch, cut out the steel backing plate, and replace it with a stainless steel alternative. As I have absolutely zero experience dealing with fiberglass work, we hired a local expert (Roger) to handle the majority of the project. Although there was evidence that only the port side was blooming, we decided to replace the starboard side backing plate as well.
Step one was to run to Lowe’s and acquire a piece of 3/4 inch plywood. From this we cut a temporary cockpit floor/engine room hatch to take the real one’s place while it was being repaired.
Before we could remove the hatch, we had to remove the insulation from the underside, unbolt all the hardware, and rig a way to hoist the hatch out of the cockpit and onto the dock;
Then we had to remove all the screws holding the rubber sound proofing insulation to the hatch. We decided to wait until the hatch was out of the boat before trying to separate the sound proofing from the fiberglass under layer. After removing the screws it was still adhered to the hatch with adhesive.
We got the hatch out easily enough, and brought her up to the top of the dock and set it up on a couple of saw horses for Roger to start his magic. The soundproofing was adhered to the fiberglass quite strongly, so we opted to cut out and remove just enough to give us access to the areas we had to work on.
After the backing plates were removed, the areas were cleaned up, and the new stainless steel (SS) backing plates (grade 316) were epoxied into place. A single bar of stainless was purchased from McMaster Carr and a local machine shop performed the cutting, drilling, and tapping of the holes.
After allowing the epoxy to cure for 24 hours, positioning bolts were screwed into the backing plates with plastic sleeves added to provide an easy way to remove the bolts after the bondo and fiberglass were used to build back the balsa wood and gel coat that was removed.
Next was just a matter of cleaning everything up, putting all the screws back in the rubber soundproofing, re-adhering the foam insulation, and re-installing the hatch.
After taking out the rusted backing plate and removing the pressure it had created, the ‘bulge’ started to relax a bit and shrunk some. I believe if we had left some air space between the new SS plate and the underside of the hatch deck, it would have settled even more, but I didn’t want to take a chance and have the decking start to crack if unsupported. So I believe this is as good as it is going to get, but that is fine with us.