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Old 16-02-2015, 13:56   #1
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Cheoy Lee Pedrick 41 with "whooda thought" soft deck woes

I thought my Pedrick was built without teak decks but as the sponginess started I began noticing all those old filled holes showing up just under the painted deck. Another victim of sandwich rot. I thought of all the available options to an attractive low maintenance finish following deck repairs which I've decided involve top laminate removal, core removal, re-coring and glassing, one section at a time. Planning on using tongue and groove cedar planks as a core. I repaired a Tripp 26 this way years ago and it's held up well. 2 layers of 1/4" cedar glassed in place as a core (Lowe's again). The advantage to this is you can overlay/underlay when moving from section to section and still have continuity. I'm pretty sure this will work, what I'm not so sure about is what it will look like. Didn't care about the Tripp as long as it was light and fast, but the Cheoy Lee will never be either so looks are sort of important. Being cheap and stupid I actually bought a piece of deck material from Lowe's (the synthetic stuff that looks like teak, grooved it about 1/4" with a router (not a straight groove, the bottom is wider than the exposed top so the caulk doesn't want to pull out when dry) I then filled the grooves with black boat life polyurethane caulk. Looked pretty good, then I threw it into an aeration lagoon at the waste water plant our system has. After five years it still looks good. I'm sure there's a good reason why this stuff shouldn't be used as an inexpensive alternative to teaks decks. I'm after some structural improvements as well as lower maintenance. Comes in 1/2" thick foundation trim as well as the thicker deck boards (which are too thick). Not the lightest material in the world though. Anyone ever heard of using this stuff? As you might imagine it's way cheaper than most imitation teak products and would add some stiffness as well. I realize the deck issue would need to be resolved first, but after five years in an extremely aggressive environment this test sample still looks like a teak deck when you hose it off. I threw this out here for viscous criticism, please don't hold back!
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Old 16-02-2015, 19:32   #2
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Re: Cheoy Lee Pedrick 41 with "whooda thought" soft deck woes

Viscous criticism, eh? Hmmmm.

This may not be thick enough to stick, but I submit that the test done does not actually mimic the wear a deck would have on a boat.

We have some boatwright guys on CF: minaret, maine sail, Terra Nova, neilpride to name a few. They will be equipped to tell you what you want to know.

I don't much like the plastic fake wood, so if it were me, I'd try to do the deck with awlgrip, or even painted. But this is so much a matter of individual taste, that you should go with your own preferences and what makes you feel good.

We've never had to do a whole deck, only small ones in a balsa cored deck, where we didn't have to remove huge sections. It seems a monstrously large job for a lone craftsman.

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Old 16-02-2015, 19:42   #3
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Re: Cheoy Lee Pedrick 41 with "whooda thought" soft deck woes

I think the cedar is a good option. rot resistant naturally. I'd cut it into rectangles or squares rather than any bending and ease of installing.
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Old 17-02-2015, 09:15   #4
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Re: Cheoy Lee Pedrick 41 with "whooda thought" soft deck woes

Thanks for the reply, the Tripp was cored with end grain balsa and the area's between decks suffering from water intrusion had the consistency of watered down mashed potatoes. My uncle had a freedom 44 that had a balsa cored hull and broke from it's mooring in Antigua. Boat was recovered with minor damage but not hauled out...major mistake. outer skin was holed and not found until next bottom job. Insurance company totaled the boat due to intrusion. Cedar's not as good a choice as some of the composites I'm sure but it's a 1981 vintage and it should last longer than the rest of the boat. Back to the fake teak... I'll try and post a couple of pic's of what I did with it, these boats just look better with something other than a painted deck. I was just curious if anyone else had played with it. Way to much labor for me to be the first guinea pig. If I wanted to criticize my own post I'd say something like "In the scheme of things the dollars spent on the actual deck material pale in comparison to the total project cost in material and labor". Boat's worthy of repair though, 4'3" board up 9' down, points well, roomy below and good looking. If only it would at least slow down the rain when you go below. Bilge pump kicks on automatically when it gets overcast. I'm going to stop them or drown trying.
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Old 17-02-2015, 09:39   #5
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Re: Cheoy Lee Pedrick 41 with "whooda thought" soft deck woes

Why cedar? Since it's encapsulated, rot resistance is not your main criteria, rather it's weight-to-stiffness, and cost. While the Cheoy Lee won't ever be a performance cruiser, adding weight that you don't need to is probably not a great plan. That said, I'm not sure what wood would be a better choice, aside from balsa. Others may have suggestions.

Regarding the synthetic decking material, I really think you'll end up with a better looking boat (and save time and money) if you simply finish the deck with paint or gelcoat and then nonskid. Again you'll save on weight, at the very least.

I agree that your test may not have replicated the conditions that the material will be subjected to. Oxidation and UV resistance will be factors, and the various synthetic decking materials on the market vary widely in their performance in that regard. You get what you pay for, and even then people have divergent experiences. Trex, which is one of the market leaders, has a history of staining and other problems like mildew penetration that they have not quite been able to shake. Most of these products have wood as a component, but you can't sand them down like wood if they develop any stubborn stains.
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Old 17-02-2015, 11:17   #6
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Re: Cheoy Lee Pedrick 41 with "whooda thought" soft deck woes

Cedar is very lightweight for one thing and of course water repellant, not near as heavy as plywood... as is used in a lot of Asian boats... actually having said that... I'm surprised the Cheoy is plywood in there?
I put Treadmaster on the decks of my HC which covered all the filled holes as redundancy. It worked out quite well actually.. albeit a little rough on bare feet... cant think of much that is better for the non skid grip.
Cedar ~ 21 lb per cubic ft
Balsa about half that
Fir ply probably 30-35
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Old 17-02-2015, 12:50   #7
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Re: Cheoy Lee Pedrick 41 with "whooda thought" soft deck woes

I notice that treadmaster has a new product that looks just like teak, wood grain and everything. Looks wonderful, any experience with that? Unfortunately the Cheoy Lee boatyard (Lord Nelson and a host of others that were next door to each other had a habit of throwing anything they had in there as core material. Not much QC with respect to that. I'm just amazed at how hard it is to stop the leaks. If it seems like I'm reluctant to just paint the deck I am. I did my best to seal the obvious leaks and painted the decks with Mobile Paints two part urethane. Did the hull as well. Hull still looks good but the decks are flaking badly in places. I know... I know prep, prep, prep. But I really felt like I did a good job. White with a medium bone contrast in a panel layout. It really looked good, should'a sold it quick (actually people gave up selling used boats around here years ago, we treat em like teenagers... just untie them and hope they run away (that was a joke, I have four so I have a God given right to talk like that).
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Old 17-02-2015, 13:16   #8
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Re: Cheoy Lee Pedrick 41 with "whooda thought" soft deck woes

Quote:
Originally Posted by wbmiller3 View Post
I thought my Pedrick was built without teak decks but as the sponginess started I began noticing all those old filled holes showing up just under the painted deck. Another victim of sandwich rot. I thought of all the available options to an attractive low maintenance finish following deck repairs which I've decided involve top laminate removal, core removal, re-coring and glassing, one section at a time. Planning on using tongue and groove cedar planks as a core. I repaired a Tripp 26 this way years ago and it's held up well. 2 layers of 1/4" cedar glassed in place as a core (Lowe's again). The advantage to this is you can overlay/underlay when moving from section to section and still have continuity. I'm pretty sure this will work, what I'm not so sure about is what it will look like. Didn't care about the Tripp as long as it was light and fast, but the Cheoy Lee will never be either so looks are sort of important. Being cheap and stupid I actually bought a piece of deck material from Lowe's (the synthetic stuff that looks like teak, grooved it about 1/4" with a router (not a straight groove, the bottom is wider than the exposed top so the caulk doesn't want to pull out when dry) I then filled the grooves with black boat life polyurethane caulk. Looked pretty good, then I threw it into an aeration lagoon at the waste water plant our system has. After five years it still looks good. I'm sure there's a good reason why this stuff shouldn't be used as an inexpensive alternative to teaks decks. I'm after some structural improvements as well as lower maintenance. Comes in 1/2" thick foundation trim as well as the thicker deck boards (which are too thick). Not the lightest material in the world though. Anyone ever heard of using this stuff? As you might imagine it's way cheaper than most imitation teak products and would add some stiffness as well. I realize the deck issue would need to be resolved first, but after five years in an extremely aggressive environment this test sample still looks like a teak deck when you hose it off. I threw this out here for viscous criticism, please don't hold back!
Screwed teak is not a great solution but it was the only solution back in the day.

The current PVC based teak substitutes are a far better engineering solution.

We will be replacing our 31 year old original teak deck this year. Probably with ameriteak.

Teak look
Non slip
Easy to clean
Color fast
Lightweight
Bonded not screwed
UV stable
Radiant heat reflector / insulation (this is the only one that is questionable for the modern teak substitutes)


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