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Old 07-08-2015, 05:11 AM   #1
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Deck sealant

Fine folks at Trawler forum...
I am back here looking for advice, as our five year old dive boat ages, of course the problems start.
The boat was built here in Vietnam of some unknown tropical hardwood.
One wood for the hull and another for the deck and upper works.
The decks are about 7/8 thick, shiplapped, between the boards is a V groove about 3/16 by 3/16 the of an inch.
The sealant between the deck boards has failed, of course....
any kind of sealer that was used locally has been in use for hundreds of years and is not a urethane caulk of modern vintage..
I am being told locally to open the grooves, pack them with fiber, and fill with some kind of pitch, which is how the hull was done...
I would like to bring us out of the dark ages and into modern times with this project.
Your recommendations for a suitable product will allow me to research what MAY be available here in Vietnam, bearing in mind that they do not have bilge pump float switches, nor on demand pressure pumps...
They are building modern high rise buildings in Saigon and Hanoi and as a carpenter by trade, I know we use urethane caulks in buildings, so it JUST may be possible to Sikka or somebody similar is represented here in Vietnam.
Who makes this stuff and what products might you recommended ? also I expect we will have to up size the grooves, so I will get manufacturers recommendations for that part.
some photos of the deck can be found here..they are high resolution so you can zoom way in.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/4dg9p5lm5...NrLuRHD0a?dl=0

Thanks very much for your help and advice...
FYI..Dealer networks do not exist here, there is no amazon.com there is no advertising, no marketing...it took me 2 DAYS and visits to over 100 shops to find c cell rechargeable batteries....My wife..Vietnamese and smart, could not find freaking wooden hangers in all of Saigon . I managed it, by going into a tailor shop and asking where they got the hangers..
Thanks very much
Larry
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Old 07-08-2015, 08:08 AM   #2
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For caulk, I'd use to TDS SIS-440. It is probably the gold standard for deck caulks. Avaible where you are? Probably not but if you're going though all this work maybe you can get it imported.

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I's also post your question on the Wooden Boat Forum. We're mostly recreational fiberglass boat guys here.

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Old 07-08-2015, 12:25 PM   #3
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Thanks very much...I have so far found Sika available here I will look into the product you suggest....importing is fraught with serious problems...Including possibly having to fly back to the mainland to get stuff out of customs, shipping is gonna be about $120 for a gallon of the stuff. Not arguing your suggestion, but is the product worth that much hassle ? Labor here is my three boat staff, who are paid full time and only work part time, so in five years if we have to redo it, no pain....Oh other considerations...it is rainy season here, wood is wet and is likely to get wet while curing the material. Fast cure very nice, Sika is days...thanks for your input !
Larry
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Old 07-08-2015, 12:39 PM   #4
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I have had very good experience with other Sika products, but no direct experience with their deck product, since TDS is readily available here. I wouldn't hesitate to give Sika's product a try.

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Old 07-08-2015, 12:54 PM   #5
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Hello Cal.

I will certainly investigate the other product, I am happy to hear you have had good experience with Sika, as I have in building construction, they are a bit of a gold standard to us in that field.
To add to everything else...it is very stormy here now, so we have shut down for two weeks, and I would be thrilled to get this job done in that time.
There is a freighter that comes out here from the mainland and there is a supplier of sika at its home port.Though I cannot check stock until tomorrow..say 9 hours... I am hoping they will have the sika or equivalent product, so all recommendations are welcome, and since it seems that Sika is closed in the usa now, though it is business hours....any suggestions on opening up the grooves, they are very small now and I do have a router..possibly the only one on the island !
I can V or straight cut 6 mm, about 1/4 inch..that is the limit of my stock of bits, though I can have more here in a week (I Hope)
Thanks all
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Old 07-08-2015, 01:19 PM   #6
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Try Sika Vietnam.
Nhon Trach 1 Industrial Zone
Dong Nai Province

+84 613 560 700

http://vnm.sika.com
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Old 07-08-2015, 01:27 PM   #7
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Hey Spy

They have a branch office in dist 1 Saigon and a distributor right in Vung Tau where our supply boat comes from !
If I get good feedback here and an answer to questions from Sika, who are putting me through voice mail hell.. i hope to order the stuff tomorrow.
Thanks..
are you building boats here or building construction ?
Larry
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Old 07-08-2015, 01:33 PM   #8
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Neither. Sitting in an office in Northern Alberta.

If you can't get through to the States, you can always try calling Sika Canada...

Gotta love the ubiquity of the internet.

I do use Sika products both in industry and on my boat, but never on wood, sorry.
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Old 07-08-2015, 06:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ti325v View Post
The sealant between the deck boards has failed, of course....
any kind of sealer that was used locally has been in use for hundreds of years and is not a urethane caulk of modern vintage..
I am being told locally to open the grooves, pack them with fiber, and fill with some kind of pitch, which is how the hull was done...
I would like to bring us out of the dark ages and into modern times with this project.
Techniques that have been in use for hundreds of years, with local skilled craftsmen familiar with those techniques, is a very hard combination to beat. If you want to explore a hybrid approach -- unknown wet wood with a modern polysulphide or polyurethane -- go for it, but if you just want to get your boat back in service I wouldn't bother.
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Old 07-08-2015, 07:28 PM   #10
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The fishermen in Alaska frequently keep their decks watertight w tar. Just black tar. Not so great on a hot day though. But in Alaska ........
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Old 07-08-2015, 08:40 PM   #11
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Hi QB.
My friend you are a romantic.
Let me assure you, in this country, in particular on this remote island where there is no tradition of boat building,things are not done with any pride of self nor product in this modern version of old world craftsmanship. Make a buck and run. We are dealing with uneducated, lazy, thieving, STOOOPID ignorant peasants who claim to be skilled tradesmen. I have to oversee every single move these idiots make, and am now at the point that for anything more involved then what my crew can do, I do it myself.
Come on over, they would love to meet you ! Eat you alive and spit you out. I hope you can speak the language as well. nobody to do that for you.
Now if you have something productive to add..say real concerns about the wood species, or concerns about the wood being wet, well that would be much appreciated. (Sika discussed the wet wood with me and did not care about the species)otherwise, suggest you check your romantic notions at the door along with the suggestion that I am some kind of idiot for not doing it the 'Old Way".
Ride you horse to work today ? That was the way to go for thousands of years or are you a real luddite and walk ?
Sorry folks but the absolute ignorance of these people is simply stunning and QB if what they do worked, I would do it again. I have had three different monkeys tell me how to do it, paid them a fortune and was left with leaking decks in less then a year.
Oh and a clarification, the boat was built in a yard a three days travel away. Where they sort of know what they are doing and many, many times I took the tools out of their hands and showed these old world craftsmen new and much better ways to do things. They were more then a little impressed with my carpentry skills.
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Old 07-08-2015, 09:09 PM   #12
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Hello Spy.
I took your advice and got 1/2 hour on the phone with the V.P. of the marine division. Guys name was Frank. Great suggestion thanks...I think rainy season is going to hold off the work..We will see...decks have leaked from day 1. The boat was designed and built as a work boat, we want to dry it out a bit, as we do store some valuable stuff below deck.
Thanks
Larry
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