From: Mark C.
Subject: Covering Wood Decks
Date: Mon, 20 Oct 1997
Dear Dr. Rot;
Wow, what a find! Usually, when I want to accomplish
something beyond my current knowledge base, I spin my wheels
trying to find the person or article with just the right
presentation of basic info to get me started on the process.
Looks like your 'zine is the perfect point to start
research on a topic that is near the top of my current list
of stuff I've gotta become familiar with.
I'm in the process of buying a 1959 55' Chriscraft to live
aboard and cruise Puget Sound waters. The deck is showing
wear down of the teak to the point where screws from the
inside are breaking through the exterior deck surfaces. My
surveyor recommended covering the teak deck with 1/4' marine
plywood and covering that with epoxy GRP. The boat has been
kept in a boathouse for six years and cruised moderately.
The owners say the deck doesn't leak now, but there are
hundreds of screw tips showing through the teak.
Please give me your take on protecting decks of wooden
boats with epoxy and GPR.
With screw tips showing through the teak, I'd be very
surprised if water isn't getting in there somewhere. With
the boat under cover, it's kind of hard to tell.
Your surveyor is right -- re-cover the decks. He may or may
not have mentioned it, but you really need to pull off the
teak to do it right. The screws can be ground flush -- it's
all going to be epoxy covered anyway. Just covering the
existing decks with ply without looking at the base decking
is asking for major trouble down the line.
It would be remarkable indeed if the base deck/canvas were
in good condition. I think you're going to find questionable
wood, probably rot. This will need to be taken care of
before you lay down new plywood. What you end up doing is
going to depend on what you find and where it is and how
much of it is there.
The epoxy resins are going to play a major part in your
repairs, and you're going to need to keep the boat covered
to do it right. Our Clear Penetrating Epoxy (CPES) should be
a basic resource for you. It is the ONLY epoxy-based wood
preservative on the market that will truly penetrate bad or
questionable wood. Using epoxies and wood/glass cloth to
renew decks is a tried and true method. But the eventual
success lies in the details. Check out the library/book
stores and you'll find references to the exact processes
you'll be using.
Pull the teak, check the base deck, and then get back to us.
We'll help you if we can. If the boat is in the Seattle
area, we'll even come over and take a look once the teak is
off. Stay in touch.