When we first got the boat back in 2007, the swim platform looked pretty ragged. It hadn’t been refinished in years and was loaded down with junk. Tossing out the junk, we found moss growing on the teak. I unbolted it from the boat, and the platform has been sitting out in front of my garage ever since, awaiting an opportunity to be disassembled, cleaned, sanded, refinished, and reassembled. All that has to be done before the boat can splash, since the mounting bolts go through the hull below the waterline. During the fall of 2013, I finally got around to disassembling the platform and cleaning the teak, then I moved the wooden bits inside a storage room in my house so it could completely dry out over the winter. In April I sanded it and ordered some 3/4″ teak bungs to replace ones that had fallen out or were sanded too thin. Then the boat got burglarized, and my sanders and West System resin and 207 special clear hardener, which I’d taken back to the boat to do some interior work, were stolen. I finally got around to replacing the stolen tools and epoxy, and last weekend I laid a bunch of West System on the platform. I think it turned out pretty good, especially when I remember what it looked like originally.
It’s been a while since I saw that pic. Every time I see it now, I wonder what the hell I was thinking!
But then, fast forward five long years and the moss finally started coming off.
In the picture above, though, check out the nasty broken bits on the end of the teak strips.
What were they thinking??? I mean, aluminum is great stuff, but used as screws to hold hardware onto a swim platform???
Those white pins sticking out of the trailing edge of the platform in the above pic are aluminum screws with the heads snapped off. I’m not sure what broke the rub rail, but it’s a ragged break. There’s no evidence of crash damage though… Ah well, these things can be welded back together.
Any water that wicked between the rub rail and the teak just sat there eating the aluminum and feeding the moss and mold. We’ll do it differently when it all goes back together.
This pic makes a strong case for never, ever using aluminum wood screws on a swim platform. The stainless nuts and washers, by comparison, are only stained a bit.
I could have sworn I took pix along the way as I washed off the teak then hit it with 2-part teak cleaner, but I can’t find them anywhere. After letting the platform sit clean but unsanded in a storage room in my house over the winter, I brought it out and sanded it from 120 grit through 320, then I coated the entire underside with West System epoxy resin and 207 Special Clear hardener. It was amazing how much epoxy the teak soaked up. After coating the bottom of the platform, I installed the mounting bracket fasteners and bungs.
I don’t know what the black glue was they used to assemble the platform, but the glue line had failed in many places. Hopefully, the West System that flowed through the joints will have soaked into the wood. Either way, a monolithic coating of epoxy should help hold it together for a few more decades.
For small repairs and to seal up the ends of the teak, I first saturated the area with West, then I applied a mixture of epoxy and wood flour. The wood flour doesn’t look anything at all like teak, but the alternative is to spend days fashioning teak chips to fit each broken end. I’m not going to be that picky with this old platform.
In addition to positively closing the pores in the end of each teak strip, the thickened epoxy acts like a dam to hold the epoxy clear coat in the joints. I used the same approach on all of the open sections of the platform, first saturating with clear epoxy then coating the ends of each strip of teak with wood flour-thickened West.
It ain’t perfect, but all things considered it will be much better than before.
I’ll trim these blocks down when I sand the bottom and give it the final epoxy coating. For now, I’m just trying to get a good base coat on all sides.
I wetted out the holes and the dowels with West, then coated the dowels with epoxy thickened with wood flour before driving them home with a mallet.
I realized too late that I didn’t intend to reuse the ladder that was attached at the screw holes in the picture above. My only course of action was to fill the holes with resin. Every time I thought I had it filled up, a bubble would rise from the depths. It took about two hours of tipping with a brush and dripping resin to finally burp the last of the air out.
I’ll let the epoxy cure for a week, then sand the top and bottom flat. I still have to recoat the bottom and edge seal the whole shebang. Then, depending on how it looks, I may give the top-side one more epoxy coating. But if there’s plenty of epoxy remaining after it’s sanded smooth, I’ll turn it over to the Boatamalan at that point for coating with DuPont MS1, the same super coating we used on the toe rail.
Next up on our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: Hydraulic Steering