Plywood bow deck replacement - '63 Tolycraft Roustabout

by charles
(Sacramento, Ca.)

I'm renovating an 18' Tollycraft Roustabout that was originally manufactured with a 1/4" marine plywood bow deck overlaid with a thin fiberglass cap that covered the entire top horizontal surfaces of the boat.

I've removed the entire fiberglass cap and all of the 1/4" ply pieces, then reinforced the deck support frame members and am now ready to install new 1/4" marine mahogany hydrotek plywood, which I cut to size using the original deck pieces as patterns.

The two bow deck plywood sections were fitted to be flush with the solid mahogany outside top rails by a 1/4" deep x 3/4" wide step cut into it.

I plan to attach a piece of 3" wide x 1/2" thick solid mahogany on top of the two plywood deck pieces to cover the mid-line seam, using screws and marine adhesive to solidly anchor the new deck to its underlying frame members.

I have a couple of questions regarding the rest of the deck renovation project that I was hoping to get some help with before I "learn the hard way".

1. After securing the center-line edge of each ply deck section as I've described above, can I securely attach the rest of it using only high-quality marine adhesive, such as 5200, or will I need to fasten it down as well?

2. If additional fasteners are required to attach the new deck to the frame support members, should I use screws, staples or some other fastener?

3. Should I CPES the edges of the new 1/4" plywood deck pieces and give the top a couple of coats of varnish BEFORE installing them or leave the wood raw and finish it AFTER installation.

4. Although I did fairly decent job of cutting the new ply deck sections using the old ones as pattens, there are some small gaps between the solid mahogany top rail step edge and the outside edge of the new deck pieces.

When I fasten the new deck, should I attempt to keep any adhesive from pushing up into that gap, then fill the gap later on using thickened epoxy?

5. Any other suggestions or pointers?

I've searched the internet and haven't come up with a lot that is specific to exact task that I'm undertaking.

All of the plywood top deck replacement descriptions/videos that I ran across in my internet search were for wood boats in which the entire top deck was covered with plywood and the edge seam then covered with a cap piece or edge rail, as opposed to my situation in which the plywood deck pieces are fitted into a stepped outer rail of solid wood.

If anyone has run across an instructional video that's specific to my situation, then I'd appreciate a link to it.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Comments for Plywood bow deck replacement - '63 Tolycraft Roustabout

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by: Anonymous

Thanks for the help, Bill.

I'll check into the possibility of using the composite nails that you've mentioned.

Ply Deck
by: Bill

In theory the glue should be sufficient but the panels will need holding down while the glue sets so you might want to consider composite nails.

Seal the plywood with epoxy before fastening it down, varnish or paint after.

Use a seam compound/sealant to fill the edge gaps.

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