Dutchman Onboard

Yesterday, I finished a repair on a section of Pot Pie’s port deck. When the old cap rails were removed, I found that a small section of deck was rotten and so I began the process of removing the rot and replacing the section of deck. This is called a dutchman. It’s a very common thing to use a dutchman to repair broken or no longer structurally sound pieces of deck on a boat.

I started by picking a shape to cut out of the deck and since it was on the edge, my first line was inboard of the rotten wooden and running fore and aft. Then on either end of that line, I chose a wide angle and drew lines back to the edge of the deck, thus encompassing my rotten section and mapping out my cut and the shape of the dutchman to replace it.

The method I chose for removing the deck material was with a router, so it was necessary to set up a simple jig that would be my perimeter stop for the edge of the router plate.


Once I had removed all the material within my chosen perimeters and planed down the routers imperfections, I made a pattern with thinly cut sticks and traced that pattern onto a pine board that I would cut the new piece from. as long as the 3 sides with their angles match my cut out exactly, I can leave the outer edge large and once I install it, I can fair it down to the proper curve of the deck.

Once the piece was ready to be installed, I clamped it temporarily in place and predrilled my countersunk fastener holes.


In addition to fasteners, I dressed both the deck and the piece with West epoxy with added thickener and put it in place, drove 5 bronze Frearson head screws into the predrilled holes, bunged each fastener with bungs I cut from the same pine board, and left it to cure overnight.

I was able to cut the bungs down this morning, followed by planing down the surface to fair it in to the deck and the outer edge.


- Moses Dane

Moses Dane1 Comment