Francis Drake (C-Flex) update

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Mike Worrall
Posts: 79
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 4:18 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Francis Drake (C-Flex) update

Post by Mike Worrall »

Hoping to give encouragement to others who might be in the midst of (or contemplating) a 'large' project, here's an update on my (now decade-and-half long) Francis Drake build. [Photos of the build in more-or-less chronological order can be found in the Glen-L Customer Photos site].

The FD is very much a 'traditional' design, and as such (I reasoned) it ought to have a teak deck... I know, I know... Many will reasonably argue that teak decks are a bad idea; they add extra weight, they're difficult to maintain, they can get hot in tropical climates, water will wick past the bungs and invade the core leading to rot, etc, etc.

But... they're lovely to look at, provide a great non-skid surface, and if well maintained likely add value to the boat. And a 'traditional' boat needs to have a traditional deck - so I went for it. (Here, some may opine that 'synthetic' teak decking - available from many different manufacturers - would be a better choice. Here too you may be correct. Synthetic teak decks have much to recommend them... but they're not 'traditional', and after so many years of effort, it just wouldn't 'feel' right to have synthetic deck...).

Throughout the length of this build, I've gotten lucky finding materials via on-line 'stuff for sale' sites, primarily Craigslist and Ebay, and the teak for the deck was one of these finds. About 10 years ago I acquired about 35, quarter sawn (vertical grain), half-inch thick, 12-foot long milled teak deck planks for an extremely attractive price. They've been stored in my garage ever since...
The FD has a balsa-cored deck, and I'm very aware that should any water invade the balsa core, bad things are likely to result. Hence, the teak has been 'glued' in place without the use of any screws / holes / bungs. I've used an epoxy adhesive (like Glen-L Poxy Grip) thickened with milled fibers and colloidal silica, then clamped and weighted each plank in place.
I was initially concerned that each plank would need to be steam bent prior prior to bonding, but this hasn't been required; the teak pulls-in up against its neighbor without "too much" fuss - I've done this all without help or assistance.

Anyway, I'll post again when (if!) I get the deck finished. (That's blue painter's tape along the bulwark which was previously painted).
Last edited by Mike Worrall on Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Francis Drake (C-Flex) update

Post by hoodman »

Hope you keep in touch here on the forum. I'm sure we would all love to see more updates. The deck is going to look fantastic.

If you make sure to oil the teak regularly will there really be that much maintenance?

Building a Geronimo......!

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Re: Francis Drake (C-Flex) update

Post by Stuart »

Is that you working inside in this weather. Shame on you. A real builder works outside in the snow and learns to like it. Wish I had that teak. If she goes down let me know. Would like salvage on that stuff. Nice work though. That will impress the girls who accumulate around the dock looking for sailors in fine ships.

Stuart ( 1 year to build a boat and 2 years to find someone to truck it to the water)

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