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Hello, The cabin sole on my 1988 PSC has held up well but really needs refinishing. Any suggestions from those who have refinished their boat would be much appreciated. Does anyone know what type of coating might have been originally applied?
Don Sanford s/v Blue Jacket
 

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I went through this a couple of years ago. I hired someone to do the job who was recommended by a slip neighbor. I checked with Pacific Seacraft and they said the original finish was Varathane polyurethane. So that's what we went with. It turned out poorly. The Varathane took weeks to dry (that is, to stop being sticky), plus the finish was uneven. The guy that did the job blamed it on the product; however, I wasn't that impressed with his work in general so I'm not sure where the fault lies.

I then hired another "teak refinisher" who came highly recommended from someone whose judgement I trust. This guy was good. He sanded the Varathane finish with a belt sander and then applied Miniwax polyurethane satin. After two seasons, the floor still looks great. He also did the steps with Awlcare Classic Spar Varnish.

This is probably a lot more information that you need, but I hope it helps.

Bob Thomas
Crealock 37, Morning Dew #360
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dear Bob, Thanks very much for that information. I had the impression that PS had used Varathane. I doubt I am brave enough to use a belt sander. I removed the small hatch over the bilge for a trial run with an oscillating sander and another coating, perhaps the product you used. Thanks again.

Don Sanford S/V Blue Jacket
 

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Don,

I share your feelings regarding using a belt sander. I certainly wouldn't attempt it myself. All this guy was trying to do was take off the coat of Varathane the previous finisher had applied; he didn't take it down to bare wood. Basically, he was cleaning up the previous guy's mess.

He approached the job the same way you are. He took one of the bilge covers to his shop to see what would work before doing the whole job. He recommended using Miniwax instead of Varathane.

I should mention that the sole was in pretty good shape to start with. All it needed was a maintenance coat. I didn't have time to tackle the project myself, but next time I probably will now that I'm retired.

Good luck!

Bob
Crealock 37, Morning Dew #360
 

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The first couple of times I re-did the cabin sole on Crazy Fish I used Varuthane.
Light sanding by hand using 240 grit and then something like 400 grit.

This would have been a winter project (San Diego) and I would have left the electric space heater running all night while it dried - something I typically do for any brightwork done down below.

Last time I used Epifanes varnish and it seems to held up well. Probably redo this winter after 3 years. 3 coats of varnish, applied 1 coat per day.

May at some point completely replace the cabin sole as after 25 years it has a few dings in it. I would probably replace it with solid teak left unvarnished and bleach it from time to time. I have seen this done a charter fishing boat and really liked the look.

Regards
Marc Hall
Crazy Fish - Maintaining, Upgrading and Sailing a Crealock 37
 

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I am facing the same issue on Little Wing ('88 '31).
The finish on mine is very broken thru and water damaged.
I took the small hatch forward of the mast support and sanded it down, bleached it and filled and sanded with gloss polyurethane until the grain was filled. My last coat was a dull rubbed effect polyurethane as that is the finish I prefer. (I think building with rubbed effect tends to get muddy).
As Marc on Crazy Fish alluded to, the teak and holly are veneer so there is not much room for sanding. I did break thru on a corner.
I have no doubt it's time for re-laying the sole and will do it in solid teak and holly so it can be "wooded" a few times over the years.

My next big consideration is how much can i bring out the severely neglected veneer and trim through out the cabin.:puke
(my 9 year old really wanted me to use the puke emoticon :))

Good Luck,
Will
Little Wing
 

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Will;
Mebbe try something like Formby's furniture finish restorer?? Depends on the existing finish and sub=strate, I suppose. I've used Ace Hrdwr grade finish restorer successfully on varnished interior. residential trim. Ya might wantto entry it somewhere unseen to check efficacy and resultant finish.

HTH,
Paul
 

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I noticed that you said that a teak restorer sanded the sole with a belt sander. Did he have any problems chewing thru the veneer... I didn't think the soles on our boats were solid, I thought they were veneer plywood. Anyone know for sure. Thanks.
 

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My cabin sole is teak and holly veneer plywood. (I can see the plywood joint at the nav table / galley sinks.) A previous owner had sanded through the veneer in a couple of places exposing the base lauan plywood. I played artist and painted the veneer back with acrylics. It is not too bad. My advice is to only use a power sander to rough up the existing varnish before adding more coats. If you want to strip the sole, use either chemical strippers or heat. And in both those cases, get some experience on something from the dumpster before you start on the sole. It is just too visible.

Find copies of Rebecca Wittman's books.

I have used Varathane three times to add varnish to the sole without any problem. The best system seems to be to cram the cushions in the vee berth, put plastic sheeting over the settee bases, rough up the sole with an orbital sander, place all the floor plates and floor mounted table on the settee bases, tape off all the fiberglass edges, brush around the edges, roll on the varnish, and tip it with a good brush. Then give it 12 hr, another coat, 12 hr, another coat, then go away for a week or so before putting everything back together and walking on the new varnish.

Bill Murdoch
1988 PSC 34
Irish Eyes
 

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Hush,

The fellow that used the belt sander on my cabin sole knew what he was doing. He's semi-retired but made a living for years as a woodworker and teak re-finisher. In the summers he worked in the Northeast and in the winters in Florida. He used the belt sander to remove the mess the previous guy made with the Varathane. He thought it was too sloppy to go over. If he chewed through the veneer in spots, I can't tell. The floor looks really good.

Regarding Varathane, I don't think there was any thing wrong with the product since others haven't had a problem with it. It's something he did. The sole was sticky for 5-6 weeks after he applied the Varathane.

Personally, I'd be terrified to use a belt sander on the sole.

Bob Thomas
Morning Dew, Crealock 37 #360
 

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Hi guys i have a question myself especially for MarcHall, my sole is thankfully solid teak which i sanded down to raw wood after i bought the boat and refinished with Cetol. Yes i know this is the wrong product for the job, but i sort of jumped to the job without doing much research prior. To my surprise it has held up very well for close to a year now, and although very shiny it is not slipery even with wet feet. I noticed you said something about just bleaching the bare wood every so often, and just leaving it bare which i would love because not only does bare teak look good but feels great under your feet. Any sugestions on how to take care of a bare teak and holly sole with out finishing it with varnish, verathane, or any other sealant?

Thanks
Alen
 

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Hi guys i have a question myself especially for MarcHall, my sole is thankfully solid teak which i sanded down to raw wood after i bought the boat and refinished with Cetol. Yes i know this is the wrong product for the job, but i sort of jumped to the job without doing much research prior. To my surprise it has held up very well for close to a year now, and although very shiny it is not slipery even with wet feet. I noticed you said something about just bleaching the bare wood every so often, and just leaving it bare which i would love because not only does bare teak look good but feels great under your feet. Any sugestions on how to take care of a bare teak and holly sole with out finishing it with varnish, verathane, or any other sealant?

Thanks
Alen
Alen

I don't have much experience with teak decks as the only boat I have owned is Crazy Fish and fortunately Greg Bourque at Pacific Seacraft talked me out of teak decks for the build of Crazy Fish. I knew next to nothing about sailboats at that time.

The authority I would reference is Rebecca Wittman's Brightwork: The Art of Finishing Wood and I believe she mentions as well probably other sources that the best thing for teak decks is to leave them bare and rinse them with them down with saltwater - avoid brushes and probably use 3M pads if any scrubing needs to be done.

I have seen the inside of of 60+ foot charter fishing boat use bare teak decks for the salon/galley area and it look nice and felt good under foot. So I think if I were to replace the teak and holly veneer cabin sole on Crazy Fish with I would look at doing it like a teak deck, no holly just strips of teak and white caulking/sealent. I normally used 2 part Teka to bleach the teak before applying the first coat of varnish so that could be use on rare occasion to bleach out any stains on the teak sole.

I may try it first on the cockpit sole as when I replaced the wheel with the tiller I filled in the holes left behind from removal of the pedestal with West System epoxy and have yet to do any thing else. But there are other cockpit items/decsions need to made planned. Offshore racing requirements call for 4 3/4" drains in the cockpit so I may modify the cockpit sole to add those.

Thinking also of adding a teak grate rather then a teak deck on the cockpit sole probably in two pieces and add a lip on the inside of the cockpit well so that the teak grate could sit in a second position that would be flush with the cockpit seats. Bring both pieces up and turn the cockpit into one large seat high surface that could be used for sleeping at anchor. Bring the aft piece up while underway and store the a liferaft under it while underway. Leave both pieces down when entertaining quests or sailing with a number of people on board.

Marc Hall
 

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Back in the Winter of 2014, I used a heat gun to remove the old finish from the cabin sole. After a considerable amount of work, I am not satisfied with the durability or the aesthetics. I am considering using a synthetic to cover the entire sole. Has anyone worked with NUTEAK or other similar products. I also considered pulling all the old ply off the sole and start with fresh. My guess is that it is held in place with 5200 and as such, will not be tackling that project. Synthetic may be the best option???
 
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