Monday, May 16th, 2011
this Week in Wayfarers: 
* John de Boer (W7351) talks about floorboard replacement
Jim Heffernan (W2458) shares the results of his floorboard replacement research
* some further expert advice - from Ton Jaspers (W10445) and two cents' worth from Uncle Al
Subject: John de Boer talks about floorboard replacement
----- Original Message -----
From: John / Dolores de Boer
To: Kevin Pegler
Sent: Monday, January 14, 2008 11:27 AM
Subject: Floor Boards

Hi Kev,
I sail a Fiberglass boat and just made a new set of floorboards for her after roughly 25 some years of sailing with the original boards. But as Al explains you can fix old boards for some time, and that I did till they fell completely apart and then you have no choice but to make a new set.

I did just that this past fall, made them from one sheet 3/8 " X 4' x 8' marine plywood available here or in the US for appr. $ 100.00 delivered + tax. I cut the sheet in half lengthwise and did not cut anything from the length or side, just configured the front and back of each side to the shape of the cockpit. I sanded the rough edges all around and coated the edges with one coat of resin, I used West Epoxy. I varnished both sides od the boards several time with a spar varnish, I used Helmsmen clear satin available at the Home Depot. After the second coat, I spread some silica sand in areas where you require some anti-slip, using masking tape for the area (don't cover the whole board as this makes the boards too heavy) and cover this lightly with another one or two coats of varnish. The minimum required thickness for boards is 5/16" but if you use that you must place supports for strength underneath. This is not required when using 3/8" and the weight is practically the same using 3/8", I checked mine. To keep the boards in place I placed the boards at the aft under a little clip that is on a glass boat and cut the two holes under the seat for a screw and clip so they don't move forward or aft at the front I just configured around the support that is there. I am enclosing a picture showing you the final result.
Hope this helps,
John and Dolores de Boer W 7351 SILVERFOX.

Hello Again Kevin,
I forgot to mention to you that the picture shown does not have the varnish on the boards yet. I will email you one as soon as I can get the cover off the boat since they are in the boat now which is covered with snow. It should also show where the sand is on the boards.
Regards, John. W 7351 SILVERFOX
Subject: Jim Heffernan (W2458) shares the results of his floorboard replacement research
----- Original Message -----
From: james Heffernan W2458
Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 8:25 PM
Subject: floorboard finishing

Hi Al, 

Saw some discussion regarding floorboards and thought I would throw in my comments. Am currently building some new floorboards since my 40-year-old ones are delaminating badly and absorbing water, thus weighing in at nearly 50 lbs. I am using 3/8 marine Okouma plywood which I obtained from a Beaufort, NC mill outlet. I sought advice on the finish, and got ideas from John DeBoer, the NC Maritime Museum, B&B Boat Designs, the Antique Classic Boat Company in Cincinnati and the Wayfarer kit building manual.

The Wayfarer kit recommends using Deks Olje on the floorboards. This is a penetrating oil rather than a sealer.  Since this product is no longer available in the US, (due to VOC’s?), I sought out some advice from an old boat builder at the Maritime Museum boatbuilding  center. He had some familiarity with a product made by Land Ark NW that is a penetrating oil used for exposed timbers in house building. 

This is a product that is made up of tung oil, aged linseed oil, beeswax, pine rosin, pure citrus oil and zinc oxide for UV protection.   I have decided to use this since I want a good feel for my bare feet and do not want to slide on varnish or epoxy.  It is also environmentally good, using all natural ingredients.

The website has a lot of info on the exterior oil  and the method of application at
The owner of the company recommends 3 coats initially, wet on wet, followed in 3 months with a final coat.
Cost is around $70 a gallon. 

Hope this helps,

Jim Heffernan
Subject: further expert advice - from Ton Jaspers (W10445) and two cents' worth from Uncle Al
From: Wayfarer (Ton Jaspers W10445)
Cc: 'Jim & Linda Heffernan W2458/W1066' ; 'John de Boer W7351' ; 'Hans Gottschling W938'
Sent: Thursday, May 12, 2011 4:24 PM

Hi Rob,
Most of us use the old floorboards as a template. There are small differences between the various Wayfarer marks. So it is better to copy your old ones, just to be sure. If you don't have the old boards anymore, there are still lots of MK1's around so you should be able to get copy of a floorboard on taped together newspapers from one of the other sailors out here. It always amazes me how helpful Wayfarers are, specially when there is a beer waiting at the end of the task ;-)   
Our floor boards do not have supports. They rest on supports laminated into the boat. The inner part of the boards goes into  grooves that are laminated into the CB case. 8 or 9 mm plywood should fit these grooves. After the boards are slid into the groove they drop down with two elongated holes over two chocks on top of the laminated supports (below the benches). The chocks fit the holes in the boards exactly. With the chocks in the holes the boards are slotted in to place. Turning fasteners on top of the chocks ensure the boards don't come off during a capsize. Because the holes are elongated the fasteners will go through the holes if they line up with the chocks. (Some things are better explained by a picture). Al's note: Ton is talking about the set-up found in MK IIs, two long floorboards. MK Is usually have four floorboards, two on each side which meet at the "chocks" Ton mentions. Click here to see a picture: the split between forward and aft floorboard is nearly totally hidden by the plexiglass "batten" being used to keep that part of the floorboards in place. One other point: I have attached a shaped and epoxied piece of  two by four to the underside of each of my aft floorboards about half a metre forward of their aft edges to add a bit of support in those otherwise excessively bouncy areas of the boards.
If you paint them well, there is no need to use expensive marine grade ply, IMHO. By the time marine ply starts to pay off, the boards are worn out anyway and need replacement. Using a contrasting colour (contrasting to the colour of the inner hull) gives a nice effect. On my boat the inside of the hull is white and the boards are black. Note that a dark colour does not stain as quickly as a light colour. The only thing to watch out for with standard building ply is to stuff the small holes (if any) in the sides well  before painting.   
Ian Porter finished my floorboards with two layers of two-pot paint. The top side was treated with sand while the first layer of paint was still wet. After the paint had set, the excess sand was carefully knocked off with the boards in an upright position. Then a second layer of paint was rolled on trapping the sand between the layers, This gives a nice anti-slip surface. BUT, do not use just any sand!  Use beach sand only, or the special anti-slip sand sold by marine stores. Most other sorts of sand (like mason's sand) are much too sharp. (Think of what sandpaper would do to your clothes and knees). When you look at sand through a microscope, beach sand has worn to nice round spheres and the stuff you buy in a marine store has been artificially worn smooth in a cement mixer. (Did you ever wonder why beach sand is never used for sand sculptures)?   
Hope this helps,
Best wishes,
Ton Jaspers (Swiebertje - W10445)

From: Al Schonborn []
Sent: vrijdag 13 mei 2011 5:36
To: Wayfarer; 'Robert Von Zuben'
Cc: 'Jim & Linda Heffernan W2458/W1066'; 'John de Boer W7351'; 'Hans Gottschling W938'

Great stuff, Ton!! I have added this plus a couple of my thoughts to the WIT's floorboards section. Only two months and a bit til the IR. I am really lookjing forward to getting together with you and Conny once more.
Best regards,
Uncle Al (W3854)

From: Wayfarer
Sent: Friday, May 13, 2011 1:33 PM

Hi Uncle Al,
A good addition but please note that many English MK1 owners have replaced their two part boards by one part boards because of the added rigidity. Two part boards aren't as stiff as is very well demonstrated by the need to add a batten as shown in the picture. A one part board doesn't need such a "sticks and twigs" solution to stiffen it up.
I shall try to remember to take a close up picture of a floorboard chock/fastener this weekend.
My mind is not yet set to the IR rally (Jan, Hans and Lous are taking care of that). I am currently concerned with my thing, the Whitsunday event. As usual it will be a bare back event again. Minimum organisation, just a beach to haul the boats in and out, sleeping in the boat, rough and dangerous waters, beer and BBQ. In other words, a rally as a Wayfarer rally ought to be, simpel, cheap and fun. A typical characteristic of the Whitsunday event is that it is something else every year, a surprise and a challenge. This time I have invited my friends for a coastal challenge in the Estuaries of Zeeland. (KMZ attached). Last year we did the river IJssel, a fast flowing meandering river with a lots of professional barges taking the inner bends (where there is less flow). We started at Arnhem and sailed a 100 kilometers in just three days to Kampen.