1991 1648 Tracker Sportsman 16


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Nothing you can really do about it if you can;t access the bottom of the deck when its in place. You just have to make a decision.

And yes, hydro turf just gets glued down.
I carpeted mine outside the boat and then screwed it down. On my first build I used a small headed screw and for the most part the screw head is buried in the carpet. On the mod I'm currently doing I did a couple things to avoid screw heads. On the bow deck I screwed from the underside through the hatches. Basically I pre-drilled holes in my aluminum bracing where I wanted to screw the deck down and then screw from the underside through the hatches. In the midsection I decided not to screw the deck down because the console will old it down.

Just my two cents worth but I think you can get a nicer carpeting job outside the boat. No need to workabout tight corne cuts and having the carpet pull up eventually. You won't need too many screw to hold the deck down, anyway. Gravity will do most of the work. You just don't want it to slide around.
Another option for screwing down the decking is to use stainless screws with the stainless finish washers for a nice professional look. They are exposed, but the finish washers make for a nice "finished" look. This way, removing the decking is quick and easy.

Here's a couple suppliers that had pictures of what I'm talking about.



Just my 2 cents!
Good call 270

I'm doing something similar, but its way easier. Home Depot and lowes carry a brand of screws call Teks. Their lath screws (you can get both wood and self-tapping styles) have a finish washer look to them, but they're all one solid piece. After deciding it would make my life easier just to deal with screw heads, I decided I'd go with these again.

The pic below is of the type of screw I'm talking about. However, I've only seen them sold in stainless steel... something I doubt anyone will complain about :wink:


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I screwed my deck down today with #6 screws and they buried into the carpet perfectly. I challenge anyone to find them......I just hope I don't ever have to removed the wood again. In all honesty, I think a lot depends on the carpet. I used the Cabela's Deluxe Marine carpet and it is a lot thicker than the stuff at Home Depot or Lowe's so the screws hide really easily. I'm be done tomorrow hopefully and I'll post some pics.
I was just thinking that nussy. Its all about high high the fibers sit off of the backing. The lowes crap is paper thin... you actually can see through it when you hold it up to the light :idea:
Well, Next to nothing was accomplished for almost a month, but I'm back underway. The framing is very near completion(OMG.. what a chore. Can you say "overkill"? lmao), the livewell system is completed, the bulk of the electrical system is going in later this morning, and I have 5 sheets of the 1/4" composite decking material I wrote about earlier. I need carpet, hinges, and the deck fasteners.
Nussy- I think I'm going to take your advice and pay a little more for the more plush carpet. It'll bug me to no end if my deck ends up looking like a pair of 70's studded jeans or some crap like that.

I did find these screws though and I think they will be just the ticket.. https://www.mcfeelys.com/product/10...ad-410-Stainless-Steel-Trailer-Decking-Screws It's either those or.. https://www.mcfeelys.com/product/12...ad-410-Stainless-Steel-Trailer-Decking-Screws I'm leaning toward the wafer heads though for both the head size and because of available length. They will have increased visibility, but I'm hoping with the thicker carpet they will still be relatively hidden. I might buy a box of each and try them both then pick one though.

I'll get some fresh pics up very soon Dye. :lol:
What is the best place to get aluminum angle and sheet. Are there any problems with using square tubing with framing or is angle just easier to rivet together.
chris8126 said:
What is the best place to get aluminum angle and sheet. Are there any problems with using square tubing with framing or is angle just easier to rivet together.

I bought mine from a local metal supply company called Speedy Metals. Copper and Brass Sales is another place that sells the tube and angle, and I think they may have distribution points all over the country. These are examples of places to buy it new though. If you want to spend a little more time and energy looking around, you may be able to get it cheaper from a scrap yard. Check with companies that buy scrap metal. You'll save $ that way if you're able to find one. I have about $340 in tube and angle so far, so yes, it can really add up fast. If you buy it though, make sure you tell them you want the "square" stuff. I think it's 6063. It also comes in 6061, but that grade has a large internal radius and a big external radius on each end of the angle. The cross-section looks something like this..

Not very good for building with

I used a combination of both sq tube and angle. The angle is cheaper by the foot. It's lighter. You don't need the added strength of tube in all places. If you want to connect two tubes on the same plane and make a "T" joint, how would you connect them? I also (as others have done on here) used the angle to make little 1.5" brackets.

Hope this helps!
Thanks for the help bosshogg, I also was wondering what size and thickness angle and tubing you had used and what type and size of rivets. Sorry for all the questions, your framing looked great and I wanted to do something similar. I had thought about welding all the joints but I think rivets would be better. My spool gun on my mig welder is bulky and welding aluminum is a bit tougher than I thought. I have used a friends big daddy rivet gun with 1/4" rivets but the gun is pretty big to get in some parts of the boat. How did the composite floor work, could be worth looking into if you had good luck. I would love to see some pics of it in the boat. Thanks for your help.
I used 1.5"x1.5"x.125" wall for both the tube and the angle.

The rivets I used are 3/16" aluminum pop rivets with a grip of .125" thru .250" or so. Just make sure to lay out your framing in such a way that doesn't require you to rivet through more than 2 plates at once.

I ran into many situations where I had "boxed" myself out of riveting by not following the seemingly simple rule of building from the bottom-up and inside-out. I was boxed-out due to lack of clearance for either the drill or rivet gun or both, and needed to drill out some rivets to remove a piece or three so I could get at what was needed. I'm pushing 400 rivets. Last I knew, there was a guy selling them on Ebay for $20 for 250 rivets. My local hardware store sells them for $7 for 50.

I did a little drilling and sawing on the composite decking tonight and it cuts like butter. Once I can get out there and tidy up a bit and I finish up a couple of small remaining framing tasks, I'll post some fresh pics.
Well, here we are almost 7 years later, and I'm embarrassed to say that shortly after my last post, I caught the golf bug again. So that was the effective end of my conversion project (I can only obsess over one thing at a time). Hey. but at least I got my handicap down to an 8.3! 8) Anyway, here's a rough idea of where it sits right now, although I do have several of the hatch lids made and carpeted that aren't shown in the pics. I used flush-mount hatch handles and stainless steel piano hinge.

As you can see here, this thing is all aluminum. Completely water proof and sturdy as hell!

The material used to mount the livewell switch below is an example of the skateboard ramp composite material that was used for the decking. Also completely waterproof and UV resistant!

Now to the reason for the post update...

The wife is screaming to get this thing out of here. Either put it in storage or sell it. I'm leaning toward putting it into storage, but a coworker is interested in possibly buying it as-is; he's a handy guy and finishing the last few little things won't be a problem for him. This sale includes all materials (far more than enough to finish the project up), and I have absolutely no clue what a fair price might be and I'm hoping some of you can help me out.

So what do you guys think? What do you think the market will bear? What's a good price that ensures we both get a fair deal? Maybe one price with the outboard and one without? I can always sell that separately.

Thanks in advance for any help / advice you can provide!
Just joined the forum and found BossHogg's fabulous project! He references a composite skateboard ramp material used for the decking. What is that and where can you get it? Thanks!
dgmckenna said:
Just joined the forum and found BossHogg's fabulous project! He references a composite skateboard ramp material used for the decking. What is that and where can you get it? Thanks!

Google "Ramp Armor" & "Skatelite". These are composite sheets used to make skateboard ramps, pipes, half tubes, or whatever they are called. They are very pricey compared to ply but then you are paying for some high tech material.
Thanks LDUBS. Found it. Is this material lighter than plywood? And how far can you span without sagging under body weight? I don't mind paying more for a lighter and waterproof material.
Oh boy, that I don't know. Maybe check with the mfg. I expect it would be heavy, but that is just a wild guess. You might also want to search here on tin boats for different floor materials folks have used.

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