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Old 07-29-2007
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Ideas for cockpit flooring? On a budget.....

I need to install some type of flooring in my cockpit, and most of the retail products are just so darn expensive. I really don't like the look of Dry-Deck or non skid paint, but I've priced out the pre-manufactured interlocking teak grid, and it's around $300. Has anyone built their own flooring out of something less pricey? I need some great idea, that won't cost me an arm and leg. I have access to a decent wood shop, but my woodworking skills aren't what you'd call professional, just average.

What I'd really like is to build a disappearing table like this, but....

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Old 07-29-2007
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Cool, a cockpit grate that lifts up to become a table... hmm... I don't know I'd want to have my food on a surface that I've been walking all over though...

As for making a cockpit floor grate, it isn't that difficult, especially if you make it with the slats all running one direction, as in the photo. Basically, you have to rip a number of boards to the slat width and then setup a jig to hold the boards in position and fasten them to some perpendicular ribs, spaced about a foot apart, that will support the grate. I've seen them with edge trim and without...
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Old 07-29-2007
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Cool, a cockpit grate that lifts up to become a table... hmm... I don't know I'd want to have my food on a surface that I've been walking all over though...
In the restaurant business theres the "three second rule"...so if you can eat your meal in less than 3 secs your all good
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25,
Don Casey's book, "100 Fast & Easy Boat Improvements" has an idea you might be intereted in. The book runs about 15 bucks.

Instead of the typical cross hatched grating he recommends slats, fore and aft (length ways). He recommends 1x2 lumber, dimensional ideally. Teak, of course, is the most desirable for durability, but he lists redwood, red cedar, or yellow pine as alternatives.

You cut cross bracing that spans the width of your cockpit, getting as close to the sides as possible. Then you cut length ways pieces to lay on top of those, screwed together with brass screws. if the steering pedestal is in the way, cut the grate in two and make a semi-circular cut out for the pedestal base. Put some rubber or plastic feet on the bottom to lift it ever so much above the deck.

Here's the nice part of the idea. If you fasten some cleat stock, around 1x1 in size, an 1-1/2 to 2 inches below your seats on the sides of the cockpit, you can lift the grate out and lay it across the open cockpit. Resting on the cleat stock, you've now converted your cockpit into a good size bed!

With the types of wood recommended, I'd use epoxy where the slats cross and epoxy the whole thing before painting or varnishing the whole shebang. Although, with the redwood or cedar you could make a case for just staining it. I'm assuming teak is not in the budget, or we wouldn't be having this conversation.

I think casey's book is available at wm or on amazon.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailaway21 View Post
25,
Don Casey's book, "100 Fast & Easy Boat Improvements" has an idea you might be intereted in. The book runs about 15 bucks.

Instead of the typical cross hatched grating he recommends slats, fore and aft (length ways). He recommends 1x2 lumber, dimensional ideally. Teak, of course, is the most desirable for durability, but he lists redwood, red cedar, or yellow pine as alternatives.

You cut cross bracing that spans the width of your cockpit, getting as close to the sides as possible. Then you cut length ways pieces to lay on top of those, screwed together with brass screws. if the steering pedestal is in the way, cut the grate in two and make a semi-circular cut out for the pedestal base. Put some rubber or plastic feet on the bottom to lift it ever so much above the deck.

Here's the nice part of the idea. If you fasten some cleat stock, around 1x1 in size, an 1-1/2 to 2 inches below your seats on the sides of the cockpit, you can lift the grate out and lay it across the open cockpit. Resting on the cleat stock, you've now converted your cockpit into a good size bed!

With the types of wood recommended, I'd use epoxy where the slats cross and epoxy the whole thing before painting or varnishing the whole shebang. Although, with the redwood or cedar you could make a case for just staining it. I'm assuming teak is not in the budget, or we wouldn't be having this conversation.

I think casey's book is available at wm or on amazon.
Hey thanks for the book tip. I like the idea of being able to raise it up to make a bed.
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*cringe* This suggestion will prolly get me lynched -- either by traditionalist sailors or my fellow woodworking professionals....

How about composite decking products -- eg, Trex or TimberTech? Mills easily, doesn't rot, splinter, or warp. Not real expensive in small quantities. You'd have to leave expansion room, & it isn't especially structural. But it'd be my first choice of decking in a persistently wet environment. Could make your little pop-up table out of it, too.

(I love wood. Make my living with it. But it has its limitations, and marine environments .... not so good.)
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Be aware that the composite decking material usually has some wood byproducts in it, and as such can get moldy in a wet environment. It also isn't as rigid as the real wood would be.
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Quote:
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*cringe* This suggestion will prolly get me lynched -- either by traditionalist sailors or my fellow woodworking professionals....

How about composite decking products -- eg, Trex or TimberTech? Mills easily, doesn't rot, splinter, or warp. Not real expensive in small quantities. You'd have to leave expansion room, & it isn't especially structural. But it'd be my first choice of decking in a persistently wet environment. Could make your little pop-up table out of it, too.

(I love wood. Make my living with it. But it has its limitations, and marine environments .... not so good.)
I like the alternative product concept, I've even considered using StarBoard.
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In a decent lumbar yard you should be able to buy a type of wood called "Ipe". It is a South American hardwood that looks and handles like teak, but is commercially grown. It is less than a third the cost of teak and it is sold in diminsional sizes (1x4) that already come with smooth slightly rounded edges. All you have to do is cut to length and attach them together as mentioned above.
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In a decent lumbar yard you should be able to buy a type of wood called "Ipe". It is a South American hardwood that looks and handles like teak, but is commercially grown. It is less than a third the cost of teak and it is sold in diminsional sizes (1x4) that already come with smooth slightly rounded edges. All you have to do is cut to length and attach them together as mentioned above.
Wow, that sounds pretty good. I will definitely check into it, thanks
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