woodworking on boats - SailNet Community
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 7 Old 05-30-2006 Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 19
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
woodworking on boats

I am an amateur woodworker who is thinking of buying a boat that can use quite a bit of updating on the inside.

I am wondering what special considerations (since there are always special considerations) are involved in woodworking at sea. Specifically, what types of wood, plywood, glues, finishes, etc are used on sailboats. I

I know this is a general question but since I am just starting this thought process I don't even know what specific questions to ask.

langousta is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 7 Old 05-30-2006 Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 19
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
narrowing it a bit

I just reread my post and wanted to narrow it down a bit. I'm more interested in fit and finish type stuff than in actual wooden boatbuilding.

Hope this helps.....
langousta is offline  
post #3 of 7 Old 05-30-2006
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 217
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
wood working

Wood working Amateur
Words of wisdom from a cabinetmaker with a boat,Nothing is plumb,or level.Measure at least twice before you cut "ANYTHING".Look at lots of new and old boats for ideas.Don't box yourself in with the teak thing.I have seen renovated boats in ash,cherry,maple,and mahogany,and even Plastic Laminate.Remember Plan ahead,it will take at least 30 percent more money and time then you thought it would.Good Luck
KenD is offline  
post #4 of 7 Old 05-31-2006 Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 19
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
nothing is plumb or level............

he he...thanks Ken. I will definately heed your advice. I envision a lot of 'fit finessing' in my future :-P.
langousta is offline  
post #5 of 7 Old 05-31-2006
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0

I am doing what you are about to do. Here are a few "for what its worth" thoughts and experiences.
1. sawdust and fiberglass dust gets into everything. Especially dust from finish sanding. Often you have to epoxy or fiberglass (or "tab in" as it is called) a ledge along the hull to use as a foundation for what ever is being built (shelves, countertops, seating etc.) You may have to grind this for a number of reasons. I use a vacum cleaner when ever possible. With fiberglass dust even more so. The best time to do the work is when the boat is on the hard and you can vacum, then rinse down, if possible, with water to take off the very fine particles. Otherwise the fiberglass suspends in the air and you will always itch when you come aboard.
2. You really have to develop a way to force vent the air inside somehow to the outside. I use a box fan to draw in the air on one side of the work and another to vent the air outside on the other side of the work being done. I usually try to paint an area first so that I get a good surface for the vacum cleaner to work against. The fans tend to make the dust settle or accumulate in pile which can then be vacumed up easier.
3. As some one earlier stated, nothing is square or level. Often I use the cabin sole to work from for longitudinal measurements and ports on either side for the other measurement. Make templets of stiff posterboard whenever possible to make sure the finished piece with fit.
4. Planning ahead is the big deal. I always wish I had added this or that after it is too late.
5. Rounded corners and fiddles are seamanship like. They are a little harder but well worth it in the end product. Not all corners need to be rounded. As someone advised earlier, look at all the interior pictures of boats you can, go to some boat shows to get ideas, etc. It really helps.
6. Gorilla glue is all I use for wood. It is water proof. Elmer's carpenter glue is not and it can soften in the heat and release the joint. There are a number of marine grade caulking and filling in products. (Use marine grade whenever possible.
7. For a good finish, I often epoxy the surface, sand to a fine or extra fine grade, then varnish. Epoxy will release in sunlight due to ultraviolet deteriation, so I always finish coat with a varnish having good UV properties. The epoxy seals the wood and should be applied on all sides of the piece to seal out moisture.
8. Laminates, while not as classically seamanship like as varnish, are often a good choice because of their easy to clean up or wipe down properties. They can cover a lot of sins.
9. Never use interior grade plywood (unless it will be well coated with epoxy) and always try to use at least exterior grade plywood. (Use marine grade for hulls, etc.) Exterior ply can be used where the wood is hidden from view with nice mohagany vernier ply where the eye will see it.
Good luck,
jerry.namken is offline  
post #6 of 7 Old 05-31-2006
On the hard
CharlieCobra's Avatar
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Bellingham, WA.
Posts: 3,502
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 15
Jerry, What are ya doing about Gorilla glue's habit of expanding?
CharlieCobra is offline  
post #7 of 7 Old 06-02-2006
Senior Member
pigslo's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 804
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 16
polyurethane glue

I like polyurethane glue for fastening applications both on the boat and on land. I would practice with scrap to get a feel for quantity of application and then apply accordingly. Remember it is moisture activated.
pigslo is offline  

Quick Reply

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
A little woodworking today Bacchus258 Watkins 1 05-28-2015 02:08 AM
Woodworking advice needed Barquito Gear & Maintenance 13 10-30-2012 10:24 PM
Bandsaw trick, Well we don't have a woodworking forum! deniseO30 Gear & Maintenance 18 01-23-2011 10:08 PM
Varnish, Poly or Epoxy for interior woodworking? scurvy Gear & Maintenance 14 09-17-2007 06:55 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome