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I have several pad eyes and cam cleats on the deck of my boat that are attached to teak pads, which are in turn attached to the deck.

I am adding some more hardware to the deck and am wondering whether it is useful or necessary to use a teak pad for support. I have seen many boats that do not use this approach.

Is the technique you use for bedding the hardware the same for a teak pad as for hardware attached directly to the deck?
 

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I would bed hardware directly to the deck. It saves the maintenance of the teak and eliminates one possible point of future leaks.
 

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There are several places on BR where we use teak pads. In some cases it's to raise the level of the hardware (e.g. blocks used with my Aries need to be an inch or so above the level of the deck to feed properly), while in others the pad is used to change the angle of the hardware relative to the deck (e.g. turning blocks) (see the photo below), or to accomodate a curvature in the deck (e.g. the base of the windlass is flat while the deck slopes away slightly on either side of the center line). It you don't need pads for one of the purposes above, they probably aren't needed, but probably wouldn't do any harm either.

I don't "maintain" the teak pads. I let them weather and replace them every 8-10 years. Using teak pads doesn't require putting additional holes in the deck (no "point of future leaks" as mentioned in the post above) as the fittings holding the hardware in place also secure the pads to the deck. I bed the teak pads with 5200 -- no leaks, but my decks are steel and I don't worry about the difficulty of removing the pad. I'm not going to crack any gel coat. On a fibreglass boat it's probably better to use something with less adhesive properties.

One point -- large pads (?? say anything greater than 6" on a side ??) should be constructed by laminating two layers of teak with the grain of each piece at 90 deg to the other. That way you won't have the pad splitting as it ages.
 

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I'd point out that the pads may be necessary for some hardware, so that the lines lead fair into the hardware. If that isn't the case, don't bother using the pads. :)
 

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I also have a few areas on my boat that have teak blocks that I need to replace. I was thinking about using composite/PVC decking material. I could get the wood color that would come close to my other teak, which has been treated. Once installed I could forget about it. Any ideas of this?
 

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Depends on which composite deck material you're planning on using. Some has wood dust in it and will mildew rather nicely on a sailboat I'd imagine, others are basically mostly solid plastic, and will weather better. I'd be wary of the compressive strength of the material as well... YMMV.
I also have a few areas on my boat that have teak blocks that I need to replace. I was thinking about using composite/PVC decking material. I could get the wood color that would come close to my other teak, which has been treated. Once installed I could forget about it. Any ideas of this?
 
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