SailNet Community banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Asleep at the wheel
Joined
·
3,017 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We picked up a Bombard AX3 dinghy from Craigslist. After cleaning the valves and patching one small (1") cut on the side, it is holding air very nicely. The only issue I have with it (that I know of) is that of the 6 slats that should be in the floor, two are missing, two are broken, and two are in good shape. I'm going to trim the sharp edges of the two broken slats and wrap the joint with some fiberglass to reinforce it. I want the experience with fiberglass anyway, so this is a good start for me. But that still leaves me with two missing slats. I know I can get some marine ply, cut it to length, coat it in epoxy and wrap it in fiberglass to make my own, but has anyone found a simpler solution? For example, are there composite boards that can be used? Are the white trim pieces sold at Home Depot strong enough for a slatted floor? Has anyone tried/found aluminum or other slats?

Thanks in advance for any feedback!
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
19,488 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
830 Posts
Jim:

The white poly boards from HD are not.structural. The G10 idea is good; but prolly out ta sight price wise just for a. little slat or two..
What size are/were the originals? Perhaps some 3 mm luan (as an armature) wrapped in a couple layers of glass would suffice? Might end up near to thickness and will be strong enuff, for sure..
Ya *could* always simply usestructural ply panels and coat 'em real good?! A lot cheaper and easy to replicate when tthey go bad in a couple yearsl

HTH,
Paul
 

·
Asleep at the wheel
Joined
·
3,017 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys. Yeah, the panels Ron linked to are out of my price range. One slat would cost me about what the boat cost! The Luan/door skin idea is interesting. I need to get to 3/8".
 

·
Master Mariner
Joined
·
8,990 Posts
I'm not familiar with this particular boat, but I usually put in a single 3/4" plywood piece floor board once the original pieces break down. Obviously, you can't do the whole floor with one piece, so the large piece is for the after 2 or 3 pieces and the small triangle is still used at the bow.We rarely, if ever fold up the dink, so that's not an issue and if you bevel and sand the edges to fit the shape of the reinforcing tape at the floor/tube joint, you don't get significant wear. I would paint, but not glass any of it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Faster

·
Tartan 27' owner
Joined
·
5,241 Posts
Here is one alternative: polypropylene honeycomb core
honeycomb at Express Composites, Inc.

G10 is priced as if it were gold. This honeycomb core costs about the same as a good plywood and it is very light weight but strong.
If you need 3/8" thick final dimension I'd consider getting the 1/4" core which you then would coat with epoxy and cloth to build up to 3/8".
I have some 1/2" honeycomb core from this place that I am using to re-core my decks with. I have a few scraps so if you'd like me to send you a sample send me a PM.

No affiliation with this company, just a happy customer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
411 Posts
I think your best bet and least expensive is use 1/4" luan and build it up with a few layers of glass. As mentioned before.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,784 Posts
I did one with marine ply and coated it west system then with some deck paint. Lasted a number of years, and was relatively cheap. It was an Achillies and had some aluminum extrusions that held the pieces together, so to make it fit into the extrusions had to use something relatively thin (think it was 3/8).
 

·
Old enough to know better
Joined
·
4,345 Posts
I think it really depends on how long you expect the thing to last. If you are only thinking a few years, go with door skin and soak with epoxy and put a layer of glass over it. If you think it will last say 4 years or more, go with Captain Caleb's suggestion.
 

·
Asleep at the wheel
Joined
·
3,017 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Yeah, I really like the honeycomb. The price seems right, since I should really only need about 1/3 sheet. I do only need it to last a few years, but still, it seems like the right product at the right price.
 

·
Tartan 27' owner
Joined
·
5,241 Posts
Jim,
I think the honeycomb core is a perfect product for your application (new dinhy floor boards). It is extremely light weight but strong and covered with some epoxy & cloth, then painted should last for many years. Another plus is that it is not much more expensive than plywood.
The only limiting factor might be what size boards do you need to make? They'll ship 2' x 4' sections of the core via regular ground (UPS?) but if you need a whole 4' x 8' piece for long pieces that has to be shipped freight.
Keep in mind that I'm told that seams in this core are mostly inconsequential as the seam will fill with epoxy and the outer skin you add should hold it all together. This makes sense for a deck re-core project but I wonder if it makes sense for your application.

Another idea is the Trex, or similar fake lumber sold at Home depot/Lowes which is really a kind of plastic, if you can find it in the right dimensions. The only experience I have with this stuff was making a new rub rail for a dyer dhow dinghy out of 1" x 2" pieces. I can tell you that this stuff is quite flexible in the hot sun which may not be the best attribute for a floorboard.

Send me a PM if you want a sample mailed to you of the honeycomb core.
 

·
Asleep at the wheel
Joined
·
3,017 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Caleb. I had thought about Trex, too, but I can't find it in 3/8". That's actually what started this whole process for me; I was trying to figure out whether there was some other, new material, like Trex, that might be a better choice than the plywood that the manufacturer used many years ago when making the floor.

I think the honeycomb seems like a good solution. It should help keep the weight of the boat down, while still giving me the strength I want/need for the floor. If I replace the entire floor, I need six ribs/sticks at 3.25" wide by 32" long by .375" thick. Thus the 2' x 4' would be fine. Hmmm...I wonder if they would cut it for me to help save shipping costs.
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
19,488 Posts
If you don't intend to make use of the 'roll-up' capability I'd be tempted to go with a more solid floor in several pieces.. No matter what slat material you choose I suspect at some point someone will 'jump into' the dinghy from the boat, land on a slat and crack yet another one..

We had an Avon rollup for quite a few years, always dealing with broken slats, but we did store it below most of the time because we primarily used our kayaks. Last year the floor seam blew out down one side.. We've retired it and are going to try an AL RIB we found on CL.
 

·
Asleep at the wheel
Joined
·
3,017 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Thanks Ron. We'll probably be using the dinghy with the Allmand and also in other places, so for now at least I'm leaning toward keeping the roll-up capability. We had an 11' inflatable before that had a solid floor, and I really didn't care for that. I found it very difficult to install, but that's just me. I can see where the solid floor would be advantageous.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top