Using Screws in Fiber Glass

Discussion in 'Boat Tips' started by BigCatSteve, Jun 4, 2006.

  1. BigCatSteve

    BigCatSteve New Member

    Messages:
    638
    State:
    Huber Heights,Ohio
    While getting ready to repair a hole in my and Nate's boat i saw that the floor is fiberglass there are two soft spots in the floor and i was going to repair the holes by covering it with 3/4" treating plywood. I was goint to cover the wood with indoor/outdoor carpet and screw the wood right into the fiberglass.What i need to know is does anyone know if that will work ok or would the fiberglass crack and make it weaker??
     
  2. flaboy

    flaboy New Member

    Messages:
    616
    State:
    Wedgefield, SC
    steve, it has been my experience that screws don't hold well in fiberglass! if you can't bolt it, or put wood backing for the screw, however if the wood backing rots, the screw is loose again. if you can fiberglass it in place you will have the best setup! in my opinion. I'm not a expert tho.:embarassed:
     

  3. Doyle

    Doyle New Member

    Messages:
    582
    State:
    Illinois
    That floor is pretty thin for fastening too, I would think. I put a screw 1/2 inch long to hold my pump and I punched through.
     
  4. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    Well, when you get right down to it, soft spots are an indication that something needs to be looked at. Normally, the floor (deck) is plywood with a fiberglass overlay. If the floor is soft, it generally means the plywood has rotted away, leaving the think fiberglass coating. You have to make the decision as to what your willing to do with the boat. If you want to keep the boat, and have it sound in structure, your probably going to have to repair/replace the floor, which gets into quite a lot of work and expense. If your only going to keep the boat for a short while, and don't plan on taking the boat on a large body of water, you can either leave it as it is, or buy some of the cheap fiberglass repair kits from places like Walmarts, apply the patch, and the floor will feel solid again. HOWEVER, this is just a temporary fix of the problem. Don't get to be so sure of the boat that you forget there was a problem there in the first place. Screws - there is probably nothing there for the threads to grab. Remember the old axiom - its better safe than sorry.
     
  5. BigCatSteve

    BigCatSteve New Member

    Messages:
    638
    State:
    Huber Heights,Ohio
    ok,well what if i just covered the floor with the wood and didnt fasten it to the fiberglass it will be snug between the inner walls of the boat,do you guys think that would be ok?
     
  6. flaboy

    flaboy New Member

    Messages:
    616
    State:
    Wedgefield, SC
    Hey dude, think what you're goin to do with it. how well can you swim?
    I have fished outta a boat hull without a transom, had to stay on the bow to keep stern outta water. but was it smart?:embarassed:
     
  7. BigCatSteve

    BigCatSteve New Member

    Messages:
    638
    State:
    Huber Heights,Ohio
    The boat we have is a bayliner deep-v so water will not come thru the floor so i dont have that to worry about,i just want the floor to be sturdy and last us the year
     
  8. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Do you have any idea what a sheet of 3/4" plywood weighs? What about how much it weighs wet? And it will get wet and saturated. Polyeurathane isnt water proof neither is fiberglass resins.
    A boat is alot different then a house being that the floor system isnt built to hold pianos, large parties, or refrigerators full of beer and it doesnt have to be.
    1/2 inch ply is more then adequate installed half %$#@.
    3/8 installed the right way with the right materials.
    What people fail to realize is that the floors in alot of these boats are an integral part of the structure like a footing to a house is.

    I would rip the floor entirely out and fix it right and correct any stringer issues you may have. Even if you want one season out of it you atleast have something sound to sell along with the comfort of knowing the safety aspect of the vessel isnt compromised.

    Before I did anything though I would survey the transom thoroughly. This would be a deciding factor if I chose to back it into the woods or invest some money and labor into a rebuild.
    Transoms are rebuildable but a costly endeavor even for a do it yourselfer.
    Figure atleast 500 in materials for the transom on the low side and 20-30 hours labor as a beginner.

    Boats are a losing proposition all the way around. At some point you have to say I have a boat worth 2000 in top notch shape but it costs 2500 to get it in top notch shape and my money would be better spent on another vessel.
    Unless of course it has some sort of sentimental value.

    Repair is expensive.
     
  9. BigCatSteve

    BigCatSteve New Member

    Messages:
    638
    State:
    Huber Heights,Ohio
    well the only way the floor will get wet is during a rain,and the water from the bait or the fish but not any great amount of water should get on the floor.we are limited in funds as of right now.the floor will hold me and i weigh 350 but i can feel it give when i walk in the soft spots. the ply is 4feet by 2feet and isnt that heavy i would say maybe 10lbs but i havent weighed it. the soft spots are in the middle of the floor right behind the seats.the soft spot is only about18inches in diameter and the wood is going to cover the whole back behind the seats.
     
  10. Majesticman

    Majesticman New Member

    Messages:
    186
    State:
    Missouri
    We fixed a boat years ago. We cut the old floor out with a skill saw and a sawzal leaving about 3 inches where it met the side.

    We cut new plywood for the bottom and screwed and glued it down. Then we bought the fabric and resin and glassed it up and installed the carpet. It was like new and my friend still has the boat. It was easy and took 1 day.

    Usually rain water gets in the boat with the plug in and saturates the wood for a few days. After that happens a several times it starts coming apart. Always pull the plug if it is outside. My friends boat sat behind his barn for 1 winter and it was shot.
     
  11. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    Steve, I think your missing the point. Your boat is damaged and it appears your trying to do patch work repairs. It may work the way your thinking of doing it, it may not work that way also. Your gambling your life and the life of the boats occupants that it would work. Pretty steep gamble.
     
  12. Little Mac

    Little Mac Active Member

    Messages:
    1,828
    State:
    NW Arkansa