Canvas covered decks

by Dave

I have a Chris Craft and I like to keep it as original as possible.

The bow shows canvas under mahogany decking and plywood under canvas.

Would it be a good idea to keep it as is or take out the canvas?

I have to replace the decking so what would be a good way to do this and to keep it water proofed?

Comments for Canvas covered decks

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Mar 11, 2015
Canvas deck replacement
by: Bryan

I'm in the process of replacing the canvas on my 25ft seine boat finish so a bit different have been searching for reliable info.

Found a section in Howard Chapelle's Boat Building pages 161-163 that I'm taking to the bank.

My dory had canvas set in wet paint that cracked where plank seams moved with changes in moisture content, might not have happened if the boat was kept in the water and not in a heated shop in Montana.

Plan to put the canvas over dry painted decks after a bit of experimenting on something not the boat to get the tune in my head.

I would imagine the dory's wood is a bit more prone to movement but think the same principles apply...check it out...

Mar 10, 2015
Rubber Type Sealant
by: Mike

I've heard excellent reports about the stuff used on truck beds.

The main thing is to put a waterproof seal between the plywood and the planking.

Much easier to do with something that can be brushed or spread on than cutting and trimming canvas.

You could use epoxy but in my opinion it's better to use something that will remain flexible.

Mar 09, 2015
Canvas under decks
by: Dave

HI mike,
yes Roy is thinking of something else, but I liked his comment, and thank you Roy.

Mike yes that is the way the canvas is.

Most of the canvas is bad along with some soft spots that need to be redone.

So with the dolphanite, use a large putty knife or troule to spread it. does it need to be thick?

I surmize while it is tacky then lay down the deck planks?

It's an area in size of 13'w x 11'long at the most widest, then comes to the bow point of 2' - 3'

What is a flexible membrane and where can I purchase this?

I was also looking at the roof treatment in black that is used on rv's and trailer tops.

Its a rubber type of sealant, and it would be alot cheaper than a gal of dolphanite.

Mar 09, 2015
Waterproof Membrane
by: Mike

I think that Roy is thinking of a different sort of canvased deck.

The type that has the canvas as the top layer.

While I understand that your deck, Dave, has the canvas as a middle layer, as a waterproof membrane between the ply and the deck planks.

If that is the case and the canvas is still in good condition just keep it as it is.

On the other hand if the canvas is deteriorating it might be best to treat is as a "5200 bottom".

Or simply replace it with a flexible membrane or a bedding compound such as Dolfinite.

Mar 09, 2015
roys comments
by: Anonymous

Roy has hit a much bigger nail on the head than he realises.

You MUST MUST MUST understand that the wood isn't dead like epoxy and WILL move regardless of moisture content plank width or any other crap the epoxy salesman tells you

Mar 09, 2015
by: Dave

No it will be going over dry plywood.

What type of fiberglass cloth would be great for this, as there are a few in different oz.'s.

Mar 09, 2015
Canvas Covered Decks
by: Roy Schreyer

While the canvas is the authentic answer, I have used fiberglass cloth with epoxy to mimic the canvas look.

Simply do not saturate the fiber glass fully to leave some of the weave showing.

Paint and it will look like canvas.

BTW It is important to use a filler mixed with the epoxy (I use sanding flower/dust) and first seal the wood where the cloth will be going on.

Also many think the movement of the wood planking will cause problems and it can if going over new wood (not dry) or if going over planking wider then 3".

This works best on dry narrow planks.


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