Monday, August 1, 2011

Teak Cockpit Floor for $145

Drew over at Sail Delmarva has been working on his PDQ 32 again. Here he shows us how to make a teak cockpit floor for $145 and an hour or so of your life...
Perhaps just over an hour at the boat and an hour at home. I'll explain.

Shoal Survivor came with Dri-Deck in the cockpit; certainly durable as hell, functional... and ugly. More than that, we found it exceptionally painful on bare feet and when kneeling to do anything engine related (lock down, pump primer, check the oil) or locker related. I saw the snap-together tiles installed in a Gemini and thought "that's just plain obvious." He had used tiles from IKEA, but I opted for teak from a different source. Much the same, but perhaps the teak will last longer.

So, instead of doing real carpentry, I cheated by using these.

There is still plenty of carpentry to do; of the 17 tiles required, only 4 in the center require no trimming. All of the edges need to be trimmed at a 45 degree angle to allow for the radius of the floor mold. All of the corners are radiused with a hand grinder to match the corners. Of course, it doesn't fork out evenly, so the last column and row must be trimmed. With all of this trimming, a few screws will be cut off and some additional screws added. Nothing difficult. Do avoid working in real cold or real heat and sun; the plastic underlayment works most easily at moderate temperatures. Too cold, it is brittle, too hot it is softer and may warp.

The screws are steel and must be replaced; and hour of pre-work with a rechargable drill. 400 - 1/2-inch #6 brass screws are required. Give that the cockpit is well protected we expect minimal maintenance, but we'll add some fresh pictures to this post in a year or so.

But we love the result. It seems cooler, because we can go barefoot and because it is cooler than FRP. It still drains and we can still lift it for cleaning. And it looks yachty as well, a nice deception.

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