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Thread: Laying down canvas on planked deck - practical details

  1. #1

    Default Laying down canvas on planked deck - practical details

    Hi everyone,

    Looking for tips and suggestions please. I've read lots of threads here on this, with different solutions to get this job done.

    I'm planning for the steps required to put canvas down on my 22 foot sloop. The T&G cedar planks are painted at the moment.

    So far the best source for canvas I've found is here: https://www.chicagocanvas.com/produc...nvas-14-75-oz/

    Question: Has anyone bought folded canvas, not on a roll and was the fold an issue? Worth pursuing the roll for shipping?

    I'm thinking seams will be a pain, so I'm going to order a single wide piece of canvas to span the width of my 22' boat (8 feet). Is this what folks are doing? This seems like a waste, cutting out the large circle for the cockpit & cabin, keeping just the edges for the small deck space around the cockpit.

    The procedure will to be lay canvas across the boat from stem to stern, then roll back sections to apply bedding compound and then press down the sections, followed by working the canvas flat.

    For bedding compound, I have choices it appears. I've read Kirby sells unleaded deck bedding he'll mix up on request, and I know of an experienced builder who lays canvas in marine carpet glue. Gannon and Benjamin reportedly uses Vulkem, which I may look into..or some other elastomeric compound. Currently, I'm leaning towards using the Kirby product, thinking that carpet glue may be too rigid.

    This is the boat:



    Any suggestions would be helpful.

    PK

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Laying down canvas on planked deck - practical details

    I think the only part of the deck suited to canvas is the wee cabin top.
    Actual decks are caulked ,and the caulking pressure goes to the covering boards .
    Cabins do not like to be caulked , as they are lighter built, and will only get wider if caulked, not tighter.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Laying down canvas on planked deck - practical details

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    I think the only part of the deck suited to canvas is the wee cabin top.
    Actual decks are caulked ,and the caulking pressure goes to the covering boards .
    Cabins do not like to be caulked , as they are lighter built, and will only get wider if caulked, not tighter.
    Curious about this. Why is the deck unsuitable for canvas? The T&G boards are not caulked or shaped for a caulk seam.

    The current cabin top is canvased now, not caulked.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Laying down canvas on planked deck - practical details

    Decks are a structural member, cotton caulking is part of that. Caulked decks and the hull make a "tight" egg .
    Covering boards, sheer clamp and beam shelf make the strength that TAKE the pressure.
    A cabin top is lightly built to the point it cannot "take" the pressure of caulking,thus canvas covered.
    Think about it, real boats do not have teak on cabin tops.
    Real boats do not have canvas on decks.
    WHY are you considering covering the decks with canvas, leaks?

    wait, you are saying the actual decks are TnG? who built it that way ?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Laying down canvas on planked deck - practical details

    Folded shouldn't be a problem. Lay out the canvas for the full deck. (If there are deck structures that need to be cut out for, that needs doing and the cuts should be made for a tight fit.) Then fold the canvas up from one end to the other so that it can be returned to position when the bedding is laid on the whole deck. With canvas back in place, work from what I call "the middle" to "the corners" -- that is, start tacking bow and stern, and amidship, then working from those points to slowly bring the fastenings together. Stretch the canvas for every tack after the first ones at one end and one side. (If there is a cut out section around a deck structure, tack that down fully first.) Say, you have a few tacks set at the bow, then move to the stern and pull to stretch the canvas lengthwise before tacking. (There are canvas stretching pliers and other tools, but hands will do.) Then move to one side and pull enough to eliminate some of the fore and aft ripple, seeking to move the line of weft just a little to your side, then set a few tacks before moving around to the other side and pulling against the first midship tacks to stretch the cloth tight and tack. I like to set 3, 4, or 5 tacks at a time at each station, moving back and forth, around the hull until the canvas is fully tacked down, then excess can be cut away. (Many decks get a little rounding around the edges with the canvas pulled around, tacked on the side, but it is better to tack on the top and cover with toenail and trim.) If there are deck openings for cabin trunks, coamings, and hatches to come, these will be cut out after tacking the perimeters, stretching as you tack again, now, by pushing down on the tight canvas or cutting a hole in the middle to work from. When tacked, cut the openings away, cutting toward the corners and then along the edges. When the canvas is all tacked and tight, get hot water and a good sponge, and wet the canvas. The water will want to roll off and the sponge is needed to work the water into the cloth. The hand works too, the the water should be hot to induce shrinkage into the canvas. Let the canvas surface dry but while there is still moisture in the threads, lay on the first coat of paint (water in the threads resists penetration of the paint and will keep flexibility in the canvas). When that first coat of paint drys, apply more coats until the color is consistent throughout.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Laying down canvas on planked deck - practical details

    https://www.tonygrove.com/articles/nordic-folk-boat.php


    20200328_121531.jpg20200326_175009 (1).jpg


    i covered my 1941 Snipe with canvas a few years ago following Tony Groves instructions as closely as I could.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Laying down canvas on planked deck - practical details

    Lots of boats this size and larger were built with canvas decks. However personally I would be inclined to lay down a fiberglass deck. It is very commonly done instead of replacing the canvas and when done right is a solid solution that maintains the look of a canvas deck but provides much greater durability.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Laying down canvas on planked deck - practical details

    Thank you Thad, for taking the time.

    One question, is that I'll need to cut out the openings for the cockpit & combing plus the little cabin. This does not leave much deck to canvas. For the stretching, I should tack at the bow and stern, then tack tight the canvas around the cockpit and cabin..then pull tight outwards from the center?

    I'm a little concerned in getting the openings cut correctly for the cockpit and cabin. Honestly I don't have a good plan for this, other then to "sneak up" on the opening by cutting just a little at a time.

    PK

  9. #9

    Default Re: Laying down canvas on planked deck - practical details

    Quote Originally Posted by gizmojoe View Post
    https://www.tonygrove.com/articles/nordic-folk-boat.php


    i covered my 1941 Snipe with canvas a few years ago following Tony Groves instructions as closely as I could.
    That looks great! I'd found and bookmarked that Tony Groves article. I wish I had just the deck as you have here. I'll need to work around some existing parts that rise above the deck.

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