Plywood for flooring

Douglasdzaster

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For what it's worth, I have had extremely good success with cutting my plywood, and they spraying it with Thompson's Wood Preserver. It has lasted for years and years for me, so far.

I am about to add a floor to a 1648 Tracker I just picked up. I find that cut pile marine carpet doesn't grab hooks like the closed-loop stuff. Just a suggestion. I like it more than the vinyl flooring because it is quieter in the back coves, and more comfortable underfoot, especially if you like to go barefoot in the summer.
That’s the route I was headed and this morning the admiral (who over sees my boat budget) said to spend money on the epoxy to insure that it last. I didn’t argue.
I have had the carpet boxed up in a roll for a while waiting. And I do believe it’s the cut pile.
I appreciate the information. I didn’t even think about the cut pile being easier on hooks.
Good luck on your Tracker.
 

Douglasdzaster

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I ordered the penetrating epoxy. The traditional stuff then found out this weekend starts cold weather for at least a week. Not getting above 60 degrees that is. Welcome to more Texas weather.
I managed to cancel my order and get the cold weather stuff so I can keep moving on with the project.
 

SAABologist

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Has anyone ever used Total Boat penetrating epoxy? I have ordered a half gallon. I’m doing new Plywood flooring 52” wide 10’ long. The product can be diluted for better penetration.
Do I have enough? I’d like to have some left to do the front deck which is about 3’.
EDIT: Please excuse the post. I couldn’t find coverage information anywhere until I made this post. Then I tried a different search and found a chart. Looks like I should be good and hopefully have enough left for doing the front deck which is next. After some fishing though. Lol
I researched all this pretty well when I did my boat last year. I bought the most inexpensive epoxy I could find and diluted it with acetone until watery. Then did 2 or 3 coats. As another forum member described years ago, the acetone opens the grain and the epoxy impregnates the plywood. Do the edges too of course. I am sure my plywood will not rot for ages and ages.

Then, as I said in this thread, I would never do it again. It's overkill and makes it so you have to use contact cement for putting vinyl flooring over fiberglass, instead of the much cheaper and easier glue for plywood.

Buena suerte,
 

HOOKIGAN

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Has anyone ever used Total Boat penetrating epoxy? I have ordered a half gallon. I’m doing new Plywood flooring 52” wide 10’ long. The product can be diluted for better penetration.
Do I have enough? I’d like to have some left to do the front deck which is about 3’.
EDIT: Please excuse the post. I couldn’t find coverage information anywhere until I made this post. Then I tried a different search and found a chart. Looks like I should be good and hopefully have enough left for doing the front deck which is next. After some fishing though. Lol
My father and I have worked with all of the different brands of penetrating epoxy while restoring a couple of 1959 Chris-Crafts and the one we like the most is Smiths CPES. Recently we have tried System 3 penetrating epoxy and it performed similar to the Total Boat. Even with thinning it down with acetone or denatured alcohol we had similar results with both products. They appear to be just a thinned epoxy when applied, I'm sure they penetrate more than regular epoxy but there's no comparison to how Smiths CPES penetrates. The Smiths CPES absorbs into the wood much faster and thoroughly. The Smiths is very expensive compared to the Total Boat/System 3. Since we are discussing plywood flooring in an aluminum boat I'm sure any type of penetrating epoxy would be more than overkill to seal the plywood. I would focus more on the end grain than the face. Maybe 1 coat on the face and several coats on the end grain until it stops absorbing.
 

Douglasdzaster

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My father and I have worked with all of the different brands of penetrating epoxy while restoring a couple of 1959 Chris-Crafts and the one we like the most is Smiths CPES. Recently we have tried System 3 penetrating epoxy and it performed similar to the Total Boat. Even with thinning it down with acetone or denatured alcohol we had similar results with both products. They appear to be just a thinned epoxy when applied, I'm sure they penetrate more than regular epoxy but there's no comparison to how Smiths CPES penetrates. The Smiths CPES absorbs into the wood much faster and thoroughly. The Smiths is very expensive compared to the Total Boat/System 3. Since we are discussing plywood flooring in an aluminum boat I'm sure any type of penetrating epoxy would be more than overkill to seal the plywood. I would focus more on the end grain than the face. Maybe 1 coat on the face and several coats on the end grain until it stops absorbing.
I was just reading more information about the Total boat and they were comparing there product to Smiths CPES which I also knew nothing about until I read your post,
Thanks for the information.
 

Douglasdzaster

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I researched all this pretty well when I did my boat last year. I bought the most inexpensive epoxy I could find and diluted it with acetone until watery. Then did 2 or 3 coats. As another forum member described years ago, the acetone opens the grain and the epoxy impregnates the plywood. Do the edges too of course. I am sure my plywood will not rot for ages and ages.

Then, as I said in this thread, I would never do it again. It's overkill and makes it so you have to use contact cement for putting vinyl flooring over fiberglass, instead of the much cheaper and easier glue for plywood.

Buena suerte,
Thanks for sharing. I figured it was overkill for my application. Especially since Im making the flooring easily detachable and the carpet removable just so I can keep things dry and clean.
 

Douglasdzaster

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I unloaded the 1/2” plywood for flooring and the 2” foam board that’s going between the ribs. Epoxy has shipped. I’ve had the carpet still in the box for 2 months. Riv nuts have shipped for making the plywood easily removable.
That‘s everything except….. I was planning on using snaps on the carpet until I was straightening up my shop today and ran across some Velcro with adhesive on the back , which I used to secure the seats that have storage underneath. It’s been there a year and I still have to get a good grip and pull hard to open them. I only put two pieces of the stuff on the corners.
Now I’m considering it instead of the snaps. They‘re on the way as well but can be returned.
I want the carpet removable but which is going the be more secure?
What do y’all think?
 

Douglasdzaster

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Heeeeeeeeeeelp!
I cut the foam board and even cutting it narrow enough so it would only be on the floor not the rivets it sites higher than the ribs by just under 1/4”. Obviously my 2” measurement of the ribs was wrong. If I cut the plywood to fit down on the ribs will the foam board compress any? Or I should have remeasured after coating the boat. I really wanted the weight on the ribs. If not. Any ideas how I can shave the foam board?
 

airshot

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Get a roll of urethane weather stripping in 1\4" thickness by whatever width you need. It should be sticky on one side, so add this to your ribs. Being urethane it wont be bothered by water.
 

LDUBS

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How about adding 1/4 inch of material on top of the ribs to make it all level out?

X2 (or 3). I would do this but might add the spacer strips to the bottom of the ply where it sits on the ribs. No need adding more fasteners to the ribs than necessary to secure the deck. Not an issue if you are using some kind of adhesive strips as previously suggested.
 

Douglasdzaster

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Thanks everyone for the great ideas. I was thinking weather stripping. I want to keep the floor removable for when ever it does get wet. The old boat has it’s dings , dents , and battle scares but hasn't leaked yet. I do a lot to prevent such things. Anyway it doesn’t drain completely and I removed a lot of corrosion and started from the ground up. I can remove the floor and blow it out. Let everything dry and not worry about it.
Its 52” bottom makes for a 54” floor on top of the ribs so I cut three pieces to fit. Just finished today. After sanding and penetrating epoxy treatment they’ll be ready for the carpet to be snapped in. Then I AM GOING FISHING! After a while redo the front casting deck. It’s time.
Im looking for ideas for fastening systems I can seal for anchor points to the 15/32” plywood. Trolling motor Batteries fuel tank strap etc. Rather than using screws.
When I get back from fishing I back in the driveway and completely strip down the boat. I remove everything except for the 40 hp motor which has a locking bar on it. Then cover it up.
Riv nuts don’t work on plywood. I’ve looked at threaded inserts but haven’t seen any stainless that’s for soft wood.
 

Douglasdzaster

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Get a roll of urethane weather stripping in 1\4" thickness by whatever width you need. It should be sticky on one side, so add this to your ribs. Being urethane it wont be bothered by water.
I’ve looked for urethra weather stripping and keep getting the dense foam stripping. Would that be strong enough. I have leftover 2” foam board but it’ll be difficult to cut 1/4” strips. Guess I could turn on the table saw and make pink snow. Lol
I even thought about closed cell backer rod and spray adhesive.
 

LDUBS

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Thanks everyone for the great ideas. I was thinking weather stripping. I want to keep the floor removable for when ever it does get wet. The old boat has it’s dings , dents , and battle scares but hasn't leaked yet. I do a lot to prevent such things. Anyway it doesn’t drain completely and I removed a lot of corrosion and started from the ground up. I can remove the floor and blow it out. Let everything dry and not worry about it.
Its 52” bottom makes for a 54” floor on top of the ribs so I cut three pieces to fit. Just finished today. After sanding and penetrating epoxy treatment they’ll be ready for the carpet to be snapped in. Then I AM GOING FISHING! After a while redo the front casting deck. It’s time.
Im looking for ideas for fastening systems I can seal for anchor points to the 15/32” plywood. Trolling motor Batteries fuel tank strap etc. Rather than using screws.
When I get back from fishing I back in the driveway and completely strip down the boat. I remove everything except for the 40 hp motor which has a locking bar on it. Then cover it up.
Riv nuts don’t work on plywood. I’ve looked at threaded inserts but haven’t seen any stainless that’s for soft wood.


If I'm understanding correctly, you want to be able to frequently remove the ply flooring. I'm not visualizing how you would use threaded inserts to help do that.

How about some kind of hold downs at the seat boxes. Use alum angle with a few fasteners of choice into the vertical part of the alum seat box. However, this might not work depending how the three sections of flooring are arranged.

Screen Shot 2022-11-29 at 7.29.04 AM.png
 

Douglasdzaster

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If I'm understanding correctly, you want to be able to frequently remove the ply flooring. I'm not visualizing how you would use threaded inserts to help do that.

How about some kind of hold downs at the seat boxes. Use alum angle with a few fasteners of choice into the vertical part of the alum seat box. However, this might not work depending how the three sections of flooring are arranged.

View attachment 112899
I failed to mention the middle seat was removed by the previous owner. I have a casting deck with seat on the front ( which will be rebuilt next).
The boat is 52” wide at the bottom making it 54” on top of the ribs. I didn’t want to just lay the plywood 48” wide so I cut three sheets making the two seems meet on top of ribs. The foam board supports the floor in the gap where the middle seat was. Still my use a piece of aluminum I have (old sign)in that spot for more support.
I also changed plans today after thinking about it. The corrosion I removed because of all the screws the previous owner put in the ribs. Instead of drilling holes in the ribs for aluminum riv nuts I found stainless steel T-nuts and screws , also stainless mending plates I’ll be tying the plywood together with. That and after batteries , fuel tank, (also anchored with T-nuts) and gear the plywood flooring will stay put. Still thinking about using some angle where it meets the casting deck. In the stern where it meets the seats/storage the rib is close enough I don’t need angle.
Now instead of carpeting each section I can do the whole thing in one piece with the snaps. No wood screws and no holes in the boat and I’ll still be able to remove for inspection , cleaning etc.
Behind the rear seat in the aft I’ll be using aluminum angle to secure flooring where eventually I’ll install a removable multiple rod holder for drifting and trolling. That’s still in its planning stage. Right now I have 4 Drift masters on each side.
I’m not mounting any accessories back with any screws in the aluminum.
I’m using industrial Velcro for the rod carrier on the gunnel. I had everything mounted with stainless steel screws previously. Now that I have a little knowledge under my belt I’m not having anything to cause corrosion.
Thanks for the reply and mentioning the angle it’s greatly appreciated.
 

Douglasdzaster

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I found some stout weather stripping for the ribs. It’s ordered. When the binder plates get here I’ll drill all the holes in the plywood then do the epoxy. I’m also adding some pieces of aluminum angle as suggested by LDubs.
I’ll be using rivnuts for that and other things like rod holders. I have aluminum rivnuts and aluminum screws. I just read a thread with several people that have been using rivnuts for years and the general consensus seemed that if your boat is freshwater only like mine that stainless steel is a better option because of the aluminum ones having some failures. Some even use aluminum rivnuts with stainless screws which they remove from time to time as I will. I like the idea of stainless steel holding my multiple rod rod holders.
Should I do stainless? Maybe use 5200 when installing the rivnuts for a barrier?
The stainless screws I removed that I had in it for over a year had no corrosion on the screws or the boat. I’m wondering if I over reacted after finding the corrosion and rusted screws under the old flooring.
 
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Douglasdzaster

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I found some stout weather stripping for the ribs. It’s ordered. When the binder plates get here I’ll drill all the holes in the plywood then do the epoxy. I’m also adding some pieces of aluminum angle as suggested by LDubs.
I’ll be using rivnuts for that and other things like rod holders. I have aluminum rivnuts and aluminum screws. I just read a thread with several people that have been using rivnuts for years and the general consensus seemed that if your boat is freshwater only like mine that stainless steel is a better option because of the aluminum ones having some failures. Some even use aluminum rivnuts with stainless screws which they remove from time to time as I will. I like the idea of stainless steel holding my multiple rod rod holders.
Should I do stainless? Maybe use 5200 when installing the rivnuts for a barrier?
The stainless screws I removed that I had in it for over a year had no corrosion on the screws or the boat. I’m wondering if I over reacted after finding the corrosion and rusted screws under the old flooring.
I bought an assortment of aluminum hardware. The riv nuts will hold up when installed properly.
After putting the last coat of epoxy on the first side of the flooring pieces I started looking at what w left on the boat as far as screws , bolts etc. I found some that where installed before I got the boat. The screws holding the anchor light socket. I saw some corrosion around them so I removed the socket and sure enough wear the screws where the aluminum was corroded around them. Then there is an led spot light on each side of the transom. Same thing with those bolts. I added a fuel water separator when I redone the fuel system and used stainless steel bolts and they look fine after 18 months but they will be replaced by aluminum rivnuts as well. Hopefully the epoxy won’t be tacky tomorrow so I can flip the piece and finish.
In the meantime I’m working on ideas for multiple rod holders. I’m thinking of using aluminum T track. I know it’ll work mounted on both sides of the transom and hold two rods each for trolling. I’m trying to figure out the gunnels though for drift fishing. My boat has the old jon boat round at the top gunnels they’re 1 inch. Currently I have individual drift masters on the front deck and again on the transom. If I could get a rail set up put together on the sides I’d be set. Anyway any ideas are appreciated or if you have this type of rig share a pic.
 
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