Another Flooring a jon boat question

Discussion in 'Boat Modification Journal' started by smhmc6, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. smhmc6

    smhmc6 Member

    Messages:
    744
    State:
    Kansas
    I plan on making some major (or major for me) modifications to my jon boat this spring. One of the modifications is adding a floor, and I would like it to be carpeted as well. At this point I am just weighing options. I've heard alot of people talk about using plywood and the problems with it. Mainly the problem of it causing pin holes in the aluminum. So I've thought about using aluminum sheets... but I think its pretty expensive. I remember a guy a while back talked about using some old road signs he got from the department of transportation... would carpet adhesive bond with aluminum?
    Back to the plywood. I am assuming, but could be very wrong, that the pin holes in the aluminum happen where the wood comes in contact with the metal. I was thinking about this and the only points of contact would be on the ribs and around the edges of the floor. If the edges were covered with carpet and I put a thin layer of rubber strips or something between the wood and the ribs, would this take care of the problem? Also, does marine grade plywood have this problem? I appreciate any help or input.
     
  2. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    No marine grade plywood doesnt have the same problem as treated plywood in regards to eating aluminum.
    Marine plywood isnt treated with anything to make it not rot. Its just plain ol plywood with really good glue and more more plies. Its alot higher quality plywood then the standard build your house out of stuff.
    If you arent willing to seal it with epoxy dont spend the money for the plywood.
    Its a huge misconception that marine plywood wont rot.
    Marine plywood in a nutshell means its suitable to build boats out of because of its lack of voids and its strength.
     

  3. smhmc6

    smhmc6 Member

    Messages:
    744
    State:
    Kansas
    Well that is good news. I'm curious... why wouldn't I be willing to coat it with epoxy? Is it really hard or really expensive? Also, is it pretty common to be able to find marine grade plywood at a lumber yard or is it something you have to special order from specialty stores?
     
  4. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Epoxy prices average around 90 a gallon.
    Marine epoxy is probally the cheapest brand I know of and one of my favorites to use. It doesnt blush.
    Epoxy isnt hard to use but you need to study using it before you use it or you'll wind up with a big smoking 80 dollar paper weight.
    Mix in small batches. 6-8 ozs at the time until you get the feel for it.

    Marine plywood in Kansas will probally be hard to find.
    If you have to order it in it will be costly as most suppliers have a flat fee.
    In other words, shipping 1 sheet would cost as much as shipping 10 sheets.
    Shipping one sheet of 1/2 marine plywood would cost more then the plywood.
     
  5. smhmc6

    smhmc6 Member

    Messages:
    744
    State:
    Kansas
    Thanks again. I used to work at a fairly large lumber yard... and I don't remember seeing any marine grade plywood. Maybe when it comes spring time, when I actually will have the time and money to do this project, I will give those guys a call and see if they could get me some.
     
  6. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    You could write a thesis on marine plywood.
    Take for instance a mrine fir plywood. Its heavy and it checks. Not only would you have to use epoxy you would have to lay glass on it to keep it from checking which allows water intrusions. Epoxy alone wont prevent checking.

    If you go with an offshore manufactured Meranti it doesnt check and epoxy would be sufficient to seal it. Its also much lighter then fir.

    Or you could go with an offshore manufactured Gaboon plywood that doesnt check and is lighter then Meranti.

    Then you have your Sapele which is even lighter and is used in airplane construction.

    Or you can go with manmade materials like Nidacore which are light and appears real expensive but its not much more then marine plywood , epoxy, and glass and the time to prep and lay it.

    There has been countless articles written on marine plywood over the years.
    I love the stuff personally. I would rather have a boat made out of it then any other material. Its strong, lightweight, and highly puncture resistant. Its also easy to repair and cheap to repair. The average person is more then capable of making repairs with basic tools.
    With a little care it'll outlast any other material out there even if its a boat that stays in the water 24/7. Above all its quiet.
    There is nothing more irritating to me then the noise aluminum hulled boats make. Especially with hull slap (waves or ripples that hit the hull from the front on anchor or at trolling speeds).
     
  7. cantstopgrandma

    cantstopgrandma New Member

    Messages:
    955
    State:
    MD
    I'll tell ya, MarkJ is a wealth of knowledge and always seems to show people the road less traveled....which is a good thing because it gives you more options than one would normally have. I used the road signs in my boat, and just used SS Finish washers and SS Oval head screws to secure my carpet to the aluminum signs. Just drill through the sheet and its tacked down. I think i did aobut 6 screws per 4x4 sheet. This was good enough for my application, but i wasn't looking for a professional finish. My boat is used for duck hunting, fishing, and anything else. i didn't need or want a pretty boat. The carpet obviously keeps the aluminum from being shiny, and it deadends the sound of anything being dropped on the floor, thats all i wanted. i'm not sure if the carpet adhesive would hold on aluminum or not. Maybe find a scrap piece somewheres (or take a sample from lowes, home depot, etc. that they hand out) and try it on some aluminum. It may hold if you scuff it some and clean it good.
     
  8. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    I will almost be willing to bet you can buy that marine plywood cheaper online then you can to have a lumber yard buy it for you and resell it to you.
    One of the largest if not largest carrier of marine plywood is World Panel.
    They are in Florida and North Carolina.
    All orders go through Forida.
    You would order from one of their dealers, pay by credit or debit card. and its shipped.
    You'll save money on the product and your purchase is tax free.
    If it were me I would get a friends friends together that might be interested in making some canoes or yaks and order enough plywood at one time for those simple projects.

    Thats what I'm working on right now. There is a 16 foot yak I want to build this winter. I'm out politicing with friends trying to get them interested in owning a yak.
    If I can build 3 or even 4 at one time its going to be alot cheaper. I'll save enough to just about pay for mine.
    If I got pay 100 dollars worth of freight I might as well get 100 dollars worth out of the freight company and that skid.

    Right now , I can purchase from my dealer in Florida tax free.
    Drive a couple of hours to World Panel in this state and pick up my order saving on freight. I love this.:big_smile: If they stock it.
     
  9. RivrLivn

    RivrLivn Member

    Messages:
    194
    State:
    Missouri
    Just for flooring your boat most boat manufacturers just use 3/4'' MDO (meduim density overlay) plywood, this is a very good exterior grade plywood. Covered with carpet or vinyl should last 15-20 years with a little care.
    I could see using marine plywood for boat building, but there is probably no cost benefit over MDO for flooring.

    Of course this is just my opinion.

    If I did the aluminum/metal floor I would still put snap-in carpet panels over it just to help with noise and traction.
     
  10. kctinner

    kctinner New Member

    Messages:
    21
    State:
    missouri
    I was thinking about using some sort of spray on bed liner to cover the wood in my jon,I hear it eliminates some noise also.
     
  11. Dadoftwo

    Dadoftwo New Member

    Messages:
    382
    State:
    Oklahoma City
    I have used plywood a couple of times in jon boats. I used 3/8" and coated it with 2 coats of white primer that is used on cinder block applications. This will help slow down any rotting but will not keep from it. I only used SS screws on the rib areas to secure and carpeted with outdoor carpet and glue. These floors will last for several years and will only cost around $50 to do so.
     
  12. catfishjon

    catfishjon New Member

    Messages:
    156
    State:
    texas
    I have a 18 and 20 foot jon boat. One has a marine grade plywood floor that I put in and the other has a factory alum. floor. I like the plywood floor the best. It is quieter and stronger than the alum. floor and I don't mind painting it every two years. My winter project will be to replace the alum. floor in my 20 foot boat.Catfishjon
     
  13. smhmc6

    smhmc6 Member

    Messages:
    744
    State:
    Kansas
    Well, marine grade would be the optimal choice I think... but then again, I really don't see myself using this boat (full time) for more then 3 years. Also, as Mark said, It will be hard to find it in Kansas. It is just a 14' 36" jon and in a few years I'll be looking to upgrade (maybe even sooner). That being said, I don't want to skimp on the project either. I don't want to run into the problem of not being able to sell it or something like that. Also, who knows... I may just keep it longer then that just cause it is my first boat and it is good for smaller applications. I do want it to look nice, if I am going to do it I want it to look good and be something I can be proud of. I think that is the underlying purpose of the project, just to make something I can be proud of. Anyway, I guess the main thing about the floor is that it doesn't need to last 30 years, needs to look decent... but most of all, I don't want to find out a year or two later that I have holes in the bottom of my boat cause I didn't use the right materials.

    And by the way... thanks to all who have responded. Everyone had helpful comments, thats what I like so much about the BOC. Even though it will be about two months before I start the project... I will try to post pic's of the progress.
     
  14. smhmc6

    smhmc6 Member

    Messages:
    744
    State:
    Kansas
    Those of you who went with the road sign option and screwed in the carpet... do you notice the carpet slides in areas that aren't screwed in? Over time does it get loose and develop a wrinkle or bubble? Does the carpet tear around the screw holes over time?
     
  15. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    I like the way you think. You think ahead and dont want to stick the next man that just wants to fish and not fix something that should have been done right.
    We deal with enough of this out of the factories:crazy:
    I can attribute alot of things to my dad as he is a great man but one thing I heard over and over growing up and learned the hard way.
    Do it right the first time, not the second or third time.
    Whether you go with wood or aluminum I'm sure you'll do a good job.

    My first attempt at replacing a floor in a boat ended in disaster.
    My end product looked nice, it was how I arrived there. Thank God it was my boat and not somebody else's.
    This was before the age of the internet.
    There is no excuse for doing anything the wrong way with the internet. There is way too much valid information out there in articles, e-zines, and websites.

    I've made alot of mistakes messing with boats over the years. Some of those mistakes were corner cutting mistakes.
    I finally resigned to the fact that there isnt a corner left for me to blaze a trail accross that hasn't been tried by many before me and the failures wouldnt be new. The wheel has long been been invented. No need to try to reinvent it.

    If you go with wood, dont put 3/4" plywood in it. Its not a house. A house floor has a live load and dead load rating. A boat can get by with alot less unless you just like to carry that Baby Grand piano with you fishing.
    1/2" is sufficient. Every floor I've ever torn out of a boat was 1/2" or less.
    A sheet of 3/4" plywood weighs in excess of 65 pounds. If its treated you are looking at 80-100 pounds depending on moisture content.
    Even a sheet of exterior 1/4" plywood weighs 26-28 pounds on average.
    1/4" Meranti marine plywood weighs 24 pounds a sheet.

    Weight is a major consideration just like if it were a plane.
    The smaller the boat the less weight it takes to affect it.

    No more then you would need Seadek would be a good way to go. No glue to deal with and yes, it'll stick to aluminum with no problem.
     
  16. cantstopgrandma

    cantstopgrandma New Member

    Messages:
    955
    State:
    MD

    I have not had any problem with the carpet sliding, and it has not developed wrinkles....but i have only had the boat rigged this way for a couple months. The carpet has a rubber backing, and i found it pretty hard to stretch by hand, so it may be a while before i have a problem with it (if at all). I dont foresee having problems with the carpet tearing around the screws, because of the finish washer, i suspect this spreads out the load pretty well, kinda like the roofing nails with the plastic washers on them. It also looks a heck of a lot better than just a screw sticking up. In response to wanting your boat to look nice, i dont think my boat looks bad, and i am proud of it, it just doesn't look like it came in the boat (not up to a boat builder's specs).
     
  17. Katmandeux

    Katmandeux New Member

    Messages:
    1,618
    State:
    Checotah, Oklahoma
    Before you deck your boat, do this: Weigh (don't guess or estimate) everything that goes into it or on it. You, your buddy, tackle boxes, rods, cast net, buckets, anchors, lines, engine, full gas tank/hose, battery, trolling motor, bait tank full of water, ice chest, beer, coffee, food, bait, etc. Add a few pounds for fish, and then subtract all of this from the max rated load for your boat.

    That's what you have left for decking and carpet.

    /s/ The Weight Nazi:wink:
     
  18. crazfish

    crazfish New Member

    Messages:
    54
    State:
    arkansas
    I HAVE A 14 FT. JONBOAT AND I DID RAISE THE FRONT HALF TO BE A LOW PROFILE CASTING DECK AND I USEDA 3/4IN PREASURE TREATED AND THAT TOTAL PART WEIGHED JUST UNDER 30LBS INCLUDING CARPET , WOOD , GLUE AND THE ANGLE IRON. IN THE BACK HALF, I CARPETED IT OVER A 1/2 IN PREASURE TRETED AND THAT WIEGHED LESS. I HAVE HAD IT ALMOST 2 YEARSAND NOT HAD A PROBLEM. IF YOU THINK AND PLAN IT RIGHT, THINK OF ALL THE OPTIONS AND THEN WIEGH THE CONSEQUENSES, YOU SHOULD COME OUT ALRIGHT. SOMETIMES YOU MAY FISH WITH A BUDDY, DUNNO? I HARDLY FISH WITH ANYONE SO I AM HAPPY WITH IT AND IT GETS ME THERE AND BACK. I KNOW I USED TO PUT ABOUT 90-100 LBS OF SAND IN SANDBAGS UP FRONT OF MY BOAT SO I CAN SEE OVER THE BOW OF THE BOAT WHEN DRIVING BUT NOW, IT RIDES JUST A LITTLE HIGH BUT I AM HAPPY WITH IT AND UNDERSTAND THAT I MAY HAVE TO REPLACE THE FLOOR IN ABOUT 5 TO 8 YEARS MAYBE. I ALSO HAVE A 30 LB THRUST MINKOTA TROLLING MOTOR UP THERE AND I LOVE THE SET UP. THIS MY 2ND BOAT AND AM REALLY PLEASED WITH IT.
     
  19. smhmc6

    smhmc6 Member

    Messages:
    744
    State:
    Kansas
    Haha, I knew that when I posted the size of my boat that someone would bring up the weight issue. It is a small boat and weight is definitely an issue. I think I could get away with pretty thin plywood or aluminum sheet (or sign). It will lay over the ribs which are about 12-15 inches apart (rough estimate without measuring it). I don't think I'd get much flex in it. I've even toyed with the idea of going with extremely thin materials and putting some sort of insulation foam underneath for support. Then to conquer the water underneath the floor or caught in a rainstorm issue, I would seal the edges of the floor and drill new drainage holes floor level through the benches so that the water could drain to the back for the bilge pump (or one that will be installed, it is one of the other things included in this project).
     
  20. Houdini

    Houdini New Member

    Messages:
    17
    State:
    Maryland
    I used overhead sign's to make the floor in my jon boat, I laid foam sheets between the ribs, and rivited the sign (cut to fit) to the ribs. looks great, no noise. The trouble you might incure is the thickness of the signs,state codes vary. Here in Md there about .080 for overhead, .125 for you common signs, depending on what size tyou need. Your local govt sign shop will have plenty of damaged signs on hand ( reguard-less of what they say ). Just put them sign side down, so your adhessive bonds for the carpet. Good Luck