ADJUSTING AND VARNISHING NEW FLOOR BOARDS
Before getting on with the varnishing there was still a little problem which had to be solved: how to secure the main floor board. After a bit of search on the internet we discovered a very clever and neat system. These are called “Floor Anchors” and have the advantage to be flush on the surface. Those can be ordered with an installation kit which makes the job very easy.
All the plywood pieces were then sanded and transferred at home.
Fortunately the weather was improving and we could leave the woods drying on our balcony.
The staining process was a bit of an experiment. We first did some trials on spare pieces of plywood and ended up with 2 layers of teak and 1 layer of chestnut color. The various pieces were left to dry several days to make sure the solvent had completely evaporated. After drying, the color was finally matching the boat interior !
Meanwhile, the bilges were prepared in order to start painting. The question was now: what paint to use over a raw laminate ? The standard method would have been to treat the surface with a layer of gelcoat but, there was another solution. At home, we still had left overs of epoxy resin: a product called “Gelshield Plus”. Normally used for treating osmosis, this light blue epoxy resin does not contain any solvent which makes it ideal over raw fiberglass. After curing, the result was even better than gelcoat ! The surface was hard as it can get and the bilges had an extra protection against osmosis.
The next coat was a simple epoxy paint recommended to go over the previous epoxy: Gelshield 200. That paint is full of solvent and has a strong smell but cures very quickly. Needless to say that a professional mask was essential during the application.
The last coat was a classic bilge paint called Danboline which also smells heavily but takes ages to dry. A couple of heating fans were used to accelerate the process and make sure the paint would dry completely.
Our new water tank could now be back in place and the floor supports were installed and secured with extra through bolts. Everything was slowly coming into place.
Last of all: the varnishing process. At first, we thought of using a cheap varnish but we quickly realized that it wasn’t a good idea. After all, the new floorboards deserved something better since there were likely to be roughly used. We finally applied a two components polyurethane varnish which gave a very hard and shiny surface.