View Full Version : Ironwood Cockpit Decking

03-18-2002, 09:14 PM
I recently removed the "cheesy" 3/4" vinyl covered plywood from the floor of my boat (outside) and replaced it with 3/4"x1-1/2" Ironwood planks placed edge to edge (no open seams)I used countersunk stainless screws and covered with 3/8" ironwood bungs. The finished deck was coated twice with an oil clear stain made especially for ironwood. FANTASTIC! It wears like iron...no splitting, chipping, cracking, etc.

03-18-2002, 09:38 PM
I'm cautiously optimistic about your new floor. (is this the deck or maybe cockpit deck?) Normally Iron Bark is used for guards, rubrails, etc. because of it's toughness. Recently I've been involved in laying down a new iron wood deck on a high end house project and what I found is it doesn't hold a finish worth beans, it shrinks and swells, and with no finish, it checks horribly. Even on guards on boats, without any type of finish this stuff spinters, and gets very grainy, the same way teak will get over time with no care. My advice, keep up on the maint. Two coats of anything isn't close to being enough when it comes to a finish on a boat.

Jamie Hascall
03-18-2002, 09:53 PM
It would be interesting to know the species names of the various woods used as I think there might be a sizeable difference between them.

Good luck with the new decking, let us know how it works out.

03-18-2002, 10:11 PM
The stuff I used is called "Ironwoods." It's from South America. It's damned heavy. It is NOT Ipe. I have built several decks for clients out of this stuff. The coating used is full of tongue oil and brings out a dark low-lustre sheen that is not slippery. My open deck is no larger than about 40 square feet. As far as maintenance is concerned, I can re-coat the whole floor in less than ten minutes. I'm just saying that it works for me and looks beautiful!

Art Read
03-18-2002, 11:05 PM
This is on the Hunter you posted about recently? Should be a lot more "forgiving" environment on the floorboards on her anyway. We're not talking about an "open" sport fisherman's cockit here. I'm guessing she also will lead a pretty protected life now too, eh? Just out of curiousity, why did you decide to fit 'em tight? Appearence? Or just hate dealing with seam caulking "goop"?

03-19-2002, 12:00 AM
Yes, the open decking was installed in the Hunter sedan and yes, it will lead a fairly sheltered life. No matter what I might do, the rain will end up in the bilge, right? Caulking the seams seems somewhat pointless. The tight fit looks great...almost like hardwood flooring. The deep dark reddish brown looks great with the Honduran mahogany. I think it has all the advantages of teak but is a little different. Well anyway, it works fine, looks great AND I already had it in my shop. Does this make me a nautical heretic?

03-19-2002, 05:44 AM
Many exotics have great properties. Strength and rot resistance. These usually come with problems. Strength usually equates to weight. Rot resistance is is good because of all the oils in them, this means many finishes and glues (including epoxy)will not hold easily on them. Everything is a compromise, if it works for you use it. Isnt that why we work on our own boats?