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Old 08-05-2010
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16' Floor and Deck Replacement. Advice Please!

Ok so I have a 16' rebel that I bought earlier this year. I have come to find that the flotation foam is waterlogged. So after reading on here, I wasn't sure whether to spend any time or money to replace it. But I will be having a lot of time in the fall and can appreciate a good project to challenge myself, I've decided to see what I can do. I was also considering replacing the plastic deck the boat has right now with a 1/2" Douglas Fir plywood. Is that a reasonable idea or not? I was also talking to a man at a boat factory about 30 minutes from my house and he mentioned people replacing flotation foam with those bright colored pool noodles. He said these are good because they are cheap and are very resistant to absorbing much water.


^^This is the floor right now. How would I go about removing the glass tape along the seam? Its got a pretty hard adhesive along it as well.

Also:
What are the proper steps to preparing the plywood for the floor? Would I just coat with epoxy? What products are recommended to give the ply a darker look?

Thanks for any help you may offer. I really appreciate it
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Old 08-05-2010
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plywood

Yes you can use plywood for the deck and sole BUT BE SURE IT IS MARINE GRADE PLYWOOD, not just "exterior grade" which may be sold as water proof by your local lumber yard. It isn't! It will rot in the course of a year or two. Marine grade is truly waterproof but it costs more, of course.

The difference between marine grade and pressure treated plywood - by Raymond Alexander Kukkee - Helium

To remove the sole just take a dremel tool with a cut off wheel and carefully work your way along the angle. Then use a belt sander to remove the remaining glass tape.

I wouldn't use noodles for flotation. Use a proper closed cell foam. You can get it in any custom size for a reasonable cost. One potential source is
Insulfoam in Kent, WA Phone 800-775-9424.
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Not sure I would bother to remove all the remaining tape with a belt sander. Maybe take the edge off, but there is potential to do real harm if it gets away from you, even for a split second.

Also, you could lay your decking near the old tape and use it as a bolster to support the deck, adding a little thickness to the sidewall. (that's assuming you're happy that its solid and secure) And make darn sure you wear a good respirator/filter. That stuff is nasty in your lungs.
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Old 08-05-2010
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Here's a link to the sole work I did on my Oday. It's not super descriptive, but may help you. It's a little work, but anything can be done with enough time and money. I can tell you that epoxy is pretty expensive. I used most of a gallon doing just that small section of sole.

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Thanks for the replies so far. This is all helping a lot. Is it safe to use 1/2" for the new sole and probably replacing the stringers in the floor? How many coats of epoxy would I use on the new sole? Also when placing the new wood sole in the boat, would I want to use fiberglass tape along the edge again or would a good bead of fast cure 5200 be sufficient.

Some info: the boat won't be spending long periods in the water or even uncovered. Also I bought it for just a few hundred dollars and its about 40 years old, so I'm willing to do work that has potential to backfire at least for the learning experience.
Thanks again!
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Thumbs up

Dwayne, is there any specific reason you wouldn't use the noodles for flotation or is it just more of a risky proposition?

LandLocked, I really appreciate that thread you posted. I will really be needing some epoxy then won't I? How many coats did you do on that plywood? Also did you put glass cloth or anything on the other side? Also, I would like to try for a darker wood so is there any stains you would suggest using? Thanks

Last edited by MIeagle; 08-05-2010 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 08-06-2010
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Are you absolutely, positively sure that noodles won't get water soaked after a while? I'm not. They weren't designed for long term immersion. Use the right stuff or don't bother.

Half inch ply is OK if it's properly supported; stringers no less than 16 inches apart.

Don't try to glue it down. Use the fiberglass tape and epoxy. It's far more stable.

You don't need to seal the underside with epoxy if you use marine grade plywood. The only need to seal the top side is to make it look good and prevent splinters. If you don't use marine grade ply then you will need to seal the crap out of all sides and do a lot of praying that it lasts more than a few months.

Use any good stain that you want to.
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Alright thanks a lot Dwayne. Your last post answered a lot of my questions. I will be looking into the foam you suggested. You would consider that a better alternative than the 2 part foam that is poured then expands? I agree with your attitude of getting the right stuff and doing this right the first time, I just am beginning this type of work and am just learning what the right stuff is. Thanks again to all the replies.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIeagle View Post
LandLocked, I really appreciate that thread you posted. I will really be needing some epoxy then won't I? How many coats did you do on that plywood? Also did you put glass cloth or anything on the other side? Also, I would like to try for a darker wood so is there any stains you would suggest using? Thanks
Not sure how your sole is built, but in my case my sole was cored with plywood. It was not marine grade so I did not replace it with marine grade. A gamble, perhaps, but i'm not planning on my boat ever being full of water and not tended to properly. Not only that, but my boat will never be a high dollar boat so I wasn't interested in investing more than what was needed to make it right.

When installing the sole all of the plywood was wetted with epoxy first, then we mixed thickened epoxy to the consistency of catsup and did the final install of the old glass sole. Then I chamfered my cuts and glassed them.

Post some more pics of what you have ahead of you, is your sole cored?
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I would epoxy saturate all the sides of the plywood, regardless of whether it is marine ply or not. Plywood, if allowed to get wet, will ROT, regardless of what kind it is.

As for cutting the fiberglass tape and removing the existing floor, use a fein multimaster or similar oscillating blade tool to cut along the edge. Most of these tools have a flush cut blade that will allow you to cut right along the hull side and leave a very, very clean cut.

You also don't want to have the plywood right up against the inner side of the hull. Ideally, you'd use fiberglass tape and thickened epoxy to tab the sole to the hull, but chances are very likely you'll need to rest the sole on stringers and floors and only tab the top of the sole to the hull—stringers run longitudinally along the hull and floors run athwartships the hull.

Tabbing is only generally strong in resisting forces in one direction... tabbing along the top of a cockpit sole will resist downward forces well but doesn't do as well if the forces are upwards. This is why bulkheads are typically tabbed on both sides but a sole is only tabbed on one in many cases.
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