Wood floor sealing...

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by CoreyGill, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. CoreyGill
    Joined: Aug 2014
    Posts: 4
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Tx

    CoreyGill New Member

    I am working on a boat restoration and had a question over boat floor coverings. I have spent a little time searching and haven't really come up with the answer I was looking for so I figure I'll give it a shot.

    The boat I am restoring is going to have a flat, marine grade, wooden floor. It's actually a wide aluminum boat. Thus far I've fabricated some aluminum framed casting decks, floor joists, and various storage compartments for. I've yet to deck the thing because I haven't really made a good plan as to what I'm going to cover the decking with.

    Here's what I do know...

    *The deck will be completely covered from bow to stern with marine grade plywood.

    *i want to use some sort of non slip coating to cover the plywood with

    * The plan as of now is to not seal the perimeter of the deck to the sides of the boat, but keep it open so that any water can travel down the bottom of the boat to the plug/bilge

    Here's a few of my concerns that...I was hoping to lean on a few of the veteran builders for some expertise or previous experiences

    *Leaving the deck unsealed on the perimeter. Anybody see any issues with that? The boat drains really well and it will always be stored out of the water.

    *Epoxy Coating vs. Bed Liner. This is going to be exclusively a lake fishing boat. Want a durable coating that will protect the wood and act as a semi-water resistant coating.

    * Coating the seams between two pieces of decking. Where the multiple pieces of decking will meet (mainly on the front deck and lower deck) I'd like to seal and mask those joints as best as possible. I thought of using a thicker 2 part epoxy on each seam before coating it but I wasn't sure how well it would hold up against cracking while the boat is running. I know the boat doesn't flex a huge amount but I wasn't sure that it would hold up or is a bit more flexible product would be better. If I were to coat the bottom with a stay in bedliner a 100% silicone caulk maybe?

    As I said, I'm no expert when it comes to boat building, but a pretty qualified builder/fabricator. Any input will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
    Posts: 7,409
    Likes: 234, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 702
    Location: Australia

    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Be careful with any gaps that allow "stuff" to fall down into areas hidden from sight, and possibly create corrosion potential. If it is all well painted under there, much less an issue.
     
  3. CoreyGill
    Joined: Aug 2014
    Posts: 4
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Tx

    CoreyGill New Member

    Thanks, a good point. I plan to cut the deck pretty tight to the sides of the boat, maybe sealing it wouldn't be such a bad plan. I guess my concern with sealing it was that water would be trapped between the front and rear casting decks. The paint on the boat now is flaked away pretty good. Before I plywood the boat I planned to get the paint gun out and run a coat of paint over the topside of the hull and all of the framing before I covered it up.
     
  4. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 470, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Leave a gap around the perimeter, but also supported around the perimeter, which typically means scuppers or discontinuous cleats. This will let water drain off, where it can run to a pump or transom drain and you'll still have edge support to prevent flex. I wouldn't bond it to the aluminum, simply fasten it down to some perimeter cleats and frames/beams.

    Seal the plywood completely, with epoxy, especially the end grain, any cutouts, fastener holes, etc. Then use the coating of your choice. Truck bed liner works, but tends to get slippery with fish guts, more so than other approaches, such as a textured finish.
     
  5. CoreyGill
    Joined: Aug 2014
    Posts: 4
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Tx

    CoreyGill New Member

    Thanks for the responses, really good information. Ive been looking into some non-water wased epoxy floor coatings. I have some 2 part epoxy paint that I am going to coat all of the wood with, top bottom and sides before I mount it and apply the floor coating on top of it. I guess my only real remaining question, and the one I was most curious about, is what to do with the seams between the plywood once I have painted it and attached it to the framing, but before I coat it. I want to seal between and "float" the joint in between 2 sections of flat deck ( the deck will be wider and longer than 4x8 so more than one piece of wood will be required ). Does anybody have any experience with that? Should I use a tradition 2 part epoxy and sand it smooth before I coat the floor? Or use a more flexible sealant like silicone, install it in between the 2 deck boards and then coat the floor?
     
  6. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 470, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Epoxy paint isn't like real epoxy, though chemically they do have similar elements. It doesn't waterproof wood either. Anything put over it will only be sealing the paint, not the wood.

    Download the free "Epoxy Book" at systemthree.com and the "User's Guides" and boat construction book over at westsystem.com and read up on real epoxy, before tossing good money at poor technique and products.
     

  7. CoreyGill
    Joined: Aug 2014
    Posts: 4
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Tx

    CoreyGill New Member

    Thanks PAR, I will download it shortly. I actually just read your tips and tricks and it solved many of my questions. Thanks again for the help guys. I've got most of the frame welded in and will be decking soon. Maybe I will post some pictures up when I finish the thing.
     
Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.