Wood Cockpit sole other than teak

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by fpjeepy05, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. Steve W
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    Location: Duluth, Minnesota

    Steve W Senior Member

    I have done a laid cockpit sole out of ipe, it was very nice and durable but it splits in thinner thicknesses, also sux to work with. On the other hand ive used it for cabin top handrails and it varnishes up very nice.

    Steve.
     
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  2. LCrosby
    Joined: Dec 2013
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    Location: Plymouth, MA

    LCrosby Junior Member

    Fir, (Douglas Fir if you want to sound
    fancy.)
     
  3. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Arlington, WA-USA

    Petros Senior Member

    there is nothing fancy sounding about calling out the specif tree. Fir is a large class of trees, there are at least a dozen varieties of different kinds of common fir trees, all have very different properties.

    Douglas fir is one of the strongest and has fairly good rot resistance and good fastener holding properties. it is more difficult to work with because it has a strong grain structure and it is somewhat brittle to work with. But here in the PNW there are a lot of older homes that have clear vertical grain Douglas fir flooring that has held up quite well, over a century, it would not be a bad choice. Clear VG Douglas fir would not be inexpensive, but likely much less than teak.
     
  4. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The problem with Douglas fir is the dramatically different densities between winter and summer growth rings, which makes it difficult to finish flat. If you can live with the washboard effect, it's a good choice, though pitch pine has been used for centuries, with excellent results.
     
  5. Steve W
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    Location: Duluth, Minnesota

    Steve W Senior Member

    I worked on a major restoration of a historic wood nyc tugboat for the south street seaport museum back in 2005 and the new decks were laid with vg doug fir, it was very nice. I agree with par on the growth ring problem but this is also a problem with teak to a lesser degree, its very easy to maintain the things to death.

    Steve.
     
  6. LCrosby
    Joined: Dec 2013
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    Location: Plymouth, MA

    LCrosby Junior Member

    In the North East fir is just about the only thing to use instead of teak.
    Never really noticed much about the growth rings, just laid it down to match up the grain. Fir is also hard enough that you can use fir bungs.
    any other soft wood(cedar, cypress, pine) has to have mahogany bungs
    because the soft wood ones will get crushed.

    Now about the (washboard effect) Ill assume this is referring to the way it gets after its cleaned many times?

    Never scrub the soft stuff from the grain.
    Don't put anything on it(oil, sealer, paint)
    Just keep a ton of salt water always wetting it, and you'll get the best silver
    salt protected finish in the world. All the old timers knew this.

    You will need to clean it after an oil spill, fish blood, human blood........
    Just use some soap and a rag. No hard bristle brush.
     
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  7. fpjeepy05
    Joined: Jan 2010
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    Location: Hubert, NC

    fpjeepy05 Senior Member

    So maybe stiff isn't the best word. More of a Fancy Shmancy Mini Center Console. I'm not sure if you are familiar with Envi Boats? Something similar to their 17 Snook. I want to have the fancy "tender" style look, but at the same time make it quick, easy and cheap to build. I know those are exact opposites. I thought a nice matching helm bubble and deck would give it a nice look, but it might be more work than I want to put it. A clean tan awl grip non-skid sounds like it will be a lot cheaper and easier. I'd rather walk barefoot on teak, but might have to live with some compromises.

    I guess I was making some assumptions about the Alaskan Cedar. I'll look into it a little more.

    I suppose I can always put down a teak or cedar deck over an awlgrip deck. So maybe that is a good path to take?
     
  8. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Treadmaster makes a very good rubberized decking . For small craft its very effective . Wood is too expensive and too much maintenece.

    The treadmaster nonskid feature is good , but its the impact absorbing and sound deadening qualities that I like.

    The diamond shape treadmaser is very aggressive nonskid. If you stumble it will remove the skin from your knees. The smooth texture treadmaster is a very good compromise.

    http://www.treadmaster.co.uk/original.html
     
  9. Steve W
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    Location: Duluth, Minnesota

    Steve W Senior Member

    Thanks for posting that link Michael, ive used the diamond pattern on a cockpit sole 30 odd years ago and agree on it grip, I would expect that the lighter colors would also insulate some being cork based. Ive also used a knock off material sold by Vetus that is essentially the same except it has a round instead of diamond pattern. Ive not seen the smooth treadmaster, how is its grip? say, relative to some of the roll on granulated products. I have an old Gemini cat with very narrow sidedecks that are not exactly easy to negotiate so I find myself going over the cabintop, so I removed the teak handrails and am planning on laying a strip of treadmaster, probably about 16" wide down each side of the cabintop all the way to the fwd end, it needs very good grip as you are well above the lifelines. Ive even thought of reinstalling a combo full length handrail/toerail just in from the cabin edge, it would be more toerail but im not sure I would need it with treadmaster, its that good.

    Steve.
     

  10. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    The smooth treadmaster is good nonskid. If you work with ice or are a barnstorming airplane wing walker , you need the diamond. The diamond pattern is difficult to clean with a scrub brush. Purchase a sample sqaure.

    With shoes and normal conditions smooth works well. Similiar to the normal round spot insustrial rubber decking .

    For superaggressive non skid the racing yachts use the same stuff as the skateboards use. I believe its a 3m product and its like walking of 60 grit wet and dry sandpaper.

    Ive tried the normal round spot commercial rubber decking on an exterior project and the UV got it after three years. The treadmast decking is very UV resisistant . Ive used the teak colour and light grey.

    I used the vetus decking in teak colour on a project and it holds up well after seven years. Same as treadmaster. The round dots are aggressive...you cant work on your hands and bare knees without discomfort.

    They say that you can epoxy the treadmaster down. It might be worthwhile. Ive always used contact cement. Contact cement works , but corners can break free after a few years. You might ask the treadmaster guys for guidance.

    And there is also an American made product ...some kinda rubber decking and I cant remember its name...you might do some googling . I saw the advertisment two or three years ago.
     
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