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Boat Upgrades/Repairs


PaulB

Question

I have an older aluminum boat. At sometime in the past, the owner took out the bench seats and installed a flat floor and several pedestal seats. The floor and sides of the boat were covered with indoor/outdoor carpet. Now the floor is rotting out and needs replacing. What material do I use for the floor? Can I use reg i/o carpet glue to attach that? I'd like to build a rod locker on one side, maybe a small live-well. Any tips, suggestions, warnings are welcome. Thanks.

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I've done the same thing. Understand that I don't own a high priced boat. I had to replace the floor because it rotted also. I used 3/4" green treated plywood and covered it with indoor/outdoor carpet. Works great. The previous floor was 1/2" plywood and it wasn't treated. Carpet glue and staples work well. A rod box can be made from the same material. For a live well, I converted a cooler. Works great.

Good luck.

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Whatever you do, make sure the floor isn't too wide, and don't force the floor into place. I've seen perfectly good boats ruined because someone forced a floor into place and popped some of the rivets. Now the boat leaks all over the place.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

While you've got the floor out check the stringers for rot and and seal them along with sealing your plywood. Clean out the drain holes in the ribs and if there wasn't any flotation added in the original conversion add it now. You can use a 2 part foam or use a closed cell sheet foam.

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A couple of words of advise. In the thousands of boats we have had the floor apart on, none of them had green-treated plywood in them. Granted, cost is one factor, but the other is that the green-treated is more prone to warpage. I'm not saying you can't use it and have no problems, I'm just saying that your chances of warpage are more likely. Also, when we put in the spray-foam, we have found it a good idea to drill a number of small holes in the plywood for the excess foam to escape as it expands. I have seen plywood pushed right up through the screws by the expanding foam. Hope this helps.

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Steve @ Bakken's Boat Shop www.bakkensboatshop.com

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I've done this kind of thing to 3 different boats, I use 3/8 exterior grade plywood, lighter and I think it lasts as long as green treated, plus I hate beathing green saw dust, YUCK!!!!!

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Have a good one!
CWMN

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Thanks for all the replies. Just curious - the carpet in there now runs right up the sides of the boat - is that a good idea or just cover the floor? Do I put a water proofing substance on the plywood, seal the seams in the floor with caulk, etc? I have some pink sheet foam insulation pieces from the basement - will that work for flotation? Also, could use some new seats/pedestals - are there boat "junkyards" that might be a source for used equipment? Thanks again.

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I have done the same thing in the past with an old boat. I used 3/4" green treated plywood (you should use marine grade green treated) and I sealed everything with a couple coats of sealer. And what ever you do don't run out and pick up some cheap indoor/outdoor carpet. It will not hold up at all. Get some marine carpet which you may be able to pick up at a carpet place like I did. You will have a hard time getting the glue off the sides of the boat so you may as well re-carpet the sides. This is from my experience.
Shayne

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I totally agree with Steve Bakken. Green treated plywood warps. 3/4" won't warp as much as 1/2" or 3/8". It's also more expensive. If you get a high grade wood your chances of warp are way less, but you will put out more $$$$.

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Properly installed BC or BS grade plywood should last you as long as you own the boat. Marine grade is very expensive, harder to find, and never (to the extent of my experience) used on the floor of a boat. The only place I've ever seen it on a boat is on some Lund bench seats, and on some dashboards. The real secret is just good preventative maintainence on the boat. Keeping it dry, well ventilated, well drained, etc.

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Steve @ Bakken's Boat Shop www.bakkensboatshop.com

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To waterproof plywood, just buy any fiberglass resin (wal mart sells it too), and brush it all over wood, it will completely seal it. I think treated wood is too heavy and has some moisture inside (the treatment), regular plywood is lighter and dryer, if you coat it with resin, it will never rot.
I would fold carpet under plywood and use good outdoor carpet and glue, even Fleet Farm or Menards have few types, but don't get the cheapest ones, they are really bad.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

I'd agree with Valv and Steve here. the BC, BS plywood is what you want sealed with resin or an epoxy sealer is the way to go. Green treated may be rot resistant but it doesn't take sealers well. Once you cover that floor up with carpet it'll take a long time to dry out if the wood hasn't been sealed. Even after going through all the precautions to seal the floor the boat should be stored under a cover.

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Anyone know if there are any regulations on boat conversions, such as taking out the seats(with foam) etc. I was always hesitant to mess with the floatation in a manufactured boat, cause it would mess up the safety of it. I bought a boat with seats out and put the seats back in for that reason. Any coast guard reg. on that? Thanks for your input.

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The main thing is that the boat has tp remain boeyant if it is completely filled with water. A good rule of thumb here is that for every cubic foot you take out somewhere, it has to be put back in somewhere else. There are always extra places to put extra foam into. Up under the gunwhales. under the floor, etc. If you do this, you should be good to go.

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Steve @ Bakken's Boat Shop www.bakkensboatshop.com

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