Cockpit trim question (cut or remove)

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Re: Cockpit trim question (cut or remove)

Postby Friendship22 » Fri Jan 03, 2020 11:55 pm

spoke36 wrote:I have made new coaming out of 1x8 red cedar for the sides and 1x6 red cedar for the transom. It looks good now but has not been "sea trial tested" or time tested. The side pieces were 8 feet long; I did a free hand taper from the front to match the 1x6 used in the back. The back piece was under 5 feet but I purchased a 6 foot piece which I fitted after the sides were in place. The wood cost about $50 in the summer of 2019. I had to sand the wood with a belt sander on the rough side and where the saber caw cuts were made. I stained the wood with a clear stain/sealer and then used Epifane (a UV-resistant varnish). I spread the sides with boards and clamps to keep the new coaming in place. I used 2 inch stainless #8 screws at 12 inch intervals to hold the new coaming in place. I put the plastic sealing pieces in place -- on starboard with a glue/sealer like 4400 and did not use any glue/sealer on port - just compression from the screws.

I am looking for suggestions for making floor boards. The wood for the coaming and floor boards all rotted. From the forums, it seems to have been Philippine mahogany. Has anyone tried an inexpensive wood and, if so, can share the measurements and any construction hints?

What are the pros and cons of having floor boards? Appearance? Safety?


I am so happy I stumbled upon this thread. As a relatively new DS1 owner - and an old and neglected one at that - I also need to replace my coamings and the seats on either side of the centerboard due to rot.

I will follow the instructions for using red cedar for the coamings. Was it easy to bend the cedar alone port and starboard? Did you also replace the seats?
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Re: Cockpit trim question (cut or remove)

Postby GreenLake » Sat Jan 04, 2020 7:45 am

Cedar would have decent rot resistance but it would be quite a bit softer than the mahogany (or possibly teak) that was used originally on the DS1. For the coaming, the structural support that they provide is mostly "in plane", so even a softer wood may have sufficient strength for that. If you want to recreated the raised coamings of the original, the raised edge is unsupported, and cedar would be more likely to take damage on the exposed edge. You might compensate a bit by making the coamings somewhat thicker - cedar is less than half the density, so you wouldn't incur much of a weight penalty.

For the thwarts (that's the proper name for what you called "seats next to the centerboard") I would be worried about the connections to the CB and seat moldings. These connections are highly stressed, particularly when the boat slams into waves or sits on a bouncy trailer. A cedar board should be strong enough to sit on and to withstand the side loads on it, but only if the connections don't pull out (or loosen). Unlike the coamings, there's no obvious way to compensate by changing dimensions. You can make the board a bit thicker, but the place where it attaches to the seat moldings or rests on the brackets fixed to the CB, there's not enough room to accommodate the extra thickness.

You would have to plane these edges down to the original dimension, meaning you would get more strength to support sitting on the thwarts, but not more strengths in the connections - and it's that what determines how much the thwarts can function in their main purpose: which is to keep the boat from opening up/closing down as it goes over a wave.

I'd definitely expect that cedar would get "nicked" a bit during use, but admittedly don't have actual experience using it for a purpose like that, so I can't be sure how much these differences are actual concerns in practice.
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Re: Cockpit trim question (cut or remove)

Postby spoke36 » Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:12 am

The nominal one inch thick 1x8 and 8 feet long red cedar was fairly easy to bend. After shaping the wood, I used one large c-clamp (6-9 inch throat large enough to fit over the combing) to bring the board to touch the side of the cockpit. The wood combing was supported with lengths of wood that pressed from the other side of the cockpit-not much pressure and no cutting--just scraps and a 5 food canoe paddle to temporarily hold the new combing in place). I started 1.5 inch stainless steel screws about 8 to 9 inches apart along the edge starting from the front. (I pre-drilled the holes including a into the fiberglass). I started at the bow end and removed the c-clamp when I had screws on either side of it.

The amount of bend needed was about 4 inches of the unbent wood which was easy to do by hand; I needed a tight connection (hence the C-clamp) when the screws were to be inserted. I was able to insert the plastic that cam with the boat between the combing and the edge of the fiberglass cockpit edge.

I stained and applied a UV-resistant urethane before screwing the new combing in place. As noted, red cedar is soft; it will certainly get lots of dents as hard edged object (including body parts) whack it over time. I will probably need to re-polyurethane the wood every other year.

My seats are fiberglass. I do not have a wooden brace between the seat and the center board bracket...yet. Boat 211 (1963, I think) did not have the thwart-arrangement, just a big L-bracket or two between the hull and each side of the centerboard bracket.
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Re: Cockpit trim question (cut or remove)

Postby GreenLake » Sun Jan 05, 2020 6:38 pm

To limit thread-drift, I've moved the discussion of why sail number #211 seems odd for the claimed year (1963) to a different location in the history section. Let's continue the topic of dating that DaySailer there so we can focus on coamings here.
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Re: Cockpit trim question (cut or remove)

Postby Cliff » Mon Jan 06, 2020 3:40 pm

My coamings are 1/2" thick--I believe that mine are about as original as you can get (58/59). I believe they are mahogany (could be a similar wood stained to look like mahogany ie Norther white ash-but certainly not oak or pine).

True eastern red cedar is not a cedar but a juniper. It is quite light so therefore not as strong as mahogany. You should not need to stain cedar as it has great natural color. Cedar is more than just rot resistant--it doesn't rot. I acquired some cedar logs in the 70s and used one to put in the ground for my mailbox. It's still there and there's no sign of any rot. Cedar is used for making or lining clothes chests to keep woolens free from moths. I recently got some logs which i had milled to strips which I intend to use for a headliner in my Sea Ray, another project on the backburner.
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Re: Cockpit trim question (cut or remove)

Postby Cliff » Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:32 pm

Wood material for thwarts should not be red cedar. Wood thwarts are definitely structural and need to be strong. Original may have been mahogany or teak which is great but expensive. I would think there are other hardwoods and some soft woods that could be used depending upon where you are located: Southern yellow pine,Douglas fir,white oak
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Re: Cockpit trim question (cut or remove)

Postby GreenLake » Mon Jan 06, 2020 8:35 pm

Cliff wrote:Wood material for thwarts should not be red cedar. Wood thwarts are definitely structural and need to be strong. Original may have been mahogany or teak which is great but expensive. I would think there are other hardwoods and some soft woods that could be used depending upon where you are located: Southern yellow pine,Douglas fir,white oak


The coamings are also structural on these boats. They support the side decks, together with the triangular plywood braces and the carlins. That's why you are not supposed to remove them altogether. It may be the case that by going from 1/2" mahogany to 1" cedar you come out about the same for strength, but I would tend to agree with Cliff: why not source some rot-resistant hardwood instead.

Now, there's another wrinkle in this equation: with traditional varnishes or oils you don't achieve a perfect seal - water vapor transits these coatings, and varnish tends to crack. If you were, instead, switch to epoxy (and meticulously seal/coat all 6 sides and any holes) you can seal the wood so much better that you wouldn't have to rely as much on the inherent rot resistance. You'd still need to apply a varnish for UV blocking, but since the wood would no longer swell / shrink based on moisture, the varnish wouldn't crack. I've used this method on my coamings / thwarts and it's cut down the need for ongoing maintenance dramatically.

The one thing that I would do differently would be to apply a narrow strip of fiberglass cloth over the exposed edges of the coamings. If coated well with epoxy, the glass becomes invisible, but it will protect the exposed edge better against impact - the varnish may scrape off, but the epoxy seal would remain intact, so only the varnish needs to be reapplied (I'm using a water reducible PU varnish).

The opposite approach is to use very rot resistant wood and oil it regularly. Oil can be reapplied without having to sand off anything first, making it a quick process, essentially just a wipe-down, but it may have to be done up to twice a season.

Standard varnish would seem to me the worst of both worlds: it needs a lot of prep, and touch-ups aren't as simple as with oil, yet the longevity is far below that of an epoxy sealed / varnished wood. So it becomes a regular maintenance chore with significant amount of effort.
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Re: Cockpit trim question (cut or remove)

Postby Friendship22 » Tue Jan 07, 2020 12:21 am

spoke36 wrote:The nominal one inch thick 1x8 and 8 feet long red cedar was fairly easy to bend. After shaping the wood, I used one large c-clamp (6-9 inch throat large enough to fit over the combing) to bring the board to touch the side of the cockpit. The wood combing was supported with lengths of wood that pressed from the other side of the cockpit-not much pressure and no cutting--just scraps and a 5 food canoe paddle to temporarily hold the new combing in place). I started 1.5 inch stainless steel screws about 8 to 9 inches apart along the edge starting from the front. (I pre-drilled the holes including a into the fiberglass). I started at the bow end and removed the c-clamp when I had screws on either side of it.

The amount of bend needed was about 4 inches of the unbent wood which was easy to do by hand; I needed a tight connection (hence the C-clamp) when the screws were to be inserted. I was able to insert the plastic that cam with the boat between the combing and the edge of the fiberglass cockpit edge.

I stained and applied a UV-resistant urethane before screwing the new combing in place. As noted, red cedar is soft; it will certainly get lots of dents as hard edged object (including body parts) whack it over time. I will probably need to re-polyurethane the wood every other year.

My seats are fiberglass. I do not have a wooden brace between the seat and the center board bracket...yet. Boat 211 (1963, I think) did not have the thwart-arrangement, just a big L-bracket or two between the hull and each side of the centerboard bracket.


Thanks so much for the description here. This is very helpful.
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Re: Cockpit trim question (cut or remove)

Postby Friendship22 » Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:42 am

GreenLake wrote:
Cliff wrote:Wood material for thwarts should not be red cedar. Wood thwarts are definitely structural and need to be strong. Original may have been mahogany or teak which is great but expensive. I would think there are other hardwoods and some soft woods that could be used depending upon where you are located: Southern yellow pine,Douglas fir,white oak


The coamings are also structural on these boats. They support the side decks, together with the triangular plywood braces and the carlins. That's why you are not supposed to remove them altogether. It may be the case that by going from 1/2" mahogany to 1" cedar you come out about the same for strength, but I would tend to agree with Cliff: why not source some rot-resistant hardwood instead.

Now, there's another wrinkle in this equation: with traditional varnishes or oils you don't achieve a perfect seal - water vapor transits these coatings, and varnish tends to crack. If you were, instead, switch to epoxy (and meticulously seal/coat all 6 sides and any holes) you can seal the wood so much better that you wouldn't have to rely as much on the inherent rot resistance. You'd still need to apply a varnish for UV blocking, but since the wood would no longer swell / shrink based on moisture, the varnish wouldn't crack. I've used this method on my coamings / thwarts and it's cut down the need for ongoing maintenance dramatically.

The one thing that I would do differently would be to apply a narrow strip of fiberglass cloth over the exposed edges of the coamings. If coated well with epoxy, the glass becomes invisible, but it will protect the exposed edge better against impact - the varnish may scrape off, but the epoxy seal would remain intact, so only the varnish needs to be reapplied (I'm using a water reducible PU varnish).

The opposite approach is to use very rot resistant wood and oil it regularly. Oil can be reapplied without having to sand off anything first, making it a quick process, essentially just a wipe-down, but it may have to be done up to twice a season.

Standard varnish would seem to me the worst of both worlds: it needs a lot of prep, and touch-ups aren't as simple as with oil, yet the longevity is far below that of an epoxy sealed / varnished wood. So it becomes a regular maintenance chore with significant amount of effort.


So after this discussion of thwarts, I am realizing that I actually have a DS2 from 1972. Before I go posting in that section, are the dimensions for the coamings the same on both models?

In an ideal world, what type of wood would you get? Teak? Is there an order of preference in case I cannot find or afford teak?

Greenlake, thanks for your thoughts on sealers too.
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Re: Cockpit trim question (cut or remove)

Postby GreenLake » Thu Jan 09, 2020 8:59 pm

Friendship22 wrote:So after this discussion of thwarts, I am realizing that I actually have a DS2 from 1972. Before I go posting in that section, are the dimensions for the coamings the same on both models?

In an ideal world, what type of wood would you get? Teak? Is there an order of preference in case I cannot find or afford teak?

Greenlake, thanks for your thoughts on sealers too.


I'm not familiar with any wood coamings on a DSII. I've only sailed on a 1976 model and that had the coamings as integral part of the deck moldings.
It would probably be helpful if you could add a picture of your boat that shows where the wooden coamings would go.

For comparison, here's a picture of a DS1 showing the thwarts coamings (except for the transom piece).
479
(click to enlarge)

The coamings are somewhere between 6" and 8" at their tallest (in the front) and taper down towards the back.

Here's one of the much more recent Spindrift DS1s, which has a deck molding but also wooden accents along the coaming as well as wooden shelves:
2266

Now, here's a picture of a typical DSII:
1561
which has a deck molding with integral coamings (and no wood accents).

If I had to replace mine I would use any reasonably looking hard wood, preferable rot resistant or recommended for marine use, but would epoxy seal it for good measure. Precise choice would depend on what I could lay my hands on for the required size. There are websites out there (like https://www.wood-database.com) that specialize in cataloging the various wood species and their properties, so you would be able to look up anything offered to you.
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Re: Cockpit trim question (cut or remove)

Postby Friendship22 » Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:04 pm

Thanks for posting those pictures, Greenlake. I definitely have a Daysailer 1. I will look at the wood options and go from there.

Not sure how to post pictures on this message board but it's obvious I have a Daysailer 1. For the back story, this was given to my in-laws because their neighbors heard I liked to sail. Now I'm trying to get it into sailing shape.
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Re: Cockpit trim question (cut or remove)

Postby GreenLake » Sat Jan 11, 2020 2:39 am

The information on posting pictures can be found in the "how to use this forum" section.
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Re: Cockpit trim question (cut or remove)

Postby Friendship22 » Sun Jan 19, 2020 6:36 pm

OK, here she is.

Image
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Re: Cockpit trim question (cut or remove)

Postby GreenLake » Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:11 pm

Definitely a DS1. There's a change in the rubrail configuration at some point they changed how far the rubrail wraps around the transom. That could help dating your boat, at least roughly, but isn't relevant to dealing with the coamings. (But it looks like you took off or lost the metal cap ends that hold the rubrail).

One option that may by now be buried deep in this thread (or in an earlier thread) is to not cut down the coamings for the full length, but only forward, where you would sit. (If you sit in the back half of the cockpit, your transom will dig into the water and you will be sailing with your parking brake engaged, so to speak).

Letting the coaming come back to full height for the back would be a reminder to sit well forward. Somebody here did something like that, I seem to remember seeing a picture at one time.

If you look at the picture of the modern DS1 I put in an earlier post, you can see how simple the flush coamings look. That may be a reason to go for that in rebuilding; it might be easier to get right than trying to emulate the more complex outline of the original. Depends a bit on your woodworking skills.

Good luck!
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Re: Cockpit trim question (cut or remove)

Postby Friendship22 » Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:35 pm

Yes, unfortunately the rubrail came like that too.

I love this idea of having the coamings flush forward and raised in the rear. Thanks for the suggestion.
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