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Canvas Deck Restoration

Framing, planking and fairing. Repair, or reconstruction. If it's hull related, you'll find it here.

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Pirate Peg Leg
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Canvas Deck Restoration

Post by Pirate Peg Leg » Sun Dec 23, 2012 4:06 am

I'm restoring the exterior canvas decking on a 1957 26' Sports Express. The old canvas deck is original and looks like it was soaked in fiberglass resin when it was laid down. Started trying to peel it off with a power scrapper, but it's not coming up easily.

Any tips how I could strip it off? I'm tempted to lay down the new deck over the old one, but that probably wouldn't be a good idea.

Also looking for any suggestions where I might buy the correct canvas, and how to glue and seal it.

Thanks!

Pirate Peg Leg Greg
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boat_art
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Post by boat_art » Sun Dec 23, 2012 9:33 am

Have you tried a heat gun and scraper? I have often removed resin with a heat gun.
http://www.boatartgallery.com
1956 CC Connie 47'
1959 Caulkins bartender
1965 Cheoy Lee Frisco Flyer
1953 Chris Craft Holiday
1941 Chris Craft Deluxe
Plus 8-12 customer boats at any time
God don't count the days spent messing around in wood boats.

jfrprops
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Post by jfrprops » Sun Dec 23, 2012 9:53 am

I doubt it is resin, a good way to deal with that is to go to hardware store and get a cheapo clamp up work light, the one with the bowl shaped alum. shade.
unscrew the socket and 'guts' and discard, then slip that alum shade over your heat gun and stand it up on the deck to be stripped....let is cook a momemnt then push it along to the next area while you scrape up the heated portion. This has worked very well for me.
John in Va.
1980 Fairchild Scout 30
19?? custom Argentine Runabout 16'
1954 Whirlwind deluxe dual ckpt 16'
1921 Old Town Charles River 17' (founding Captain, James River Batteau Festival)

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JimF
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Post by JimF » Sun Dec 23, 2012 11:21 am

I re-canvased my Red and White Express. A local fabric store was able to get me canvas 96" wide. I put it down with indoor/outdoor carpet adhesive and followed with many coats of paint. 3-4 coats will leave a texture that may be desirable for non-skid. To get a smooth glossy finish will require several more.
1930 Chris-Craft Model 100 20' "MOXIE"
1940 Chris-Craft Red and White 25' "Old Paint"
1946 Chris-Craft Sportsman 25' "CinCity"

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evansjw44
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Canvas Deck

Post by evansjw44 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:20 pm

Your decking was laid in what is called deck cement. It's a cousin to bedding compound but thin enough to trowell. The cement is trowelled onto the deck, the canvas is pulled tight, pressed into the deck cement and stapled (tacked) and then shrunk. It's schrunk by wetting it with hot water and left to shrink dry. Once dry it is painted, first with thinned flat white (white lead in the day), one coat on top of another to fill the canvas. After the first few coats it's allow to dry and season for a few day to flash all the solvent then recoated again and again to fill the canvas grain. In the factory the white lead was pretty thick so not that many coats were used. You can't buy white lead anymore so flat white will due. Once the canvas is filled to your satisfaction paint it the color of your choice. I'd avoid polyurethane and epoxy paints and stick with alykd enamel. Alkyd is soft enopugh not to crack.
Jim Evans

Peter M Jardine
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Post by Peter M Jardine » Sun Dec 23, 2012 11:14 pm

This is the way you get a smooth finish: The canoe guys use this formula.

Canoe Canvas Filler Formula
* 43 oz. double-boiled linseed oil
* 21 oz. mineral spirits
* 34 oz. enamel
* 2 oz. Japan drier
* 2 oz. spar varnish
* 6.25 lbs. powered silica (300-325 mesh)

You cut a paint brush down to a couple of inches, and grind the mix into the canvas. After it dries, you can apply additional coats of paint. If you deserve the weave of the canvas to show through, don't use this treatment.

Original canvas decks from 100 years ago used Irish Felt under the canvas, as well as white lead.

I have heard that CC used Arabol as a undercoating on their canvas decks, but never had it confirmed.

Theurkauf
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Post by Theurkauf » Mon Dec 24, 2012 8:05 am

I can't help with removal of the old deck, but I replaced the canvas deck on a sailboat I restored using waterproof Titebond II as described in Wooden Boat vol. 208, and I'm very happy with the results. Basically, you set the canvas in Titebond thinned a bit with water and then paint the top with another coat or 2, to saturate the canvas. It dries in a day, leaves the canvas texture, and takes paint very well. The deck is now several years old and still looks great. The method is dead simple, the glue isn't toxic, and you can buy it at the local hardware store.

boat_art
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Post by boat_art » Mon Dec 24, 2012 8:12 am

Theurkauf
I have done the same many times...some of the decks I did are now over 30 years old and still good. It is a more traditional method that lasts, if it is taken care of.
http://www.boatartgallery.com
1956 CC Connie 47'
1959 Caulkins bartender
1965 Cheoy Lee Frisco Flyer
1953 Chris Craft Holiday
1941 Chris Craft Deluxe
Plus 8-12 customer boats at any time
God don't count the days spent messing around in wood boats.

runabout36
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Canvas fore deck and cabin top

Post by runabout36 » Mon Dec 24, 2012 2:16 pm

Used the afore mentioned "Wooden Boat Magazine" method. I used Titebond III instead of II......II is water resistant and III is waterproof. Used #12 cotton duck, purchased from J C Goss Company in Detroit. Got it in 96" width, so there are no seams. The fore deck was a snap, start from a centerline and move outboard one side at a time. The cabin roof a little tricky with the round corners. I used a hot water soak towel on the corners. Once again start from a centerline and work outboard one side at time. An air stapler is a must, that shoots T50 staples. Also use monel staples. Half round wood trim covers the staples. Right now it has Interlux primer on it, and still has the canvas texture. The more you paint the more you fill the weave. Probably will leave some texture to the fore deck, very little on the cabin roof. It's very easy to do and I am extremely happy with the results. Some photos are attached.

Tom Frye

1936 19' CC runabout
1956 25' CC Express Cruiser
1953 15' Lyman Cntr Steer/25 Johnson
1990 15' Boston Whaler Super Sport/70 Yamaha




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Pirate Peg Leg
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Canvas Deck Material

Post by Pirate Peg Leg » Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:15 pm

Everyone's comments have been a huge help. Stripping the old deck has been progressing nicely.

Surprised to find the original deck is not real canvas, but a plastic material that looks like canvas.

Do you think I can find this at JC Goss in Detroit? Would you still recommend using Titebond?

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Theurkauf
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Post by Theurkauf » Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:38 pm

I don't know about getting plastic cloth, but Titebond is a wood glue and there is nothing about use with plastic on the bottle (just checked). I suspect it won't do well on plastic. Titebond saturates cotton (also plant fiber) canvas and firmly bonds it to wood decking. If you don't go with Titbond and canvas, fiberglass cloth and epoxy is a good choice. This isn't original, but is nearly bullet proof, gives a very similar textured look, and is frequently used in sailboat restorations.

runabout36
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Deck covering

Post by runabout36 » Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:21 am

That plastic may be original, and could be Nautolex. However maybe someone has redone the deck previous to your ownership. I would look for other 57 Sport Express models and see what they have used or what was originally used. If you were to use canvas use the "Titebond" method. If you were to use Nautolex, I believe there is a dedicated adhesive. Good luck and keep us posted

jfrprops
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Post by jfrprops » Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:14 am

I too suspect nautolex....hard to find now though.

John in Va.
1980 Fairchild Scout 30
19?? custom Argentine Runabout 16'
1954 Whirlwind deluxe dual ckpt 16'
1921 Old Town Charles River 17' (founding Captain, James River Batteau Festival)

Pirate Peg Leg
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Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 1:16 pm

Post by Pirate Peg Leg » Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:11 pm

Looks like the original decking material because it runs under the windshield framing which has never been removed.

Must be that Nautolex. It has a fiberglass cloth weave inside the plastic. I'll look around for Nautolex or something close.

Any opinion if I should seal the raw plywood deck before gluing down the new material?

jfrprops
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Post by jfrprops » Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:14 pm

You should be able to find the white decking in old stocks or through dealers. Try Defender and the big boys first. It is no longer made, is my understanding....and a big loss too.
What you describe is certainly Nautolex

John in Va.
1980 Fairchild Scout 30
19?? custom Argentine Runabout 16'
1954 Whirlwind deluxe dual ckpt 16'
1921 Old Town Charles River 17' (founding Captain, James River Batteau Festival)

63constellation
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Post by 63constellation » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:37 pm

Pretty sure defender still sells Nautolex,have sen it in catalog.John-Brenda can also source it for you

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Hokietown
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Post by Hokietown » Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:13 pm

Looking good so far. Feels good to be back on here after a few months.
Phil
'47 Rocket
Hull# R-16-515

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