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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I am thinking of replacing my boats wood floor with aluminum and then cover that with vinyl. or just straight diamond plate.

Anyway my question is how thick does the aluminum need to be to make a good floor. There are bulkheads and other cross members on which the floor will sit.

Thanks

Have A Fishy Labor Day!

El Kabong!!!
 

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El-kabong,

I would go with .125". More than that will be heavy, less than that will be flimsy unless you support it a lot. Howver, be prepared for sticker shock, especially if you go diamond plate. Personnally, if your boat is well covered and you coat it, regular plywood lasts many years. I have a vinyl covered plywood floor and what really helps is to "bathtub" the vinyl. It's best if you can run one continuous length and lay it directly over the plywood and curve it up on the sides. I use carpet on the sides and fwd. bulkhead so it looks finished. That way, crud doesn't get into anything except the bilge and much easier to hose out.

Good luck,
Biederboat
 

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I did my Duckworth a few years ago. 1/8" is plenty as long as it has proper support underneath. That's a great time to check struts for cracks, floatation issues, in floor fuel tank issues.etc. A full single sheet would be best I'm sure, but you'll probably wind up with a joint. Make sure to add a support for the joint. Also use a heavy tape on all the runners for the sheet stock to lay on for noise and vibration. Also screw it in, don't weld it. You might have to take it out for service someday??? The classification to ask for is 10gauge aluminum diamond plate. It's real slippery for the first few trips, but wears in nice, and soooooo easy to clean. It's forever. Wouldn't be surprised if it was $500 just for the material alone.
Hope thats helps ya. E-mail me if you have any other questions.
 

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Do people lay vinyl over aluminum?
I'm getting ready to replace my floor boards. Sounds like a good option.

Nice avatar Qweeksdraw!
 

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I rode in a sled that had carpet over aluminum plate, If I had a sled and extra money I would consider that. I think you could use plain ol' aluminum without the tread pattern at considerable savings. No glare, no extra heat, seemed like a cool set-up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
JPSFISHY - I had read minor criticism of diamond plate as too shiny. What do you think about that? Do you find that it gets hot?

What I have found is that flat aluminum sheets cost less then the price of marine plywood. not to mention that you don't have to seal the aluminum.

I really like your idea of taping the frame. what kind of tape did you use?

EK
 

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El Kabong,you can use an acid wash on it,which dulls the finish very well. Comes out dull,but extreamly clean looking. Do a search on cleaning aluminum boats,they talk about the acid wash. I use the big rig aluminum wheel cleaner on my sled. It's not a mirror finish,but looks clean.
 

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One thing to remember if you are trying to save money is that marine grade and exterior grade plywood have identical adhesives holding them together. The primary difference between them is that marine grade lacks any kind of interior voids between the layers. You can get away with exterior grade plywood for your floors.
In the long run aluminum will be less expensive and less maintenance.
Is this in a sled or a driftboat? If it is a driftboat I think I would still prefer to have the sound muffling properties of wood.
 

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I had read minor criticism of diamond plate as too shiny. What do you think about that? Do you find that it gets hot?
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">A trip or two into some salt will take care of the shine. As for being to hot, I have a diamond plate front deck and it is a lot cooler than my vinyl flooring on the rest of the boat. I can't walk on the vinyl with my bare feet on a hot day, where as the diamond plate is considerably cooler.
 

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El-Kabong,

Your topic brings to mind how I made that choice.

A couple years ago I was narrowing my choice's for a welded aluminum boat. I had looked at many well made and constructed boats and had nearly made my choice when I consulted my brother. As usual he wouldn't offer opinions on manufacturers only construction techniques. I listened closely because he presented a unique perspective. He had been the key fabricator and welder for a custom boat and machinery fabricating business for nearly 20 years. They didn't build sport boats (except their own), but built commercial boats from 25' on up to 60'. However, beings they were on the coast and had a custom for hire business they often had sport aluminum boat owners approach them about repairs. He developed a pet peeve. That was aluminum sport boats used in salt water. He explained that a combination of blown in foam insulation, aluminum, and trapped salt water equalled severe pitting and maybe metal failure in need of welding. Solution, keep salt water exposure to foamed areas to a minimum. Therefore, I opted for a welded aluminum self bailing deck. I didn't think it possible for plywood to be completely sealed. P.S., Non skid paint with a sandy finish is availuable, that's what I have.

Mike
 

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I've been thinking about aluminum flooring too and have a couple of thoughts...

1. I hear that most people just put aluminum over the existing wood flooring. Seems to me that would cause trapped moisture and add alot of weight.

2. If I were to do aluminum, I'd screw it down in sections, to the existing floor ribs.

3. I recently talked to a urethane coaters guy (like the spray in truck bed liners) and he says they can spray line the floor boards with a clear to tan color material that would be completely water proof, easy to clean and non skid.

My floor is marine plywood with the standard vinyl covering. It has a few holes and some more tears.

I'm thinking of stripping the vinyl and having the boards urethane coated.

Anyone else tried this?

BTW, I loved El Kabong after school. My brother used to chase me around with a long cushion and "El Kabong" me for fun.
 

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GRB

I have a friend of mine that bought some of that Herculiner(sp) from GI Joe's and covered the plywood floors in his boat gosh 3 years ago now and their is really no sign of wear on his floors and his boat gets used allot and is stored outside in the weather. The color of this stuff is black but we painted it and the color really has held up let me know if you want any more info
 

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GRB,

Did you get a quote for the spray urethane?
How much $$$$?

Will it adhere to aluminum, or were you talking about coating wood boards? Guess it would if it adheres to truck beds.

FW
 

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I put .125 alum. floors in my boat with vinal and have no complaints. except the price ov the vinal is realy expensive. Also the adheasive is $38 a quart you will need at least three in a 18 foot boat. diamond plate is a good way to go if you have the money. the water tempature keeps the floors nice and cool. and after one season they will not be so blinding. either way metal lasts a realy long time and most likely you will never have to do your floor boards agian.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi feltpennumbers,

Did you mount seats onto your .125 flooring? My boat has 2 pedestal seats to mount. With the .125 is that enough to mount the seat bases to directly or did you need to add additional bracing.

EK
 

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I know the spray urethane works 'cause I saw it in Jack Smith's new boat. That's kind of where I got the idea. He also hade that clear stick on coating on the gunwhales and trays. Egg goo wipes off with a wet rag. Really cool.

Jack's boats always look spotless.

I kind of considered doing a do it yourself trip on the aluminum since I have a plasma cutter and shop to do it in.

I didn't get a price yet, but it was Randy at Rhino Linings NW that I talked to. We do some other industrial business with them. I think I'll pull up my back section of plywood decking and try it out on that section. It has the most holes ( you know, where the fish get landed :grin: )

I'd be willing to do a section with before and after pics and if some other ifishers want to do a volume shot, I will negotiate a per square foot deal.

One thing to check out. When I pulled the floors out of my Willie Predator, I noticed that 1/4 to 1/3 of all the self threading stainless screws were broken off and just sitting in the holes (minimum wage job).

Removal, re-tapping and screw replacement will be part of the job.

GRB
 

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sorry, I didnt install the floor so I dont know how thick it is. I'm about 6 ft 2 inches tall and weigh about 220, the floor does not buckle when I walk on it! The vinyl is a light grey in color with a non skid texture. super easy to clean with my pressure washer and very cool to walk on, even bare foot. It is also quiet too. You can call Motion Marine for specs. They have a web site with some specs too.

p.s. Motion Marine uses NO wood in the construction of their boats. I happen to appreciate that idea. I prefer the low maintenence, others may disagree.

[ 09-03-2003, 03:13 PM: Message edited by: TundraIII ]
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
TundraIII,

Did you install that floor yourself? Do you know how thick the aluminum is?

Thanks
EK
 
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