Monday, April 15, 2013

Swansong's New Teak Decks

Vacuum Bagging Teak Decks on a Swan 46.

 Part One

In our continuing adventures with teak decks, this was the most complicated yet for Emerald Marine. Like the swan migration in Skagit Valley, this job has taken us from winter into spring.

As the solstice began, we welcomed Swansong, a Swan 46 into the fold.  The painstaking task of removing all the deck hardware was carried out by our partners in this job, Northwest Rigging. To get access to the many thru-fastenings, the headliner  below decks and some of the interior joinery had to be removed. Each section of deck was patterned for the fittings and wood pattern before the noisy air-powered chisel chipped up  the old, failing teak.  The sub-deck was in good condition. All the old  holes made by the deck screws and fittings were filled with epoxy and the deck was given a good sanding.

The front tent is essentially an out doors working area for the lack of heat.  This is somewhat counterbalanced by the new front tent door letting in more ambient light naturally white, rather than the previous orange hue.  But no doubt, winter did not disappoint with the usual north winds, south-westerlies and easterlies blowing by, but we were snug enough.

Above, the hammer chisels rat-a-tat away the old teak.  

Cabin top prepped for installation

Below, the teak strakes are fit, screwed down and spaced on fiberglass mesh that is impregnated with epoxy.

The main large pieces are built by pattern on a table but each fit requires other pieces to be installed in place.
A compressor run caulking gun applies the miles of black goo between miles of tape.

The Swan's deck plans lay out on the pile of teak.
Teak boards were cut into strips to be epoxied to a mesh on the building table. The shape was determined from patterns taken from the old decks.  After the epoxy cures, the seams are sanded, cleaned and taped on the bottom.  The edges are taped off and the Teak Deck System caulk is applied, when it's cured the tape is removed the extra caulk is cut off and the deck is sanded right side up.

Team work sets the deck piece into place.
The whole piece is turned over and the bottom epoxy is sanded so it adhears to the epoxy that will bond it to the deck.  When it's put in place, the vacuum bag aparatus is applied, sealed to the sub-deck with special tape, and then the pump sucks out all the air, pulling everything tight together.  There are pictures of this down the page.
After the vacuum bagging is removed

Starboard side-deck is laid up and epoxied.  Lead weights and the screw-pads help it stick to mesh.

Port side-deck is carefully moved for installation.

This is the vacuum pump orifice pulling the air out of the sealed "bag".  The yellow is the special sealing tape/putty.

It's a series of tubes, but it's not the internet!

Post vacuum bagging

The margin boards are carefully cut,  shapped with hand tools and fit on the edges and around deck hardware and fittings.
So Spring has arrived with somewhat warmer temperatures, the last pieces are fit and the hardware is being reinstalled.  Swansong will soon return to her summer home.

Thanks for reading!
Stay tuned for Part 2.  Finishing the deck hardware installation, sail track pads, and interior work.


Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing details about the teak to be used for deck. I was really searching for the right material to be used. Your blog was quite very useful to me and please keep on posting.

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Alex Wire Mesh said...

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