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What to use for boat floor besides plywood ??

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I'm putting a new floor in my boat. The marine plywood is rotten, soft, or spongy in several places.

I'd like to use something other than plywood to avoid this in the future. So would like a material that would hold up to frequent exposure to water !!

Of course the other important factors are weight and strength. I've considered hyfax or marlite. Any opinions on these two materials? or any other ideas on what to look at?

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How old was the floor?
I replaced a plywood floor with new green treated plywood and I think it should last 10 years or so. The boards that seems to be worse were near the back where water settles so maybe you could make sure you got a water pump installed...

How about using teak wood? That wood is made special for sailboats and it holds up great to sun and water?

Plastic material....
I am not sure...it might be really expensive to buy a thick quality plastic...but look into it who knows?

If you go the wood route maybe coat it with some of Cabellas marine carpet. That stuff works great.

Just some ideas....I debated that wood thing too but found wood was easy to work with and by making sure the water did not settle on the wood too long it should hold up.

FYI I had a 16ft lund with 25 johnson.
Swill

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Depending on how much you wish to invest, marine vinyl is the way to go. It will never rot, easy to clean, will outlast the boat.

It is often the flooring of choice for guides ordering new boats or rebuilding the old dependable one.


Ed "Backwater Eddy" Carlson

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[This message has been edited by Backwater Eddy (edited 01-21-2003).]

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That super slick polypropelene should make a great floor. A little water and fish slime and it will be slicker than snail snot!! grin.gif

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Green treated plywood is a good choice of material. It will last a good many years. One of the best materials I've heard of is the scrap flooring that comes out of commercial airplanes, like Northwest airliners. Apparantly they use a honeycomb like plastic resin material, but finding it is tough. Wish I had more info on it.

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I built a casting platform out of green-treat plywood. Before I glued the carpet on, I painted the complete board (twice) with some expoxy type industrial floor paint. Water just beads and runs off nicely.
Maybe you could put a coat of some type of sealer on before you lay the carpet on your new floor as extra protection.

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Depending on size and where your supports are located, a 1/2" 4x8 sheet of polypropylene goes for around $100 and might be an option for you. I found supporting it every 16"(+-) to be rigid with minimal deflection. Do a search at Google on polypropylene to find out more info and how it may work for.

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A quality marine grade plywood, look for the real teak/mahogany/cypress stuff, it cost a little more, coat it with at least 3 coats of quality marine "spar" varnish, and it should last a long time. Less expensive and lighter weight than any other material.

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Thanks for the suggestions so far guys.
The boat is a 1990 Sylvan backtroller, the original floor was marine treated plywood with carpet. I'm glad it lasted 12 seasons as I think every year beyond 10 is a bonus.

I'm planning to keep this boat for at least another 15 years (maybe 20) and I really don't want to be replacing a plywood floor again after I turn 60 !

Yes I will carpet the new floor and am considering something like polypropylene. I found a place in Hutchinson that workes with UHMW (ultra high molecular weight). This is the stuff that Hyfax is made of, so I'm also considering that.

With aluminum, I'm afraid that it will sag in the middle of the floor if there is too much weight in the center pedestal seat. Not good if you have an under-floor gas tank!

Still open to advice . . . keep 'em comin'.

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Yes, the polypropylene would be slippery when wet. One could assume you'd cover it with carpet. wink.gif This is only one option of many that one could use to prevent their floor from ever rotting out.

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