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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    SW Leicestershire
    Posts
    1,107

    Default Replacing teak ply washboard

    Bottom washboard has a severe case of rot under the varnish and beyond repair. The cost of suitable marine ply for Robbins with teak on both faces seems uneconomic, especially when I need to pay for it to be machined to shape for me to finish off and varnish. And of course if the other washboards went the same way even more so. It seems to me replacing all with smoked acrylic would be better option. Not only rot proof but also lets some light in when closed; and they can machine a step join in which strikes me as more rainproof than the usual sloping edge (I'm sure there is a proper word for that but if I knew it I'd probably have woodworking equipment!)
    Anyone gone from wood to acrylic and regretted it?
    Anyone gone for bronze rather than grey tint - pleased or not?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    12,154

    Default Re: Replacing teak ply washboard

    Our washboards are acrylic and i hate them!

    Sure, the extra light is great when you want it but not so clever at four in the morning when you don't

    And although "smoked" you can see straight into the cabin from outside when it's dark out and the interior lights are on

    So we invariably end up with a towel over them for privacy and/or to block out the light

    They'll get replaced with proper timber washboards when i get that far down the to-do list

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Chichester
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Replacing teak ply washboard

    Well I went from wood to smoked Perspex and would never go back to wood. Looks better, feels much roomier and brighter on a dull day. If I don’t want anyone looking in I just drape a towel over it. No maintenance either.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Replacing teak ply washboard

    If you do replace with wood then make sure you keep the old ones - they can be patched up and painted in any waterproof paint you have to hand and used in the winter. That way you can take the new ones home for a coat of varnish each year. It being so much easier to varnish in the garage rather than outside.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    From the Needles to the Nab, from Cowes to St Catherine's
    Posts
    4,784

    Default Re: Replacing teak ply washboard

    Quote Originally Posted by Benny257 View Post
    Well I went from wood to smoked Perspex and would never go back to wood. Looks better, feels much roomier and brighter on a dull day. If I don’t want anyone looking in I just drape a towel over it. No maintenance either.
    The other half had some new Perspex washboards made up by some crowd in Plymouth to replace the old rotten timber ones on her boat and is very happy with them.

    My last two boats came with Perspex washboards and I wouldn't be in a rush to go back to timber ones. Don't recall any issues with privacy but I usually berth bow in.
    Substance over style

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Winter in Falmouth, summer on board Rampage.
    Posts
    5,116

    Default Re: Replacing teak ply washboard

    Boat came with Perspex washboards in a grey tint, replaced once after someone put the top one in back to front and closed the hatch, thus breaking the top one....
    They’re great at letting a bit more light down below but they don’t get much used during summers on board in Greece. When moored stern to, we have a light privacy curtain which is rigged between two turn buckles.
    I’m considering making Perspex ones for the Hurley 18 to improve the lighting.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Bromley,Kent
    Posts
    2,804

    Default Re: Replacing teak ply washboard

    I had similarly rotten ply boards and I replaced them with bronze acrylic from Hadlow Marine and I was delighted with them- the original boards were 10mm but I was recommended to have 8mm as anything larger would have been very heavy but to make them a snug fit, the company fastened vertical edge packing strips of the same material and that prevented any rattling.
    I went for bronze as I felt that grey would make a dismal day even more so- I’m glad I did so.
    I understand Bru’s comment and in anticipation of that sort of problem (nobody wants to be on display when the internal lights are on, or sunshine is streaming in- nor does one want to be awakened at silly o’clock by a too early dawn), so I bought some lightweight blue canvas material and some lengths of small-diameter dowel and from that gear I made a folding envelope, stitched across the middle so as to keep both washboards separate to avoid scratching thus creating two pouches , one for each board and stitched sleeves across the top width of each side of each pouch to slip the 4 dowels through.
    These acted as handles, with a length of line for each, so that they would fold together for carrying/stowing the boards when not in use.
    When empty, the pouch/envelope would unfold and double as a privacy curtain with one dowel rod, top and bottom slipped through a s/s lacing eye either side of the companionway, again top and bottom, to hold it in place. So no prying eyes and no unwanted daylight whilst asleep, and of course on hot nights, simply leave the washboards stowed below and a breeze will ventilate the cabin
    It worked a treat and was easier to make than describe here.
    Last edited by Gin; 03-07-19 at 19:19.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Dover
    Posts
    5,320

    Default Re: Replacing teak ply washboard

    I also switched to acrylic, which I like in all respects except that it doesn't feel as strong as timber, perhaps more susceptible to a break-in. But I don't know.

    It wasn't cheap, £140 if I recall. If I hadn't felt lazy, replacement plywood washboards would have been a DIY job.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    2,449

    Default Re: Replacing teak ply washboard

    I'm wondering if those who eschew teak-faced ply for washboards in favour of even more one-use plastic have even considered real teak.
    Interestingly, for a very 'short season' it is actually rather cheaper than 'tfp' and lots more so ( less more so? ) than polished grey acrylic. It's at those nice helpful Robbins Timber people.....

    Of course if you are one of those poseurs who wouldn't know which end of a tenon saw to hold, that knowledge will not be of much benefit. Am I at all désolé about that? Am I bugri!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    SW Leicestershire
    Posts
    1,107

    Default Re: Replacing teak ply washboard

    Quote Originally Posted by Bru View Post
    Our washboards are acrylic and i hate them!

    Sure, the extra light is great when you want it but not so clever at four in the morning when you don't

    And although "smoked" you can see straight into the cabin from outside when it's dark out and the interior lights are on

    So we invariably end up with a towel over them for privacy and/or to block out the light

    They'll get replaced with proper timber washboards when i get that far down the to-do list
    Being on a swinging mooring that's not really a problem

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