Jim Lyndon, SWAHILI, #?

When I did the cabin sole over on Swahili I elected to build the sole myself out of solid teak. Admitedly this was a long, expensive and somewhat difficult project: the end result was well worth the effort. I have to admit having a spouse in the exotic lumber business was a great help on the cost.

I simply elected to screw down strips of teak. I started by making a perimeter around all the access panels to the bilge, then I cut individual strips of teak, laying them lenthwise into the inner section of each panel followed up by simply using a plug cutter, then screwing each piece down with brass screws. I did not bung them in, simply left the screws showing. Future replacement of any strip would be simple if needed. Finally I cut the drain-hole into each panel with with a large bore bit.

The sole itself was done in the same manner, long lengths of teak were cut with a table saw from the edges of teak stock somewhare around a half inch or so, laid down on the sole and screwed in in the same manner. As I approached either the portside-or starboard sides the difficulty started here. Now you have to start tapering strips to fit the contour of the sides. This required much time working with a belt sander on its side and gradually tapering each piece to properly fit. I went the extra effort and even brought the teak sole up those side areas in the forward cabin and head area. This was by no means easy each piece had to be individually cut and tapered down to fit properly. You cannot screw in here- its the hull, so each piece had to be bonded in with an exceptional adhesive. Finally the raised section of the head was done in the same manner, as was the step up to the forward cabin.

As stated this is by no means the easiest method to obtain a good looking cabin sole, however my time and patience have been rewarded with a very traditional appearing cabin sole, with no worry about future water damage, or lifting of ply. This is I admit a definate over-kill. Unless you have the time, and the patience, I would suggest going with any of the other methods available.