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Ensign Sailing Forum

Restoring floorboards
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  Just one additional suggestion which is probably obvious ; number the floorboards on the back with a sharpie when you remove them and use several of the longer ones as guides for placement of the stringers so that their existing screw holes show you where the new stringers should go.




I would like to post this in the Library.  Would that be OK with you?


Vic Roberts


Mike, I would have reattached the slats with silicon bronze screws and bunged if screw removal was practical. However, not a single screw was able to be backed out with rusted heads. The popular removal bits did not work for me. I did use screws to install new teak slats and used the pegs for reattaching the existing slats. My stringers were in decent shape, with only a couple places that required penetrating epoxy. Good luck.

Marvin and Lee Cook


Ensign 627


IMO Stainless steel screws have great holding power. Have not used wood dowels.

Robin Durrschmidt

Great post Mike,

I would only add that I did relatively the same operation as to measuring and leveling and marking. I then measured between and screwed in temporary boards to all of the oak stringers and then pulled the now stable frame out of the boat and into my garage where I was able to more leasurely screw in the teak and put the bungs on. Then moved the completed floor to the boat, unscrewed the wider side pieces and glassed in the stringers. Worked great and way easier than doing it on the boat - you may already be planning to do it that way....

If you have not already bought the teak would recommend seeing if Ensign spars can supply it. I was able to buy my teak from them 5 or so years ago and the pieces were already cut to the right shape at the aft end but left long to be cut to length.

Robin Durrschmidt

In the summer of 2020 the other woman, #1029 had a complete makeover that included removal of all deck hardware, repaired some deck areas, re-drilled all deck penetrations, new deck paint and cockpit paint, gel coat applied to main bulkhead, complete rebuild of floorboards and stringers, seat repairs and new varnish to all brightwork.

Complete text with photos coming soon to the ECA Forum.

An outline of the process for the floorboard restoration is as follows:

1. Prepared detailed scaled drawings of the location of the existing, rotten stringers; fore & aft dimensions and dimensions down from straight edge across cockpit.

2. Removed the teak floor boards (removed existing teak bungs and 206 screws)

3. Clean and sand teak floor boards

3. Purchased 8’ long, 6-61/2” wide, 2” thick rough sawn white oak boards (3)

4. Fabricated five  (5) new stringers  (2 inches deep and 2-1/2” wide) to replace originals. Added a 6th stringer between #5 and the rudder post.

5. Used a string line from center of mast step/center of cuddy bulkhead to rudder post to aid in aligning the floorboard (forward and aft hatches added in centerline alignment).

6. Applied two coats of Interlux - InterProtect 2000E to new stringers

7. Installed new stringers; fiberglassed to hull with expoxy and with fiberglass strips

8. Installed teak floor boards with silicon bronze screws.

9. Installed 206 teak bungs at screw locations.

10. Applied teak oil to seats and floorboards.


  While I don’t have any photos, I can tell you that what I did was basically just measure the existing stringers in place, and  mark the spots of contact with the hull with a black sharpie.
   I removed the old stringers as intact as possible ( not much luck there) measured again where possible and sanded down the areas of contact as flush as practicable, making the effort at the same time to keep the sharpie marks visible. I also measured the location backward of each stringer from the forward bulkhead.
   I bought same sized red oak boards from a local lumber shop, cut them and beveled the ends to fit the respective spots of the prior stringers.
  I don’t know about your boat, but it was obvious that 510’s stringers had been glassed onto the hull and various thicknesses of cloth and resin used to both underlay and overlay the ends of the stringers into place.
   I tried to duplicate this as much as possible using Totalboat polyester resin and small weave cloth that I had on hand.
   My main concern, other than making sure of the bond, was to try as much as possible to make sure each stringer was level with each other. I just used a line running from the forward bulkhead at the level of the first stringer that I had marked before removal back to the rudder post using a large level on the line to help insure all stringers when added were level. Obviously I had to assume that the hull on its’ stand was  level fore and aft as well as port to starboard. I’m sure someone in the Forum has a more accurate way to make level determinations, but that’s what I did.

Have fun,

Mike McCarthy

I find that I have to explain the name to anyone under the age of 50 😱

I hope to tackle replacement of stringers in PLEBE YEAR (#1217) and some floor boards.  Are there any threads or photos of the process and/or advice.

Jody Graul

Nahant MA



Not sure about the teak dowels but that’s a great name for the boat!


I just read Marvin’s post on reinstalling floorboards in an Ensign and since I am nearly at the point of putting back the floorboards in # 510 after replacing the stringers, I am wondering if pegging with teak dowels is preferable to rescrewing with stainless steel and bungs.

Any opinions ?

Mike McCarthy , 
Ensign Pulver, # 510

After nearly 60 years our floorboards are weathered and needing some attention. The teak sole had a few cracked slats, popping bung plugs, and rusted original (?) stainless screws.

We figured out a procedure that worked well for us and are pleased with the results. The key was a screw removal bit available from Woodcraft Supply.

Our process is described on our blog at:

Marvin and Lee Cook


Ensign 627

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