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topside planks - dealing with open seams

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iwally
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topside planks - dealing with open seams

Post by iwally » Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:23 pm

Hi y'all,

As I continue to toil away replacing bottom frames my mind wanders forward to the topside planks.

In general they're in good shape and I'm keeping them. That said, there are gaps and compression set in some areas. The largest gap is probably ~1/16". And yes it's dry here now but my recollection is that they were also a little gappy in places last summer when very humid. By time I get to work on them I expect the humidity level will be a good deal higher.

Now according to Danenberg, when retaining topside planks, one should remove and reset to close the gaps and I have no doubt this is best practice.

So my question is - what is the experience in the field with leaving the planks in place with some gaps? Do you fill the gaps with filler? Does/did your varnish split over the gaps?

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offshorespars
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Re: topside planks - dealing with open seams

Post by offshorespars » Sat Mar 01, 2014 9:29 am

Hello:
First, I will qualify my self as "not an expert" so use the following suggestion as you see fit. If you do not want to restack the planks and I don't blame you for that just strip, sand, stain and varnish the existing hull. Do not fill the seams with any compound whether it is hard or soft except for the varnish that will find its way into the seams during the varnishing process. Apply all coats of varnish except for the final two coats. Launch the boat and let the hull take on moisture over say a period of two weeks. Gradually the seams will swell and push out the accumulated varnish. Once you feel the hull planks have enough moisture and you are ready to devote immediate attention to the final coats of varnish take the boat out of the water, block sand the seams to level the squeezed varnish and apply final coats. Keep in mind you need apply the final coats as quickly as possible so as to not let the hull planks lose moisture content. Good Luck!
1978 30' CC Sportsman
1948 22' CC Sportsman

iwally
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Re: topside planks - dealing with open seams

Post by iwally » Sat Mar 01, 2014 2:14 pm

@offshorespars .. Sounds like a plan! Have you used this method? If so, how's it holding up?
thanks - I

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offshorespars
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Re: topside planks - dealing with open seams

Post by offshorespars » Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:32 pm

I have not done this process yet but a fellow I know refinished his U22 and that is the method he used. I have a 17' Deluxe Runabout and refinished the hull last winter. I took the chance that the topsides would not swell enough to cause the excess varnish to push out of the seams but was not lucky. So this winter I will block sand the seams and add two more coats and see what I have.
1978 30' CC Sportsman
1948 22' CC Sportsman

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mbigpops
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Re: topside planks - dealing with open seams

Post by mbigpops » Sun Mar 02, 2014 9:43 am

Something is not adding up with this process.

You are saying that varnish is applied to the wood, then with the varnish on you soak the wood and it swells, then you hurry up and apply more varnish to seal the wood so it never shrinks and swells again.

Am I missing something here or is there something magical about the later coats of varnish that the earlier coats do not do ?

Mark
1953 CC Rocket Runabout "Rocket Man"

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Captain Nemo
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Re: topside planks - dealing with open seams

Post by Captain Nemo » Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:05 am

What I get from this process is that by putting the last coats on when the planks are swelled, the next season there won't be varnish in the seams to squeeze out. You will still get gaps when she dries out though.
Boats are to be made of wood, otherwise, God would have grown fiberglass trees.

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Doug P
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Re: topside planks - dealing with open seams

Post by Doug P » Sun Mar 02, 2014 2:07 pm

Captain Nemo wrote:What I get from this process is that by putting the last coats on when the planks are swelled, the next season there won't be varnish in the seams to squeeze out. You will still get gaps when she dries out though.
Captain Nemo wrote:What I get from this process is that by putting the last coats on when the planks are swelled, the next season there won't be varnish in the seams to squeeze out. You will still get gaps when she dries out though.

YEP

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offshorespars
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Re: topside planks - dealing with open seams

Post by offshorespars » Sun Mar 02, 2014 3:22 pm

Capt. Nemo has it correct. The gaps come back when the boat dries out in the winter but there is nothing in the seams to squeeze out the next spring.
1978 30' CC Sportsman
1948 22' CC Sportsman

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