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Pontoon restoration, Flooring Ideas

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CMack View Drop Down
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    Posted: 09/14/2014 at 11:50pm
Restoring a 1990 Lowe Classic 24' and was curious to see if anyone else had used composite decking on their boats. I have also had a few people mention using normal plywood and sealing the top and sides with kool seal. All thoughts and concerns will be appreciated. Thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nathan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/15/2014 at 8:18am
If you are going to use plywood make sure to seal all sides. also if you use treated plywood be careful about which chemicals were used to treat it as some is corrosive to aluminum. I have wondered about composite as well so maybe some has and can chime in. good luck on your restore.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote SunBlocker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/15/2014 at 8:27am
Originally posted by CMack CMack wrote:

Restoring a 1990 Lowe Classic 24' and was curious to see if anyone else had used composite decking on their boats. I have also had a few people mention using normal plywood and sealing the top and sides with kool seal. All thoughts and concerns will be appreciated. Thanks

I have used some composite decking for various sections of my boat (anchor/boarding platforms).

While I like working with the material, and it has proven to be very durable.... it is typically QUITE heavy, and for most materials you need less than 24" "centers" for your cross supports.

I'm not sure that doing an entire deck out of the stuff would be prudent.
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CMack View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CMack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/15/2014 at 4:14pm
Ok, have been reading around some and the word is that composite decking although would last a long time it may not be strong enough for structural support as other flooring options.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CMack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/15/2014 at 4:55pm
Any thoughts on products to use for sealing the plywood. Heard thompsons is a joke and epoxy is the way to go, but i am looking for something more affordable.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Barnmb7117 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/15/2014 at 5:38pm
I would wait until I could afford Marine Plywood.



This is what happens to cheep treated plywood after four years.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SunBlocker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/15/2014 at 5:46pm
Re-decking a pontoon boat is a heckuva lot of work and you're going to invest a lot of time and energy into the job.  If done properly, the new deck will last through your entire ownership.

Use the correct type/grade plywood and be done with it.  You will not regret the decision in the long run.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CMack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/15/2014 at 10:49pm
anyone know where to find 5/8" marine grade plywood near the north west texas area. 3/4" wont fit unless i trim the edges, the beam where the 2 boards meet has  a slot for each board to slide into. I thought this was wierd since everyone only makes mention of 3/4" sheets. If i cant find this, looks like i will use standard 5/8" plywood sealed with west systems epoxy #105 and marine vinyl flooring glued with deckmate d-128 adhesive. thoughts/concerns?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote HarleyPHD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/15/2014 at 11:28pm
I cut the T-slot off mine and used the stronger 3/4 marine plywood.
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CMack View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CMack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/15/2014 at 11:37pm
did you have any issues with the side railings going on after moving from 5/8 to 3/4??
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HarleyPHD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/16/2014 at 12:01am
I took a router and cut a step all the way around the deck. The 3/4 plywood was thinner than 3/4 of an inch (23/32), so I cut a little less then 1/8 inch down to make the edge 5/8.
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on finding Marine Plywood you need to just call around. you may find a place that carries it. or pontoonstuff.com can ship it to you.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cabinetman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/16/2014 at 8:44am
The reason that the slot is 5/8" is so that you will rabbit the edge of the plywood to slide in to the slot it you use just 5/8" plywood you will always have a ridge at every joint from the metal lip. If I were you I would rabbit the edge of the plywood or just cut the metal lip of  which ever way you good be sure and use 3/4 marine grade plywood for the streight and life of the plywood.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stevehue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/16/2014 at 10:39am
I did mine with the decking kit that is on this site. It made the job so easy when I thought it was going to be a real pain. Do the kit and you will not regret it I guarantee it. Use the CCA type plywood and not your regular AB marine grade at your local lumber shop. This is not the right stuff. I did my 20ftr for around 750-800$ and it was worth every penny. I reinstalled my floor in a weekend. The kit has everything including the bolts and nuts to put your fencing back on.

Check my signature and you will see my complete rebuild. My old floor was CDX and from what I can tell it lasted maybe 6 years. AB and CDX are not the right stuff and I call every lumber yard in a couple hundred mile radius and nobody carries the CCA. The only place I found CCA was online!!


Edited by Stevehue - 09/16/2014 at 10:43am
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http://www.pontoonboatforum.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=4693&title=pc3flyr-1987-lowes-fishnfun-rebuild-done

The above is my Lowe rebuild.  Same deck supports and 5/8th plywood.  Even 5/8 plywood needs some top rabbit to get good fit and that eliminates the uneven surface on the top.  I covered this and has pictures. I think I also listed the site that had 5/8 CCA treated plywood which is what manufactures use for decks of wood.  It was the only site I could find.  Price was decent but shipping really adds to cost.  Local lumber yards cannot get the CCA treated plywood. I checked Home Depot, Lowes, Menards, etc.
If they say they can you better make sure they really know what they are talking about. 

Some have cut off the top of the T and used 3/4 inch plywood.  I can't vouch for the success but they say it worked good.  You will still need to get CCA treated plywood.  Or aluminum.


Edited by Jim Myers - 09/16/2014 at 4:11pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CMack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/16/2014 at 11:07pm
I thought CCA Treated and PT plywood corrodes aluminum because of the copper used. Am I wrong on that? Will be posting pics of process tomorrow.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stevehue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/17/2014 at 3:31pm
Originally posted by CMack CMack wrote:

I thought CCA Treated and PT plywood corrodes aluminum because of the copper used. Am I wrong on that? Will be posting pics of process tomorrow.

CCA is what old pressure treated plywood used to be. It has arsenic in it so it is no longer sold to the housing consumer but is still available for marine use. The new pressure treated plywood now is copper based and will react badly with your aluminum. Do not use the PT stuff you see at your local box hardware store. A/B marine plywood is a misnomer. This is not true marine plywood. A/B is made for exterior housing stuff but will not resist mildew and mold like CCA. I researched this extensively this past spring and CCA is the correct stuff. As I said on my other post the kit is worth every penny and will make your reflooring job go smoothly!!




Edited by Stevehue - 09/17/2014 at 3:36pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote p3cflyr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/17/2014 at 7:34pm
Stevehue is right on!!  Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CMack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/17/2014 at 8:44pm
planning on ordering kit from pontoon stuff and cutting off the h channels. Will the seams need to be siloconed, caulked, or have joint compound added? Do i need to seal the edges of the marine wood? Guy on another forum said he didnt seal the edges on his and it only lasted 6 years, so when he refloored the cabin part, he made sure to seal just the edges and says still going strong 15 yrs.  How long should the cca marine grade wood last, sealed and/or unsealed? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote p3cflyr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/17/2014 at 10:26pm
If you put carpet or vinyl on the top and glue it properly then the top should be pretty well sealed.  The bottom should not be sealed so any moisture can dry rather than be retained within the wood.  Sealing strip (PS has it) should be placed on the cross members from side to side under the sections where plywood panels come together (keeps water from getting up between the panels).  Usually I hear that sealing the plywood is not necessary and can retain moisture.  On rare occasions I have heard people say sealing is good.  Question is how and with what.  if i were going to seal anything it would be the edges.  And it would have to be with something that would hold up for as long as I wanted the deck to last.  Be sure to put fence risers on to allow water to not be trapped by the fence.

I think as important as sealing is to have a good water shedding cover on anytime the boat is not in the water.

Hopefully others will chime in either for, or not for, sealing.  Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stevehue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/18/2014 at 8:15am
I did not seal mine. In the kit you will get a roll of seam seal tape for where the edges match up. I know this summer we have flooded the deck a couple times(some huge swells that I missed) and it seems to be holding great. I was told the CCA does not need sealing because marine use is what it is designed for.

I would not imagine that they would give a 40 year warranty on the wood unless it was the right stuff. Also it mentions nothing about sealing it for the warranty to be good.

Worry-Free Warranty

  • All of our pontoon boat vinyl flooring is covered by a 3 year warranty.
  • Marine grade plywood is warrantied for 40 years against deterioration.
  • Carpet warranty covers any fading or deterioration.
  • Our Pontoon boat carpet is designed to be glued completely to the deck of your boat.
  • If you do not use the proper amount of glue the backing will not stick to the deck and will deteriorate quickly.


Edited by Stevehue - 09/18/2014 at 8:18am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CMack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/26/2014 at 8:58pm
Well here are some pics. What do you think about the steering cable in pic#6? Replace or Repair? Pic shows my dad using some cutters for removing the top of the H channel, found some tin snips and just used them to peel(not cut) the tops off. Much cleaner than all other methods we tried. Grinder was taking off too much metal imo. Pic#8,9,10 show some damage done to the transom, whether this was done by running into something or just years of the engine bouncing i don't know. Will be replacing all structural rivets with bolts and adding an aluminum beam to help supports the transom(first beam transom bolts to is bowed downwards). Trailer is junk, will be reusing axles and hitch. New 3-16 tubing has been ordered to replace 1-8 original. Any thoughts/concerns/or attaboys welcome...ha


Edited by CMack - 09/26/2014 at 11:09pm
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Definitely replace rusty steering cable
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CMack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/10/2014 at 4:42pm
Has anyone looked into or used MDO plywood, also called signboard, for flooring. It is the same wood states use to make road signs. It is marine grade 9 ply. Looks like this would be a more affordable substitute to the $90+ marine plywood sold here and other retailers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote p3cflyr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/10/2014 at 5:26pm
From the American Plywood Association and usde in other sites comments regarding MDO -
" Although it performs  perfectly well without further finishing in applications where it is not exposed to the weather, MDO should always be face-primed and top-coated with a compatible solid-color stain or house paint if used outdoors or subjected to wet, humid conditions. "  

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CMack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/11/2014 at 9:35am
Finished the trailer. Waiting on some heat shrink for wiring then its off to get blasted and painted. Went from 1/8" steel tubing to 3/16" steel tubing. Did some re-working of the frame. I think it came out alright.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CMack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/18/2014 at 7:11pm
has anyone used c pearling instead of 2x4 for the bunk rests? Any thoughts on the topic would be great.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote p3cflyr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/18/2014 at 8:24pm
i would think the c perlin's would suffer from rust, especially covered with carpet and not visible..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CMack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/19/2014 at 7:19am
going to have the trailer sandblasted and then a type of bedliner put on, this should prevent rusting. Never heard of this type of coating before. He contracts with oilfield companies and uses this stuff on just about everything out in the weather and told my brother it is an anti-rust, uv resistant, non skid coating....my brother knows him, brother works in the oilfield. Just so you know
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote p3cflyr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/19/2014 at 10:05am
Will they be covered with marine carpet?  If not, will the coating reduce friction or increase friction?  Don't want a surface that either makes movement of the pontoons more difficult or causes damage to the pontoons. That's why marine carpet is the normal surface.  And people add plastic covers designed to increase slickness to ease loading and unloading.  If the surface your are considering covers all of that, then it will probably work.
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