The Original Deck
Melody Blue 4, a Swan 431 was designed by Sparkman & Stevens and built by Nautor Swan in 1976. The yacht is 43ft in length and weighs approx. 12 tonnes. She has been privately owned for the past 15 years. It has crossed the Atlantic twice and been used as a training yacht for the last 7 years by Blue Sailing School.
Blue sailing School was the first RYA training centre to be established in South Brittany. Since 2010, over 1000 students have taken part each year in obtaining qualifications ranging from Competent crew to Yachtmaster. Of course, with this in mind, all of the yachts they provide training on need to be in tip top condition.
The yacht has had a fairly hard life, mainly used on an all year round basis. It undergoes a regular schedule of maintenance and the whole of the interior was re-varnished and the teak deck re-caulked. However, the turning point for having the decking replaced had been the last few months. The teak had become so worn down that the screws were coming through and had an overall tired appearance.
So, after consulting with MCP Marine, it was decided that it was practical and feasible to lay Dek king onto an existing teak deck. As long as the timber deck was sound throughout and on condition that it was sanded and epoxy sealed prior to the new deck being laid. As an agent located in the South Coast, it was agreed that Nigel Hudson would proceed with the templating of the deck whilst afloat in Le Crouesty marina, in France.
Transforming Melody’s Appearance with Synthetic Teak
This meant that Nigel and another fitter made the journey by taking the ferry over to St. Malo and from there it was a 2 hour drive down to Quiberon Bay.
Firstly, the decking panels for the side decks, coach roof and cockpit were made to the supplied templates of around 32 square metres which were sent off by pallets and shipped over to France. Once the fitters had arrived, they were straight on to the task of preparing the initial work. The preparation work and fitting the new deck took 2 weeks to complete.
Fitting the new deck was a very technical and difficult task, as there were some complications throughout the process. The fitting was expertly carried out despite having to handle problematic weather conditions. The result is very impressive and has rejuvenated this classic yacht. It has lost some of its authenticity as a classic yacht but as a working boat it has to perform and have a good and clean appearance. The fitting of this deck was a complete success especially as the cost of doing so was about 1/3 of fitting a genuine new teak deck.
If you would like more information on synthetic teak, please click here to find out more.