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Boat question

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Bad Wolf, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. Bad Wolf

    Bad Wolf Minister of Fire

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    I just bought a 1990 14' Sylvan Aluminum boat "V" bottom. I'm not much of a boat person at least not yet but wanted to start doing a bit of fishing and crabbing.
    Anyway there is a plywood floor in the boat, obviously something put down on top of the original floor.
    When I removed a section at the stern, I could see the original floor was pretty rotted. There appears to be foam under the original floor. My first thought was to remove the rotted flooring which extends under the bench seats and replace it with new marine plywood. The seats cant come out so I would have to piece it together and slide it under the seats.
    Like all of my jobs I'm sure that I'm underestimating the difficulty.
    Should I strip it down and replace the whole floor or just live with the two layers of plywood?
    The existing floor(s) are serviceable, maybe its just the fact that its a new to me boat and I want to make it all nice and restored.

    Any boaters out there?
    Thanks

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  2. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    I stripped out a 14 footer a couple of years ago and yup, you're underestimating. The foam is there for flotation of course, and if it's waterlogged it's worse than not being there at all. You're starting out half full of water, plus you have a second floor adding weight. A real and unanticipated danger on a small boat with no flotation, a good size outboard, and no outboard motor well is when a wave comes over the transom and sinks you in an instant. Thus, never anchor from the stern in such a boat and make sure your flotation is right. So you need to inspect and perhaps replace the foam, and it's all cut and fitted to the hull. Does the boat feel heavy if you shuck it back and forth? Do you hear it slosh? Tip the front way up and remove the drain,( it may have 2, one for the motor well, one for the bilge). If the boat feels nimble, go with what you've got. If it feels soggy, rip out at least the aft portion and see what's there.
  3. Bad Wolf

    Bad Wolf Minister of Fire

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    See, I'm learning stuff already. I hadn't thought about it being waterlogged. I'll remover at least the aft section and see what kind of shape its in. There is flotation foam under the fore and aft seats. The middle seat isn't really a seat. There is no center to it, so you can walk to the front without stepping over the seat I guess. Its a compartment on the right and very little of a seat on the left. I assume there is foam in it.
    There looks like there was thin carpeting on the floor as well. This now only exists under the seats where the PO couldn't remover it. It looks like it would be good to replace or should I just go with the plywood?

    If I have to replace the foam is there a special kind or would HD blue or pink sheets work? How about "Great stuff"?

    Greg
  4. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    This boat might be a bit small for it, but does it have a double hull? We had a 14 footer that did (bought it used). It seemed sluggish and awkward, but we assumed that's the way it was. There was a very small well at the stern that had two thermos-style plugs, and a third plug out the stern. I pulled the two on the sides, and water came out of the lower hull. So, while under way, I pulled all three plugs out, and the water ran out of the lower hull into the mini-well, then out the stern hole. It drained for several minutes, at least, and we could actually feel the boat getting lighter and more responsive. When all the water had drained out, it was a totally different boat! Much lighter, etc.

    Yes, I did remember to put the plugs back in before we slowed down. Seems what happened is while the boat was docked, uncovered, rain water ran into the mini well, then leaked past the two plugs into the lower hull until it was full. So, lesson learned - after a rain, or whenever the boat felt sluggish, pull all three plugs while under way and let it drain. I suppose we could have replaced the plugs with ones that didn't leak, but where's the fun in that? There may have been another path for the water to get in, anyway.

    Ah, boating memories - I've got a million of 'em. No more boats for me!
  5. arngnick

    arngnick Member

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    This stuff is ok for floatation but a little pricey. http://www.sprayfoamdirect.com/products The stuff works great if you have a need for some in your home it may be worth a shot. It would make the boat quiet and strong...The solid foam at HD should work too IMO.

    If you rip something out make sure you have a plan on how you are going to replace it. (don't get in to deep LOL) Its all doable though.

    PS...if you decide to go with foam-it-green I might be able to did up a $50 coupon.
  6. ironpony

    ironpony Minister of Fire

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    well I am suprised , no boat jokes. BOAT= bust out another thousand. The two happiest days of a boat owners life, the day he buys it and the day he sells it. also a hole in the water you throw money in

    Good luck with your project.
    Gark and ScotO like this.
  7. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    "A boat is a hole in the water, surrounded by wood (or whatever) into which one pours money."
    ScotO likes this.
  8. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

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    Check out www.tinboats.net This about the time of year I start browsing the forums over there and salivating ;lol
  9. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    The floatation foam should be a closed cell foam. Not really the type that "absorbs" water.

    Wet wood (such as the rotting original floor of your boat) is heavy. If feasible, get it outa there.
  10. Scols

    Scols Burning Hunk

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    I had a friend who owned a 14 foot starcraft with the same problem as yours. His solution was to eliminate the deck altogether,and these were his reasons. 1.By removing the deck it allows you stand a little deeper in the boat which should make it a bit safer to stand up because now you have higher freeboard. 2, by removing the deck it allows inspection of the inside of the bottom which he felt was especially important on an alluminum boat because of the possibility of popping rivets.3,with the exception of Boston Whaler nobody puts enough foam in a boat to stop you from sinking,so losing it isnt that big a deal. In fact skiffs that are built for commercial fishermen arent even required to have any foam flotation.4, there is no way your deck is going to stay water tight. The hull and the deck both flex as the boat is moving through the water so even if you use a ton of silicone where the hull and deck meet, sooner or later your gonna get leaks which will lead to more heavy rotten plywood and foam. You could fiberglass the deck and bring the glass a few inches up the side of the hull, but you will eventually get cracks in the glass where hull and deck meet but it should last awhile.
  11. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    You can fill my bass tracker to over flowing and it will not sink. Don't ask how I know this.
    sinnian likes this.
  12. Scols

    Scols Burning Hunk

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    Are all those live wells and compartments water tight? Are the stringers and deck supports arranged in such a way to create water tight areas under the deck? Or have other builders started copying BW by spraying foam in all the voids between hull and deck and hull liner?. Im not sure but I do know that the 16' Chincoteague,17'Mako, and 18' Privateer that ive owned didnt have enough foam to save you from capsizing let alone punturing the hull.
  13. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Foam in the nose and the back two corners. Other than the hull, there are no water tight compartments. Well, the live well is, but only if plugged to store water. Normally it is not.
  14. Scols

    Scols Burning Hunk

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    I wouldnt try filling it :eek:. I do know you can fill a whaler because I did it once when I stuffed the bow on a 13 footer while I was jumping boatwakes when I was a kid. My 16' Chincoteague had foam in the same spots as your boat and the boat would be half sunk every time we had a good rainfall. And im sure I didnt have issues with waterlogged plywood etc.
  15. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    In the boat I had it was plain old styrofoam and whether or not that is considered closed cell, it sure held a lot of water.
  16. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I didn't try - it did it all by itself.;sick. It floated at water level (no freeboard left).

    It could have been either (closed or open). Usually closed cell will have a sheen/shine if you look at the individual cells. The foam in my boat has a yellow tint to it, not the normal white color. I think it was multipurpose. Part glue/ stiffening/sound, etc.
  17. Scols

    Scols Burning Hunk

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    Thats impressive, I wonder if being a lighter tin boat makes the difference. You have to tell the story of how you filled it !
  18. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Not much about that boat that is light. 3/4" deck wood, multi compartments. 70hp on the back, with 18gal of fuel. And three of the largest trojan deep cycle batteries you can buy. It was the last year of the thick skin for the hull, also. For a small boat it is actually a heavy weight at the scale.

    Neighbors toon (28ft with full upper deck) was tied off to my dock, my little boat on the other side. My dock is not pounded into the bottom, just feet so that it can be removed for winter. Heavy, heavy winds. The toon was trying to move away from my boat which tilted my dock - which lifted one corner of my boat, but sank the other. Filled it up like tilting a dish in a sink full of water.
  19. Scols

    Scols Burning Hunk

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    Huh,sounds like my boat was much lighter,I guess it just didnt handle weight to well. I wouldnt say you sunk your boat all by yourself, in fact I would say the toon did it.
  20. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Nope - never said I sank it.;) It did it all by itself (with the help of the toon).
  21. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Well, one thing is for certain. You don't know how difficult the job will be until you get in there and figure out what is rotten and what isn't. Rotten wood doesn't help anybody and is a safety hazard. Get it out of there. Take lots of pics/video and you should be able to get everything back together.

    Matt
    Jags likes this.
  22. Retired Guy

    Retired Guy Feeling the Heat

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    I can attest that a 32' Bayliner Fly Bridge boat doesn't float when full of water. BTW, don't dock stern to the wind.
  23. sinnian

    sinnian Minister of Fire

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    Whatever you do, don't use PT plywood. The new stuff will create a chemical reaction with the aluminum.
  24. Bad Wolf

    Bad Wolf Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the feedback. I went to tinboats.com and they are to small aluminum boaters what the Hearth is to wood burners.

    I managed to get the floor out behind the rear bench seat. The original floor was indeed very rotted and water logged. The foam had been foamed in place (I could see the 2" holes that they filled it through) and when I removed some of it, it felt like a brick it had so much water in it. So the next step is to remove all of the flooring, both layers and dig out all of the old foam. After that I'll clean and paint all of the seams and rivets with a sealer called Gluvit. The folks at tinboats swear by it. Then I'll shape and reinstall some pink foam board and put the newer floor back down. It comes in a multitude of thicknesses so I should be able to fill the voids with a minimum of cutting. I'm going to save and weigh all of the crappy wood and foam just to see how much weight I've saved. I'm debating whether I want to put carpeting back down.
    Jags likes this.

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