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Old 12-15-2003
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Cabin sole

There are a number of things that you can do to replace your cabin sole. The cheapest is to go back with an Ipe or Okome plywood without the holly accents. This material is pretty inexpensive. The hot ticket is to fit the panels and then roll on several coats of epoxy resin on all sizes and edges to seal the plywood from absorbing water. Once the epoxy has cured then sand and apply several coats of vanish. If you don''t mind the extra labor you can buy ''pinstriping'' masking tape and paint on ''faux holly'' stripes and then throw the last couple coats of varnish over the top. That turns out to be easier than it sounds using a roll and tip process and it produces a very durable deck but one that requires some additional maintenance. If you are going offshore you can mask off stripes and then roll on a non-skip varnish strips.

Plan ''b'' is to buy teak and holly plywood that is made for this purpose. There are two versions of this material that are out there. You want the one with the heavier face veneer.Again the hot ticket is to fit the panels and then roll on several coats of epoxy resin on all sizes and edges to seal the plywood from absorbing water. And once again, once the epoxy has cured then sand and apply several coats of vanish.

Building a solid teak deck is possible but it requires a lot of work to build and frankly will add a lot ow work. The other issue is leaving large enough gaps to permit the wood to swell without buckling. I have built a small teak deck and it was not the easiest solition.

One last idea if you have access to a good woodworking shop would be to use IPE which is a teaklike wood sold for exterior decks on buildings and which is roughly half the cost of teak. You would need to mill it to the proper edge configuration. You might also consider resawing it to 1/4" planks and laminate those to a plywood backing using epoxy glue.

There are three sources of marine plywood in the Mid-chespeake that I know of:
Harbor Sales: http://www.harborsales.net/(all kinds of plywood)
Chesapeake Light Craft (Okome) in Annapolis,
and Annapolis Hardwoods. (I have never actually bought plywood at Annapolis Hardwoods so I am not sure what they carry)

Jeff
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