Sole planks that have been blackened by repeated oil
splashed on them from the bilge
, and various stuff spilled on the top are best replaced. Wood is a poor choice of materials for a cabin sole
over a bilge
because the humidity over the bilge insures that the wood will always be saturated with moisture. It will stink, turn black, and eventually rot
. Of course, you can jump through a lot of hoops to refinish old/blackened/partly rotted/stinky wood with chemicals and epoxy
, etc. But why do all that? Just buy some high quality synthetic decking planks like those used by homeowners and screw them in with stainless steel
screws. They are a lot cheaper than clear wood of the proper dimensions.
They do not stain, absorb water
, or rot
. To allow for expansion/contraction you have to leave about 1/16th inch between them and 1/8th inch at the ends. The gaps can be filled with a silicone caulk. [If you use 5200 you will never get them out again.] They will last longer than the boat
and always smell good. They are easy to clean and easy to take up if necessary. I love fiberglass
boats as much as I hate wood decks over a bilge. It is a poor design from the start.