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Old 09-03-2016, 10:17 AM   #1
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Lobstah's Avatar
City: Dunedin, Fl
Country: USA
Vessel Name: T/T Whistful
Vessel Model: Boat US 12' Inflatable
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 219
Replacing floor in dingy

While waiting for the moon and stars to properly align, I'm going to be digging our Boat US dingy out of storage and replacing the floor.
I've searched the webz a few times and haven't found anything in the way of replacement parts available...didn't think I would, but was worth a shot.

The original flooring was plywood, I think maybe 1/4" or 3/8", and was in 4 pieces. It's long gone...but I have the dimensions, and one of the "H" joints that went between the sections.
I was never fond of the 4 piece floor...I'm sure it was great for putting the inflatable in your trunk, which I will never be doing, and so I think I'm going to go to a 2 piece floor; 1 long piece from the stern forward to the up-angle of the front tube, and then the triangular nose piece, with my H joint in-between.
I'd love to come across a 4X8 sheet of white PVC, 3/8", as that would be maintenance free, but I don't think such a thing exists.


Actually, I guess it does. Looks like HD and Lowes carry Aztec PVC sheets.
Will be stopping by to look at it.

My question is on materials. Is 1/4" enough, or should I go with 3/8"? Marine?...coat in epoxy?
I'm not interested in building a 12' yacht, but want something functional that's not too sore on the eyes.

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Old 09-03-2016, 11:02 AM   #2
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Vessel Model: Nunes Brothers Raised Deck Cruiser
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I replaced a plywood dinghy floor years ago. I used 1/2" marine grade fir plywood. I coated the plywood with epoxy and painted the top with non-skid paint. I worked fine and lasted longer than the original. I don't know how long it lasted in the long run since I sold that dinghy.

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Old 09-03-2016, 11:04 AM   #3
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City: Saltspring Island
Country: BC, canada
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Vessel Model: C&L 44
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Posts: 3,126
In 1990 I had a new Achilles SE11, wooden 4 piece floor. Over the years the floor deteriorated, to that after a few years it needed lots of maintenance. At the same time, I had a few rides in RIB dinghies, so I wanted to stiffen up the ride in my own, without going to the expense of moving up to the RIB.

Settled on replacing the 3 biggest sections of the wood floor with a single piece of 1/4" aluminum checker plate. I built it to exactly the dimensions of the wooden floor that came out, but had to ease it by 1//2" in width in order to get it into the space. It was very tough to put in place, and never came out. The difference it made to both maintenance and ride was stunning. I now had almost the ride of a RIB, and maintenance was eliminated on 3/4 of the floor. It lasted longer than the outboard I was using on the dinghy, and when I did upgrade to a real RIB I sold it to a friend who kept the dinghy until 2015, when, at 25 yrs, the tubes were done. They had no issues whatsoever with the floor.
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Old 09-03-2016, 11:13 AM   #4
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City: In transit
Country: From USA
Vessel Name: Sea life
Vessel Model: Krogen 42 #61
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 531
Popped a high presure floor in a 270 Mercury dingy. Replaced with crap 3/8" plywood(only thing I could get in transit) and painted with crap paint, after sanding rough edges. 4 years on still fine. I only use a 3.3hp. If I went any faster I think 1/2" would be better. Cheap fix, but dingy is old and not worth much. The new high pressure floor was $350.
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Old 09-03-2016, 12:47 PM   #5
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City: Dunedin, Fl
Country: USA
Vessel Name: T/T Whistful
Vessel Model: Boat US 12' Inflatable
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 219
I was thinking of doing the outer edges of the floor with the 1/2" foam pipe insulation tubes to reduce wear/rub of the floor against the tubes.

Going to check out the sheet PVC first, as that's no paint/no maintenance...might be a bit slick tho.
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