Preventing Dry Rot in Wood

A popular option for boat floors is natural wood as it provides a classic look, high durability, and degrades gracefully. In other words, wood floors age well over time with standard wear. However, dry rot is an often overlooked enemy of wood which is a great cause for concern in a maritime environment like that of the floor on a boat.

boat wood dry rotContrary to its name, dry rot is caused by prolonged exposure to moisture. Mix that with a lethal combination of naturally found sea fungus and you have a problem that promises to destroy the life of your wooden floor. When fungi meet a bit of moisture in an inviting environment like the pores of your deck, it can compromise the integrity of the wood. And as it loses strength it crumbles, flakes, and breaks, ending up as a costly replacement bill and major headache.

Dry rot is actually a bigger problem when the boat is in storage rather than out in open sea. That’s because many boat owners tend to cover their boats to keep dirt and dust away or put them in a storage area that is too moist. Without air flow, the moisture in the wood is retained, increasing its susceptibility to dry rotting. At least out in the open waters the wood flooring is exposed to wind and sun, which gives it a chance to dry out.

To prevent dry rot, make sure the boat is stored in a well ventilated area. This means places like the dark, humid storage shed out back are a big no-no. To aid with drying out, it helps to remove everything you can from your boat. Just removing the seat cushions will do wonders to increase air flow as these objects are known to retain water and thus don’t give your wood a chance to dry. Any potential moisture retainers should be removed from the boat before storage.

While it makes good sense to cover your boat with some sort of protective barrier when you’re not using one, one that is made from plastic can actually do more harm than good. Plastic or synthetic rubber are common materials found in many commercial boat covers and these are just large moisture traps. By trapping all that water and moisture in your boat, you are inviting dry rot to invade your wooden floor by the time you use it for the next boating season. Instead, try to use covers made from cotton or any other breathable fabric that will allow your wood to breath while it remains stored. A cotton cover will still offer you protection from dirt, insects, and dust without compromising the integrity of the floor.

If you have been fortunate enough to maintain a relatively good condition wood floor up until now and want to know what preventative measures you can take, you can actually limit the chance of dry rot by sealing your wood floor with epoxy. Epoxy is basically a glue which you can use to coat the surface of the floor. The epoxy will bind to the microscopic wood pores and effectively seal it from any moisture or fungus from getting in. If any fungus does get it, it will not get a chance to spread as the epoxy does double duty to seal off oxygen from coming in contact with the wood. Without oxygen to live, the fungus cannot grow and spread into dry rot. Sealing your wood with epoxy will keep moisture, fungus, and oxygen out and prolong the life of your floor.

By understanding the cause of dry rot and following some common sense guidelines when it comes to storage, you should be able to prevent dry rot from ever ruining your boat floor. Keeping moisture out and allowing for good ventilation is key. As a preventative measure you can also seal the floor with an epoxy coat and extend the life of the wood even further. By following these practices you’ll be able to stop dry rot from ever becoming a problem so you can focus more of your time on enjoying your boat.

How to Replace Boat Carpet

Replacing boat carpet is fairly easy to do with the right tools. It’s a project anyone can tackle over the weekend. If you use your boat frequently, you’ll know that the boat carpet is often one of the first things to wear out. While carpets are comfortable, they simply don’t stand up to the elements as well as vinyl or wood.

Carpet Removal

Older carpet is easy to remove with just a few hand tools. Clean off any remaining glue and inspect the wood or fiberglass deck for water damage before installing new carpet. While the carpet is removed on older crafts, it is a good idea to check below deck for hidden structural damage and to inspect the condition of the fuel tanks.

Cutting to Size

The best way to cut carpet or floor vinyl to size is to use an oversized measurement and cut a piece before applying the glue. Rough-cut a piece of carpet that is larger than the area to be covered. By laying the piece in place, custom cuts for an exact fit can be made using a sharp carpet or utility knife. After the fit is right, remove the carpet.

Applying Adhesive

Simply apple the adhesive to the deck when temperatures are about 65°F and trowel into place with 100% coverage. Allow adhesive to tack properly and set carpet in place. Apply pressure to carpet or use a roller from the center to all edges to remove unwanted air bubbles. Refrain from vacuuming or foot traffic until adhesive has time to properly bond and dry.

Tips on Boat Rubber Flooring Online Shopping

Recent statistics show that more and more people are buying boat rubber flooring and other types of boat flooring material online instead of visiting local boating goods stores.  In fact, there has been an increasing trend in people who turn to online shopping to buy their daily necessities.  You can buy just about anything under the sun off the internet or reputable websites.  Shopping online has made the task of finding boat flooring supplies much easier and much faster.  Instead of having to take the time out of your day to drive out to the closest boat supply store, shopping online for things like boat rubber flooring saves you time and money.

Time is important and valuable for everyone.  There are many people who lead such busy lifestyles that make it close to impossible for them to fit in a remodeling project into their schedule.  However, sometimes you’ll find it inevitable that your boat or yacht is in need of an upgrade.  This can be due to a number of things such as lack of maintenance, lack of protection from weather conditions, or simply old age.  Whatever the cause is, you, as the owner must protect your assets and have them fixed regularly as long as you want them in good working condition.

Luckily, there are many websites that can point you in the right direction as to how to repair or refinish yacht flooring yourself.  Nowadays, cheap DIY maintenance routines for your boat floors can be found all throughout the internet.  Not only is it cheaper to maintain the condition of your boat flooring yourself, but also better for prolonging the lifespan of it as well.

A good way to save lots of time is to order your building materials online.  For instance, if you are looking to install boat flooring yourself (rubber flooring in particular) then buying some recycled rubber flooring would probably be your first step of action.  An added benefit of installing boat rubber flooring is that you are inadvertently promoting the notion of recycling rubber to help save the environment.

The selection of boat rubber flooring available to you online is extensive.  The good thing about online shopping is that all your boat rubber flooring supplies will be delivered right to your door.  You won’t have to go scrounging around local boat flooring supply stores for something that you may only find online.  There are many styles, colors, and patterns of boat rubber flooring for you to choose from online—much more so than if you were to visit a local boat flooring supply store.  Sometimes what you want or need may not be in stock at the store.  These stores have limited storage space—making it harder for them to keep up their stock of flooring.  They can order more for you, but cannot guarantee a speedy delivery or even that the manufacturer is still producing them.

Shopping online for boat rubber flooring is to the point and convenient.  You don’t have to hassle yourself with the prospect of driving from one boat floor supplier to the next and ultimately not being able to find what you were looking for in the end.  As long as you keep in mind a few safety precautions and do your research, shopping online is safe and easy.

As you shop online for you boat rubber flooring, keep these in mind:

  • Reputability – Research up on the reputation of the supplier.  Make sure that the company is reliable, offers fast deliveries, and has been well rated by its customers.
  • Shop around – Consider your options first before you ultimately decide on purchasing any particular boat rubber flooring.  Don’t just buy the first rubber flooring you come across.
  • Measure – If you’re going to order boat flooring, make sure you know your boat’s dimensions!
  • Compare prices – Even if two suppliers offer the same boat flooring, they may sell them at different prices.
  • Check out the return policies – Read through the return policies carefully before you decide to purchase your boat rubber flooring.

Yacht Flooring – Easily Repair and Refinish It Yourself

The most common material used in yacht flooring is teak and holly sole—which usually ends up taking a lot of abuse from our walking on it.  Not only does it give the boat a nice look, but also plays up the interior of it as well.  For some yacht floors, this material comes as an option while others have teak and holly sole set as the standard and default flooring.  There are many types of boat flooring available to choose from.  How to choose teak flooring may be your first and foremost issue!  The main issue that pops up however, is what to do when these yacht floorings wear out and knowing when is the best time to do something about it.

Lots of people fear the process of having to repair or replace their old and worn out yacht flooring.  What you don’t want is for the flooring to look worse than if you didn’t do anything to fix it.  There are some people who just decide to sell their yachts altogether so that they don’t have to deal with the problem of fixing their holly sole and teak flooring.  However, there is nothing to fear.  Repairing your yacht flooring is actually much easier than you think.  Not to mention, the supplies that you’ll need are also very inexpensive!

What you’ll need:

  • Sandpaper 220 grit – Use this sanding guide to determine what strength of sanding you’ll need
  • Varnish – It’s up to you whether you want a satin or glossy finish to your yacht flooring.  Read all the safety precautions on the label and all other application techniques to ensure the best results.
  • Masking tape
  • Brushes
  • Rags
  • Thinner

Before you plunge into this project, you must keep in mind a few things about different wear points on your teak and holly sole yacht flooring.  If all you have are worn down teak and holly (not bare spots) then you’re still in good shape.  If you have bare spots (meaning you’ve already reached the wood itself) then you’ll need to put in some extra work and effort.  Another thing you should do before you begin is check the hatchways or any other removable sections where the wood could have possibly splintered.  If there is too much flex as you step on it (when it is in place) then you’ll need to fix this first before or after refinishing your yacht flooring.

Refinishing yacht flooring basically means that you’re sanding it down with a sanding block by hand or using a light sanding powder.  A good way to do this is to move any detachable sections to a more spacious and comfortable place to sand down.  Be sure to clean the surface so that it is free of dirt or grit.  By the end of the sanding process, your yacht flooring should have a dull but even finish to it.

For bare spots, sand it down lightly to get rid of the grey.  Slightly feather the finish around it until it reaches the bare spots.  Take a slightly damp rag (with thinner on it) and clean off all the dust from the surface.  You should do this every time before or after you varnish.

Steps for the varnish:

  1. Thin the varnish by about 20%
  2. Paint your first coat over just the bare spots – wait until dry or for 24 hours before you add the next coat
  3. Sand down the area you just coated
  4. Thin the varnish by about 10%
  5. Coat again and allow for it to dry once again
  6. Sand down and then apply varnish full strength

Some tips about applying varnish:

  • It is best if the varnish and the yacht flooring surface are both warm in temperature – the varnish paints and settles better, which also makes it easier for you to sand in between coats.
  • If you have deep gouges in your yacht flooring, apply extra varnish in those areas.  You can apply extra coats there so that they become level and even with the rest of the surface.
  • Remember to sand in between coats and also to feather the edges.
  • As to how many coats to apply, it’s really all up to you.  You should have at least 4 to 5 coats minimum.  6 to 8 coats is good for extra durability.

Repairing and refinishing yacht flooring really isn’t that bad of a thing to do.  Although it does require quite a bit of work, you can think of it as a form of exercise!  It’s a good way to pass time taking care of something you love and pour a lot of passion into.  Varnish hides your damaged areas and helps make your teak boat flooring look luxurious and brand new every time.  You can even decide to change the overall look of your boat floors by staining it.  Following these simple steps to refinishing your yacht flooring is guaranteed to allow you to enjoy them for years on end.