Decking material

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Jools
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Post by Jools » Thu May 24, 2007 12:39 pm

Hi folks. A couple of years on, the original deck on Jupiter, my possibly unique Planet dinghy is showing signs of delamination of the top veneer in a number of areas. I've removed and reglued a few small areas, but the problem seems too big to fix it all this way. The deck is very nice 1/4" Mahogany from the mid 50's, so it seems unlikely I'll find anything that looks as good or appropriate in a modern material. So what to do?

Can I soak epoxy through the top veneer? Does anyone know a source of really good mahogany ply, or do I just keep fixing the patches?

Garry R
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Post by Garry R » Thu May 24, 2007 1:39 pm

See Robbins Timber in Bristol for a good selection of marine ply types. Not cheap but it's the way to go.

http://www.robbins.co.uk/

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neil
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Post by neil » Thu May 24, 2007 2:17 pm

The robbins ply is excellent, go for the Super elite, it's all mahogany laminates and looks great
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Rupert
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Post by Rupert » Thu May 24, 2007 5:56 pm

Is it not sepele? It is probebly paler than the 50's ply?
Rupert

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PeterV
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Post by PeterV » Thu May 24, 2007 6:52 pm

I had the same problem on my Finn, the top laminate was going wavy and I was applying epoxy to try and hold it down.

You could do what I did, sail the boat in a near gale, capsize it and rip half the deck off. Then rebuild with a new deck!

I knew I wouldn't be able to find another plywood with the same dark red mahogany veneer but I used Robbins Elite ply as:
1. It's the lightest in weight
2. The colour (light) matched the light colour of the side tank veneers.
I wondered about doing the aft deck at the same time as that's going the same way but I really wanted to go sailing again so I've left it for another time.
PeterV
Finn K197 & GBR564
Warsash

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Ed
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Post by Ed » Thu May 24, 2007 10:26 pm

Completely on the top of my head.....

There are at least 3 marine plys sold by Robbins.

The Elite is a gaboon ply, or at least gaboon centred. its pretty soft, but light. Not too expensive, it takes mahogany stain well, but otherwise is pretty light in colour. If you give it some light yellow stain (antique pine)it goes quite honey coloured and looks very like some of the lighter coloured plys used in the 50s by Fairey Marine. I like this and have used it quite a bit. You can use both sides, although one is normally better. I have found two problems. First it is a bit soft. Shorts with buttons can mark it, so can harness straps. Not a big problem with a hiking boat, but it does show on the Jollyboat. The second problem is that I have had problems with the outer veneer splitting within 5 years or so. I think Chris has had similiar problems with this ply.

The Super Elite is quite a bit more expensive and is a fully Kaya through and through. It is much harder, very pretty, lovely texture and markings. It is much stronger and harder.....but it is quite a bit heavier....by which I mean substantially heavier. However it still does look like the 'real 50s' biz. The colour and quality of this do tend to vary a bit. It is a ' Lloyds standard' specified by Robbins. In the past they have changed the mill from which they get it, depending on who has the wood. It was for a while made in Israel (maybe still is) and this was very nice. But it does seem to vary a bit, so go and look at it. One side is deff better.

Then.......there is a 'sapele-faced' ply. I can't remember whether it is the elite or super-elite - is called or used to be called 'Tiger-something' ply. I havn't used this at all. I guess if it is the light ply, with a hard face - it might makes sense. Personally, I don't really like the look too much.

By the way......the best way to do this....and in the end it is easiest too, is to pull off the old decks and replace them.

But.....you can either pull off the outer veneer and replace with a kyaha veneer from Robbins.....or you 'can' saturate the outer layer with a very thin epoxy like Eposeal. It's not an easy job though. If and its a big 'if' I was to try doing this again, I would use a vaccuum to pull it down. I tried doing with tape and staples last time and it was very hard and pretty horrible.

cheers

eib
Ed Bremner
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PeterV
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Post by PeterV » Fri May 25, 2007 6:00 pm

The highest grade from Robbins is called Super Elite Plus. As Ed says it's a lot harder and stronger than Elite and it has the stripey finish. As it's a very dark finish I decided it wouldn't look right on my decks but I used it for the centreboard case (last year's job!).
PeterV
Finn K197 & GBR564
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