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Old 04-03-2012
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Interior refit advice

I have got an ancient (1960) Rhodes Ranger that is now a lake boat in Texas. The boat has significant water damage inside and all lower interior plywood panels between the seat cushions and the deck sole in all compartments has become de-laminated. I would like to replace the bad wood but am not sure exactly what replacement material to use. It might be reasonable to assume that the original finish work was some kind of finished plywood but....maybe not.
My question is what material should I use and how should I seal it assuming that the boat won't fill with water again? Would stained and varnished birch or oak plywood work or should I consider something else? What is the most cost effective approach that looks good cosmetically? As might be gathered I am a newbie at this.
The wooden mast has a five foot seam crack in it and the deck needs refinishing but the boat sails well, has lots of teak and brass and I love that early 1960's era swoop with its high bow and stern and walk around cabin space. Am I the Ancient Mariner and is this my albatross?
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Old 04-03-2012
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Re: Interior refit advice

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Originally Posted by texianbiker View Post
Am I the Ancient Mariner and is this my albatross?
Yes and yes so, enjoy it while you can

Cherry, maple and even bamboo are good alternates too, bamboo looks pretty cool
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Old 04-03-2012
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Re: Interior refit advice

If you are looking for least expensive, maybe you could re-laminate what you have, but I doubt it. Chisel off the laminate, fill in the uneven surfaces, glue down new laminate and run a router around the edges to trim.

Next least expensive might be to cut new marine grade plywood and paint it. When you buy plywood, it comes in many grades, which indicate the quality of the two sides. I can never remember which is which so look them up. Basically, there is rough surface for places you will never see it, surfaces that are repaired with those football cutouts covering knot holes and unblemished for staining. If you paint you only need plywood that is repaired on one side and rough on the other. If you stain, you really need the better quality. The price goes up quickly for better quality, so don't get more than you need, particularly for a side you don't see.

In any case, you should use marine grade plywood, not just Home Depot stuff, as I believe the glues and inside layers are superior and will last longer.

p.s. a split in the wooden mast? That needs a pro to check to be sure you aren't going to find that coming down on your head. Yikes.
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Old 04-03-2012
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Re: Interior refit advice

Best choice would be marine plywood. A more economic choice would be exterior grade plywood. Both use waterproof glues which interior grade plywood does not.
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Old 04-03-2012
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Re: Interior refit advice

What is your budget?
As far as the wood is concerned, veneer is cosmetic which is up to you, its the core and glue that is structure. If it was me I would consider and research the use of a cabinet grade plywood sealed with a penetrating epoxy. 3/4 inch cherry veneered 4x8 sheets of plywood are about $85.00, 1/2 inch $67.00. I would coat the edge of the plywood at least three times before tabbing it in place. Keep the boat dry and she should last many more years.
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Old 04-03-2012
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Re: Interior refit advice

Marine grade plywood for all the plywood pieces you need to replace.

Mahogany is a good alternative to teak to save some $$$. Even less expensive is common red oak or poplar, stained with Minwax Wood Stain. I did a couple interior pieces this way. For exterior pieces, I'd only use teak or mahogany, preferring teak.

For large areas, like a bulkhead, marine grade plywood with teak veneer is one way to go.

Plywood - CDX is unfinished, rough for "can't see" areas. BC grade has 1 finished side that looks good.

For interior pieces, I use Minwax Helmsman Spar Varnish. For exterior pieces I use Cetol Natural Marine.
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Old 04-04-2012
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Re: Interior refit advice

Here is about the most economical route I know. The previous owner of my boat installed pressure treated 2X4’s cut to fit the sole and four quarter pressure treated deck planks over that. He stained the planks dark brown. After several years it still looks great (my opinion on looks) for a boat that doesn’t serve merlot in glasses. It stands up well to abuse and if you do dent it just hit it with a brown marker. It’s cheap, quick and easy.

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