Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Barnegat Bay, NJ
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Re: Non wood interior sole alternative
Flooring on boats is made with the assumption that it will only be walked on on sunny weekends and a three week summer vacation, max.
Linoleum is made to be walked on 24-7,year round ,especially the industrial grade,and is far better made. From more than 2 ft away, it can be hard to tell apart from wood.
So why would you use inferior material with a higher price tag?
Because products for interior use are designed to work in a fairly narrow temperature range and are not designed to withstand the motor oil, diesel and solvents you spill when working on your engine. Most manufacturers will tell you that installation in a damp or unheated environment voids the warranty.
When you look at products designed for interior use you find that they won't hold up in a boat that sees temps from -10 to 120F. The problem is expansion and contraction with temperature, the flexibility of the fiberglass sole and its movement with temperature.
I got some samples of a couple of types of flooring and applied them to 24x24 squares of 3/4" plywood and hardboard and left them on my patio for over a year to see how they reacted to temperature/moisture changes.
NuTeak interior flooring still looks like new, even on the hardboard sample that warped badly after a year. Diesel and PB Blaster wiped off it with no staining. Most importantly it looks really good. I'm a woodworker so I'm very particular about the look. Too many products look like plastic. I'm going to try an install this spring. We'll see.
Here's their interior products.
95 Catalina 30 Island Time
“The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective." - Henry David Thoreau