Seat Mounting

By Don Casey

Replacement seating is easy to install, but when the deck is plywood or has a wood core, a little extra care is called for. The original seating is usually attached with screws into the deck. When you have removed the old seat, be sure to fill all of the old screw holes. If you don't, water will enter the space below the deck. Worse still, water draining through the open hole will lead to wood rot in the deck.

I like epoxy filler to fill old screw holes, but you can also use sealant. You might think that the mounting screws will effectively seal the new mounting holes, but stresses on boat and seat eventually crush the soft wood fibers and open a gap between threads and wood — usually sooner rather than later. This results in wood rot around the screw hole. To prevent this, coat the threads of every screw with a flexible adhesive sealant — polysulfide — before screwing them into the deck.

Don Casey has been one of the most consulted experts on boat care and upgrades for 30 years, and is one of the BoatUS Magazine's panel of experts. He and his wife cruise aboard their 30-footer part of the year in the eastern Caribbean. His books include Don Casey's Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual, and the recently updated This Old Boat, the bible for do-it-yourself boaters.


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