[Public-List] Teak inlays?

Mike Lehman sail_505 at hotmail.com
Fri Sep 7 06:26:24 PDT 2012


I have done this job several times over the past 35 years on several boats. 
Here are my attempts and success/failures.

First attempt...
Remove, with a router, 1/4" of the teak plywood and replace with 3/8" solid 
teak strips using epoxy. This leaves the wood 1/8" proud for long term 
This worked well for the main hatch and the lazarette, but water got under 
the seats after about 10 years and teak strips started become loose and the 
plywood beneath started to rot due to the trapped water. I think this is 
because we walk on the seats and the flexing from the weight caused the 
seams to open especially around the perimeter of the wood.
Life: about 10 years on the seats, still perfect on the main and lazarette 
hatch...must keep it sealed with your preference of finish.

Second try...
Remove the teak strips and the wet plywood completely.
Fiberglass in 1/2" Coosa board in place of the plywood. Advantage: lighter 
seat hatches and strength for walking on.
Cover the Coosa board with imitation teak/holly rubber stuff.
Good non skid, low maintenance, strong, looks good initially but turned ugly 
in about a year. Shrinkage of the rubber inlay allowed water to get under 
the rubber and it started to lift after about 5 years.
Life: about 5 years

Third try...
Remove rubber crap and glass over the seats to be flush. Use System 3 "Quick 
fair" to make it entirely smooth.
Paint hatches and create non-skid with Kiwi Grip.
Advantages: maintenance free, looks great, good non-skid grip
Cons: you no longer have the classic wood inlay appearance. But the not too 
bothersome since the main and lazarette and coaming still maintain the boat 

Best solution for wood inlays...
Remove all the plywood, and replace with 5/4 x 2" wide teak strips, milled 
to leave the wood 1/4" proud.
For the main hatch, you need to bevel the edges of the strips (1 degree 
bevel on each board) to make the curve work.
Overlap the boards on all perimeters of the fiberglass to create a 
water-tight seal. (Tricky cuts)
Epoxy all pieces in place. Build a jig before starting this to to allow the 
teak to be clamped in place. Make the joints tight and epoxy all joints.
Advantages: Beautiful and very strong, long term repair.
Cons: heavy, must keep finished, expensive to build and time consuming to 

Whatever solution you choose...
Be careful removing the old plywood so as not to damage the fiberglass 
around the edges of the hatch
The edges are beveled
the depth is 3/4" once the plywood is removed

Good luck...I have lots of pictures of this process.

Conclusion...I am very happy with my fiberglassed seat locker hatches. I 
like the non-skid properties of kiwi-grip, the low maintenance, easy to keep 
clean and will live with the non-classic look.

Mike Lehman

-----Original Message----- 
From: Stephen Gwyn
Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2012 1:48 AM
To: public-list at lists.alberg30.org
Subject: [Public-List] Teak inlays?


My boat has a main hatch cover and cockpit locker lids
that have teak plywood inlays. This is a newer, liner boat.
All three inlays have sanded one too many times. and now
are showing the second ply, which has voids. The epoxy
and glass solution discussed recently might work for the
locker lids, but won't look great for the hatch cover.
The plywood is starting to delaminate. Also, I see
various screw holes with teak plugs on top of them,
some of which have popped out.

In short, I'd like to replace these inlays.

Has anybody replaced these inlays? How much work was it?
How thick are the inlays? 1/4" or more?
Are the screws necessary, or can one use just epoxy
or 3M5200/Sikaflex?

#495 Quasar

Stephen Gwyn                       | Tel: 1-250-363-3136
Canadian Astronomical Data Centre  | Fax: 1-250-363-0045
Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics | Cell: 1-250-885-6969
5071 West Saanich Road             | E-mail: Stephen.Gwyn at nrc-cnrc.gc.ca
Victoria, BC, V9E 2E7, Canada      | http://astrowww.phys.uvic.ca/~gwyn/

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