Rebuilding Commercial Fishing Vessel Deck 25' Farallon

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by stangclassic66, Sep 30, 2007.

  1. stangclassic66
    Joined: Sep 2007
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    Location: San Leandro, CA

    stangclassic66 New Member

    Hi everyone,

    I would like to rebuild the deck on my current boat, a 25' Farallon. It was previously used as a Commercial Salmon Troller, then converted over to a Vessel Assist/Tow Boat US tower, now into my hands. My current plans for this vessel is to convert it back to a commercial fishing vessel. Either for Crab or Blackcod or both.

    Needless to say, since it was used as a towboat, the deck is very stressed and weak from having the towbar mounted to it. Anyway, I would like to rip it out and rebuild it and a few friends of mine have strongly suggested using foam core instead of marine plywood. I have zero experience with fiberglassing but i'm willing to dive into this project as long as I know it's done correctly and safely. Here are my following concerns.

    1. I would like to be able to safely carry between 17-20 commercial 36" dungeness crab pots at a time. Each pot weighs approx. 100lbs. So that can be 1 ton right off the bat.

    2. I need to be able to mount a commercial hydraulic crab block (hauler) to the deck and gunnel. Being that i'm new to foam core, the thought of mounting a 300+ lb. metal contraption to a foam core and relying on the strength of that foam core to pull up a 100lb trap with the boat in gear with the strong winterly currents has got me a little worried to say the least.

    Please comment on whether this is safe to do. At any given time, as fishing seasons and needs/wants change I also want to be able to mount something to the deck with confidence that it's not going to rip the entire deck off.

    Thanks in advance.

    Erik
     
  2. longliner45
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    longliner45 Senior Member

    I would go with 1/2 inch ply,,it flexes good and is strong enough,,your knees will be glad,,,,,reenforce the area that you put gear,,,but the rest of area that you walk ,should flex ..longliner
     
  3. stangclassic66
    Joined: Sep 2007
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    Location: San Leandro, CA

    stangclassic66 New Member

    Thanks for the reply longliner! Is 1/2" better than 3/4" marine ply?

    Also what should it be reinforced with? Pretty much the entire deck is going to be laced with crab pots or blackcod pots or totes full of crab or blackcod.

    Probably the only portion of the deck not holding gear would be the helm, which currently is part of the deck as a whole.

    Thanks in advance!!
     
  4. donncha
    Joined: May 2006
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    donncha Junior Member

    In my opinion it would be a good idea to make sure you have proper supports for that "hauler" under the deck as in having it connected to the frames or something similar just to be sure. I wouldn't like the idea of a hydraulic crane supported be ply wood and a gunwale.
     
  5. stangclassic66
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    stangclassic66 New Member

    That would be a given. Probably 3/16" stainless plate beneath the plywood and maybe a few 2"x4"s between them too. I can get the best method of support from my fellow crabbers at the dock.
     
  6. donncha
    Joined: May 2006
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    donncha Junior Member

    In that case marine ply would probably be your best bet. I remember reading a good piece about decking for workboats and it said that because of the amount of wear that the deck gets you might need to replace it after few years anyway though. I think it was George Buhler who wrote the articil and he recomended thick planking as abose to marine ply for work boats. Don't know much about foam core but it might be a good alternative to wood if it's strong and sturdy.
     
  7. stangclassic66
    Joined: Sep 2007
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    Location: San Leandro, CA

    stangclassic66 New Member

    I would agree with wood planking as most large wooden work boats have planked decks and can withstand lots of abuse. If it weren't so heavy I would opt for that but I ultimately don't want to add to my overall net tonnage, which is why I asked about foam coring.

    My last boat had a gutter system throughout the deck with boxed squares and gutters in between. In my opinion was the ultimate prevention against rot because water never fell through the deck into the bilge and never sat on top of the deck and water was always routed out the scuppers.

    Problem is, my old boat was 13' beam and this boat is 8' beam. So copying the old boat, I would have to proportionally shrink all the squares and gutters for the 8' beam. I know it's possible but I don't know how much I would add to the net tonnage and how it would affect my ability to safely carry 2000# of crab pots. Other same model boats have been known to carry 2000# distributed loads in fair weather.

    I've included a copy of my old boat's deck. The middle two are hatches that provide access to the engine and lazarette. I've carried 3500# distributed weight across that deck with no problems. Of course the gross tonnage was a lot larger than my 25' farallon. www.farallonboats.com
     

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  8. pescaloco
    Joined: Feb 2006
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    Location: so. california

    pescaloco Senior Member

    faralon nice looking boat.

    for a comercial work deck 3/4 in ply wood with 3 or 4 layers of 1.5 oz mat glassed in place, then finsined off with a mixture of gelcote and cabosil will make a long lasting and abrasion resistan work deck. this is the way a well known east coast lobster boat builder does it.

    mark
     
  9. Man Overboard
    Joined: Oct 2006
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    Location: Wisconsin

    Man Overboard Tom Fugate

    Eric,
    I would find it hard to believe that a foam core deck would have sufficient crush resistance to withstand crab pots being banged around on deck. A light weight wood cored deck makes more sense; possibly balsa. If the weight isn't a critical factor, than marine ply is what I would go with.
     

  10. SamSam
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: Coastal Georgia

    SamSam Senior Member

    With foam, anywhere you want to screw or thru bolt something, that area has to be solid wood. If you go with wood, you can put anything you want, any where you want without having to redo that portion of the deck. Wood would be a lot tougher to begin with, also.
     
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