Dear Hank, I used an edible wax compound available from Lee Valley Tools called "Beeswax Salad Bowl Finish." I put it on, warmed it, let it set, and then applied another two coats. So far water beads up nicely and looks Great! I sealed the bottom side with CPES Epoxy (Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer; a nasty, stinky but truly "penetrating" concotion) in order to reassure the first mate that garbage odors would not permeate the cutting board. Good luck with the project -- it sure does make a nice difference.
I used 'Good Stuff' from Bally Butcher Block to finish our apartment's butcher block with very nice low maintenance results. You can also use mineral oil which is non-toxic but will need maintenance coatings periodically. Butcher Block Cutting Boards and Counter Tops
As a chef I have many wood boards and prefer using bee's wax with mineral oil (in place of straight mineral oil). It is a paste, smells great and isn't as messy as liquid MO. Most higher end kitchen stores carry it. After a while I will have my husband run my boards through the sander or planer to take off the slightest amount of wood which revives the board. I don't like using a wood board for meat or onions/garlic since the smell is difficult to get out. I love my Epicurean cutting boards which are kind to your cutlery and are made from recycle paper/wood. You can throw them in your dishwasher too.
On our PSC 31, the cutting board was badly scored from prior owner's use. I sanded it all the way down to get all the cut marks out and refinished with a good gloss varnish so it looks pretty. Now we use a thin white ( plastic type material) kitchen cutting board bought at Target or the like. It's the same kind used at homes.
It cleans up nicely with soap and water and our cutting board stays nicely varnished ( and sanitary)
Hi Ed, if I can make one suggestion regarding your plastic board (or any cutting board for that matter).... please put one of the following under your board to prevent it from moving while you are cutting (damp towel, damp paper towel, or a piece of rubber shelf liner). As a chef, I have used many different types of boards and will never make the mistake of cutting on a board that moves (again). I nearly cut my right thumb off when my board moved. No one wants to go through that especially if you are on your boat. Some of the plastic boards have a tacky silicone back built it for this purpose.
Slightly off topic but on the cutting board - has anyone removed this for cleaning and caulking? The crevice around the board has years of food bits and it's impossible to clean. Have others solved this problem or are we the only one grossed out by this?