During the building of Alice Gale I have spent time working out how I wanted the deck to be finished. For a long time I thought I would be making a wood finish, most likely mahogany striping from my wood left overs. While reviewing classical boat construction I learned about the use of canvas covering over the deck beams. A modification of this process for plywood decking using wood glue as a substrate sealer caught my attention. I really liked the idea of a classical look to the deck and appreciate the rougher non slip finish. An alternative solution that would look quite similar and much more durable would have been a Dynel cloth and epoxy finish. The WoodenBoat Forum has a lot of references on both Dynel and canvas covering. I decided on the canvas covering option primarily due to the simplicity of application.
The canvas is glued to the plywood deck with Titebond III wood glue. A generous amount of glue is spread evenly onto the plywood and a scrapper is used to push out any wrinkles. I started from the center bitt and worked outward to the gunwale. The edges are then stapled. After allowing the glue to dry overnight the entire decking is sealed with a mixture of Titebond glue diluted with 30% water. But first use a spray bottle of water and a household cloth iron to reactivate the glue and stretch out the canvas. The diluted glue is then painted on until the canvas is saturated throughout with the glue mixture.
Allow the glue to dry completely for several days before painting with a marine enamel. I will be painting the Alice Gale decking with the same two part marine enamel I am using for the interior hull. (System Three WR-LPU Polyurethane Topcoat, color Whidbey White)