Waterproof floor leveling compound?

Discussion in 'Metal Boat Building' started by foxmcf, Apr 19, 2008.

  1. foxmcf
    Joined: Mar 2008
    Posts: 7
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    Location: Raymore, MO

    foxmcf Junior Member

    Hello all -

    In a previous post, several helpful people were able to direct me to replacing the decking material in my 16 foot aluminum v hull.

    I used 3/4" ply and coated it with epoxy. I was able to find long enough 1/4" rivets and I finally placed the decking in today.

    I am going to be carpeting the boat, and now need to know what the best way to flatten the floor is (rivets heads protrude above and joints don't 100% line up). I know I used some floor leveling compound in the past for my kitchen, before I put linoleum down, but it was for indoor use only and likely not waterproof.

    Does anyone know of something I can apply to the floor so that I can then apply the carpet to a flat, smooth surface?

    Thanks ahead of time!
     
  2. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    Location: maine

    alan white Senior Member

    Carpet is not a good idea but if you must, coat the ply again until you have a uniform glossy surface. This may take a few coats.
    You're right that indoor levelling compound is a bad idea. Better to let go of the term "levelling" altogether. Fairing is the better term, and the sloppier the job laying the plywood and riveting, the more fairing is going to be required.
    Sounds like its too late to simply caulk the seams and so it would make sense to glass tape the flat seams and caulk the sides if there's room for caulk.
    Your rivets should be neat and flush, and if they arent, just drill them out and drive them through and do them again next to the old hole, and fill the old hole with sealant.
    A rivet head should be unnoticable under carpet.
    A good fairing compound can be made from epoxy and flour or very fine sawdust (wood flour). This can be trowelled onto uneven surfaces with a 6" taping knife. A neat job under carpet should need no sanding. Fair after glass/epoxy taping flat seams.
    Remember! The reason most all of these boats have rot problems is due to a combination of crummy sealing of the plywood and a "wet rag" of carpet providing an almost perfect environment for mold.
    Again, if you must carpet, seal well with epoxy, all sides several coats. Even without carpet, plywood will rot because the bilge holds mositure. It's the way these boats are made. If it were my boat, I'd use cedar boards with spaces between for ventilation and no carpet, which really isn't anything more than a means to cover up cheap construction.

    Alan
     
  3. TollyWally
    Joined: Mar 2005
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    Location: Fox Island

    TollyWally Senior Member

    I suppose you could mix up some thickener in epoxy and mud over the seams and rivets, will your booboos really telegraph through carpet enough to worry about?
     
  4. foxmcf
    Joined: Mar 2008
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    Location: Raymore, MO

    foxmcf Junior Member

    Carpet or No Carpet

    Alan - Thanks for the information. I hear you loud and clear about your warning with carpet. I gave the plywood 3 good coats as you suggested. I noticed what you were referring to after the first two coats, where some areas would not be as glossy as others. I filled every hole with epoxy as well, before I laid the rivet. I feel that I'll get good use of the boat with a good grade carpet. I'm following others suggestions about not using the standard indoor/outdoor grade carpet from Home Depot or Lowes. I found some carpet at a local marine shop and it came highly recommended. This is the first time this boat has needed a replacement, as it's 17 years old now. I'll be glad if I get half of that with me re-do job. Besides that, I don't have much choice in the matter of carpet or no carpet. My wife said it WILL have carpet.

    Have a great week!
     

  5. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    Location: maine

    alan white Senior Member

    Now I recall the original thread. If you did as suggested (may have been PAR who mentioned getting the glossy surface in the first thread), you will get another 20 years. Most importantly, you can assure any buyer that the job was done "just so" for long life without maintainence.
    Good luck with the carpet. I should have known it was for the wife. Not having one, I sometimes forget what motivates us to do what we do.

    Alan
     
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