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Thread: Teak deck over plywood - plywood is rotting

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Brunswick, Maine, USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Teak deck over plywood - plywood is rotting

    For the age of the boat (1964) the deck is in good shape, but it must be leaking somewhere. I have a few small area in the plywood beneath the deck that has rotted around the doghouse. Need some advice here.
    • How do I find the sources of the leaks?
    • How do I then seal these sources?
    • Can I refurbish the rotten plywood with something like Git Rot and then Evercoat 27?


    I am at your feet.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Rockland Maine USA and Woodbridge, Suffolk, England
    Posts
    536

    Default Re: Teak deck over plywood - plywood is rotting

    If the teak deck has done 50+ years, that is pretty good. Chances are however that it is getting to its life end and will progressively start to leak and rot the ply underneath. Some photos would help a lot.

    It may be that you'll have to bite the bullet and lift all the teak, repair the rotten areas of ply which may be rather more extensive than you can see currently and go for a ply deck, maybe covered in glass cloth or Dynel.

    Finding the source of the leaks is difficult. You can try wetting the whole deck down with fresh water and then, as it dries, see where seams stay wet the longest. Also look carefully at the quadrants around the doghouse coamings.

    Sealing the sources if you can find them is usually raking out the old seam compound and putting in new (polysulphide usually).

    I don't think you'll do much effectively with git-rot etc. Cutting out the rotten ply, and well beyond, is usually the only solution. And this can't be done from the underside really.

    George
    To be truly free to live, one must be free to think and speak.

    A C Grayling

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Norwalk CT
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    1,797

    Default Re: Teak deck over plywood - plywood is rotting

    Rot is like an iceberg. What you can see is only a fraction of what is there. There is no quick, easy or simple solution. Given the age of the boat, you are facing a re-decking. You can of course put band-aids on until you reach some critical failure but thats up to you.

    Probably not what you want to hear but Its the harsh reality.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    South Puget Sound/summer Eastern carib./winter
    Posts
    19,569

    Default Re: Teak deck over plywood - plywood is rotting

    Beezwax ,rubbed/worked in to cracks in seams ,followed by an electric heat gun, will chase down this type of leak about as good as anything. Molten wax goes further in than epoxy, can be reheated, is not toxic.
    If it does need to be rebuilt, Please consider using just about ANYOTHERGODDAMN technique than teak over plywood.
    Thank You
    bruce

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Brunswick, Maine, USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Teak deck over plywood - plywood is rotting

    Thanks! I will certainly try this before I toss in the towel and either sell or rip up the deck. I have noticed you have offered that advice before, with the caveat of NOT buying toilet bowl bees wax. Do you have a preferred brand or type?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Brunswick, Maine, USA
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    8

    Default Re: Teak deck over plywood - plywood is rotting

    I bought the Cheoy Lee Frisco Flyer four years ago for $5K and have been steadily improving/refurbishing her since. Sounds like a new deck would cost about the same. (sigh.) Thanks for your response, "harsh" though it may be.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Brunswick, Maine, USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Teak deck over plywood - plywood is rotting

    Thanks, George. I'll post some photos soon. I'll try soaking the deck and watching for the slower drying areas once we get her out on the water. yeah, perhaps the whole git rot approach is wishful thinking.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Norwalk CT
    Posts
    1,797

    Default Re: Teak deck over plywood - plywood is rotting

    There is only half a chance that where the water goes through the teak is where the water comes through the plywood. Most times the water travels along until it hits a seam in the ply and thats how it migrates down to drip on your pillow. And thats where the end grain of the ply soaks up the sweet water and starts to rot.

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