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Date: 16 August 2015. StarBoard Stops.


In my stash of stuff I have a few cubes of StarBoard. They have been tucked aside for a What If moment, and just today I discovered I needed them. The few I had on hand were just the ticket to solve a problem I had last year when BOB let me down off Horseshoe Beach. The Diagnosing a Blown Bearing article tells the tale of woe regarding BOB, my Volvo.

The Volvo died. I'm now on the third engine in two years. Yes, my sanity is imperiled. And no, I won't ever do this again! The Kubota from Yanmar Tractor Parts should last me a lifetime. I'm counting on it.

Horseshoe  Beach is where the Volvo quit. It's on the west coast of Florida.

You see the seas started to kick up and I discovered a sad fact. The area above the bookcase contained DVDs all sorted in alphabetical order. Until the boat rocked really hard and they fell down. It's disconcerting (to say the least) to hear a crash and be unable to leave the helm to solve the issue.

I knew from that point on the shelf was a problem to be addressed. And I had the solution at hand.



StarBoard Primer


StarBoard (brand name) is a marine-grade polymer sheet made by King products. It is pronounced Star Board (two words). Basically it never rots. You screw it together. It's great stuff, and easy to cut too.

I use it when I want to prevent chafing. For instance on my new shelf I do not want the stainless hinge against the bulkhead. Thus I'll have a slender piece of polymer as a cushion between the bulkhead and the hinge.


StarBoard comes in 4x8' sheets like plywood. It is also available in a variety of widths and cuts. If you've the room and purse, a full sheet is the least expensive way to go.

You'll be able to find a use for it, guaranteed. And too, it's thin so could be slid under your mattress with ease.


On a boat it's not always what we want. Often the biggest concern is where to put the item. StarBoard is good to have on hand though not essential in my opinion. You can always buy more. If you're like me you probably will do so, sooner than you expect.

Years ago I found some cubes of leftover StarBoard in a woodshop garbage pail. After retrieval I'd drilled a hole through each. Seven of them were tied together with a string. I stored them in my locker with the screws and bolts.

Finally just this week I figured a solution to the DVD's falling. By using three chunks of StarBoard I can prevent the red oak end from sliding out. That was the initial point of failure so I'm hopeful by eliminating that, I've solved the problem. Time will tell if I'm correct.

These are my DVD's on top of the bookcase:

Though I had them wedged in with the red oak side on the right, the shelf still failed. The little slot tracks of teak at the top that held the oak were not enough. The red oak slid forward and then fell. Crash!!! It was a mess, too. (The tracks are more visible in the next large picture, after the box.)

Side Note for the curious: That line keeps the DVDs in place, usually. It's the leftover string from a hooded sweatshirt/jacket. The slide clasp makes tightening the line a breeze.

Slide clasp keeps the line tight and DVDs in place.

The problem was when the waves kicked up the red oak slid out and then everything fell down. To solve that I installed StarBoard stops today. That's a fancy way of saying I screwed in three chunks of StarBoard.

One is at the top blocking the track so the wood can not slide forward. The second is at the bottom and braces the wood in place. I put a third near the bulkhead just in case the board decides to shift out back there. It can't do so now. Knock teak.

And Scooby is very happy.

Scooby is an old favorite. He's been a Christmas tree ornament and now sits up in the corner peeking out at my galley. I like having something of visual interest wherever friends look. It's fun when they notice something that's been there forever. And it pleases me.

That's what I did today, along with a Job Creep that bit me on the transom. More on that, next.

Have you a stash of StarBoard?
It's spiffy stuff. Do you use the real-deal or make substitutions?

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Categories: Boat Talk, Boats, Locations, Vignettes

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