Latest News: Forums Technical Rubbing Strake

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  • #4629
    Fundoctor
    Member

    Dear Farers

    I have a GPS Mark II which we are touching up for the new season. The wooden rubbing strake (? spelling) running round the whole boat at upper deck level is looking a bit rubbish. It was varnished by its previous owner and that varnish has long since cracked and rubbed off. One friend says don’t varnish but rub down and treat with oil only. Rubbing it down in situ looks like an onerous task. My Qs to the forum:

    1. What is the best way to finish a wooden rubbing strake – varnish or oil or something else?
    2. Should we take off the current strake, sand and finish and put back?
    3. Or maybe replace the whole strip for some new wood – if so any tips on getting right stuff?

    Any other thoughts on strakes, including how to spell them

    Trevor
    W9002

    #11752

    I was faced with a similar problem, although I had touched up the varnish regulary.

    If you wish to do a tidy job of the varnish then you need to consider that you will have > 60ft of “straight edge” between wood and GRP.

    Eventually I took the plunch and stripped & sanded the varnish away, which is a lot of work takes a lot of care in itself if you wish to preserve the GRP (but you only have to do it once) and treated with teak oil.

    Atthe beginning of the season I now just rub in a couple of coats of oil – no more sanding and varnishing (the excees needs to be remoived from the GRP before it dries). The oiled strakes have even been admired.

    So, a lot of effort and care removing the old varnish, but a worthwhile investment for the future.

    #11753

    I meant to add that if you currently have a watertight seal between hull and deck – I would leave well alone and not remove anything

    #11754
    waypadone
    Member

    I am in the process of removing rubber profile strip around my gunwhale, which is very annoying because had it been properly fitted in the first place it would have been acceptable. However my other two dinghy’s have oiled strakes and look really good and are relatively low maintenance, so I’m going down that route and if I were in your position I would also go for the oiled strake. Pete

    #11755
    Fundoctor
    Member

    Farers

    Tis true the actual wood is good enough condition. Just wondering how to get thick varnish off using sandpaper or vibrating sander without causing some damage to the GRP – that is why i was minded to remove the strake. But there is no evidence of any leak so I too am nervous about stripping it off. Any tips for the actual varnish removal?

    VBWs

    Trevor

    #11756
    waypadone
    Member

    A plasterers float is very usefull for protecting your GRP Trevor, just lay the tool against the edge [handle inboard] and alternatively chip with a not too sharp wood chistle and abrade with that coarse green emery stuff from a build centre ? . I’ve had to do this with my other two boats and it’s not half as bad as it may seem. The end results have been really pleasing to the eye. Pete

    Redsky 7059

    #11757
    Fundoctor
    Member

    Hi hi

    Would one of those heater things for removing varnish be out of the question?

    Trev

    #11758
    waypadone
    Member

    Don’t see why not, so long as it is not the blower type, in which case you should have a helper and something like a plasterers float to protect the GRP from the hot air blast. Pete

    “Redsky” 7059

    #11759

    There are GRP friendly paint strippers but read the small print because the one I bought didn’t work on polyurethane varnish. In the end I used a combination of VERY carefully applied “Nitromors” and sand paper. Removing the varnish did take several afternoons, but the simpler maintenance since made the effort worthwhile. It looks smart when freshly oiled and doesn’t deteriorate in the same way as varnish.

    A major irritation with the varnish was that the surface would be worn away in places by the friction of the cover moving in the wind, so it didn’t stay smart for very long.

    #11761
    Fundoctor
    Member

    Thanks Farers – I will try the float and maybe the “heat gun” – should be able to tell pretty fast if there is any overheating going on. Agreed it is going to be a long boring job. If you attend the UKWA cruising conference you can see how I got on

    Trev

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