Learning the HARD way...
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Boston / Ft Myers Area
Thanked 105 Times in 102 Posts
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Re: Cabin Sole Replacement
I replaced the ½" teak & holly veneer plywood on my cabin soule last spring. I used a combination of ½" teak & holly veneer plywood, and beefed up the bilge area to 3/4" plywood. The original ½" flooring over the bilge was driving me nuts as it sagged when I stepped on it.
I pulled the original flooring out, and used it as a template. I traced the template on the new panels, and cut the replacement panels ¼" larger than the original on each side. I made the cuts with a circular saw with a fine tooth plywood blade. I did all of the work with the panels upside down, so that I did not mar the veneer. I then used a router with a flush cut bit to trim the new panels to exactly the same dimensions as the original.
I noticed that the original panels had also been feathered to fit in some corners. To check this, I brought the new panels to the boat, and trial fit them. Where needed, I feathered the bottom of the panel with a sander and 80 grit sand paper. Once I was happy with the fit, I brought the panels back home again.
Rather than edging with some exotic wood, I bought aluminum "L" stock at the local big box store. I trimmed the edges where the bilge covers would go to allow for the thickness of the aluminum.
I then painted on 2 coats of low viscosity epoxy on the bottom and sides of the panels (the original panels were not sealed in this way. A week later, I applied 4 coats of Minwax satin polyurethane on the top, thereby sealing the wood completely.
I brought the new panels back to the boat to verify fit. All was good. Rather than applying 4200 and then screwing the panels to the fiberglass floor pan, as had originally been done, I simply used a tube of 4200, and placed weights to hold the new soule in place while the 4200 set.
Finally, I brought the aluminum "L" stock, and fitted it to the edges of the bilge covers, and the soule, where it met the bilge covers (so it would be aluminum against aluminum) with the horizontal surface of the "L" underneath the panel (so you cannot see the aluminum).
I messed up on the alignment of the Teak & Holly between two panels (near the mast step) that required some complex cutting. Actually, I realized that the alignment was off on the old panels too, so I don't get too upset over this detail.
Other than that detail, I was happy with the result - until two weeks later when my laptop fell on the floor, and gave it its first bit of... "character." I now have the laptop secured to the chart table with a piece of shock cord.
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USCG Licensed OUPV Captain, ASA 101/103/104/105/106/118 Certified Instructor - Also certified in Recreational Marine Electrical Systems