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Old 28-09-2021, 19:36   #1
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Fixing cabin sole water damage

I'm getting around to fixing the cabin sole. The leaks are taken care of so now I can focus on the restoration.

I have 3 issues:

- Cracks between the wood
- Water staining + dirt
- Slightly lifted boards

How do I go about fixing each of these issues?

I haven't wanted to fill any gaps with varnish, epoxy, or whatever until the cracks are clean.

I'm toying with the idea of sanding the whole floor but it's a huge job and I need to take care of other things first. So if there's a temporary measure in between then that would be nice.

Do I just sand the slightly raised boards flat? I tried getting underneath but that's impossible.





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Old 28-09-2021, 20:13   #2
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Re: Fixing cabin sole water damage

Sounds like some boards are warped. If you cannot get the boards up and get underneath them then any fix will be temporary and sub optimal at best. Seems the boards are glued down?
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Old 29-09-2021, 00:49   #3
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Re: Fixing cabin sole water damage

It's veneer over ply. I'm guessing the ply has swelled. It doesn't move if jumped on.
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Old 29-09-2021, 06:34   #4
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Re: Fixing cabin sole water damage

We agree with Greenwave. You really ought to be able to lift the pieces out which were designed and built so you can see the hull or whatever is under them.
If the construction is plywood with a veneer of teak and holly, the veneer is real thin and if everything is delaminating, its impossible to fix. You need to figure out what pieces were built to be removed and which are permanent.
More pictures or drawings when you have a better idea of what goes where.
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Old 29-09-2021, 07:46   #5
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Re: Fixing cabin sole water damage

there's no easy fix for water damage. if the teak floors are veneer then you may be stuck with what you have. or you pull it all up and replace. maybe you could join a crealock group and ask them about it.
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Old 29-09-2021, 08:36   #6
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Re: Fixing cabin sole water damage

If it is a teak/holly veneer over plywood then there is no way to properly "fix" it.

You can do a temp repair to strengthen it while you do other stuff in the boat.

Repair would require replacement of the old flooring with new marine plywood which has a teak/holly veneer.

Example: 9mm x 4' x 8' Teak & Holly Marine Plywood | Edensaw Woods Ltd.

Use the old panels as templates to cut the new wood. Apply fiberglass resin to the underside and ends to improve water resistance.

Another option is to install a composite flooring over the marine plywood.

Example: CFlor/Nu Teak https://www.tampabayyachtmasters.com/interior/

This stuff will outlast the boat...


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Old 29-09-2021, 08:38   #7
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Re: Fixing cabin sole water damage

I hired a cabinet maker to tear out the old cabin sole and install 1/2 solid teak and white oak at great expense.

Another guy I know bought teak and holy vernier and glued it over the top of the old cabin sole, far less expensive and did it him self faster and cheaper.

Good luck!
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Old 29-09-2021, 09:03   #8
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Re: Fixing cabin sole water damage

Easiest way is to go over it, even if it is with vinyl.
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Old 29-09-2021, 09:11   #9
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Re: Fixing cabin sole water damage

Are they solid wood or ply? If solid, just strip and sand to new wood and refinish. The sanding can take out any humps of warpage.

ooops, I see you said later it's veneer.
Well, you cant take out the lumps and stay a nice wood finish if the veneer is thin as it often is.

You could sand it all down flat, fill and finish in a wood tone brown paint color.

You could epoxy a thinner teak and holly ply over it... more work than you might think. You need to trim around the openings and edges to the openings with solid teak trim. But it is doable.
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Old 29-09-2021, 09:15   #10
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Re: Fixing cabin sole water damage

I refinished my teak and holly plywood veneer sole this spring. Used stripper (Citristip) to get most of the finish off, then carbide scraper and final finish sanding. New finish was several coats of semigloss poly. Yours looks to be worse condition than mine, but worth trying it in one section to see how it goes.
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Old 29-09-2021, 10:12   #11
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Re: Fixing cabin sole water damage

As suggested it's not sufficient to try and fill it.

Obviously the bilges have overflowed at some time and come over the boards.


I finally used high quality carpet tiles, with oak floor veneer where the tiles missed.
Has lasted over 30 years, with occasional new carpet tiles
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Old 29-09-2021, 10:18   #12
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Re: Fixing cabin sole water damage

Following. Our 1989 boat has some sole issues, and may need some redoing. Does anyone know how thick the panels by Tampa Bay Yachtmasters or others are? Are they flexible/bendable, ie, can they be bent to follow the contour of inside hull? Are they a direct glue-down on top of the existing sole panels? That concept provides a very interesting alternative to tearing up and replacing the existing.
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Old 29-09-2021, 11:59   #13
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Re: Fixing cabin sole water damage

I had to deal with this problem on my last boat, a '69 Morgan-41 K/CB back in the '70s/ 80s when teak was "cheap" @ $7.00 per bd. ft. I used sloid 1/2" teak and and 1/2" square holly bedded in west epoxy then coated with several coats of good quality epifanes spar variance. Look good for years!
My most recent cabin sole job I used the 1/2" teak & holly plywood $ I25.00 PER SHEET and requiring 4X8 sheets to make the strips aline properly. Again bedded in epoxy and coated with the Epifanes. It also looks great and I hope it last till I am ready (read too old) to sale.

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Old 29-09-2021, 13:52   #14
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Re: Fixing cabin sole water damage

I am in the same unfortunate boat as you. I've got cracks much wider than yours. The only real solution is to remove the plywood sole and replace with new plywood. I'm not sure what i'm going to replace the finish surface with, but i would almost bet you that areas where these cracks are, you've got some delaminated plywood(i can feel the sponginess on the area). From underneath you probably can poke the plywood and feel it's a bit rotted as well.

Pull the wood up and replace with new. Look at getting a new veneer(not my preference due to cost vs lifespan) or something like cork ties or fake wood. Don't do carpet.
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Old 29-09-2021, 14:01   #15
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Re: Fixing cabin sole water damage

That doesn't look too bad. You can get 90% of that damage out by sanding and refinishing. The veneer is very thin so go slow. I used 100 grit to get the finish off, but once I hit wood I went up to 180. Then use your choice of varnish or polyurethane to finish per manufacture instruction. see my pics... you will have some damage still, but you can do this in a long weekend for under $100.

If you want a 'new teak' floor, you can get 1/4 teak and holly ply and go over what you have. Just glue it down. That will raise the floor 1/4 inch and you'd need to trim everything and there may be issues with raising the floor in some areas. That will cost maybe $1000+ depending on how much material you need and a lot more time... good luck
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