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Hey, i am redoing the flooring in my bass tracker and need some advice. I ordered Marine plywood and epoxy, but i want to know what is the strongest way to join the pieces of plywood together to create the flooring! Thanks!

 

 

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What are you connecting it to first of all.  Ned a bit more info to give you a good answer.  Are you rebuilding the entire deck and supports from the hull up or just reduing the deck?  

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What are you connecting it to first of all.  Ned a bit more info to give you a good answer.  Are you rebuilding the entire deck and supports from the hull up or just reduing the deck?  

just redoing the two decks. The back deck is aluminum but the middle and from are wood. Leaving the aluminum beams in place that the deck screws into and replaced the foam in the boat! So the new decks will be screwed into the crossbeams that are welded to the hull

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Well if you still have the screws they used I would put them back in with them.  If not, I would go with Stainless Steel screws (don't rust) as well as using a bit of 3M's 4200 to keep them secure (if need be the 4200 will let you pull the screws back out in the future if needed.  If you use 5200 you might as well cut the aluminum out because they aren't going to come out).  Use counter sink holes to attach the deck. Put a bit of wood putty over the screw heads and then use the epoxy and fiberglass cloth to cover seems and screw holes.  If you are putting 2 pieces of plywood together, then I would use 3M 5200 fast cure between the two pieces to give them a solid bond. But make sure you don't get any on your scews you're using to attach to the framing.

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Well if you still have the screws they used I would put them back in with them.  If not, I would go with Stainless Steel screws (don't rust) as well as using a bit of 3M's 4200 to keep them secure (if need be the 4200 will let you pull the screws back out in the future if needed.  If you use 5200 you might as well cut the aluminum out because they aren't going to come out).  Use counter sink holes to attach the deck. Put a bit of wood putty over the screw heads and then use the epoxy and fiberglass cloth to cover seems and screw holes.  If you are putting 2 pieces of plywood together, then I would use 3M 5200 fast cure between the two pieces to give them a solid bond. But make sure you don't get any on your scews you're using to attach to the framing.

thank you! that is honestly all i needed to know haha. the screws the previous owner used were standard deck screws and rusted and were awful to get out so i will go with stainless steel screws of similar size. Where is a good place to get the fast cure and fiberglass cloth? also, should i assemble the pieces of wood and bond them previous to putting them in the boat, or should i put them in then assemble them and how long should i let them cure for a solid bond between the plywood? Thanks so much!

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I would bond them together before installing them.  Look around, think you can find most of this at Home Depot, or Grainger.  Not sure where you're located at,  but there is West Marine, as well as Donavan.  5200 comes in a slow cure as well as fast cure. Depending on how quickly you're working on this project.  Are you screwing straight into the previous holes?  If so if you can find that size screw in SS that will work the best, if not be careful if you go up a size.  Screw into the framing BEFORE you attach the deck and back them back out.  This way if you happen to snap one of the screws off, you can use vice grips to remove the broken screw.  Once it's tapped then by all means go for it.  Apply the 4200 into the deck screw hole prior to inserting the screw.  This way you get good adhesion to both the deck as well as the frame with with the 4200.  Hope this gives you some ideas where to look and help moving forward on your project.

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I would bond them together before installing them.  Look around, think you can find most of this at Home Depot, or Grainger.  Not sure where you're located at,  but there is West Marine, as well as Donavan.  5200 comes in a slow cure as well as fast cure. Depending on how quickly you're working on this project.  Are you screwing straight into the previous holes?  If so if you can find that size screw in SS that will work the best, if not be careful if you go up a size.  Screw into the framing BEFORE you attach the deck and back them back out.  This way if you happen to snap one of the screws off, you can use vice grips to remove the broken screw.  Once it's tapped then by all means go for it.  Apply the 4200 into the deck screw hole prior to inserting the screw.  This way you get good adhesion to both the deck as well as the frame with with the 4200.  Hope this gives you some ideas where to look and help moving forward on your project.

Great advice! and there s a lowes a few minutes fro my house. I may go with a slightly longer screw because the deck will be thicker and have heavier carpet/padding. My idea is to paint the aluminum framing and while it is still wet, placing the assembled and cured deck on it so the faming traces onto the wood. Then i can set intervals that i want the screws at and can be SURE that I'm screwing into the framing center and not into the foam or anything surrounding it!! If you have any other ideas please let me know!

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If you can find them, probably at a Lowes, Home Depot, or ACE hardware, get some stainless steel "drill screws".

 

Phillips-Countersunk-Head-Self-Drilling-

No need to drill pilot holes.  Make sure you lay everything out properly, and mark lines on the plywood where the aluminum supports the plywood.  Use a drywall screw driver with a depth adjustment.  Set it so that the screw is flush with the surface of the plywood when the bit stops turning.

 

They cost a bit more than regular stainless steel screws, but they are worth the extra cost.  It's not likely, but if you do need to counter sink the holes, just use the countersink bit where you want to place the screws.  Leave the counter sink a little on the shallow side.  The screws will compress the wood a bit.  Too deep, and you'll end up with recessed screw heads.

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If you can find them, probably at a Lowes, Home Depot, or ACE hardware, get some stainless steel "drill screws".

 

Phillips-Countersunk-Head-Self-Drilling-

No need to drill pilot holes.  Make sure you lay everything out properly, and mark lines on the plywood where the aluminum supports the plywood.  Use a drywall screw driver with a depth adjustment.  Set it so that the screw is flush with the surface of the plywood when the bit stops turning.

 

They cost a bit more than regular stainless steel screws, but they are worth the extra cost.  It's not likely, but if you do need to counter sink the holes, just use the countersink bit where you want to place the screws.  Leave the counter sink a little on the shallow side.  The screws will compress the wood a bit.  Too deep, and you'll end up with recessed screw heads.

thanks tom! why wouldn't i want to countersink the screws? 

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any joints in the deck should be on your stringers/frame runners if possible.i realize marine plywood is expensive, but having less joints will make a better longer lasting floor. ask me how i know, lol

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thanks tom! why wouldn't i want to countersink the screws? 

 

Because they may pull into the wood on their own.  That makes for a tighter connection of wood to aluminum frame.  Countersink only if they will not pull in flush on their own.  Countersinking in this case, where the deck will be carpeted is most likely an unnecessary step.

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When I put new door hatches on mine, I encapsulated the wood with fiberglass resin.  Did not want to give the water any opportunity to invade.

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When I put new door hatches on mine, I encapsulated the wood with fiberglass resin.  Did not want to give the water any opportunity to invade.

I would not advise that.  Polyester resin does not make a good bond with wood.  As wood expands and contracts with heat and cold, the resin will crack.  That allows moisture to penetrate, while making it difficult for the moisture to escape.  If you want to seal/encapsulate the wood panels, use Gluvit.  It is flexible, and will stretch and contract with the wood.  Gluvit is an epoxy resin, and bonds much better than polyester.  Polyester resin is not waterproof.  Epoxy is.

 

Seek, fill, and seal cracks in fiberglass, wood and metal.

Hard protective coating flexes with hull movements to bridge and seal hairline cracks.

Seals aluminum seams, rivets, and leaks around cabins or decks

Long working time allows for maximum penetration

Easily top coated with bottom or topside coatings an dmost paints.

 

http://www.marinetex.com/gluvit.html

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You also need to make sure the plywood you use is not copper treated. It will corrode the aluminum it comes in contact with.

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Having done lot's of wooden boat repair work (S Cal charterboat for 10+ years), if you're going to seal the wood, look into West Marine's 2 part marine epoxy.  You don't want to drill holes the same size as the screw, just a small hole so the plywood doesn't crack apart when the screw gos in.  If you read the first one, you want to seal the wood after attaching it to the framing.  Since there is a posiblilty of it being damp below, use a wood sealent on the bottom part then resin and cloth all joints and yes the screw's you used to attach the deck.  Let the deck cure inside and after it's sealed and solid then carpet.  ANY screw's put into the deck after you have attached it to the framing, make sure you use 4200 on the screws to keep out the moisture and seal up the hole. I would use a good adhesive glue to attach your carpeting to the deck.  Hinges after the deck following the 4200 guideline of sealing the screws use in attaching th hinges. The SS self taping screws will wok great to go into the framing, but do countersink the plywood.  And if you want you could put the 4200 between the new deck and framing to make sure your deck is secured and won't pull up(now you have the screws and 4200 holding the deck to the frame).  You can probably find everything you need at West Marine for the epoxy resin's and adhesives.  Make sure the glue you use is for outdoor carpeting.  

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Having done lot's of wooden boat repair work (S Cal charterboat for 10+ years), if you're going to seal the wood, look into West Marine's 2 part marine epoxy.  You don't want to drill holes the same size as the screw, just a small hole so the plywood doesn't crack apart when the screw gos in.  If you read the first one, you want to seal the wood after attaching it to the framing.  Since there is a posiblilty of it being damp below, use a wood sealent on the bottom part then resin and cloth all joints and yes the screw's you used to attach the deck.  Let the deck cure inside and after it's sealed and solid then carpet.  ANY screw's put into the deck after you have attached it to the framing, make sure you use 4200 on the screws to keep out the moisture and seal up the hole. I would use a good adhesive glue to attach your carpeting to the deck.  Hinges after the deck following the 4200 guideline of sealing the screws use in attaching th hinges. The SS self taping screws will wok great to go into the framing, but do countersink the plywood.  And if you want you could put the 4200 between the new deck and framing to make sure your deck is secured and won't pull up(now you have the screws and 4200 holding the deck to the frame).  You can probably find everything you need at West Marine for the epoxy resin's and adhesives.  Make sure the glue you use is for outdoor carpeting.

Thanks for the advice! I'm planning on installing protech deck matting before the carpet. Any advice on this or if I should screw the board in before I add this and them carpeting!? Thanks again!

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Do your deckwork construction first and secure it.  Once you get all that done then you can do the protech matting and carpet.

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Do your deckwork construction first and secure it.  Once you get all that done then you can do the protech matting and carpet.

 

Is there a certain epoxy you recommend for sealing the marine plywood?

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I would order from West Marine and use their West Systems Epoxy 105 Resin as well as the 205 hardner either slow or fast cure depending on how long you want to wait.  For coating and sealing if you're not in a rush, go with the slow cure, and for taping I'd use the fast.  So short answer, order a larger amount of 105 resin and order 1 of each of the smaller hardening agents (205).  Follow the guidelines, if you mix this stuff too hot, it will smoke and could ignite flamable materials if you try and throw it away while it's curing (if mixed too hot)  When it says 5:1, normally the resin is in a bigger container and they have pumps available for them that accurately dispense the proper amount.  1 pump of each gives you the right ratio.  I'd coat one side and let it rest.  Then coat the other after that side has cured and dried. 

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