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Thread: Cockpit coaming shoe seal

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Belfast and Marshall Cove, Islesboro, Maine
    Posts
    1,798

    Default Cockpit coaming shoe seal

    Well, it must be spring, and I'm back to tinkering on the boat. This week's project will be to finally mount the cockpit coamings. They've been on and off a few times in the process of figuring out the fairing blocks, placing the bronze winch bases, etc.
    So now I've got the mahogany coamings themselves in the shop, getting them ready for varnish. I've already sealed the underside of the coamings with epoxy, but am now thinking about actually bringing the epoxy up maybe 3/8" on the sides of the coaming. The idea being that this is an area that's hard to maintain, and any cracks in the varnish coating allows water into the wood down low, where it lifts the varnish above it. This is particularly a problem on the outboard side, where the coamings flare out, making it hard to do surface prep, and where the winch bases restrict access to almost half the length of the coaming. The idea is that by bringing the epoxy up the side of the coaming by a little bit, then lapping the varnish over it, that there'll be less chances of getting water under the varnish.
    This may sound like an absurdly small point, but I like the idea of getting it right.
    As an aside, on a previous boat I glued a plain oiled teak cap to the top of a varnished mahogany coaming, and this worked out very well. The inevitable step on/drag over/drop on top of damage to the varnish on the rounded top of the coaming was eliminated. At the same time I changed the cabin trunk's aft trimmers around so that the varnished trimmers ended flat and flush with the top of the cabin. Then a teak strip was installed on top of the trimmer, which covered the top of the trimmer and lapped over onto the top of the cabin. This REALLY reduced the varnish getting dinged up.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    1,428

    Default Re: Cockpit coaming shoe seal

    I used 1 coat of System Three C. P. E. S. (clear penetrating epoxy sealer) under Z Spar varnish once and was amazed at how much longer the varnish lasted. You'll want good ventilation.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Orland, Maine
    Posts
    507

    Default Re: Cockpit coaming shoe seal

    seo.
    All of the above sound like well-thought-out damage control to me.
    I would, if it were me, take the edge off the two sharp edge of the coaming, bottom, (and top, if there is to be a cap).
    The coating, either epoxy or varnish, or paint, for that matter, does not like to 'bend' around those sharp corners and are, as I understand it, a large reason that the coating starts to peel.
    Just a micro bevel to break the edges will do, a couple swipes with the hand plane. Small enough that the varnish will fill any resulting chamfer.
    My 2cents. Wishing you an early spring.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Belfast and Marshall Cove, Islesboro, Maine
    Posts
    1,798

    Default Re: Cockpit coaming shoe seal

    Gib, I'm curious about the product you used. "System Three" is a maker of epoxy stuff, while CPES is a tradename usually associated with a company called "Smith/Rotdoctor" that has a very devoted following.
    Jacster, thanks for the comment. I've found that "crisp" right-angle corners are very hard on protective finishes. I go for more the Chrysler Airflow look.
    Thanks for the good wishes. My guess is that my weather in Belfast won't be a lot different from yours in Orland.
    If you're driving by some day, stop and have a look at the ongoing nightmare.
    SEO

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