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Thread: Ericson 38-200 cabin sole

  1. #1
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    Ericson 38-200 cabin sole

    Hi all,
    I am a new super happy owner of an E38-200 (from 1990) and I am reaching out for your help. I bought the boat in overall great condition, but I need to put new cabin sole. The problem I have is that there is no old sole on the boat (It was taken out and trashed), so I do not have anything to go off of. My question is - does anyone here have any drawings, plans or measurements for the floor panels? Any help will be much appreciated!

    Thanks!
    Jakub.

  2. #2
    Moderator Christian Williams's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard, Jakub, and congrats on a fine boat.

    The new sole will be the product of your own measurements, and your decision about the number of panels and how you choose to attached them and how you prefer access to the TAGF bilges. It's a project, but the forum has many threads to get you going.

    Did Pacific Seacraft build your boat? Might be a little different sole than the Ericson builds--somebody will know.

    Oh, and are you doing this yourself, or hiring out the job?
    Last edited by Christian Williams; 04-28-2019 at 01:31 PM.
    Thelonious II, E381 hull 513 (1984) Universal 5432
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  3. #3
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    Hi Christian,
    Thanks for your reply - I want to work on that project myself, but I am not sure how happy will my marina be (both about not making extra $$ on that job, and also I am not sure about their policy for DYI's).
    Aside all that, I thought I would find someone who's done it and gave me pointers about the measuring process and how thick the original floor was, but I guess I have to just get to work!

    I already checked online for some places near Solomons MD that sell teak and holly plywood, now it's a matter of getting the right color and getting it to the marina.

    BTW - I really enjoy your videos, looking forward for a new one!

  4. #4
    Moderator Christian Williams's Avatar
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    If you can work on the project at home, the marina will hardly notice. And this project is such that a workshop of some kind is definitely needed. The patterns are large, there is a lot of fitting and sawdust, the sealing and finishing of the sole must be done before installation--in short, too awkward to do on the boat or the dock (in my opinion, at least).

    Here are a couple of starter threads:

    http://www.ericsonyachts.org/infoexc...&referrerid=28

    http://www.ericsonyachts.org/infoexchange/showthread.php?15583-E38-Cabin-Sole


    http://www.ericsonyachts.org/infoexc...le-replacement

    This photo below is said to be the sole of a 1990 PS 38. If so, the teak and holly veneer on plywood (mine totals 5/8ths thick) is held down to the TAGF by screws, with a screwed-down edge batten on top of that. Furthermore, the batten screws are plugged. A new sole should be removable. This could be done by using screws that penetrate both batten and sole, and leaving the heads countersunk and visible. If bronze screws, they blend right in. Point is: the sole panels are now removable, which in my opinion all soles panels should be.

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    Last edited by Christian Williams; 04-28-2019 at 02:26 PM.
    Thelonious II, E381 hull 513 (1984) Universal 5432
    Table of Contents for Thelonious Blog here
    Videos: http://www.youtube.com/c/ChristianWilliamsYachting

  5. #5
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    Thank you for pointing me to those 3 threads! Yes, the photo below your post looks exactly like my boat. I'd like to have the panels easily removable for inspection, and most of all I'd like to eliminate a need of using any kind of glue.
    Thanks again!

  6. #6
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    I've not done an Ericson sole, but did the sole in my previous boat, a Cal 33. The job would be the same for any boat. I was able to demo and use the old sole as a template. but even with templates there is a ton of hand sanding, fitting. You could lay out and tape brown paper as a template. Either way, after you cut the boards there is a ton of sanding, fitting, marking and more sanding. Carefully. The more careful, the better it is going to look.
    I always cut leaving the line and then test fit, and mark, sanded until it had the desired fit.

    I did all of the varnish work at home after the boards were fitted as I wanted. I was able to reuse two center pieces, but had to custom cut the piece that fit around the mast.

    Care must be take to keep all the teak and holy lined up as you lay things out.

    Boulter plywood has great prices and shipping for the materials.

    https://www.boulterplywood.com/

    I used Smith's clear penetrating epoxy on all of the sole plywood, sealing the bottom and end grain.
    I see it sold on Amazon for a little better price then the Smiths website.

    http://www.smithandcompany.org/

    Demo and finished product. Wife was most helpful with the project. I think it was a good 40 hours labor.
    I have these nice old timber framing chisels that worked great to drive under this glued down sole to get them loose.
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    Last edited by Leslie Newman; 05-01-2019 at 08:10 AM.
    Leslie Newman
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  7. #7
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    Leslie Newman
    E-380 #15 "Osprey"

  8. #8
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    Most marinas are fairly passive about work inside of your boat, so that would not be something to get to concerned about.

    As for patterns, Leslie mentioned brown paper and it can work, but it's generally too flexible when being stepped on during work. I've found that big moving box cardboard (Home Depot, Lowes, most storage places) works well for the first rough measurements. If in doubt on some corner, I'll cut it with an extra quarter inch or so. I use a vibrating MultiMax which cuts it like butter.

    That said, the thing I like to use more is 1/4" luan plywood or cheap MDF panels, like this for under $11:
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/1-8-in-x...7562/204727075.

  9. #9
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    Templating

    I destroyed the sole upon removal so I couldn't use it as a template. I tried paper and cardboard and it was too imprecise. So I ended up cutting up a 1/2 sheet of 1/8 inch luan plywood into a bunch of long 2 inch wide strips, and placed them (cut to length and scribed where necessary) around the outside of the recessed area the sole fits into. Finally I hot glued them all together with a bunch of little scrap pieces and cross braces to come up with a fairly precise outside edge pattern. Much easier than the earlier efforts!



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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigd14 View Post

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    That looks like a good method. I mentioned brown paper because the piece that fit below the V berth in my CAL was a crazy shape and the wood was destroyed trying to remove it as it was glued down. Talk about a nightmare fitting a piece of plywood. Brown paper allowed me to easily cut the pattern, which I then transferred to the plywood. I would think any and all methods might be employed as you work at replacing each section.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Leslie Newman
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  11. #11
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    Thank you all for the suggestions and photos!
    Leslie - your floor looks excellent! I am wondering how did you finish the plywood on the corners? Is it just thin pieces of wood (what kind?) glued in? I am talking about the edges around the floor pieces...

    Tin Kicker - I think that will be my only option to work on the panels inside the boat - it'd be so nice to have a garage somewhere nearby, unfortunately my garage is over 1500 miles away...

    I'll try to document my project and upload few photos once I am done. Thanks again!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtomas View Post
    I am wondering how did you finish the plywood on the corners? Is it just thin pieces of wood (what kind?) glued in? I am talking about the edges around the floor pieces...
    Hi. I was lucky and was able to remove the solid wood trim pieces from the old floor sections and then glued them in place. I was also lucky in that I re-used the very center sections of floor. The two pieces of floor running down the center closest to the companionway stairs. The only places I had to deal with the trim was between the very rear sections (on each side of the engine compartment. There was solid teak squares between the rear sections and the long sections running along the settee.

    Boulter Plywood sells all sorts of lumber and if you had to it would not be too difficult to cut squares of trim from lumber. I used the epoxy glue from Smith's website that they claim is best for gluing teak (or other oily woods). The floor held up nicely and looked as in the pics when we sold the CAL in late 2017. I put something like eight coats of Jamestown Distributors GLEAM varnish on the top of the sole after also sealing it with the Smith's penetrating epoxy. I think the cabin sole is going to outlast the rest of the boat.

    The GLEAM varnish is very easy to work with. You can re-coat after something like an hour, up to four coats a day. And if you then coat again the next day (before 24 hours) you do not have to do any sanding/scuffing. Just apply four more coats.
    Leslie Newman
    E-380 #15 "Osprey"

  13. #13
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    I guess it would be heresy at bout this point to write that I'm not a fan of dark teak soles and plan to replace mine with a vinyl on 1/2" reinforced PVC sheet. Have the materials in the shed and already made a large hatch cover to make sure the idea works.

    After the more important stuff that is in progress.
    Last edited by Tin Kicker; 05-06-2019 at 04:09 PM.

  14. #14
    Moderator Christian Williams's Avatar
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    Innovation has sunk more ships than storms.

    Just kidding. I consider my T&H sole a decoration, which was probably not supposed to be the idea....
    Thelonious II, E381 hull 513 (1984) Universal 5432
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  15. #15
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    I am finally done with the project (well, not quite, because I forgot about the small piece in the head, but that's ok, I have some leftovers...).
    I started as some of you here recommended - got a packing paper, measured everything, cut some smaller pieces and taped them together to make a template. I then cut the plywood and did an initial fit-check. All good so far! Then I started applying the epoxy (3 layers - sanding between each layer) and varnish (5 layers, also sanding between). I chose that method over just using the varnish, as it is quicker and gives thicker layer with less coats. I used semi-flat varnish.

    Some photos below...

    Thanks again for all your suggestions!
    Jakub.
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