Sun Splash1 Click here for further information Finger W IMG_0015 153

Deck Replaced

During the refit in circa 1994 ARAMIS was given a teak (or rather iroko) deck see Major Refit.  This was screwed on to the underlying marine ply and copper nailed on the tongues between the planks.  During our ownership it became clear that water was getting under the iroko planks.  The iroko was being eaten away in the vicinity of the copper nails and we were loosing many screw plugs. Moreover, many of the screws penetrated deck and water was damaging the cabin roof inside.


The iroko seemed in reasonable condition so we initially decided to cut out some of the worst rot where the copper nails were, and recaulk the deck.






Sadly much of the new caulking (Sikaflex™ 290DC) failed to cure and we spent a whole summer with black stripes on our clothes. The supplier of the Sikaflex was monumentally unhelpful and we swore that we would never use Sikaflex™ again - which we haven´t.


I learned later that other people had had similar issues that where traced back by to a manufacturing problem. Sika´s regional distributor did make amends in some cases.  I guess that some retail outlets were more reactive in looking after their customers than ours was.


In any case, we came to the conclusion that the deck had to be replaced - hence Pandora´s box was opened.....


The following explains what we did :


The Iroko deck 2014, looking rather sad


Step 1 - remove old planking.

We were planning to keep the toerails however, many of the original bronze screws had corroded and the rails were in a poor condition in many places. They had to go!


Step 2 - cut out any rot in the underlying ply - mostly where there where actual or historical deck perferations


Step 3 - glue/screw in the missing bits with D4 and plug all holes


Step 4 - put on a generous coating of West Systems™ epoxy, slightly thickened with fibre such that all impefections are filled

Note the strengthening added where the bow-roller and windlass are installed


Step 5 - Epoxy coated okkume marine ply is stuck on before the epoxy filling layer below cures


Step 6 - surfaced faired and epoxy coated


Step 7 - make up some new toe-rails.  We have used iroko. Finding timber with a straight grain and no internal stresses that cause warping when cut was a major problem.  We binned a lot of "propotypes".  We would have preferred a two piece rail (easier to bend) but nothing that long was available hence the three sections.


Step 8 - bend on and screw down the rails

Note that the foresail track sits on the rail. This was  bolted through the longitudinal frame.  It was suprisingly difficult to find 16cm 316 setscrews


Step 8 - the cockpit and locker lids also had to be sheathed


Step 9 - apply Teak Decking Systems (TDS™) epoxy

NB. the surface was cleaned with acetone prior to applying the epoxy (We started with a relatively easy bit)

Step 9 - position the cut planks with spacers

NB the underside of the teak was thoroughly cleaned with actone changing the cloths several times to ensure that some of the natural oils were removed from the surface


Step 10 - screw/clamp everything down before the epoxy cures


Step 11 - repeat steps 8,9 & 10 for the difficult bits

On these extreme curves, prior to gluing, we left the planks in place overnight with a trickle of water running, hoping to get some set. In reality, the teak was so oily, that the water made little difference.  The forces involved in bending, particularly the shorter planks are massive.  Now we know why Hallberg Rassy et al, use narrow planks!


Step 10 - The final cut of the "Xmas tree" was made on the deck after all of the planks were in place. A transparent plastic template was used to transfer the form to the infill piece.


Step 11 - The "sword-fish nose" infill is cut and expoxied in to place


Step 12 - (the most time consuming and mind-numbing bit)

Rake out all of the epoxy that is in the seams, clean thoroughly and stick in bond breaking tape so that the caulking only sticks to two sides - essential otherwise the caulking risks pulling away from the seams as the deck flexes.

IMG_0023 170

Step 13 - the seams are thoroughly cleaned with acetone changing the cloth several times.  This has to be done within half an hour or so of the caulking process, otherwise the natural oils will wick their way back to the surface.

Step 14 - TDS™ caulking was used.

We purchased an electronic caulking gun (essential!).  There was no need to mask off the seams. Simply fill from the bottom up, avoiding air pockets, smooth of with a spatula, wait until cured and then sand off


Step 15 - Admire!

We prefer to let the teak weather to a nice silver colour. We only ever treat it with Boracol™, a biocide to prevent fungi. We always rise with salt-water after washing with mains tap water. We never use a brush to clean, just a soft cloth with natural soap always wiping across the grain.