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Cruxandreams 10-15-2013 05:53 PM

What wood is this cabin sole made off??
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Hello fellow boat nuts, we have upgraded to a Larger Taiwanise Cruiser, a spindrift 43' that had been sitting in south Florida with some very leaky hatches. In turn the cabin sole had some rotten areas, as well as the main companion way stairs. I have rebuilt with solid teak and ash all the structure and sub floor where issues were present. I purchased some holly from hardwoods inc, b grade or something, so slightly grey I guess, but very light i color non the less, assuming it was the right stuff. However the wood that out lines the teak strips on the cabin sole is not as light as holly, in-fact in some spots its darker than the teak, thinking that's just the finish ambering? The cabin sole is composed of half inch marine ply with half inch by 2" teak slats with 1/4"? strips outlining the teak. I thought maybe some maple I had may match better, and it did, much closer than the holly I have, but still off.. I really don't want to high light my repair with something too light. I plan to refinish the entire sole at some point, so finish match is no issue, just the species of wood. I need to identify this wood to make a match, and complete my repair. So What kind of woods were they using on thick solid cabin soles in Taiwan? I Think I have attached a picture of cabin sole, teak and the mystery wood. Any help or ideas would be Fabulous.

deniseO30 10-15-2013 06:18 PM

Re: What wood is this cabin sole made off??
teak is like to pineis to us in the far east countries Crux. The photo looks like plain rotten plywood that's seen better days. Good luck with the holly and teak. holly is a terrible wood to work with. Then to get it glued and stable with oily teak.. I'd just get teak and holly veneer plywood or a knock off plastic flooring material. "Holly" is often maple. btw

StormBay 10-15-2013 06:33 PM

Re: What wood is this cabin sole made off??
Its hard to tell from the photo, mahogany perhaps. I often smell the wood as a way to determine what it is. Teak has a musty type of smell wile mahogany is more peppery and spicy.

smurphny 10-15-2013 07:17 PM

Re: What wood is this cabin sole made off??
Needs a better picture. Looks like maybe mahogany plywood but there are lots of mahogany species and genuses so matching is probably impossible. Trying to match it might be done using stain and trial and error on some scrap pieces. The veneer looks like maybe a maple stain would be close.

SloopJonB 10-15-2013 07:36 PM

Re: What wood is this cabin sole made off??
Looks like Lauan "mahogany" plywood. Poor choice for a cabin sole.

Sabreman 10-15-2013 11:09 PM

Re: What wood is this cabin sole made off??
I'm not sure that it's mahogany, the grain doesn't look right and mahogany doesn't flame like I'm seeing. But some pictures with better perspective will help. I agree that the substrate is probably cheap mahogany or luan.. the grain definitely looks like luan.

I really can't see the areas that you're suggesting are holly... more pictures please. BUT I wouldn't use holly in this application. Denise is right that maple is a much better wood. Holly is very obstinate with messy grain and unless carefully dried never stays straight. It's true that some species of holly are very white, but maple can be quite white too. BUT either wood will yellow under any flooring finish except super blonde shellac (not an option here).

There really isn't a good reason for a solid teak (or mahogany) floor. It will expand and contract with temperature and humidity. It will cost a fortune and be a major job to install. I'll stress that there is absolutely nothing wrong with a marine ply subfloor and 1/8" to 1/4" teak/maple overlay. The floor will be stable and look great for decades. Your problem was with water ingress, not the floor.

Send more pictures and we can give more confusing advise... :))

RichH 10-16-2013 11:31 AM

Re: What wood is this cabin sole made off??
Looks like Meranti, one of the various species that is 'lumped into' the generic name for Luan.
In the 70s and 80s many of the asian yards used luan ply as the base structure for soles, even with 1/4" teak and 'faux-holly' top surfaces ; some used meranti as a strake or thick veneer overlay to the substructure - red meranti for the faux-teak and white/yellow meranti as the faux-holly.
It rots quite well if fed by any 'boat leaks'.

Meranti -

SlowButSteady 10-16-2013 12:25 PM

Re: What wood is this cabin sole made off??
Looks like Luan (a.k.a., Philippine Mahogany) to me. But, like others have said, it's tough to tell from a pic. Whatever it is, it's pretty rotten. Just match it with something that looks close; you'll probably never get it to look exactly uniform without replacing the entire floor.

Cruxandreams 10-16-2013 02:36 PM

Re: What wood is this cabin sole made off??
The ply wood is not the issue here, its This "striped looking wood in the pic" which again is no veneer, it is half inch thick by 1/4" wide. The only thing I am trying to show you in the pic is the top half of the picture where you see the 1/4" stripped wood next to the teak. its the striped looking wood in the pic is what rotted out from between the teak, and I am trying to match. I was thinking luan as well, some areas appear stripped like the pic and others not so much. The floor is holding up magnificently every where there were not puddles sitting every time it rained. Overall the cabin sole was designed and built with quality in mind, and compared to countless other boats iv seen over built. I'm surprised the yard would splurge on half inch solid teak flooring instead of using the thin veneer/ ply stuff that most used, then use some an inferior wood for the strips. Im not so sure its terribly inferior though, as I said this boats hatches were cracked bad and it poured in. being in those conditions in south florida for at least a year , I'm very surprised it only penetrated to the extent that it did. Guess ill just have to take a piece to the hard woods place and search for a match.

deniseO30 10-16-2013 03:22 PM

Re: What wood is this cabin sole made off??
need better photos Crux really. Is this looking down at the sole? and is the little strip the lumber that would be the "holly"? Holly doesn't have any grain pattern that I've seen. Maple would. quilted, tiger, birdseye...


tiger maple

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