Wooden Boats & Woodworking Index

Plywood - Material suitability for use in boats

Saint Paul Shipwrights - Antique and classic wooden boat restoration

Wooden and classic Boats - The price, the value,investment and restoration processes

Classic & Power - Models Overview

Laminated Tiller - How to Build A Tiller for Wooden boats

Custom Furniture and Cabinet Woodworking - Alist of woodworkers, crafters. See how wood can be blended into something greater.

Wooden and classic Boats - The price, the value,investment and restoration processes

Epoxy Tips By David G. - "How t"o Epoxy Tips & Tricks

Tips and solutions - Fiberglass, Plywood, Woodworker Building Tips

Building your own wooden boat - wood advantages and disadvantages in your next boat, Traditional boat designs and costs

Domenig - wooden boats and canoes , Austria

Epoxy FLOOR SYSTEM

Judy MacDonnell's three-step floor covering began with painting a two-part white epoxy base on the boat floor and hatch cover, sprinkling colored vinyl chips onto the wet epoxy base coat, and painting three clear top coats over the chips.

floor coverin - working Knowledge

Boat floor covering

Boat floor covering - Epoxy Floor(Paint Chip) Systems For Boats Progressive Epoxy Polymers, Inc.

source: marine application article from Old Boat Magazine

Judy MacDonnell's three-step floor covering (shown finished at right) began with painting a two-part white epoxy base on the floor and hatch cover, left above; sprinkling colored vinyl chips onto the wet epoxy base coat, above right; and painting three clear top coats over the chips, center right. The photo at center left shows the transi- tion between the vinyl chip layer and top coats. An Australian product called Designer Flake Seamless Floor Coat- ing, this material is available in the U.S. from Progressive Epoxy Polymers, Inc.

What s stupid thing to have in a boat - Thundered my brother-in-law, as the loose carpet skidded out from under his feet again. I had to agree.

We had just bought a 12-year-old catamaran that had once been a showboat, but after years of neglect she needed a lot of work - including new floor covering. Ancient outdoor carpet lay over plywood now streaked with worn gray paint and grease. The occasional splinter in the plywood snatched at unwary feet. Apart from being loose in places, the carpet had the unfortunate characteristic of plucking the knees out of trouser legs and skin from the elbows of any hapless person working at floor level.

What were our options? New carpet would have the same problems, unless we used household carpet, and carpet of any kind would not be easy to keep clean and dry. Grease and diesel fuel were continually being splashed about, and carpet simply trapped dirt. "Take the carpet out and leave the bare sole as it is!" said my husband, more preoccupied with essentials than cosmetics. But after almost breaking an ankle by stepping into an open engine compartment one evening, he conceded that a lighter-colored flooring would be desirable so we could spot an open hatch in dim lighting. "Paint and add sand to it. You'll never have to worry about slipping on that," advised my brother-in-law. I considered this seriously, but the same problem of wear and tear on sensitive anatomy came to mind. An advertisement for vinyl tiles created a flurry of excitement - until I calculated the weight of the tiles needed for the project.

My heart sank. It was the equivalent of having a third person aboard. Catamarans should be as light as possible; we already had quite a load aboard. Poring over the flooring and industrial coatings columns in the telephone directory, I wondered if I was asking for the impossible - a floor coating that was pleasant to look at, tough enough to withstand heavy engine hatches being dragged over it, easy to clean after diesel and grease spills, lightweight, comfortable on knees and elbows, and not too expensive. After several days of fruitless phone calls and faxes, I ran out of avenues. Then, out of the blue, a letter arrived from the owner of a small business in another town. My fax to another company had been forwarded to him. This man thought he had the product we needed.

With growing optimism, I devoured the information enclosed. It appeared that my search was over. The new flooring would conform to all our requirements and be very lightweight. I could obtain the materials needed and do the work myself for a fraction of the cost of having a professional do it. There were three steps to this flooring - a two-part epoxy paint base, small colored vinyl flakes (pre-mixed according to order) and three clear top coats of polyurethane.

We were given many small bags of various colored vinyl chips to experiment with. Take pinches of various complementary colors and put them into saucers, we were advised, then pour a little water over the mixtures and let them settle. This would give an idea of what the finished product would look like. A mixture of four colors appealed - 60 percent white, 20 percent very pale gray, 15 percent very pale peach, and 5 percent dark peach. The materials arrived, and work began in earnest: scrubbing, sanding, patching holes and low points in the plywood, and filling and smoothing with epoxy. The suppliers assured us that the new "anti-graffiti grade" coating was very forgiving - one would not notice little imperfections in the floor base after it was applied. The edges of the bulkheads and cabinets had to be masked, and sheets had to be pinned across open compart- ments to catch loose flakes before they clogged the bilges. Beginning with the hatch covers, we painted the plywood, a few square feet at a time, with the base coat of epoxy paint. The vinyl flakes had to be thrown on within 15 minutes of applying the epoxy, before it dried.

Twenty-four hours later the flakes had set hard into the epoxy. The loose ones could be gently swept off and reserved for use on the next section. After a light sanding and another brushing off, the area was ready for top coating. Three coats of clear polyurethane on three consecutive days completed the new boat flooring project.

We are now well into the next sailing season and so far are delighted with our new boat floor. It is as tough as nails, yet gentle on sensitive skin and clothing. Grease, diesel, and other spills are easy to wipe off, and time spent cleaning has been reduced dramatically. There is little danger of slipping on it when it is wet. Nobody has inadvertently stepped through an open hatch - and what's more, the floor looks nice!


Restoration services - Vintage, wood and classic restoration services, supplies and boat repair.

Composite/Synthetic Decking - Synthetic teak options, comparison of quality boat decking materials