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Old 02-09-2012, 16:57   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: NC
Boat: 1979 Gulfstar 50 Ketch
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Wood paneling repair

I am a big fan of wood and teak. Love the boats with lots of it on the inside. My budget has me looking at mostly late 70's early 80's boats. many have water damage in common places. around the ports or in the companion way. From the looks of the damage I can tell if its wood veneer or mildew damage or what, but seems like it would be an easy fix, cosmetically and assuming the leak was stopped. I am thinking it would be quite easy to get paneling wood cut to fit and stained to match the rest of the wood work, or for the best finish sand down the original non-damaged pieces and restrain everything at the same time. it sounds so simple that I am surprised others do not do it. am I missing anything ?
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Old 02-09-2012, 17:20   #2
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Re: Wood paneling repair

Most boats are not paneled in solid wood, they are marine ply with veneer on the outsides. Wood damage will typically have damaged these layers first so just sanding and finishing is not going to be a very satisfactory fix.

We had damage on one bulkhead near a leaky port and I have been working on it the last few weeks. Because the damage is in the vicinity of, although not at or adjacent to the chain plates, and are on the same sheet, we wanted a strong fix.

Penetrating epoxy is what will stabilize the wood that is still there. I cleared away the fragments and splinters of mushy wood and left what was holding it's shape still, even if it was a bit spongy.

Then I templated with heavy brown paper all the pieces I needed to cut out. I was really careful and planned where the cuts would be and how the shelves would be supported by the new pieces so that it all went together neatly and logically.

We got 1/2" marine ply with mahogany that matched our original wood pretty well. I cut it out with table saw and jig saw to make the needed cuts. I fit it into its places, had to do a bit of shaving in a few spots, but it all fit really well.

Then sand and varnish. We used no stain, as our wood seemed to not be stained originally. We will be installing into place when the last coat of varnish goes on. Using counter sunk screws and wood plugs to secure it in place and plan to do some more penetrating epoxy once they are in place to fill a small void.

Mostly I would just say go slowly and make SURE those templates are correct!

Good luck ; -)

ain't what ya do, it's the way that ya do it...
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