The Rot Doctor


Subject: teak deck options
Date: Thu, 04 Oct 2001

Dr Rot,
Having been a satisfied user of CPES for delamination in our 24' Searay, I am ready to tackle our largest project yet.

We recently purchased a 1962 43' Pacemaker Sportfish. The winter project is to replace the entire cockpit decking (teak) and floor stringers(?). Fresh water rot is the culprit. I am planning to coat all new stringers with CPES after dry fitting, along with all wood inside the hull, that I have access to at this time (using the spray bottle).

Sounds right to me! It'll protect that wood down the line.

Is mahogany a viable decking replacement for the cockpit, instead of teak? I am thinking about using CPES on the bottom of the boards and a oil base sealant on the top. The cockpit size is 10'x9', and would like to use boards 3" wide to decrease the amount of seams. Cost and availability are also a factor.
Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated.

Thank you,

Rich B.


Oh boy! Wood decking...hmmm.

To answer your question directly, mahogany would not be a particularly good choice for planked decking. A little soft, and not that absorbent for any oiled finish. In any case, ANY planked decking is going to get you into the whole business of seams and caulking and leaks as the wood planks expand and contract under varied environmental conditions.

What I would consider would be a 3/4" standard exterior grade ply, cut, dry fit and then saturated with CPES, and then come back over the top with one of the really very attractive 1/4" wood decking laminates that they now sell. You would treat the back side/edges with the CPES to protect it, and then put it down with some exterior-grade bonding compound. This would give you a beautiful deck surface, and the compound would allow you to replace the deck surface 10 years from now when it starts to look worn. This decking laminate is expensive, but in the end I don't think it will cost you any more than buying high-grade wood planking -- and it would save you a world of maintenance headaches. You can get this decking laminate at most large marine supply outlets.

For the new deck support beams use fir, readily available, absorbent and if CPES-treated should last a long time.

If you are really set on using planks for your decking, then come on back and we can discuss wood possibilities other than mahogany.

Have fun with the Pacemaker. They are pretty boats to look at and I've been told drive and ride very nicely.

And thanks for your nice comments about the CPES.