Guys here is my story on the problem I found with my boat and something everyone should look at. After all, looking is easy.
Sunday morning started with the simple project of rebeding my bow stantion and refilling some old holes not done right by the PO of the boat. I have pretty good access to the bolts thru the anchor locker and with Butly tape in hand this was going to be a 1 hour project.
As soon as I looked at at the underside of the fore deck I had an ah sh%& moment. The underside of the hause pipe was all cracked and the bolts on the furling fair lead and deck cleat had rust. I need more tools.
Long story short, The core in this area was soaked. I cut away the bottom skin, about 18" by 12" and pulled all the balsa out. This ranged from dripping wet to dry. This job does suck.
I then added two layers of glass to the cut out panel and the underside of the deck under the deck cleat. I wanted it to be stronger. I then cut and glued (west w/co silica) foam panels cut to fit in place, then glued the panel back in place. I had drilled a bunch of holes in the panel to find the wetness earlier so I then injected foam into all the holes. This was to done fill any voids between the foam panels and core. Two days so far. Right now everything is curing. Tomorrow I go back and grind everything smooth, Fill and tab all the seems and add a layer of glass on the whole area for good measure. Did I mention this job sucks? Upside down in the anchor locker? Anyway, the plan is after the last glass cures drill and pot new holes for the cleat, fairlead and hause pipe. I figure four more evenings before the job is complete.
I left out some of the details, cleaning w/acetone, etc but I think I did things the right way. I'd welcome any comments on the procedure I used.
Bottom line is you should check this area. I was most concerned with the strenght of the deck cleat. It had cetainly been compromised. The primary path of the water was the fair lead bolt holes and the hause pipe. If yopu haven't rebeded these and you don't have any indication of water I would do this pronto. Same with the deck cleat.