The trick was to find a simple and fairly straight forward way to replace his cabin sole while still retaining a professional look. I had several challenges with this job. First, I needed to find a way to cut and fit the wood floor within the confines of his Endeavour 42. Second was the wood to use. Teak is extremely expensive over here and the teak and holly ply is unavailable. Third I only had basic carpentry tools to work with.
After some time, Eyal settled on oak, and I suggested separating the oak stripes with a white caulking to give a traditional look. On inspection, the boat’s original sole had several opening sections that lifted for access to the engine and the bilge. These openings covered most of the salon floor and gave me a clue to a method that might work. Lifting out one opening “lid”, I noticed that it was made of ply with a covering glued on top. When in place the ply was supported by the boats’ stringers and a wood frame. Maybe we could use the same format for the new floor.
We bought oak lumber and I asked a carpenter to saw it to strips that would be 6mm thick and 5 cm wide. Then I asked him to space and glue the oak strips to 12mm high grade birch ply. I checked that the glue was marine grade. Gluing the strips at the carpentry meant that large presses could be used making a good strong seal. When the glue was dry, the finished ply and oak was brought to the boat and my job began. I laid the ply on the deck and got to work.
Here are the steps to the job:
1.Make patterns from cardboard.
2. Lay the patterns on the ply/oak pieces and trace the edges. Use a jig saw to cut the shapes out.
4. Using masking tape, carefully tape the edges of each oak strip. The more careful you are here, the less work you’ll have later. It takes time but just a bit of caulking on the oak can be a bear to remove.
5. Caulk the spaces between the oak strips. I used a marine grade white caulking. Go slowly with a caulking gun, gently pushing the caulking into the grove/space between the oak strips.