I'd appreciate advice from more experienced forum members. I've had our boat now for 11 years. She was launched in 1951 on the Thames in London and is mahogany on oak frames. I have changed planks in the hull, and done some steaming, but do not have a natural background in wood. We love the boat very much, she is our home, but she is reaching a point where I am going to have to do, what is for me, a serious level of woodwork.
I have truly been inspired by the work of the boat builders on here, and have learned a terrific amount about manipulating wood. If I can get the largest board I have to change into my head, I believe that I can manage the rest. So here is what I need to do:-
Our wheelhouse / salon leaks because the mahogany is rotting and soft in fairly large areas. I've previously dug out the rot, used Ronseal wood hardener, filled it and painted it. It still leaks.
The culprit is a 16 foot X 14 inch X 3/4 inch piece of curved mahogany. The curve is not massive but I do not have access to a steamer big enough to achieve it in one piece. So, my thoughts are:-
to make up the offending plank by using 3 laminations, each 1/4 inch thick - but 7 inches wide, not 14 (For the 2 outer laminations) The centre lamination would be one at 7 inches wide (between the centre join in the outer 2) and 2 at 3 1/2 inches wide to fill the rest.
I would expect to use the removed plank as a template for the new lamination.
From avidly following the 'boat build' posts I would use epoxy to bind the laminations, but which one? I know West 206 seems popular, but it is expensive. Maybe I won't need enough to worry about the cost?
Also, I can't afford to be puritanical about the timber? If I'm going to paint it, which I am, is there a problem using Sycamore instead of Mahogany? There is a massive difference in price. Pride wise, I'd rather use Mahogany, my pocket book says different.
So what do you think? All input appreciated. Stu.