PlasteakWe went with Plasteak, which is this fake plastic teak make from recycled HDPE plastic. It really does not look like teak, but it is brown (close enough?). It is UV resistant, lighter than teak, cheaper than teak and it NEEDS NO VARNISH!
|Plasteak on forward caprail|
|Wrapping butyl tape under the T-track.|
On Adhesive and Sealants...
|Port forward T-Track installation|
In the end, the layers for the T-track fastening looks like this (from bottom to top):
- Alumunim backing plate (for the thru-blots)
- hull/deck joint (previously sealed with 3M 5200)
- Sikaflex 295-UV (keeps water from getting in under the trim)
- Plasteak 1 x 4 trim.
- Butyl Tape (keeps water from getting in between the T-track and trim)
- Aluminum T-track. (1-1/4 inch, Schaeffer brand)
Thru-bolts are stainless steel 5/16 flathead socket cap screws. The threads are treated with Tef-Gel (to minimize corrosion). A dab of Sikaflex was squirted underneath the screw head before final tightening.
If water gets through these joints, I will be very surprised.
|The best "top" view I could get.|
Recommendations and Tips
- Allocate plenty of time to dry-fit and final-fit/seal each plank. Plasteak planks can be installed over a few days, but once a plank is cut and drilled, it should be sealed and screwed down the same day or it will shrink on you.
- Use Sikaflex 295-UV. Do not use 5200. Sikaflex trims and cleans easier and is more flexible.
- And, when sealing anything in compression (like a caprail), lay the sealant down, fit the piece and screw it down LOOSELY (like when it is just about to ooze out the sides). Let it cure enough so that it is oh-so slightly tacky to the touch. Then tighten the fasteners. This helps the sealant form a more substantial sealing gasket.
- When sealant does ooze out the sides from compression. DO NOT attempt to clean it up. Let it fully cure, then take a sharp knife, razor, or scraper to cut off the excess. If you try to cleanup uncured sealant, you generally make a bigger mess in the process. This is why I like Sikaflex as it holds its form pretty well, and cured Sikaflex cuts real easy with a utility/exacto knife. 5200 not so much.
- Unless you are really good, don't panic if your scarf joints have a small gap. Even screwed down plasteak will expand and contract a bit. Acknowledging this, I tried to "hide" the outboard seam behind a chainplate, where I could, to hide any ugliness.
- Do not worry about getting sealant on the exposed sides of plasteak. Cured adheasive will peel right off. Uncured adhesive wipes away with an acetone damped cloth.
I still have some cleanup of sealant and need to cut some plugs and bung the counter sinks where tapping screws were used. A minor (but tedious) task.