'Salty' ply

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Michael4
Posts: 500
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:25 pm
Location: West Sussex

'Salty' ply

Post by Michael4 » Sat Dec 07, 2019 12:32 pm

I've started to strip the ply side decks of my dinghy prior to re-varnishing. The varnish was starting to lift in places.

In one area I stripped down to bare wood (heat gun) and the following day it had darkened and felt damp to touch. Upon further investigation, a good lick that is, it appears to be salty.

Not a great surprise, the boat lives out most of the year and I don't usually bother to wash her down after a sail.

So...

1) Do I just leave the ply, give it the heat gun treatment from time to time and hope it dries out?
2) Do I finish stripping the ply and then give it a good wash with plenty of warm soapy water, then leave it to dry for a few weeks before varnishing?
3) Is there something I could wash it with that combats salt?

No, I'm not going to re-deck, The ply still has strength and a fair surface, it is original and bears the scars of many an incident.
Tideway 206
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Sold the 'Something bigger and plastic', it never got used.

JimC
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Re: 'Salty' ply

Post by JimC » Sat Dec 07, 2019 2:15 pm

Difficult to think of anything that would remove salt more effectively than plain freshwater without soap.

Michael Brigg
Posts: 1662
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 7:11 pm
Location: Gosport, UK

Re: 'Salty' ply

Post by Michael Brigg » Sat Dec 07, 2019 3:53 pm

I always was given to understand that salt is good as it inhibits rot. True it can cause pesistent damp (due to osmosis) but it is still salty damp. Keep it in mind that Ronseal and other garden rot prevention (Not creosote!) :!: is basically a combination of different salts and if you have really stripped well, the "clear" versions can be used under the paint to do the same rot prevention in wooden boats. (Varnished or painted, but properly dried)

Dry it out on a hot summer / spring day, or leave it in the garage with a 60 -100w bulb under the moderately well ventilated decks (Alternatively turn the boat upside down and put a de-humidifier under it with the "Hot air outlet directed at the damp bits or a greenhouse heater (these have a better controlled heat regulator) on low heat for a day or two. It should feel bone dry even with the salt.(And in the winter makes the garage a far more pleasant workplace! :) ) At this point put on a thinned bottom coat and a first top coat of varnish or undercoat. Once dry (with the chosen heater method) it can be left until the fitting out.
Michael Brigg

Michael4
Posts: 500
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:25 pm
Location: West Sussex

Re: 'Salty' ply

Post by Michael4 » Sun Dec 08, 2019 10:34 am

Thanks for the replies.

I too see salt water as 'good' and try to leave a couple of inches in the boat when 'on station'. It is clinker. For the winter I attempt to get the thing dry and de-salted before putting it in the garage.

I guess what I want to do now is to get it dry enough to varnish.

Although counter intuitive I will wash the offending section (water only) a few times and dry it off using our greenhouse heater. Hopefully this will reduce levels of salt and help to move things on.

Over the years the copper nails holding down the deck have been wasting away, getting loose and allowing water in (as well as tearing trousers). I need to pick them out and replace with appropriate annular nails in the same holes if poss.

A bit of heat in the garage is no bad thing and hanging from the roof is Jim's Eleven Plus, which will appreciate the luxury.
Tideway 206
11+
Sold the 'Something bigger and plastic', it never got used.

Michael4
Posts: 500
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:25 pm
Location: West Sussex

Re: 'Salty' ply

Post by Michael4 » Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:43 am

Repeated sloshings with warm wet water followed by the greenhouse heater works.

The decks dry off nicely and stay dry even when it is damp outside. There are areas around old nail holes that behave a bit like seaweed nailed over a back door but they are black and a bit soft so they will receive further attention.

To speed things up I am thinking about Bondaseal or similar, I have never used this before and always done the trad varnish thing. Does it perform OK in cold weather? Any advice?
Tideway 206
11+
Sold the 'Something bigger and plastic', it never got used.

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