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Deck Reconstruction

July 14, 2021
Total reconstruction of the deck has commenced with all planks being carefully removed for later reuse. The process involves using a holesaw to drill over the existing deck spikes then levering the planks from their location after having raked out the old caulking.

Where planks have been removed, the shipwrights will assess whether a deck beam needs replacement due to rot or iron degradation of the timber. The deck structure and slope will also be assessed and beams replaced as necessary to ensure drainage of the new deck. The replacement deck will consist of layers of plywood screwed and epoxied in place with an overlay of the refurbished Queensland beech planking. Not a traditional deck, some may say, but replacement beech timber is not available and this method will stop water coming through the deck and pooling in your bunk as happened in the past.

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2 Comments
  1. alan stannard permalink

    The replacement deck method of using plywood and re using the existing Beech is the same method we are using on the motor launch BERRIMA, owned & operated by the Sydney Heritage Fleet. Before taking up the planks they were identified and marked and have now gone back down in the same position. We applied an adhesive called Fixtec195 to adhere the the beech to the plywood, SS wood screws were inserted into the holes in the deck planking. The plywood was completely sealed with an expoxy wood preservative. Beech deck plugs now await cutting, the deck seams will be caulked with cotton and a Bostic Deck Caulking compound will be used.
    We were able to extend the life of the existing white beech by scarfing pieces on and applying gravos to many areas.

    Alan Stannard
    Master & Shipwright
    Sydney Heritage Fleet

    • Thanks Alan for the description of your methods. Ours is very similar, except we will be lightly dressing our beech boards and then sawing them in half to form boards of about 30 mm thickness. The two layers of plywood and a layer of beech will give us a similar thickness to the previous deck. Details of the adhesion of all layers and final sealing between beech planks will feature in later posts as work progresses.

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