A Real Wood Alternative to Teak Decking
Boatshed Dartmouth successfully sold a Moody 425 just before Christmas and her new owner decided that the cockpit seating and sole were really in need of attention as part of his refurbishment of the yacht. The curved nature of the seating had caused water to lay in certain places on the seating area especially aft by the drain holes which tend to block easily. Over a period of time this had resulted in the original plywood faced imitation decking fitted by Moody completely rotting out and it was starting to lift in other areas.
A number of alternatives were considered including real teak replacement and synthetic teak decking. After reading about Jeremy Rodgers ‘green’ Contessa 32 ‘Calypso’ the owner and Rick James from Yacht Projects investigated the real wood alternative ‘Kebony’. A sample was obtained from the UK importers and it was decided to proceed with replacing all the teak faced plywood in the cockpit.
Unlike teak, Kebony is an FSC certified timber from sustainable sources with several other key advantages:
• Greater resistance to wear
• Easier to maintain
• Lower carbon footprint than teak from Burma
• Harder than teak
• Greater stability than teak
• Same non-slip properties as teak
• At least a third of the cost of teak
Kebony is a revolutionary Norwegian product which uses sustainable maple modified in an environmentally friendly process using a liquid derived from plant waste. It is worked and laid in exactly the same way as normal teak and weathers to the same light grey as teak. Because it is much harder than teak the only issues encountered when refurbishing the Moody cockpit was to be careful not to damage any fine edges and to be sure to use very fine, sharp tools to ensure clean edges.
The wood was bonded using ‘Saba Deck’ and caulked using ‘Saba Seal Fast One’. Saba products are very similar to Sika except they are more environmentally friendly being free from solvents, isocyanates and silicones. Rick chooses to mask off all planking before caulking to ensure very straight lines and then sands the whole area when the Saba has completely cured. Masking off minimises the finishing when the Saba material is cured. The overall result is a massive improvement on the original seating and cockpit sole but above all has the warmth and natural feel of real wood - something that is particularly important in an area like a cockpit.
The Moody’s refurbishment programme is now nearly complete and she will be returning to the water with a delighted new owner later in March.
Further details on Kebony and its applications can be found at the Kebony website here
Contact Rick James at Yacht Projects on 01803 863947, or 07977 053696 You can email Rick at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more about the ‘green’ Contessa ‘Calypso’ here
Further information on Saba products can be found here
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