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I have a 16 ft. 1985 Blue Fin Aluminum boat with 3 "Bench Syle" seats that I would like to put a floor in. Can anybody give me suggestions, instructions on how to proceed.
I would simply cut 1 inch square pine strips long enought to go across (not longwise) the bottom of your boat. Using PL Premium glue which you can find at Home Depot I would attach those strips. PL Premium comes in tubes. Spread the glue thin and attach the strips approximately 12 inches apart (8 or 10 if you need the strength). Set the boat on a flat dry surface and add wieghts to hold down the strips. Wait a day and when the glue is dry remove the wieghts and paint the floor supports. I paint the floor of the boat and the wood at the same time. Cut some flooring strips of hard wood approximately 5/8 thick x 2 inches wide (thicker if you expect a lot of wieght) and long enought to go from end to end of the boat. I would lay them longwise across the flooring material and attach with brads only NO GLUE. I would paint both sides of my flooring strips before installing them. I would use small short brad type of nails that WOULD NOT go all the way throught the wood so as NOT to damage my boat bottom. I would use two nails to attach the flooring at each place where the strips and joints cross. The big head brad type of 1 inch nail works best. I would run flooring strips all the way front to back and space them about 1 inch apart but not touching the sides of the boat. I like a 2 or 3 inch crack at the sides of the floor. The flooring strips should NOT be glued to the cross members so that you can simply remove your flooring for painting and repairs. If you make the cracks between each flooring strip big enough you can reach two fingers between them to retrieve dropped tackly and other small things. While nailing on a boat I use a very light hammer so I don't damage the boat. A heavy hammer can make it leak in places you never dreamed of. Not to mention cracking glue joints, paint, and etc when working on a wooden boat. If you need a solid floor instead of slats this floor can be covered. Warning! please check with the Coast Guard regarding solid floors. Especailly if you intend to use gasoline or other flamables in your boat. I had some info about that but have forgot just what it is. Something to do with fire hazards I think. Solid floors made of pannels NOT nailed (laying loosely) may be best. In the event of a fire they can be removed quickly and thrown over board. Provided you have a leather glove or high pain tolerance.The idea is to make it easy to put out a fire on your boat.
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