Replacing the floor in the boat

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Well-known member
Dec 30, 2018
East Texas
Something else i have learned is that in the old days of boating (80's) open cell foam was really all they had to use and it was affordable. Open cell foam soaks up water and can add at least 400 lbs to a bass boat, it does not dry out and it rots the wood. So the rule of thumb is that if you see open cell foam, remove it and throw it away and refoam with closed cell marine foam. Not as easy as it sounds as there are some places you just cant get to on a bass boat (in particular an older fiberglass boat) as i have.

The top cap is one solid molded piece of fiberglass and so is the bottom, then they are mated together. I have seen vidoes of removing the cap to totall remove the whole floor. But that can be very dangerious and costly.

First you could end up cracking the cap in places you wont notice till you get it on the water. Then you have to have someplace to store both pieces while you work on them, then once you remove the cap the bottom will tend to spread out and that means you may never get the cap to fit exactly right ever again.

So for now i am forced to replace what i can see (and get to) and leave the rest alone. Everything under the rear storage and live wells i know is toast but ill have to live with it for now.

Foam does three things, floatation, takes up space that the water would normally take up, and adds strenth and rigidness to the boat. So i will refoam what i can with marine foam that ill never have to replace again.

As far as the wood, ill never use normal plywood again. I am going with 1/4 marine HDPE sheets, in simple terms plastic wood. It comes in 4x8 sheets, will never rot, will never soak up water, is very strong and durable and is the perfect replacement for plywood in a boat IMO. Comes in many colors, im using black. The only down side to it is that it cant be painted. So ill have to put my fiberglass cutouts back to cover it up then paint the fiberglass. I dont know if fiberglass will stick to HDPE or not, i hope so.

So with the new foam that will never soak up water and the HDPE that will never soak up water, ill never have to do this job again unless i get access one day to the parts that i left out this time.

So thats the plan. for now hee hee

i did forget to mention that this boat has about 20 recals just for the foam. The MFG realized that the boat did not have enough foam or the wrong kind of foam or was missing foam in certain places. However sadly all those recalls are closed due to lack of owner participation and or age. If they were still open i would certainly have the MFG do this work.
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