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S/V Trim
Who: Captain Prozac
Port: California
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The Complete Refit of Trim - Part III Epoxy Bonding, King Plank Pattern, Filling and Finishing
Kenneth Newell
09/06/2006, Long Beach Shoreline Marina, CA

Figure 19 - Steve working very diligently on a VERY calm summer day as he sands away more than 160 pounds of teak, epoxy and filler to achieve the smoothest finish possible before completion of the teak deck project.

The majority of the sanding is completed with the orbital and 60 grit pads followed by 80 grit. In order to achieve a swirl-free finish, it will be necessary to rent a large finish sander and lots of 120 grit screen. Sanding and finishing required 2 full weekends and $300 worth of sander rentals and pads.

Finally, the day has come to reveal you labor of love, hundreds of hours of devoted time and thousands of dollars in materials…and most importantly, the opportunity to show everyone at the marina that you really did know what you were doing! Once the finish sanding is completed and all swirl marks are removed, the time has come to hydro-wash the teak deck to remove the fine teak dust trapped in the pores and grains of the planks. This step is very important if you want to achieve the brightest golden hue from you teak deck. After hydro pressure washing the deck, allow it to dry for a day before applying oil or finish.

The Complete Refit of Trim - Part III Epoxy Bonding, King Plank Pattern, Filling and Finishing
Kenneth Newell
09/06/2006, Long Beach Shoreline Marina, CA

Figure 18 - Producing accurate patterns for the king planks and trim boards was made relatively simply through the use of thick construction paper and a brightly colored wax crayon. By tightly masking the section to be patterned with the construction paper, the wax crayon was used to transfer the edge pattern of the teak planks directly onto the topside of the paper. The patterns were then cutout and place directly onto the teak boards using 3M spray adhesive. The band saw was then used to produce perfectly fitting curves and long complex king planks.

Once again, when bonding the planks to the deck it is important to do small sections per batch of epoxy/404/graphite. When bonding the planks to the foredeck, we found that dealing with the curvature reduced the number of planks that we could bond in a 30 minute interval. Bonding the sprung planks was quite a task requiring two or three people with quick hands and the ability to drive a screw and washer every 10-15 seconds to maintain pace with the epoxy cure time. Although it was sometimes very tempting to lay sections of 5 planks, it is not very advisable as we discovered on one attempt in which the epoxy started to cure before we got all our planks in place. We realized that racing against the cure time was far too risky and required far more time to remove excess epoxy as it was hardening.

The bonding process for the sprung planks is extremely dirty and you'll find that a considerable amount of the epoxy/404/graphite blend gets on the top surface of the teak planks. After a while we abandoned the effort to clean the planks since we were going to be covering them completely in order to fill the grooves later. In total, the final shaping and bonding of the sprung planks and trim sections required 4 full weekends or approximately 160 man hours and a few female hours.

Once all the planks are bonded, the tedious task of producing trim and king plank patterns was started. We found that the most efficient method for producing accurate patterns of complex trim sections and curves was the use of thick construction paper, masking tape and a brightly colored wax crayon. By tightly masking the thick paper over the section being patterned, the edge of the crayon can easily reproduce the exact edges of the planks with only a small amount of pressure being applied to the topside of the paper. The patterns were then cutout and tacked directly to the teak using 3M spay adhesive. Once the pattern was on the teak, 3/16" margins were hand drawn onto the pattern and the band saw was then used to follow the margin lines on the pattern to produce perfectly fitting curves. The king planks and trim were cut from 1/2" thick x 10" x 8' pre-cut and planed boards. The total cost for the teak required for the king planks and trim was considerably more than expected at approximately $800. Although every effort was made to minimize scrap, we found ourselves with two full boxes of oddly shaped 1/2" scrap teak that we hope to eventually find a good use for. In the meantime, we try not to think about it much.

Producing paper patterns and cutting all the king planks and trim sections required another 3 full weekends or approximately 140 man hours of labor. An additional day was required to bond the king planks and trim boards into position thus, completing the bonding part of the job. At this point the teak deck is in position and it looks absolutely filthy with black epoxy everywhere and your fellow boaters certain that you've lost your mind and wasted lots of money, but don't fear, as the hard part is over.

The next step is filling of the grooves between the planks with either polysulfide caulk or epoxy/404/graphite depending on your preference and thickness of your planks. It is also important to use syringes filled with a low viscosity blend of epoxy/404/graphite to fill every one of the 2500 screw holes before filling the grooves. This will require approximately 6 hours with two people working and is extremely important in order to assure a water-tight deck.

Once all the grooves are filled, the really fun and extremely dirty part begins…the dreaded sanding. We found that the best way to achieve a smoothly sanded deck in a reasonable period of time was through the use of industrial floor sanders. The large orbital sander with 60 grit pads removes a large quantity of material from the surface in only hours. In fact, we sanded off 160 pounds of teak and filler in just 12 hours. Your neighbors will truly love you for this, so make sure this part of the job is completed during the week when fewer people are at the marina and on a day with no wind.

The Complete Refit of Trim - Part III Epoxy Bonding, King Plank Pattern, Filling and Finishing
Kenneth Newell
09/06/2006, Long Beach Shoreline Marina, CA

Figure 17 - Final dry lay-up with drains and through-deck holes located and sized. The most time consuming and yet most satisfying parts of the job are the trim details. It seems that even the biggest jobs get judged on the smallest details.

Probably the most difficult aspect of laying a teak deck is the repetition of the process. Once the dry lay of all the planks has been completed, you get the opportunity and shear pleasure of removing all 2500 screws and 500 some odd steam bent planks just so you can repeat the process all over again for bonding. However, before you begin removing those screws and planks, it is very important that you mark the position of every screw and washer relative to each plank and each plank gets numbered in an easily identifiable manner. In addition, every joint between planks needs to be marked for trimming and centerline planks need to be precisely marked for the king plank pattern of choice.

The Complete Refit of Trim - Part II Steam Bending Teak Planks, Margin Boards and Dry Lay-out
Kenneth Newell
09/06/2006, Long Beach Shoreline Marina, CA

Figure 16 - Photo from the bowsprit showing the complete dry lay of the teak foredeck without the king plank. The king plank and hatch margin boards will be the last pieces to be patterned, cut and bonded. The bent planks will remain unbonded for 3 weeks in order to achieve the maximum relaxation to maintain the bent form.

Steam bending and dry laying the teak planks on the foredeck required 2500 screws and washers, approximately $4500 worth of teak, 30 propane bottles, two cell phones and 15 cases of beer.

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