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Considerations for replacing a pontoon boat floor?



I have a 1977 20' pontoon boat i bought used this spring. the floor is not rotten but there are some spots that are cracked and sink down when you step.

I'm thinking about replacing the floor. I can't afford to hire it done after having spent on the boat, a new motor and everything.

If I were to do this do you have any recommendations? Should I use treated plywood or marine plywood. Is there much cost savings / reason to use treated?. Is it okay to just do part of the boat?

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I'm in the process right now of replacing the entire deck on a 1981 pontoon. About 5 years ago I noticed a couple of soft spots.
At that time I just screwed on some pieces of treated plywood from underneath, that lasted 'till now.

People on this site suggest using standard BC grade plywood and coating the top with fiberglass resin. They say treated plywood will warp and crack.

I'm going to use marine plywood. It's spendy, but will last and save me a lot of labor time and mess.

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I was almost in the same situation as you are now. I though I had to replace the flooring when I decided to restore my 1981 20' pontoon. I mean I stripped everything off, the older furniture, carpet, everything! The furniture was falling apart, you couldn't even sit on it!

So I went ahead taking everything off, saving the railing. I planned on cutting the railling about 3 feet shorter so I'd have some casting on the deck.

Here are the pictures I took during the process of restoring my boat.

This is after I took everything off of the floor except the console because I was a bit nervous with the sterring cable in it along with other wires for everything.

And this one was the hardest of all. I had to scrap with a putty knife and heating gun to get the **** carpet off. You can see that I'm almost done, balling up the carpet as I scrap and pull! It took me almost a full day to beltsand off the glue! It took 12 very course (40 grit) belt to do it!

This one what it looked like after I figured out how to take the throttle off to pull the cable off through the console and put it back on so I don't forget to take it off again!

That's after the carpet has finally been installed. I put on the trolling motor on just to get an idea where I'd put in the front seats..planning as I go!

I decided to shine up the logs by experimenting cleaning products..that didn't work till I tried the rubbing compound to polish the logs. You can see the difference!

This is what it looks like finished. You noticed the front gate is back almost 3 feet from where it used to be. I wanted some space up front so I could cast and control the trolling motor from front.

This shows you where I welded back on where I cut off 3 feet of railing to make room for the front. I also used pop rivits for the aluminum siding.

This photo was taken at Lake Winni up north with my family. I was taken with my daughter Gabby coming back from fishing our limit of northerns. You can see that the pontoon is much heaver than it was before. With all the new furniture and bigger gas tanks in the back has quite added the weight.

Just a few weeks ago I found some logs to replace the ones on now. The ones on now are 18 inches in diameter and 20' feet long..I bought the logs from hsolist are 23 inches in diameter and 22 feet long. In my opinion, this would help much better, keeping the balance much better. Will be installing the logs sometime this month...Actually I might be doing it this fall after all the fishing is done first!

If you have some questions, I can try help you by giving advice.


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Nice job! Looks great. Hope mine turns out as good.

I did the tear off last weekend. Took it down more than yours. Removed the console, steering, controls. Took off the plywood decking with the carpet attached so I didn't have to struggle removing the carpet separate like you did. Also removed the rotting transom wood and the sides/railing.

Had it stripped down in 8 hours. Just 2 pontoon tubes and frame left. The easiest and quickest was the sides/railing, all bolts were accessible. The floor and console were another story. Fasteners not easy to get to. Ended up cutting them, drilling and prying them off.

I took a "before" picture and one of it stripped down to nothing too. I'll take one when it's done and maybe post them like you did. Won't be as fancy as yours, it's a small (16') basic 'toon. Never had furniture, going to add 2 fishing seats and lights (didn't have either).

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wow. awesome work. looks like more work than i was anticipating but should be worth it in the end. I wonder how much value that adds to a pontoon. should be worth almost as much as a new one shouldn't it?

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Wavey Davey,
If I could do it all over again, one thing I'd change is the flooring. I should have added aluminum instead of redoing the floor. The floor wasn't really that bad to begin with. Got lucky with the floor. Reason I really wanted the aluminum is that it's forever, you know? Oh well.

I used the rubbing compound on the pontoons, it took 4 bottles of that automotive rubbing compound. After you buff the whole one side with the compound then I grab a different clean pad and buff it to a shine. It worked after I've tried many cleaning products that wouldn't get that white calcium crust off.

It took me almost all winter long to do it. 3 hours a night after work. It's a little bit there and here and there each night. Then getting the furniture from Geldert's in Maple Grove...Here's the link below...
I spent about $2000 alone on the furniture. It's nice. All plastic framing and good work on the upholstery. And you can pick out what color you'd want too.

By the time I'm really done with it, with the new tubes, I'll have invested about 4,200 bucks into it. I paid $900 bucks for it 2 years ago. Even though I've invest lots of money into it, it probably will be worth, I'm not sure...$3,000 bucks? See, I've got it the way I want the layout to be, nothing like those fancy sectional furniture types..I want to fish and still have lots to room to kick back and enjoy it.

If I was going to get a brand new pontoon boat of my dreams, I'd go for one of those tri-pontoon with those 3 logs underneath with a whopping 200 hp Mercury, with NOTHING on the pontoon, I'd add the furniture the WAY I want my layout to be. It'd be a perfect fishing machine..picture this pontoon like a double wide Lund boat! rolleyes.gif Yeah, Yeah, I'm crazy, but hey that's me!

Good luck on your boat and let me know how it goes with you!!


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I helped a friend get car detailing business going. We used a lot of rubbing compound on the chrome and painted surfaces. I was better cleaning carpets and upholstery.

You could have used vinegar or The Works Tub and Shower to take off the white buildup. Still a lot of work after that but your pontoons are really shining.

I like the idea of a doublewide Lund. How would you trailer something like that?

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I never thought of that. Vinegar. mmm. Maybe should have used that first to get that crusty white build up, then it wouldn't be so hard to get them tubes shiny. See, I had to go over 3 times just to get that shine. I used that extra course rubbing compound just to get that white build up out, then on the third time, I used the finer rubbing compound to eliminate the swirl makrs from before and adding abit more shine to it. Then using a buffer to really bring it out.

Thanks for your kind words.
What I really would like to do is to get a wide base trailer. A Tandum trailer. The trailer I have now is fine for short trips. But I get a bit nervous whenever there's big winds or semis passing me. You'd see the boat sway a bit. I've taken the pontoon witht that narrow trailer to Winni twice and to Leech 3 times! I feel like I'm running out of luck before something bad happens.

Do any of you guys might know anyone with wide tandem used trailer for the pontoon?


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mountaindew, with the ability you have displayed, and with the cost of new, and the lack of availability of used trailers, you may want to do what i did...build your own bunk trailer. it was pretty easy with a couple simple tools that i have a feeling are at your disposal, a chop saw and a wirefeed welder.
i first used it for an old steel pontoon that i rebuilt some years ago, and i needed away to get it around.
i used 2" x 4"x 3/16th" thick steel tubing for the main frame, and 1/4" x 2" angle for the cross members to tie it together.
the bunks were easy as well, with 3 inch square tubing for pockets along the side, square tubing that slid inside, and 1/2" x 3" flat strap that was bent and welded to the top of the square inserts to recieve the 2x4's that are the bunks.
i know without pictures, this may sound a little sketchy, but the point is, i felt the same way as you, and did not want a narrow crank down trailer, so i built what i wanted. i put a trailer house axel that i got cheap, but i had to do some measuring, and come up with a steel/ rubber wheel seal, and trailer house axels have only a plastic dust seal.
since that old steel "six point barge" i have replaced it with a 24 foot alluminum pontoon. i had to add four feet in length to the trailer, and set the axel back. it still works as good as it did, and i tell you with a set of rear guides, it lands as easy as any boat, with the exception that i have to have enough water depth at the landing to float it off. this is not a problem most any where i go.
nice job on the toon smile.gif

an "all chapters, charter member" jigglestick I.B.O.T.#5 have you clamped today???

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