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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Plastic Lumber Cabin Sole
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Thread: Plastic Lumber Cabin Sole Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-18-2007 04:21 PM
deckhanddave ah, too true. planks over ply it is then.
03-18-2007 04:08 PM
hellosailor Dave, thank you! I don't know why I said Bubinga, I'm going to swear I never said it and Jihadists changed my post. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

Sure would make a *pretty* floor while it lasted though.

Installing parallel slats (there's a proper nautical word for them that I just can't think of right now) over stringers is an old tradition for overheads and the sides of the hull, but we all know that if you installed it on the floor, EVERYTHING would slip into the slats and crawl into the bilge. Except of course the ladies in stiletto heels trying to make their way forward, and once their heels got caught they'd be angry ladies belowdecks--not a good thing.
03-18-2007 02:53 PM
deckhanddave I second the use of the Ipe, however it is NOT Bubinga. Bubinga is a rosewood and is about 3 times more expensive. Not to mention it doesn't have the same weather reistence. I also looked at the thin veneered teak and holly and yes, it does seem like a good deal until you see how thin the veneers are. "Premium" grade is only 2mm... standard is a measly 1mm... This means that if there is any sort of flaw in the glue layer it will peel off like wet paper or if you want to sand out a damaged section, you really can't. If you have some time instead of money you might want to try teak flooring. Now that I about, has anyone ever hear of people leaving the spaces between the wood so that water can go into the bilge quicker? It would be like having a floor thats also a seive. Instead of backing your teak boards you'd just attach them straight to the stringers. Any thoughts
03-17-2007 10:45 PM
sailingdog The only place on a boat I'd use those decking screws is to make a cockpit grate...
03-17-2007 10:41 PM
hellosailor Ipe (also called bubinga or ironwood but those names are used for several products) is commonly available in 1x5's for decking. Very similar to teak at 1/4 or less of the price.

Incidentally, there are special "decking screws" used now for real decking lumber, that are designed to snap off below the surface so there is nothing protruding and nothing needs recessing or filling. Of course, that's decking screws, designed to hold wood or plastic down to more wood or plastic. (And if you need to back them out...you can't.)
03-16-2007 11:30 PM
paulk Wood plank soles in materials other than teak are a problem because they shrink, swell, and warp. (Teak doesn't tend to do this. That's why it's so expensive and that's why they use it for cabin soles.) If you're planning to cover it with some sort of phoney plastic stuff anyway, use plywood underneath. (Just seal it to keep it from swelling and delaminating.) If you go to 1" plywood, you might be able to go 3' without supports. The plies at right angles tend to keep it from warping or changing shape or size too much. Some of the traction problems with the wet plastic surface might be solved with a coat of sanded varnish. This gives you another upkeep item every few seasons... All in all, that $300 sheet of teak & holly ply starts to look like a bargain after a while. Especially if your time is worth more than $2.39/hr., because as mentioned above, the other "solutions" will need re-doing sooner, rather than later.
03-16-2007 10:39 PM
sailingdog Yeah, that would be my worry with the PlasTeak stuff... that it would end up cracking if it isn't properly supported. Sometimes caveman materials are good for a reason...
03-16-2007 10:34 PM
Sailormann You could try using engineered hardwood flooring - comes in planks - tongue and groove - real wood, should be thick enough and strong enough...just sel it really well. I know epoxy is expensive - but everything to do with boats is expensive...it's a filthy communist plot of some kind...but that's for another thread...

I had the bright idea of using a "composite decking" plank on a friend's trailer - he had wooden bunks that he wanted to replace, and I thought that the stuff would be ideal as it didn't rot.

Our first issue was realising that the things were hollow, so we had to put blocks in to handle the compression where we screwed the planks to the trailer supports. Then we wanted to countersink the screws and fill the holes so that the hull wouldn't get scratched. We ended up having to use Bondo to do it as nothing else would adhere to the decking planks.

The planks wouldn't flex enough for us to be able to secure them to the center bunk support, so my friend, who is not knowing for being particular, says that's fine, the weight of the boat will bend them and provide a little suspension as well...

After spending twice as long as we should have, we finally have the new plastic bunks on the trailer, about six inches higher than they should have been in the middle. We back the trailer up to the water, pull the boat on to it and just as we're pulling it out of the water we hear two dull cracking sounds, the plans have broken, and the boat is supported fore and aft with nothing in the center...
03-16-2007 10:02 PM
sailingdog The problem with installing stringers every 12" is the additional weight and work of doing the installation properly. Also, the stringers will need to have holes drilled in them to allow water to flow through the bilge properly.

Seems like an awful lot of work for not a whole lot difference.
03-16-2007 09:41 PM
donrr1 Whatever is on sale is the best.

Don
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