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New cabin sole anarchy


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So- the 3/4" teak and holly veneer plywood that makes up the cabin sole in my Frers 33 has delaminated to the point of no return. I now own a new 4x8 sheet of the same material, purchased for an eye-watering $500 for a single sheet! I will certainly endeavor to measure a bunch of times and cut once- I was able to remove the old one intact to serve as a template.

What's the current wisdom on a finish? The underside is often directly exposed to water in the various shallow bilge compartments, so I am assuming an epoxy coat below and on any edge plies is a given. I have had a few thoughts for the exposed side- varnish over epoxy, with the first epoxy coat thinned? Straight varnish without epoxy? 

Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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start with any epoxy resin thinned 10-20% ..  cup test the ratio for gel and cure before using on the ply

use epoxy thinners only

keep feeding it till it gels .. it soaks up quite a bit

 

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Minimum 2 coats on the underside and 3 on exposed edges of cutouts (due to wear and tear).

See this thread and my recommendation for the top surface

 

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Make the fit quite loose, otherwise the buildup of finish can make everything slightly too large and having to sand it back and start over is a pain in the ass.

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Undercut (bevel) them slightly - then they can fit snug but release easily without wearing the finish off the edges.

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1 hour ago, SloopJonB said:

Undercut (bevel) them slightly - then they can fit snug but release easily without wearing the finish off the edges.

Thanks Sloop-actually, the edges have changing bevels, and the forward section tapers in thickness from the center down to about 1/4” at the edges, but maintains the entire 3/4” thickness for the rear two thirds. Like a freakin’ violin soundboard, in case I was worried about it being too easy!

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1 hour ago, Ishmael said:

Make the fit quite loose, otherwise the buildup of finish can make everything slightly too large and having to sand it back and start over is a pain in the ass.

Thanks Ish- it also just barely makes it through the companionway, and the winter cover is on so test fits are going to be a pain in the ass!

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2 hours ago, Zonker said:

Minimum 2 coats on the underside and 3 on exposed edges of cutouts (due to wear and tear).

See this thread and my recommendation for the top surface

 

Thanks Zonker- I’m not planning to go with any non-skid strips. The old one was finished with gloss varnish, and as a couple of folks have mentioned I’ve never found it to be an issue. I looked through the thread and didn’t notice whether you suggested an epoxy first coat, or just straight varnish for the top surface.

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2 hours ago, phill_nz said:

start with any epoxy resin thinned 10-20% ..  cup test the ratio for gel and cure before using on the ply

use epoxy thinners only

keep feeding it till it gels .. it soaks up quite a bit

 

Thanks Phill- that accords with some of the suggestions I’ve heard.

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Don't epoxy the boards in a damp environment. The humidity gets into the wood and causes hazing in the finish when it outgasses afterwards.  Make sure the ply is kept DRY. 

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37 minutes ago, Fleetwood said:

I use Synteko here in Oz. Its a part of Akzo Nobel so probably widely available in the US. (Their oil on the top, epoxy painted (Interprotect 2K) underneath and sides.)

Thanks Fleetwood- do you apply the Interprotect over bare plywood? Also which Synteko product do you use? Is it two-part acid curing?

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3 minutes ago, PaulK said:

Don't epoxy the boards in a damp environment. The humidity gets into the wood and causes hazing in the finish when it outgasses afterwards.  Make sure the ply is kept DRY. 

Thanks PaulK- the PO had the sole refinished before i bought it, and the coating failed extensively because of moisture intrusion. I’ll be doing the work in my basement over the Winter, so moisture shouldn’t be an issue,

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Varnish a scrap piece of cheaper but smooth plywood about 2' square. Prop it up in the living room so it's about a 30 degree angle. Spill a glass of water on it. Stand on it and report back. :)

 

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5 hours ago, Ishmael said:

Make the fit quite loose, otherwise the buildup of finish can make everything slightly too large and having to sand it back and start over is a pain in the ass.

It isn't just the finish. You start with dry plywood in your workshop and end up with moist plywood on the boat, it gets bigger even without the finish. This is why you leave flooring inside the house its going in for 8 weeks before you install - to let it settle at the ambient moisture content. 

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When epoxy is thinned, it’s more permeable when cured. When the solvent goes away, the resultant solid is porous. THis defeats the purpose of sealing the plywood. 
There’s more on this at Westsystem.com or maybe Epoxyworks. They tested the moisture uptake of epoxy coated samples in wet conditions. 
The other way to get epoxy to be thin is heat. Apply in warm conditions. Warm the plywood, not the epoxies. 
 

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Oversize drill the screw holes and epoxy fill them, otherwise water will get in that way and you will have a wet ring around each screw.  On my second go at this I drilled the screw holes way oversize and fit solid teak plugs in them (epoxied in place), then flipped the sole upside down and filled the remaining cavity with epoxy.  Re-drilled the proper size for the screw through this.

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17 hours ago, Grizz said:

So- the 3/4" teak and holly veneer plywood that makes up the cabin sole in my Frers 33 has delaminated to the point of no return. I now own a new 4x8 sheet of the same material, purchased for an eye-watering $500 for a single sheet! I will certainly endeavor to measure a bunch of times and cut once- I was able to remove the old one intact to serve as a template.

What's the current wisdom on a finish? The underside is often directly exposed to water in the various shallow bilge compartments, so I am assuming an epoxy coat below and on any edge plies is a given. I have had a few thoughts for the exposed side- varnish over epoxy, with the first epoxy coat thinned? Straight varnish without epoxy? 

Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

When the floor boards chafe against floor timber’s the paint film breaks and you get water intrusion 

to prevent the flooorboards from touching the frames many boatbuilder use rubber stand offs 

these are rubber cord, o ring material about 10 or 12mm in diameter 

a hole is bored into the bottom perimeter at floor timber contact and a short piece of rubber is inserted 

the is done around the perimeter at perhaps 8 inch intervals 

once the rubber cord is inserted and glued it’s trimmed back with a razor blade so only a few mm is standing proud and full floor timber contact is achieved 

on some installations these rubber bumpers are used on the floorboard edges to prevent contact chafe 

always heavily radius the bottom edge of the floorboard to prevent edge damage 

these rubber bumpers also prevent squeak  and vibration 

7881EEAF-76E2-46EC-9006-B012BBA74418.png

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Grizz,

I replaced the cabin sole on my 1988 Carroll Frers 41.  Used the old boards as patterns, tapered edges as needed.  Epoxy coated underside and added 6" tape on the tapered edges underneath.  The underside is exposed to bilge water like crazy.  I used regular varnish  (probably Minwax or similar) on the pretty (upper) side and added some short non skid strips near the nav station to keep the navigator in place.  Fastener holes were over drilled then epoxied then fastened.  Just used flat head SS fasteners no bungs.  This is an old MHS boat so no worries about squeaks or such sillilness.

The sole was replaced in 1998 and is still going strong without delam.  Much of the teak veneer has faded under the sun

I've sanded and revarnished about every 3 years or so.  The non skid strips are also replaced.  I avoid removing all varnish so I don't sand through the thin veneer

Most of the walking surface is varnished teak/holly plywood (ours was only 1/2" thick).  It has not been a terrible surface in terms of being slippery.  What is a terrible surface are the sail turtle bags on the cabin sole -- they are usually pretty soggy on distance races when it's frisky out. 

P

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38 minutes ago, Pinching said:

Grizz,

I replaced the cabin sole on my 1988 Carroll Frers 41.  Used the old boards as patterns, tapered edges as needed.  Epoxy coated underside and added 6" tape on the tapered edges underneath.  The underside is exposed to bilge water like crazy.  I used regular varnish  (probably Minwax or similar) on the pretty (upper) side and added some short non skid strips near the nav station to keep the navigator in place.  Fastener holes were over drilled then epoxied then fastened.  Just used flat head SS fasteners no bungs.  This is an old MHS boat so no worries about squeaks or such sillilness.

The sole was replaced in 1998 and is still going strong without delam.  Much of the teak veneer has faded under the sun

I've sanded and revarnished about every 3 years or so.  The non skid strips are also replaced.  I avoid removing all varnish so I don't sand through the thin veneer

Most of the walking surface is varnished teak/holly plywood (ours was only 1/2" thick).  It has not been a terrible surface in terms of being slippery.  What is a terrible surface are the sail turtle bags on the cabin sole -- they are usually pretty soggy on distance races when it's frisky out. 

P

Thanks Pinching! Yep, the underside gets pretty wet. Your replacement looks great.

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19 hours ago, Grizz said:

Thanks PaulK- the PO had the sole refinished before i bought it, and the coating failed extensively because of moisture intrusion. I’ll be doing the work in my basement over the Winter, so moisture shouldn’t be an issue,

Basement is where you should probably avoid doing the work.  That's where I did mine. 

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22 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

That's gotta be the most offset companionway I've ever seen.

it's the tradesman's entrance ya dummy :rolleyes:

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We specify Bona Traffic HD Anti-slip for wooden floors in the buildings we work on. It’s designed for high traffic commercial applications. It looks great, is completely waterproof, incredibly durable, and anti-slip. In houses it works great to seal wooden floors around showers and bathtubs. Still learning about boats but am pretty good with buildings. If I were redoing my cabin sole I’d seriously consider this:


https://www.bona.com/en/products/professional/coatings/lacquers/wood-floors/bona-traffic-hd-anti-slip-ml1-3x495l/

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On 1/19/2022 at 12:00 AM, asmo said:

We specify Bona Traffic HD Anti-slip for wooden floors in the buildings we work on. It’s designed for high traffic commercial applications. It looks great, is completely waterproof, incredibly durable, and anti-slip. In houses it works great to seal wooden floors around showers and bathtubs. Still learning about boats but am pretty good with buildings. If I were redoing my cabin sole I’d seriously consider this:


https://www.bona.com/en/products/professional/coatings/lacquers/wood-floors/bona-traffic-hd-anti-slip-ml1-3x495l/

Traffic has many great properties in terms of surface durability. I had a hard time getting to bond straight to epoxy surfaces. So you either have to use a bonding coat of Bona dri-fast poly under it or shellac. My problems my have come from not letting the epoxy 105/207 cure for long enough before over coating.

But nothing in this world will pan/level out on a flat surface as well as traffic. It feels like cheating

 

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On 1/21/2022 at 12:11 PM, rustylaru said:

Traffic has many great properties in terms of surface durability. I had a hard time getting to bond straight to epoxy surfaces. So you either have to use a bonding coat of Bona dri-fast poly under it or shellac. My problems my have come from not letting the epoxy 105/207 cure for long enough before over coating.

But nothing in this world will pan/level out on a flat surface as well as traffic. It feels like cheating

 

The adhesion over epoxy is a concern- especially because I've already purchased the epoxy! The tech person I spoke with at Gougeon suggested Z-Spar Captain's varnish. Bona sounds great, but if I've got to buy the dri-fast and also a gallon of Bona Traffic HD, on top of over 200 bucks worth of epoxy, my little 3'X8' cabin sole will be eating into my beer budget big time! 

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13 hours ago, Grizz said:

The adhesion over epoxy is a concern- especially because I've already purchased the epoxy! The tech person I spoke with at Gougeon suggested Z-Spar Captain's varnish. Bona sounds great, but if I've got to buy the dri-fast and also a gallon of Bona Traffic HD, on top of over 200 bucks worth of epoxy, my little 3'X8' cabin sole will be eating into my beer budget big time! 

Gougeon are so helpful when you call them on the phone. It's kind of rare in our world.

Consider that spar varnish is very soft and flexible to allow it to move with expanding and contracting wood. Polyurethane like say minwax fast drying for floors is considerable harder and therefore better abrasion resistance. If you seal all sides with 3 coats of 105/207 you have isolated the wood from movement so use a poly. 

I was coating the underside of some new hatches yesterday and tried something new for me. For the 1st coat of epoxy I used a squeegee instead of a roller and got a much more even result. Don't think it will work on second or third coats but its nice to get one coat super even very quickly. 

 

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4 hours ago, rustylaru said:

Gougeon are so helpful when you call them on the phone. It's kind of rare in our world.

Consider that spar varnish is very soft and flexible to allow it to move with expanding and contracting wood. Polyurethane like say minwax fast drying for floors is considerable harder and therefore better abrasion resistance. If you seal all sides with 3 coats of 105/207 you have isolated the wood from movement so use a poly. 

I was coating the underside of some new hatches yesterday and tried something new for me. For the 1st coat of epoxy I used a squeegee instead of a roller and got a much more even result. Don't think it will work on second or third coats but its nice to get one coat super even very quickly. 

 

Thanks rustylaru- I’ve heard people mention that. I’m new at this- what kind of squeegee?

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