Cataraft Floor Construction Questions
I have a Aire Leopoard that I am getting ready to put a floor in. I have a cloth floor, but I find that I am using the boat most for a river/lake fisher with a 9.9hp kicker. The floor I have is great for more whitewater style uses because it glides over stuff due to alot of flexiability and play and it has a row of holes down the center that really drains water. The flip side is it is a bit hard to walk around on for fishing and the floor drags in the water when I am using the motor and the back ones just gush water through. I was thinking about a trampoline floor, but have about decided to deck it with wood for now. My first question is how impervious to water are the trampoline floors? How easy to walk around on?
My next question regards floor construction. Bascially I am figuring on 1/2" plywood cut to fit, rounded edges, then coated in something like bedliner. Held to the boat by straps. For those that have made one is the 1/2" plywood thick enough or over kill? I also have two speader bars for the boat that I was going to place about 1/3rd of the way back from the front then about 2/3rds of the way back. That will leave the front and back unsupported in the middle. Do I need more supports? If so I can probably make a couple out of the pipe and fittings I have laying around. I would like to keep it as light and simple as possible though. Do I need to add drain holes? For those of you with a wood floor does it keep things dryer?
My main issue is I take a lot of different people out in different conditions and some of them don't like wet feet and I admit it is kind of a pain. During the summer I just run sandals and call it good...but it is getting cooler and being dryer is nicer.
Food For Thought
I take P-Tex cut to fit round off the edges, Roto Zip places for the floor to strap in and add two extra bars for support as well as making it two piece verses one. Runs about $300 per sheet anything from 1/32 -1/2 inch is available Alaska Rubber and Rigging. Same thing Snow Machiners use to coat skies.
Hope the info helps.
P.S. will last forever.
Imade mine out of plywood just like you said and coated it with bedliner stuff. I have been using mine for 3 or 4 years now with no problem. I routered the edges round and mounted D-rings on the end so I could strap them down. I also just used thicker plywood and only have the one cross bar in middle and never have had a problem yet.
How does the 9.9hp motor push your raft. I have the same raft also and I'm looking to get a bigger motor. Also I assume you are running a prop.
The floor works great. As to the motor, if I had to do it again I would probably get a bigger one. The 9.9 will push the raft around at about 7mph but you never really get up on step.
With a bigger motor you can go faster, but the spray coming up from around the floor edges and in from the outside of the tubes will get everyone wet. Been there, done that. Solutions are spotty and can cost more than the motor. You can probably go a little faster without it being an issue, but not much.