make a inflatable Dinghy Floor? - SailNet Community

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Old 04-10-2013
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make a inflatable Dinghy Floor?

I recently purchased a new (but previously owned) Walker Bay inflatable dinghy. Model AF270. Love it. Just one "minor" problem. . . . it is missing the air floor. I have been talking with the manufacturer to try and get a replacement air floor, but that's proving to be a little bit difficult because this was their previous model and the floor is actually a different size than their current models.

In any case, I'm probably needing to MAKE a floor for it. We leave for our trip in 3 weeks, so short time window. Here are some options I am considering:

1. Cut a single piece, or perhaps two, out of the hard (blue board) insulation. if I would put it in place before inflating, the rounded tubes would hold it snuggly in place. This is quick, easy, light. But concerned that over several months of use, it would eventually break and crack into pieces.

2. two or three pieces of exterior plywood (perhaps hinged together), sanded smooth with rounded edges, and then coated with epoxy resin (no FG cloth - resin only). I'm wondering if this would wear against the tubes too much.

Anyway, I would welcome some insight, thoughts, comments, or justplain ol' wisdom!

thx, markb

S/V "New Girl" on the dock

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Old 04-10-2013
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Re: make a inflatable Dinghy Floor?

Mark, I'd expect the blue (presumably styrofoam) board wil break down pretty quickly, it is designed to insulate, not to be walked on or do anything structural.

Plywood should work, sanded and sealed, but I'd run some old fire hose or heavy cloth around the edges so there's a really good anti-chafe where it is going to rub against the tubes. And probably making and remaking a full-sized template from heavy cardboard or something similar to really get the fit right.
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Old 04-10-2013
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Re: make a inflatable Dinghy Floor?

My old dinghie had a plywood floor that was somewhere around 3/8-1/2" thick. I agree with HS, the blue foam won't hold up. Now, blue foam with a layer of plywood or luan over it - that might work, but I'm not sure how that stuff holds up when exposed to salt water, and it may prove to be too thick to fit under the sides of the boat. I think the easiest way is to go with the plywood by itself, with a bumper trim on the outside (though my old floor didn't have such a trim).
- Jim
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