Author Topic: Replacing Cabin Floorboards  (Read 299 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Ed Criscuolo

  • Current PSA Member
  • Registered Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 40
    • View Profile
    • Dolce Vita Website
Replacing Cabin Floorboards
« on: March 26, 2018, 10:02:16 pm »
This winter, I have started on a long overdue project: Replacing the sole in the cabin.

Our boat (hull #42) has the original teak/holly floor that was available as an option.  It is constructed from 1/2" plywood with a teak/holly veneer. 

Over the last 40 years it had gotten pretty ragged in two spots: Under the main cabin hatch and beneath the companionway ladder.  Repeated drenchings, and a leaky hatch (since fixed) had caused some of the veneer to delaminate and disintegrate.  Still, it was servicable if unsightly.

All this changed when we left the boat in Florida for a month last year when we interrupted out trip to come home for Christmas.  When we got back, we found the sole was wet and soggy. Big sections of it had delaminated, and the plywood underneath was soft and rotted.  At first, we thought it was due to a storm that had gone through while we were away.  The locals told us the wind had been coming directly on our stern, so we assumed that it had managed to blow water past our loosly fitting companionway.  We dried things up well as we could and got underway.

But that floor would not dry out!  It remained wet and soggy no matter how much ventilation we provided.

It took me weeks to finally locate that there was a slow leak in our freshwater foot pump that was trickling along the liner and under the floorboards! Once I turned off the water to that line, it dried out in a couple of days.

But the damage was done, and it continued to shed veneer for the remainder of the trip.

So, this winter, I began tackling the task of getting up the old floor, trying to keep it intact enough to use as a template for the new wood.
The floor is built in three sections: 1) A small piece under the ladder. 2) A large single piece the length of the main cabin. 3) A medium piece under the offset dining area.
It's all flat, and when I discovered that the floor was only attached by screws, with no glue, so I thought it would be simple to get up.

Wrong...

I quickly discovered that the bulkheads were put in and trimmed out AFTER the floor had been put down!  At one point, this meant that a 2 1/2 foot section was firmly under a bulkhead by about 3/4 inch!  The only reason I managed to get this out without removing the bulkhead was because the wood was so rotted that it flexed and crumbled as I pulled on it.

At this point, I've got two of the three sections out.  I've attached some photos of the carnage, with the bilge access panels still in place.

Stay tuned for developments!
@(^.^)@. Ed
1977 P-323 #42 "Dolce Vita"
with rebuilt Atomic-4

Ed Criscuolo

  • Current PSA Member
  • Registered Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 40
    • View Profile
    • Dolce Vita Website
Re: Replacing Cabin Floorboards
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2018, 01:10:25 pm »
Just a quick update.

I've gotten the last of the floor up in the main cabin.  This required removing the floor-to-ceiling pole that the dining table is attached to.  The end flanges on the pole were seized on, so I could not disassemble the table, and had to jockey the whole pole-table assembly up the ladder and through the companionway.  This required four hands and a lot of of head scratching.  Sort like solving a a giant puzzle (...Lift here, now rotate,.. slide back a little, now up...) but we finally did it without damaging anything.

The old floor panels, and the table, are now home in the garage.  Next step is to create a paper or posterboard template for each piece, transfer those to some inexpensive 1/2" MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard), and make full size mock-ups to check for fit.  The MDF will then become the templates for cutting the expensive teak/holly veneer marine plywood.

I may have to put this on hold for a while, because the boat will be coming out of the water in the next week or so to redo the bottom paint.
@(^.^)@. Ed
1977 P-323 #42 "Dolce Vita"
with rebuilt Atomic-4