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Riviera Shrunken Deck Planks

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

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Riviera Wish
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Riviera Shrunken Deck Planks

Post by Riviera Wish » Sat Jun 27, 2015 12:04 pm

I am new to the wood boat restoration 'club'. This boat was purchased sight unseen based on a surveyor's inspection (the surveyor's credentials are now very suspect). Just received the partially restored '52 Riviera; the boat was advertised as
"all new wood". The deck appears to be new wood with the screw hole bungs yet to be shaved off. The problem is that the
wood was apparently replaced years ago and has dried out and shrunk over time. Gaps between the actual deck planks are three times the width of the simulated plank grooves; gaps are about 3/8" wide versus 1/8' for the simulated seams.
My question is: "can the deck planks be 'saved' or must they be replaced?
My thought was I might cover the deck with wet towels for a few days or weeks to rehydrate the wood. If this 'works' the next problem would be to maintain the expanded plank dimensions. Would sealer or CEPS stabilize the plank dimensions?
I hope to avoid replacing the decks (and possibly some shrunken upper freeboard planks). Any suggestions or help in this regard will be greatly appreciated.

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drrot
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Re: Riviera Shrunken Deck Planks

Post by drrot » Sat Jun 27, 2015 12:36 pm

Where did your boat come from?
Jim Staib
www.finewoodboats.com


1947 Penn Yan 12' Cartopper WXH474611
1950 Chris-Craft 22' Sportsman U-22-1532
1957 Chris-Craft 26' Sea Skiff SK-26-515
1968 Century 17' Resorter FG-68-174

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Doug P
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Re: Riviera Shrunken Deck Planks

Post by Doug P » Sat Jun 27, 2015 1:28 pm

Try the towels as you mentioned.
As Jim asked....where is the boat. The humidity is VERY low in parts of the country.

Riviera Wish
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Re: Riviera Shrunken Deck Planks

Post by Riviera Wish » Sat Jun 27, 2015 6:10 pm

Boat came from the Hartford, CT area. Before purchase I checked the average relative humidity where the boat was located
in Ct and it was within a few percent of my location 2 miles from the coast in Oceanside, CA (near San Diego), that is about
67 to 69 percent humidity. The deck looks like it was sun dried.
Yes, I know I should have found a boat closer to home but this seemed like a perfect project for me as it was advertised. If I
live long enough the next 'project' will be found closer to home!

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Re: Riviera Shrunken Deck Planks

Post by joanroy » Sat Jun 27, 2015 6:22 pm

3/8 is a big gap between planks. If the mahogany is really dried out1/6 to 1/8 could be expected. You'll probably get it to tighten some if you wet it, but not 3/8 and it'll open up again. It may be new wood, but that doesn't mean whoever installed it knew what they were doing. Post some pictures.

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parroteyes
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Re: Riviera Shrunken Deck Planks

Post by parroteyes » Sun Jun 28, 2015 6:28 am

I had 65 year old sun shrunken deck planks with gaps.
I took them off and soaked them for a month. They swelled about 1/8. Then shrunk back about half that when they dried.
Not enough to close the gaps.
I'll replace the king plank, in the center, to get the width I need, then retrim the rest to fit and refasten them.
Way too much work to save the planks but, hey, it's a HOBBY!
Hull # 16-R-OX2 (March 1946)
Engine 1B #26564

That's me 1950 - already a CC lover!

Riviera Wish
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Re: Riviera Shrunken Deck Planks

Post by Riviera Wish » Sun Jun 28, 2015 4:20 pm

For further clarification I measured the gap that would need to be closed by swelling the planks. The actual gap between planks is about 3/16" which is the amount each plank would need to expand. Based on the previous comment this is a little optimistic; will try to swell the planks and report back in a few weeks with the measured results.
In the meantime, my thought is that the simulated deck seams could be widened to match the actual plank gaps after whatever
swelling can be accomplished. Comments?
What would be wrong with 1/8" deck seams?
I realize this is a hobby but I am not that young (to be replacing planks)!
The question remains, how should the rehydrated planks be stabilized? Sealer? What kind / brand?
Thanks for your help so far.

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tkhersom
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Re: Riviera Shrunken Deck Planks

Post by tkhersom » Mon Jun 29, 2015 5:31 am

Just another thought here. (3/16" dry is a big difference over 3/8")

As you read and consider my option remember that I am an amature who works with user boats not show boats. If I were in your situation I would consider swelling the planks (like you are) sealing the remaining gaps with mahogany colored boat life seam caulk, sanding in the groves, and painting the lines to whatever thickness you want them.

Guys if this is a bad idea please say so. I will not be offended. 8)
Troy in ANE - Former President CCABC

1957 CC 21' Continental "Yorktown" (Mom's boat)
https://www.chris-craft.org/boats/22625/
1985 Formula 242LS "Gottago"
1991 Formula 36PC "Band Aids"

Life Is Too Short To Own An Ugly Boat

cewplatt
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Re: Riviera Shrunken Deck Planks

Post by cewplatt » Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:34 am

Consider how much time and effort is required in putting a nice finish on a boat, I would think seriously about replacing the planks even if it will be a user boat. I think trying to swell the planks will work only for a very short time and the shrinking will start again. All of the varnish work would be wasted. I'm restoring a 1951 Riviera 20 in Orange County by myself and would be interested in seeing your boat and might be able to provide some advice. Joining the SoCal ACBS would give you access to more expertise in the area. My project boat was in very bad shape (www.riviera20.com) and I'm trying to get knowledgeable about the originality of Rivieras. Contact me at [email protected] if you'r interested.

Regards,

Clay Platt

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Doug P
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Re: Riviera Shrunken Deck Planks

Post by Doug P » Mon Jun 29, 2015 11:40 am

tkhersom wrote:
Guys if this is a bad idea please say so. I will not be offended. 8)
OK...so what will take to offend you :?:

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tkhersom
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Re: Riviera Shrunken Deck Planks

Post by tkhersom » Mon Jun 29, 2015 12:34 pm

Doug P wrote:
tkhersom wrote:
Guys if this is a bad idea please say so. I will not be offended. 8)
OK...so what will take to offend you :?:
I don't think YOU could. :lol:
Troy in ANE - Former President CCABC

1957 CC 21' Continental "Yorktown" (Mom's boat)
https://www.chris-craft.org/boats/22625/
1985 Formula 242LS "Gottago"
1991 Formula 36PC "Band Aids"

Life Is Too Short To Own An Ugly Boat

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tuobanur
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Re: Riviera Shrunken Deck Planks

Post by tuobanur » Mon Jun 29, 2015 2:58 pm

I have only built one boat but have been working with wood for a long time. I would say that the boards used had to much moisture in them when installed, when the moisture finally reach the point where they needed to be you ended up with what you have now. Contrary to what you may have heard when you were a kid, there is no such thing as a lumber stretcher :D, therefore no matter what you do you will not close the gap without removing and reinstalling, my 2 cents worth.
Terry
1941 Model 101 (16') Deluxe Runabout "Miss Dot"

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steve bunda
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Re: Riviera Shrunken Deck Planks

Post by steve bunda » Mon Jun 29, 2015 7:18 pm

Please post a picture of the boat in question, thanks

jfrprops
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Re: Riviera Shrunken Deck Planks

Post by jfrprops » Mon Jun 29, 2015 9:22 pm

I agree with troy's post as above......I think you can close 3/16......3/8 = no way.....

John in Va.
1980 Fairchild Scout 30
19?? custom Argentine Runabout 16'
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tkhersom
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Re: Riviera Shrunken Deck Planks

Post by tkhersom » Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:28 am

Riviera Wish wrote: The question remains, how should the rehydrated planks be stabilized? Sealer? What kind / brand?
Thanks for your help so far.
Was thinking about your situation again and realized nun of us have really addressed this question.

You will not ever truly stabilize your planks. They are wood. Wood swells when moist and shrinks when dry, so you will need to either relocate them to where you want them or you will need to use a product in the seams that will flex with the action of the wood. :D
Troy in ANE - Former President CCABC

1957 CC 21' Continental "Yorktown" (Mom's boat)
https://www.chris-craft.org/boats/22625/
1985 Formula 242LS "Gottago"
1991 Formula 36PC "Band Aids"

Life Is Too Short To Own An Ugly Boat

jfrprops
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Re: Riviera Shrunken Deck Planks

Post by jfrprops » Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:06 am

sure, Troy is right again.....you will never stabilize the wood....only attempt to control the coming and going...but you can caulk this situation.

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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parroteyes
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Re: Riviera Shrunken Deck Planks

Post by parroteyes » Thu Jul 02, 2015 7:05 am

Now I'm curious.
I would think old wood would be more "stable" than new. After shrinking it will not swell back to its initial dimension, right?
So, it's expansion/contraction is less than newer wood. I would call that more stable.

I'm indifferent to the choice between new or re-use for my deck but intend to re-use because I want as much original as is safe and practical.

I have not noted any big issues with deck seams on other folks restored boats. Re-use does not appear to be a safety issue. New is less work but a little more money. So, originality wins for me.

Please correct my thinking!

Thanks
Hull # 16-R-OX2 (March 1946)
Engine 1B #26564

That's me 1950 - already a CC lover!

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Doug P
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Re: Riviera Shrunken Deck Planks

Post by Doug P » Thu Jul 02, 2015 9:01 am


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tkhersom
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Re: Riviera Shrunken Deck Planks

Post by tkhersom » Thu Jul 02, 2015 9:57 am

Had to save that! No time to read it right now. :shock:

Will probably have to print it out and put it on the bedside table. :D
Troy in ANE - Former President CCABC

1957 CC 21' Continental "Yorktown" (Mom's boat)
https://www.chris-craft.org/boats/22625/
1985 Formula 242LS "Gottago"
1991 Formula 36PC "Band Aids"

Life Is Too Short To Own An Ugly Boat

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maritimeclassics
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Re: Riviera Shrunken Deck Planks

Post by maritimeclassics » Fri Jul 03, 2015 8:07 am

Use the planks that you have for patterns and replace with new wood. You will be glad you did and wont ever have to do it again.
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Owner of Maritime Classics
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Ph# 231-486-6148

Restoration Projects:
1936 25' Gar Wood Custom
1947 Ventnor Hydroplane
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tkhersom
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Re: Riviera Shrunken Deck Planks

Post by tkhersom » Fri Jul 03, 2015 9:12 am

Mike (maritimeclassics) is one of the most knowledgeable people in this industry that I have heard of, so you can rely on his advice.

At this time I am confused. In the original question you state that the deck wood is already new, just dried out. Is it new dry wood or old wood?

Most of all I think we would all LOVE to see pictures. If you don't know how just click on the "upload attachment" tab below the posting window and "Choose File", then "Add the file".
Troy in ANE - Former President CCABC

1957 CC 21' Continental "Yorktown" (Mom's boat)
https://www.chris-craft.org/boats/22625/
1985 Formula 242LS "Gottago"
1991 Formula 36PC "Band Aids"

Life Is Too Short To Own An Ugly Boat

joanroy
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Re: Riviera Shrunken Deck Planks

Post by joanroy » Fri Jul 03, 2015 11:23 am

If what's been stated so far doesn't answer all your questions about shrinkage, I'd ask George from Seinfeld.

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Doug P
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Re: Riviera Shrunken Deck Planks

Post by Doug P » Fri Jul 03, 2015 11:41 am

I understand Viagra works :oops:

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tkhersom
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Re: Riviera Shrunken Deck Planks

Post by tkhersom » Fri Jul 03, 2015 11:55 am

Doug P wrote:I understand Viagra works :oops:
Do you crush it into powder and then mix it into CPES so it "penetrates" the wood? :lol:

Reminds me of the story I read yesterday about Matt Smith's funeral arrangements. http://www.woodyboater.com/blog/2010/07 ... my-funeral

Doug if we keep this up we will get thrown off the Buzz. :wink:
Troy in ANE - Former President CCABC

1957 CC 21' Continental "Yorktown" (Mom's boat)
https://www.chris-craft.org/boats/22625/
1985 Formula 242LS "Gottago"
1991 Formula 36PC "Band Aids"

Life Is Too Short To Own An Ugly Boat

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Doug P
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Re: Riviera Shrunken Deck Planks

Post by Doug P » Fri Jul 03, 2015 12:09 pm

tkhersom wrote:
Doug P wrote:I understand Viagra works :oops:
Do you crush it into powder and then mix it into CPES so it "penetrates" the wood? :lol:

Reminds me of the story I read yesterday about Matt Smith's funeral arrangements. http://www.woodyboater.com/blog/2010/07 ... my-funeral

Doug if we keep this up we will get thrown off the Buzz. :wink:

Troy. It only lasts for 4 hours.
I wanted to be mixed up with bottom paint and put on a 42" GrandBanks
I later changed it to a Viking funeral, but with my Roamer, it wouldn't
work too well.

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MikeM
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Re: Riviera Shrunken Deck Planks

Post by MikeM » Fri Jul 03, 2015 4:37 pm

Here's my 2 cents. Route out the "live seam" to an even ( and straight) 3/16", 1/4" if you have to. Then glue in a 3/16" strip being careful to match wood tone as closely as possible.

From there you can just leave it that way or route the repair out to proper seam width. Having the seams off by just a little bit isn't usually noticeable. If you choose not to route the repair you can just stripe over it. Only you will know.
1929 Hacker Craft Dolphin, 24'
1940 Century Utility, 17'
1947 Chris Craft Special, 16'
1947 Chris Craft Sportsman, 22'
1949 Chris Craft Racing Runabout, 19'
1952 Penn Yan Cartopper, 12'
1954 Chris~Craft Racing Runabout, 19' (For Sale)
1971 Century Arabian, 19'
1973 Dan Arena Custom, 21'

Riviera Wish
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Re: Riviera Shrunken Deck Planks

Post by Riviera Wish » Sat Jul 04, 2015 5:53 am

As the original poster of this problem I want to thank you all for your comments and suggestions. Also would like to provide some additional background information and results of my 'wet towel' approach to swelling the deck planks.
The story is that the "new wood" deck planks were replaced a few years ago. It is obvious that the carpenter who subsequently passed away was a skilled craftsman, almost every piece of wood on the boat was recreated. It is possible the carpenter did not fully understand the moisture content of the "new wood" and it's affect on construction but I DOUBT it. So I am going on the theory that the "new wood" has 'prematurely' shrunk due to exposure to the elements / sun before finishing with stain and varnish after the restorer died.
After a week of the 'wet towel' treatment the deck planks have almost expanded to the point of zero gap. Now if I can just find a way to have the wood retain it's original / natural moisture content of 9 to 11% I will be 'home free'! One article referenced in a prior post indicates that the natural wood moisture content in my area of the country is 2% greater than the boat's original location; maybe this will help my situation. As requested in an earlier post I will try to post pictures in a later reply (need to learn how to do this). The recommended solution and obviously the best is to replace the deck planks or relocate them. However the reason I purchased a boat with "all new wood' was because I don't have the facility to do wood carpentry work; need to salvage what has been dealt.
In closing, can anyone tell me the recommended width of the Riviera deck seams? It looks like the simulated seams in this boat are 1/16" but in Riviera photos the seams look more pronounced. On the other hand, the limit for Silkaflex is 1/8". Are the painted stripes wider than the actual seams?
Thanks again for all of your suggestions and help.

dreed
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Re: Riviera Shrunken Deck Planks

Post by dreed » Sat Jul 04, 2015 3:01 pm

They are the same.
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1953 CC Riviera 18-R-927

Riviera Wish
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Re: Riviera Shrunken Deck Planks

Post by Riviera Wish » Sat Jul 11, 2015 4:50 pm

After a week of the 'wet towel treatment' the seams have shrunk to about 1/8" in width; don't know how long the planks will retain the moisture / dimension. Will a sealer help the planks retain their moisture or prevent the planks from drying beyond their natural 9 to 11% moisture retention?
While my photography experience leaves a lot to be desired here is my attempt to satisfy the several requests for photos. Hope
the photos come through.
Any suggestions on how to cope with the crack in the last photo that runs right thru the bung?
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Doug P
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Re: Riviera Shrunken Deck Planks

Post by Doug P » Sat Jul 11, 2015 6:04 pm

If the cracked bung is the only one, it shows the original planking was done sufficiently. That board is probably cracked due to the ribbing underneath moving. The bung and screw should be removed, then retry your swelling procedure and then rescrew.

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