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Thread: replacing floors in boat?

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    Member kobuk's Avatar
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    Default replacing floors in boat?

    i have an aurora boat and need to replace the floors. they are getting wet soaked and warping, they also seem a little heavy. i'm not really sure what is in there. i pulled up the boards and was expecting plywood, but it almost looks like
    mdf. i really doubt that is what it is but does anyone have any idea what it could be or what would be the best material to replace the floors with? the floors are covered with a marine floor vinyl. i was kind of thinking aluminum but it might be slick, even diamond plated. another option i was thinking was plywood and instead of that vinyl covering, have it sprayed with a bed liner type coating. any suggestions would be great! thanks

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    Member SkinnyRaven's Avatar
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    Check your warranty papers on your boat before you spend the money to do that yourself, Hewes Craft has a lifetime warranty on the floor boards and ten years to the second owner.

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    Member akjeff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kobuk View Post
    i have an aurora boat and need to replace the floors. they are getting wet soaked and warping, they also seem a little heavy. i'm not really sure what is in there. i pulled up the boards and was expecting plywood, but it almost looks like
    mdf. i really doubt that is what it is but does anyone have any idea what it could be or what would be the best material to replace the floors with? the floors are covered with a marine floor vinyl. i was kind of thinking aluminum but it might be slick, even diamond plated. another option i was thinking was plywood and instead of that vinyl covering, have it sprayed with a bed liner type coating. any suggestions would be great! thanks
    I too have a Boulton (Aurora) boat. The floor is junk. It is, like you said, some sort of MDF product and HEAVY. My floor warped pretty bad in the aft section near the transom. My floor is up now, for fuel tank modification, and I am having a hard time deciding to put it back down. My current floor is relatively easy to clean, but is also very slick when it gets slimed or herring oil spilled on it.

    I replaced the floor in my river boat last year. I used 1/2 marine grade plywood from Spenard Builders Supply. I primed both sides and top coated with floor/porch paint. Instead of adding the traction sand I sprinkled it on top of the paint and lightly rolled over it with the roller. I used 4X the recommended sand. The boards turned out great. Very very good traction. A little hard to clean, but light weight.

    I am considering this for my Boulton now. The marine plywood was $60 a 4x8 sheet and about $100 for paint and supplies. My river boat took 4 sheets. So that was like $340 with paint. I just priced 1/8 aluminum diamond plate, I think it was $195 a 4x8 sheet $295 a 5x10 sheet. I wrote it down but misplaced the piece of paper.

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    Member idakfisher's Avatar
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    Last year I replaced the floor in my 20' sled with marine plywood. I treated the wood with a preservative (marine plywood is not waterproof), then several coats of sealant, then I glued on the same kind of vinyl that that was on the floor originally.

    It took a lot of work and money by the time I was done. I now wish that I had spent a little more and just put down 3/16 aluminum. My salt boat has diamond plate and it never seems slick. And aluminum will never rot out.

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    I used the green treated plywood and filled all the knots with Marine Tex. Then I sanded it down and painted it with marine enamel. Bet the bed liner would be great.

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    Member c-bolt's Avatar
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    I dont think you can go wrong with the diamond plate. Its light, durable, and cleans easily. I had a vinyl covered wood floor in my last boat, and the diamond plate in my new boat. I will never have another boat without diamond plate again. just my opinion...

    Joe
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    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    I had some vinyl coated coated floor boards, took them out and had the topsides sprayed with bedliner. They turned out very nice, the plywood was 5/8" CDX.
    In hindsite I maybe should have replaced the plywood with a better grade. The cdx is holding up fine after 3 seasons, but some treated plywood would be even better.
    I needed to stick to with 5/8 because some of my floor supports are 16" apart and I think 1/2" would be a little springy at that spacing.
    The bedliner does add some weight and cost a few bucks.
    Diamondplate would be nice, but maybe a little noisier?
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    Member kobuk's Avatar
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    i called boulton and asked what the floor boards are made of and he called it 5/8 MDO. he said it is a marine board for floors. the aluminum sounds nice for upkeep, especially if it isn't slick. how thick would i need to go? would it be lighter than 5/8 plywood?
    the marine plywood with bedliner sounds pretty durable, maybe with some roll on type. it seems that painting plywood would just peel. i like the vinyl covering for cleanup but it does gouge or tear if you slide a cooler and find a little pebble. has anyone tried to quiet up their aluminum boat? how are the ones with aluminum floors?

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    Member idakfisher's Avatar
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    If you use aluminum, you may need to add some bracing to the floor structure if the floor is on 2' centers. I think that 3/16" is the thinest material I would use. And, to quiet the aluminum, apply a generous bead of silcone to all points of contact before the aluminum is installed,

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    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kobuk View Post
    i called boulton and asked what the floor boards are made of and he called it 5/8 MDO. he said it is a marine board for floors. the aluminum sounds nice for upkeep, especially if it isn't slick. how thick would i need to go? would it be lighter than 5/8 plywood?
    the marine plywood with bedliner sounds pretty durable, maybe with some roll on type. it seems that painting plywood would just peel. i like the vinyl covering for cleanup but it does gouge or tear if you slide a cooler and find a little pebble. has anyone tried to quiet up their aluminum boat? how are the ones with aluminum floors?
    I did the weight comparison between plywood and diamond plate a few years back and it seems like the wood was lighter for the most part compared to 1/8", but the bedliner is heavy also. I think 1/2" would be a little light if your floor supports are 16" apart. As mentioned if 24" O.C. then I would use 3/4" wood or 3/16" aluminum.
    Silicone is a good idea to provide some cushion, I used some camper tape & that would make it a little easier when-if you have to remove.
    What I would do is figure out how far apart your floor supports are & that will determine how thick of a material you will need, whether it be alum or wood. Then you can easily look up the weights of each and see the difference.
    By the time its all said and done I think it will be a minor consideration. Just pick the one you like.

    I am happy with the coated wood floor, Its quiet and I had the wood already, I like the dark color as it gains heat. If you do much summer recreating, there is the rare occasion when you (or yer kids)could be swimming and getting in and out of the water and the aluminum will always be cold compared to the wood.
    The aluminum will certainly outlast the wood and there is a lot of "bling" factor..........

    Choices....choices....aint America great....!
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  11. #11

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    I don't think plywood has any business in an alloy boat. There is a new flooring product from King, called Starboard Anti-Skid that looks perfect for metal boats. It comes in a few colors and thicknesses up to 1 inch. I haven't used it personally but it looks like it's just as easy to use as regular starboard. Anyhow if anyone uses it, let me know, I would love to hear about it.

    My boat has aluminum flooring with T-bar stiffeners and is removable so you can service or remove the fuel tank without cutting up the boat. I added Sound Down, 1.5lb per Sq ft insulation between the ribs. Even better than cutting down the water noise and heat transfer, it dulled the sound you normally get when stepping on aluminum. You get a dull thud when you step hard onto panel now, with no reverberation. I used 3m safety walk strips on the top, for traction. I was going to use Alwgrip paint with griptex but safteywalk tape is easier to replace when it wears, and I was able to do it myself in about two hours and one 10th the cost. If you didn't want to get carried away with foam, Silent Running SR500 paint would probably have a similar dulling effect on the metal.





    Bob

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    Member akjeff's Avatar
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    Bob

    Nice floor panels. Those look great. Did you do it yourself? Do you have pictures of the topside.

  13. #13

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    No those came with the boat but were not finished. I will take some better pictures of the top this week. The 3m and safety walk tapes are really easy to use and come in several grades. I think I used the 3000 series which uses rubber for grip vs their more aggressive non skid that uses a mineral based non skid that is pretty hard on bare feet. I haven't mastered cutting it yet. I use the die cut pieces so they look a lot more professional than I could manage on my own. The deck screws are countersunk under the strips on the right and left so if I need to access the tank I can just pull up the two 1 inch wide strips and not tear everything up. The front panel is not screwed in so I can access the large storage void under the floor fwd of the tank. There is a product called "3M edge sealing compound" that is used along the edges of these tapes that prevents them from coming up and seems to really do the trick.

    Bob

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    I forgot to add the picture.


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    Member kobuk's Avatar
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    i got some quotes on price for both the wood and aluminun aheets. both are 4x8. the 5/8 mdo runs 47.00 and weighs 53#, the 5/8 marine plywood is 107.00 and weighs 44#, 1/2 marine plywood is 55.00 and weighs 41#. i don't think that 1/2 will be thick enough even though it is half the price, and they are out of 5/8 plywood. the aluminun sheets are 373.00 for 3/16 and weigh 91# and the 1/8 is 248.00 and weighs 60#. again i don't know if 1/8 would cut it or not. someone mentioned that you have to seal the marine plywood, what does it need sealed with? quite the price difference even with adding sealant, bedlinner or vinyl coating. the aluminum sounds more maintance free, but how is it kneeling on the diamond plating and use like that?

    yes, too many choices

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    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    How far apart are your floor supports?
    I reused my plywood which was CDX grade, probably would not be my first choice again, but unless you are putting 100's of hours on the boat every year It will last a long time. Another choice would be AWW (all weather wood) treated plywood, it would be cheaper than the marine grade and more durable than CDX or AC.
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
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