Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Columbia 43 with Sole

The teak plywood got three coats of polyurethane varnish on both sides and the edges.
The plywood sole on Oceanus was utilitarian and ugly. Jason, the previous owner, was planning to cover it with cork flooring, a good choice for him. But for me -- who, at 6' 4" just barely has standing headroom -- that was not an option. The quarter-inch thick cork flooring would leave me only slouching headroom.

The paint in the rest of the boat has a nice sheen and very small glass beads mixed in it for a secure footing.



So, in the saloon's raised section, we replaced the old fir plywood with teak plywood. This is the nicest plywood I've ever worked with.  It's beautiful, strong and has no voids. And it is priced accordingly. Luckily. we needed only one sheet.

Because it was so expensive, I nearly drove myself crazy double checking my measurements before each cut. It took a long time, but when I was finished, the fit was nearly perfect.

In the rest of the boat we use good old porch paint with some grit in it. We carefully picked the color at the paint store. But when we opened the can back at the boat it looked like we opened a can of pumpkin pie filling. We both got a nearly uncontrollable urge for pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting.

Pumpkin bars or chocolate milk?

Virginia went ahead and laid down the first coat, but the next day we took the paint back and had them tone it down a little. It's more like chocolate milk now.

Virginia stirred in small glass beads -- about half the size of table salt -- to the last coat of semi-gloss paint. In addition to providing better footing it also adds a nice texture. It feels good on bare feet too.

We are happy with the result. The floor has a nice sheen and will be easy to maintain.

With the floorboards up you can see the tops of the water tanks, two storage lockers and the V-drive. One of the old floorboards covers the bilge. The yellow pyramids, called painter points, are what I used to hold up the floorboards while the bottom is wet. 
I am not a big fan of polyurethane varnish, but I think it's the right choice for the teak section of the sole. It is very tough. If the varnished flooring in the saloon proves to be to slick when it gets wet, I will, mix some of the glass powder into a fourth coat of varnish.

I cut more access hatches in the sole so I can have access to every part of the hull.
News Update! Oceanus is featured in Three Sheets Northwest, an on-line boating magazine. Here's the article.