Oak Cockpit grate/flooring? - SailNet Community

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Old 12-14-2009
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Oak Cockpit grate/flooring?

I'm toying around with the idea of constructing a removable grate/floor for my cockpit sole this winter. I don't want to spend the $$$ for teak, especially since this will be the first time I'll be trying something like this and I'm sure I'll screw it up in some form or manner.

In looking at less expensive materials at Home Depot, I saw oak 1"x2" strips/planks for 98 cents a linear foot.

Is there any reason to stay away from oak? Will it warp? splinter? in a marine environment. I would stain it. (Possibly even with Cetol, although this might be too slippery for a cockpit sole) I found a 2005 thread that discussed some other woods such as cedar, and afomisa (sp?) but was hoping for a little more discussion on oak.

Any thoughts? guidance? or just want to tell me I'm idiot ,etc.
Thanks in advance.
Denis
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Old 12-14-2009
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A friend did just that on his Mirage 33 a couple of seasons ago.. it seems to be holding up just fine. Stained it a "teaky" colour and most probably don't know or notice.

This is here in the PNW where it certainly spends some time damp!
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Old 12-14-2009
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I think Oak would be fine but I wouldn't stain it. If everyone is always barefootin it be ok, but I think if you try to darken it even deck shoes will wear off some stain in places and make it look a bit funky.
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Old 12-14-2009
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The oak that is available in most Home Depots is a fast growth red oak. This is a species that is very prone to warping and rotting and which would be a very poor candidate for epoxy sealing. A table or deck grating made of that material will be very short lived.

You would be way ahead of the game using either IPE, which is roughly the same price per board foot as a good quality oak but which is much closer to teak in durability or else western red cedar, which is a softer species but which has simplar rot resistance. The hot ticket with western red cedar is to prime it with two coats of epoxy to seal the grain and then paint of vanish it.

Jeff
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Old 12-14-2009
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Jeff,
will he really want to varnish it if he is looking for grip under foot?
Won't varnish be slippery?
I have a teak subfloor in the cockpit and it is great because all the dirt and crap goes through the slats and you never see the stuff. I refinished it after obtaining the boat from the previuos owner using Cetol and I thought it to be a big mistake.
The thing was slippery.
I used cetol and will not do it again.
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Old 12-14-2009
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Jeff, I may not have explained my proposed project very well. I'm just looking to fabricate a grate to lay on top of my cockpit floor, not replace or cut into my cockpit floor. I wasn't planning to epoxy anything.

Sailortjk1, Thanks for the heads up on the cetol being slippery, that was a concern of mine.
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Jeff isn't talking about glueing your grate to anything. Coating it in epoxy is something entirely different and will protect your wood and done right will look great with a bit of varnish on it. If you want some non-skid mix up something with the varnish like sand or sugar or something gritty. ...do a bit of homework and you will find all the info you need to do this.

Good Luck.



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Originally Posted by CalypsoP35 View Post
Jeff, I may not have explained my proposed project very well. I'm just looking to fabricate a grate to lay on top of my cockpit floor, not replace or cut into my cockpit floor. I wasn't planning to epoxy anything.

Sailortjk1, Thanks for the heads up on the cetol being slippery, that was a concern of mine.
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Old 12-14-2009
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If your using oak, go with white oak. It's rot resistant and durable. Home Depot? I've only seen red oak there, and as previously posted, red oak is highly prone to rot. I'm sure a quick search in the Yellow Pages will turn up a small, local lumber dealer who will have exactly what you need.
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Old 12-14-2009
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If the finish wears off of oak enough for the wood to get wet it will turn black quickly. Epoxy coating and protecting with varnish and some non skid particles sprinkled on the second last coat while it is still wet works well. When this coat is dry shake off the excess and the last coat (or two) will keep them there. You don't need much to keep it from being slippery. Fine silica sand works well used sparingly, just enough to keep you from slipping, not enough to make it look like sandpaper.
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Old 12-14-2009
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Oak is not the material for this. if you don't want to pop for teak, try ipe or something else that is dimensionally stable, won't rot and won't raise nasty splinters.
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