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Thread: Floor board question.

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    Member c6 batmobile's Avatar
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    Default Floor board question.

    Im in the process of refurbing my 16' smokercraft aluminum boat. I want to put new floor boards in it because the old ones are getting a little ragged and the wood they are made of is quite heavy. I wanted to do diamond plate steel but a single sheet is 300+ dollars and aluminum is about 500.

    Does anyone have any ideas of what material to use that could save weight but be durable and not so pricy?

    Thanks.
    Makin fur fins and feathers fly.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    A full sheet of 1/2" marine plywood should be around $50 (It's been years since I've bought it so my pricing is probably way off) I would highly recomend coating both sides with 6 oz fiberglass cloth and epoxy for water proofing and to add some stiffness. You're probably looking at $24 for the glass and $50 for the epoxy. Then you'll have to prime and paint it. So all in close to $200.

    If you use marine ply and don't use epoxy glass and just paint it, you'll not get anywhere near the same life out of it.
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    Member c6 batmobile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    A full sheet of 1/2" marine plywood should be around $50 (It's been years since I've bought it so my pricing is probably way off) I would highly recomend coating both sides with 6 oz fiberglass cloth and epoxy for water proofing and to add some stiffness. You're probably looking at $24 for the glass and $50 for the epoxy. Then you'll have to prime and paint it. So all in close to $200.

    If you use marine ply and don't use epoxy glass and just paint it, you'll not get anywhere near the same life out of it.
    How is the weight on that stuff?

    I believe that is what the current floor boards are made out of. Not sure. They arent in horrible shape per say but they are so dang heavy. I wanna estimate that all 3 of them weigh close to 200 lbs and its a small boat so that really affect what is going on with it in the water.
    Makin fur fins and feathers fly.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Depends on the plywood you use, there is spruce, okume, meranti, and their weights differ. It's been years but I think a full 4'X8' sheet runs about 40#'s and a gallon of epoxy and glass would add roughly another pound. That said I think a gallon of epoxy would be excessive but it's been too long for me to remember how much resin a sheet would absorb. Also my prices may be off, more like $75/sheet.

    If you wanted light you could laminate 3/16" ply to 1" foam core and have something that is about the same weight as 3/8" ply and stiffer than 1/2". But you'd have alot of labor into it.

    How wide are your floor boards, or how far apart is whatever structure supports them? If your stringers or whatever supports the floorboards is 24" or closer together you could probably get away with 3/8" ply to save weight and still be strong enough. The deck on my boat spans 28" in the center between stringers and I used 1/2" ply, I wouldn't go any thinner.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    Member c6 batmobile's Avatar
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    I would have to measure. It sounds like you have an entirely different floor setup than what I currently have. Its about 3' between what could be called the "thwarts" or where the seats are currently mounted. There is a square frame made out of 2x4 with a plywood sheed cut and mounted to it that covers the entire area. The hull is a semi v so Im not sure how I would use a smaller piece and just cover between the ribs or "frame". My plan was to just use the same frame and shape of the wood just use the diamond plate instead since it is much lighter and wont absorb water etc until I found out how much a sheet cost.
    Makin fur fins and feathers fly.

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    If the wood is heavy, it may be waterlogged. Take your floorboards out & put them in the garage for a couple of weeks with the heat on & see how much weight they lose. You may be surprised!
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    After you decide on your method of attack, spend 10 bucks on cheap 2x4s and probably 15-20 bucks on a decent tarp...I'm particularly impressed with the quality of the 2 paks @ Costco...build a simple framework and keep that sucker covered up and shedding rain and snow when not in use. If you would do just that alone, you could easily use box store exterior ply, some Zinsser primer and just about any decent garden variety exterior latex paint. You could forget the expense of marine ply and hassle of epoxy and glass. Wash it down after use and allow for some airflow...you'll be golden for about a hundred years. How you take care of it between uses is much more important than what happens on the comparatively few days out of 365 that it actually gets used.

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    Member c6 batmobile's Avatar
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    Yeah its covered with a tarp now but it did blow off last fall during that huge wind/rain storm and the entire inside of the boat was full of water. It fell off the stand and filled up and I had to use a jack just to get it off the ground and drain the forward portion of it. What a mess. The floor boards are in the garage now drying out. Ill see what happens. Looks like it may be time to go shopping.
    Makin fur fins and feathers fly.

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    Some ware I have notes on the difference between using ply-wood and Aluminum diamond plate for and can't find it. You mention not adding any support if you use diamond plate unless you use inch you will need to add extra support.

  10. #10

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    Well, that's a drag. At least if they don't dry out enough you'll have good templates for the new ones. Another thing you might consider is spraying the exposed surfaces with duplicolor bedliner. It can go over a primed surface or prepped fiberglass. Its inexpensive and at most stores in the auto section. Biggest deal is to get the end grain sealed up good so moisture can't attack all the plys at the same time.

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    Yeah I coated the whole bottom of the boat with the bedliner. Looks really good. I may have found some flooring material on craigslist for cheap. We shall see.
    Makin fur fins and feathers fly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by c6 batmobile View Post
    Yeah I coated the whole bottom of the boat with the bedliner. Looks really good. I may have found some flooring material on craigslist for cheap. We shall see.
    That was a wash. Back to the hardware store to see what I can dig up.
    Makin fur fins and feathers fly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by c6 batmobile View Post
    That was a wash. Back to the hardware store to see what I can dig up.
    You are really between a rock and a hard place...all the applicable light weight materials are expensive and plywood
    has only so much time before it begins to break down. Grayak has it right.......Keeping it dry will give you alot more
    life......Remember..Water always find a way!
    If we all agreed....this would be no fun

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    Quote Originally Posted by tabmarine View Post
    You are really between a rock and a hard place...all the applicable light weight materials are expensive and plywood
    has only so much time before it begins to break down. Grayak has it right.......Keeping it dry will give you alot more
    life......Remember..Water always find a way!

    Yeah it looks like plywood is gonna be what I use again. Maybe I will seal it then coat it with truck bed liner. Not sure how well that will work at keeping water out. I just want to come up with an option where I wont be changing it again for a few years.
    Makin fur fins and feathers fly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by c6 batmobile View Post
    Yeah it looks like plywood is gonna be what I use again. Maybe I will seal it then coat it with truck bed liner. Not sure how well that will work at keeping water out. I just want to come up with an option where I wont be changing it again for a few years.
    I would seal the hell out of it with whatever quality exterior sealer you can find.......cut all your pieces to size and dry-fit them then
    apply the seal so you get the top, bottom and all the edges and install them and then put the bedliner on and you should be good
    for several years
    If we all agreed....this would be no fun

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    Quote Originally Posted by tabmarine View Post
    I would seal the hell out of it with whatever quality exterior sealer you can find.......cut all your pieces to size and dry-fit them then
    apply the seal so you get the top, bottom and all the edges and install them and then put the bedliner on and you should be good
    for several years
    This is your most economic and straightforward method for sure. I did a lund last year with half inch treated, cut them to fit, painted the bijeezus out of them with a oil based stain my friend has sitting around, then for the coup de grace I put skid no more on the topsides. There are many other non skid options out there.....flexback....truck liner etc. Coming from a guy who has done a couple floors and stewed way too long over it.....if the boat ain't a work of art.....dont overthink the floor. Just go for light, cheap, waterproof within reason and non skid. Then get back to fishing. Wish I had taken my own advice.....I spent more time thinking about it than it took to do it. (did it in three evenings under a carport in rainy Juneau....used tarps and a shop light to help the paint dry.)

    Check your flotation if that boat has it under the floor.....easy to do as long as you have it all torn up. Don't reuse the wet ply, replace and seal it.

    So, you put bedliner on the outside of the boat?.....the ones I've seen like that had lots of drag due to the texture.....how's yours performing?

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    Sponsor potbuilder's Avatar
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    I have a piece of fiberglass grid decking material i'll try to get a picture of it later. I know its not to cheap but it will last almost forever and has a built in non skid surface. Did a quick search and found this http://www.strongwell.com/products/p..._prod/grating/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch It View Post
    This is your most economic and straightforward method for sure. I did a lund last year with half inch treated, cut them to fit, painted the bijeezus out of them with a oil based stain my friend has sitting around, then for the coup de grace I put skid no more on the topsides. There are many other non skid options out there.....flexback....truck liner etc. Coming from a guy who has done a couple floors and stewed way too long over it.....if the boat ain't a work of art.....dont overthink the floor. Just go for light, cheap, waterproof within reason and non skid. Then get back to fishing. Wish I had taken my own advice.....I spent more time thinking about it than it took to do it. (did it in three evenings under a carport in rainy Juneau....used tarps and a shop light to help the paint dry.)

    Check your flotation if that boat has it under the floor.....easy to do as long as you have it all torn up. Don't reuse the wet ply, replace and seal it.

    So, you put bedliner on the outside of the boat?.....the ones I've seen like that had lots of drag due to the texture.....how's yours performing?
    Yeah I went an picked up the plywood today. Have to try to find the resin then its truck bed lining for me.

    I used a much more lightly textured truck bed liner for the bottom of the hull than your typical linex type truck bed liner. Its from rustoleam and its feels like a very fine sand paper. This spring will be the first time out with it so we will see how it performs. The idea was to keep it from getting beat up on beaching etc. The boat will be powered with a honda 30 horse 4 stroke and its a fairly light boat once I get this floor board issue fixed so hopefully drag wont be a problem with a motor that is a little over powered on a light boat. Im gonna attach one of those plates that goes over the prop as well to hopefully help the motor out. My buddy has one and his boat and it seems to get on step much quicker.

    Once I get her all done Im gonna post a before and after pic. The transformation thus far has been awesome especially since I am under 400 bucks for paint, truck bed liner, and here shortly floor boards and more liner.
    Makin fur fins and feathers fly.

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    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    If you are in Anchorage, head to Plaschem on 2nd or 3rd Ave. Not sure of the exact address but it's close to AK Mill and Feed. They will have all the resin you need.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob B View Post
    If you are in Anchorage, head to Plaschem on 2nd or 3rd Ave. Not sure of the exact address but it's close to AK Mill and Feed. They will have all the resin you need.
    They have moved to Palmer, just off palmer wasilla hwy.

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