Monday, December 2, 2013

Wheelhouse sole

Some good progress on our Winter flooring project... Wheelhouse sole is mostly finished. This was our first foray into glue down engineered flooring and I think we are off to a good start. Their is always some degree of learning curve when tackling another big project on the boat, and this was certainly no different. The challenge for me personally is to realize that it takes additional time to develop a technique and a system for each type of new "trade" that we get into in our fit out of Kama Hele. There were certainly a few extra minor complications that we didn't anticipate in working with the new materials and techniques laying down this type of flooring. So the  wheelhouse took longer than anticipated,  but I feel satisfied with the end result and now that we have the system down, the rest of the flooring install should go quicker and easier. The wheelhouse finished sole was complicated by a double glue down process using a heavy 1/2" (2 lbs per sq foot) rubber based isolation mat over the sub floor, then the finished floor over that. This was to provide better soundproofing from the engine room directly below. There was also the soft patch to work around. This is a large hatch in the deck allows for future engine removal. The ledge around the setee and the helm had to be trimmed with floor planks and matching stair nose, and a cut out in the flooring here was incorporated for the lift up section under the setee that allows large items to be lowered down into the lower deck passageway. We are very limited in the stairwell dimensions for getting big stuff down below. The flooring is 1/2" engineered t&g product with seven ply backing and a pre-finished sapelle hardwood face. It has a slightly "pre-weathered" look and a darkened medium bevel at the edge of each board that gives it some character. The plywood base layers should give the floor pretty good stability as for as moisture and temperature variation. The glue is polyurethane based, super thick and tacky, and relatively easy to work with once you get rolling with it. Even when resealed tightly, it does harden up in the tub over the course of a few days. We'll have to plan the job accordingly as it comes in 4 gallon buckets and it ain't cheap. I am generally pleased with the finished results. It really works nicely with the other finishes on the boat and feels very solid when glued down. Next phase will be working our way down the stairs into the galley.


  1. Hello. Perfect timing for me. Can you tell us details of the sound insulation mat you ended up choosing? Also, what is the putty you trowled on to glue it to the plywood floor? Thanks for any details you can offer....Your boat looks great!

    1. Hi Michael.

      The underlay we used is "Serenity Ultimate Underlay" from West Coast Sound Solutions in SF. Cuts well with a sharp blade and lays down nicely. It comes in different weights and thicknesses. We chose 1/2", 2 lbs per sq ft which is the heaviest they make I think. It's great stuff. Glued it down with basic, good quality, polyeurethane based flooring adhesive. I forget the brand, but we bought it from the same place as the underlay to ensure compatibility. I'm going to hopefully get around to starting up the engine this week and see how well it performs...


  2. Thanks for the info Peter. Hope your engine runs as good as it looks. Your craftsmanship is simply remarkable.