Bare Wood Boad Deck

Discussion in 'Materials' started by pritchbrian, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. pritchbrian
    Joined: Jan 2012
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    Location: oklahoma

    pritchbrian New Member

    Sorry if this is a stupid question but i am new to all of this. I have recently purchased a small caravelle fish/ski boat that belonged to my great uncle. My mother actually learned to ski behind this boat. When i got it most of the floor was rotten so I took out the seats and the entire floor. The wood beams under the flooring seem to be in good shape except a couple of spots which i can fix. I had in my mind that i wanted to replace the floor with just a bare wood 1 by's instead of plywood and carpet or flooring of some sort. What type of wood would you suggest for doing this? I was thinking maybe redwood but am having trouble finding it at the local lumber yards. Any tips or suggestions would be appreciated.
     
  2. jehardiman
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    Teak of course, not redwood which is too soft and brittle for any boatbuilding use.
     
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  3. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    Teak is the best, but alaska yellow cedar also works well, costs a bit less. It is fine grained and very dense, not like other cedars. White oak is not bad either, and I think mahogany would not be a bad choice (it is a bit softer). All of these woods are rot resistant and should be durable for use on as floor boards.

    Make the panels easy to remove to clean out the bilge area so it lasts longer.
     
  4. jehardiman
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    Also long leaf pine or purpleheart, but I read the question here as a non-slip "bare" (i.e unfinished) deck, not long term rot resistance or cost. For an unfinished deck, take teak or purpleheart though they need to be kept smooth; otherwise there are a lot of other options if you want a finished (i.e. oiled or otherwise) deck.
     
  5. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Pitch pine is the workboat choice, while teak is the yacht option and the best under wet foot traction.
     
  6. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Many ships and workboats use fir too.
     
  7. rasorinc
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    rasorinc Senior Member

  8. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    Try Port Orford cedar, which ought to be stable enough to leave uncoated. It will turn gray in time (right away if bleaching is done).
    Available in 5" or so about 7/8" thick around here, sold as outdoor decking material.
     
  9. pritchbrian
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    Location: oklahoma

    pritchbrian New Member

    Thanks a lot everyone. You have been a lot of help. I dont guess i gave all the details but your advise has really helped. I do plan on finishing the wood whatever i use I just didnt want to use a plywood of any sort. I thought 1 by's would just look nice and wasnt sure what would stand up to the water the best. Being in Oklahoma the boat will only be on freshwater lakes and just for a few hours or a day or 2 at a time. Would a Lowes or Home Depot carry any of these different woods or would I need to try some other place. Thanks again for all of your help. You have been great.
     
  10. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    When you choose to use bare wood, you are asking more from the wood than could be had from home centers, rtc.. The process of drying any wood is the critical difference.
    Consumer woods are dry but prone to reaction given outdoor kinds of factors which they are not expected to deal with.
    If you use either very carefully kiln-dried or preferebly air-dried for at least a year, the wood will settle in better and it won't have internal stresses such as would cause excessive movement when the wood goes through typical wet/dry cycles.
    Try finding a mill that will work with you, one that understands what a boatbuilder needs. You may have to go out of state for what you need but who knows? It can help to find another boatbuilder in your area who has been around the block a few times.
     
  11. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    Some of the woods listed you can find in a Home Depot, but you will have to select through the piles of junk for find the better, tight grained and clear lumber.

    I have bought good dough fir in a Lowes and/or Home Depot. I select through the piles of the larger planks and than rip them down to the size I need on my own table saw. Large planks can have a few defects and you just work around those, or discard those peices. They will have doug Fir, and possibly while oak (do not use red oak, it will rot fast) and mahogany.

    If you rip your own down from larger planks you can choose the grain orientation, you will want it vertically oriented for better wear as a floor board.

    Alaska yellow cedar, long leaf pine, and certainly teak will only come from specialty suppliers. There are a lot of places that sell boat building wood to hobby wood workers, the price will be high, but you should be able to get it.
     
  12. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    When selecting a decking material, it's very important to use vertical grain lumber. This is particularly true of the softer varieties and hardwoods. Yellow cedar and pine will dent fairly easily, compared to other choices, but you might get a good price. Douglas fir wouldn't be a recommendation at all, mostly because you can't sand it flat. It'll always be a washboard, which will get worse the more you try to sand it. Pitch pine will also dent easily, but has good under foot traction, which is the point and it's not expensive.

    Again, which ever species you use, it needs to be rift cut or it move all over the place and cause you grief.
     
  13. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    Expansion and contraction of most species of plain-sawn is about twice that of quarter-sawn.
     
  14. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Vertical grain lumber will also wear better and more uniformly.
     

  15. troy2000
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    troy2000 Senior Member

    Although it might be labor intensive and impractical on something the size of a boat deck, I've gotten glass-smooth finishes on Douglas fir by using homemade cabinet scrapers.

    Of course you have to scrape with the grain, not across it or against it.
     
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