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Thread: Aluminum Floor Question

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    Member kobuk's Avatar
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    Default Aluminum Floor Question

    I am going to replace my floor boards this fall and right now I have wood floors covered with vinyl. I like that they are easy to clean, warm to touch and relatively quiet but not very durable and do eventually get water logged. I am considering aluminum and was wondering if anyone switched from wood to aluminum or had another boat with one or the other, what they thought of going to aluminum? I'm worried about being noisy? Cold? Etc? I really like the thought of it, especially the durability and looks like it would be easy to maintain. Was thinking diamond plate for grip so I won't have to paint? Any experience would be apreciated. Thanks.

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    Thanks, I did read that thread but didn't want to change the subject. I'm a little more curious to hear from someone who has had both and what their thoughts are on the differences. Basically if there are enough advantages of the aluminum over wood for not just durability but also creature comforts like feel under feet and noise, etc. We like to camp out a lot so those are important too.

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    Member akdeweyj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kobuk View Post
    Thanks, I did read that thread but didn't want to change the subject. I'm a little more curious to hear from someone who has had both and what their thoughts are on the differences. Basically if there are enough advantages of the aluminum over wood for not just durability but also creature comforts like feel under feet and noise, etc. We like to camp out a lot so those are important too.
    I replaced the wood in my old SeaRunner with 3/16" diamond plate aluminum, caulked all the edges, put camper tape between the DP & the structure and replaced all of the water logged sprayed in foam with closed cell board. I can't say that there was much difference in the sound although I did consider using limp mass insulation for its soundproofing qualities but wienied out at the cost. The floor was sturdier, cleaner & on sunny days it was a lot warmer + you could work on your tan!

    Be sure to caulk the edges so that all of the water & gurry go back to the bilge instead of under the floor. Sikaflex from SBS works good.
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    Member kobuk's Avatar
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    When you switched to aluminum, did you use the same type of fasteners? Right now mine just uses stainless sheet metal screws. I think the structure underneath would be too thin to tap threads so I figured I would go back with the same type of screw just shorter and go with a pan head. Why the canopy tape? Is it a sound fix or does it help hold tension up on the fasteners? I've heard of that before but not sure what the reason was.

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    If your structure is that thin you may need to make it thicker to keep the screws from pulling out and add more cross bracing to keep the flooring from sagging.

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    I put 1/8" rubber strips under the aluminum on all the cross members, helps to quiet down, then I sprayed it with dark gray bed liner, much quieter, it will not water log and is very firm to stand on. I used 1/4" self tapping stainless steel screws, round head. It would be good to caulk the sides and let all the goo just run to the stern of the boat to be removed by the bilge pump. I did not do that, I cut larger holes in the ribs to let the water get to the stern easier. Seems to be working out.

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    If any of these cookie-cutter boats would move up .160 sides, they could actually have a true self-bailing deck and all this horror would go away. I have seen some amazing mischief under those deck boards. I know it's a price point thing but I've never really understood it for it's entirely a false economy. Yes, it would raise the price 2-3k or more in a production scenario but I've seen WAY more costly damage done by that method. I've seen longitudinal stringers in some of these older boats that had separated from the hull that were basically unweldable.

    End of rant. To the OP, no, if you put the plate over the wood it will not be a wit louder and most likely quieter. Chose 5052 alloy (Alaska Steel) and not 3003 or 6061 which have more copper in the alloy and thus are less corrosion resistant in a marine environment. Be aware that if water does get (and it will) between the plating and wood and is allowed to fester, the aluminum will return to its native components over time. One of the best details you can bring to bear, though expensive, is to fiberglass or epoxy/fiber COMPLETELY around the boards, better yet, Corecell or equivalent. BUT you still have the issue about fasteners allowing moisture in. One can obviate that by using large 'button' washers with caulk under them.

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    Member kobuk's Avatar
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    I wasn't thinking of putting the aluminum over the wood. It was to replace the wood. Thanks for all of the tips and ideas. It was suppose to be an off season project but a leaking fuel tank after the 4th trip out this year made me strip it all out. Problem is now I have to spend some cash on the new tank, but the floors are out... It's only money right? I think I'll decide after I get my estimate which should be this week. Fingers crossed.

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    We posted on all this a while back. I have a 24' Hewes that runs year round here. water taxi duty 7 days a week in summer and winter king fishing fall/winter/spring to the tune of 1200 plus hrs every year.
    I replaced the factory vinyl covered plywood (was waterlogged) with new 3/4 plywood.
    Cut to fit, primed and 2 coats of black Speedliner on all sides/edges. Caulked the edges and seams with Sika 291 fast cure. It's on its 3rd year and has held up; propane tanks, firewood, camping gear, shoveling snow/scraping ice and all kinds of stuff dumped on it and people jumping down in the boat from dock height (my favorite) and its in as good a shape as when we installed it.
    For the cost and keeping the boat quiet, durability this has proven above and beyond to be pretty awesome.
    Check out Quickwater Adventure water taxi/transport services: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Quick...37553606260978

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