Non exterior grade lumber for sailboat decking

Dinghies, day sailers, world cruisers. Many small sailboats make ideal rowboats or low-speed power boats.

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Levaggik
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Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2015 5:26 am
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Non exterior grade lumber for sailboat decking

Postby Levaggik » Thu Sep 28, 2017 4:40 pm

I would like to use a hardwood veneer for the decking. If it is coated on both sides with epoxy and/or marine varnish will this hold up if it is not exterior grade?

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Stuart
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Location: Canada

Re: Non exterior grade lumber for sailboat decking

Postby Stuart » Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:06 am

This may not be what your thinking of using but I used 1/8 thick mahogany veneer on the deck of my Glen L 25. The first problem was epoxying it down because it was not perfectly flat and it was not as flexible as thin veneer. Its been a few years and it has not lifted. I gave it a thick coating of epoxy and then marine varnish. During the winter in Canada, snow sits on the deck. In the spring I find areas where the epoxy has split as much as a foot and lifted on the edges of the split down to the wood. These are normally not difficult to repair but I would prefer not having too and the repair has its own set of problems. Interior grade is called interior grade for a reason.

Stuart

Mark-NJ
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Location: New Jersey

Re: Non exterior grade lumber for sailboat decking

Postby Mark-NJ » Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:37 pm

I'm confused: what is "non-exterior grade lumber"?

If the "interior" product is some sort of laminate, then it's made with glues that won't stand up to the elements. Thus, it's interior.

But wood is wood. If your hardwood veneer is solid wood (albeit thin), then it isn't really "interior" or "exterior"....it's just "wood", and if it takes epoxy well, you should be good. Epoxy it down, epoxy it over, varnish over that and you're set. Periodic maintenance will, of course, be required. That's the nature of brightwork on boats. Of course, if it's a laminate, that's a whole different story.

Yes, Some woods are better outdoors than others. Poplar: awful outdoor wood. Pine: pretty good. etc. So it seems to me if you have a piece of wood, veneer or otherwise, that's a decent outdoor wood, go for it.

Levaggik
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2015 5:26 am
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Non exterior grade lumber for sailboat decking

Postby Levaggik » Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:53 am

Thank you Stuart and Mark. I appreciate the help. I am new to boat building and the aesthetic quality of exterior grade plywood in Arizona lacks something to be desired. I have spent a lot of time building my Glen-L14 and I would prefer to have the decking look nice but don't want to sacrifice the project. Thank you again.


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