Boat progress

I have made some pretty good progress on the boat. I bought some replacement carpet from marinecarpeting.com and I have been pretty pleased with that. The back was pretty time consuming because of all of the lids and hatches that needed to be cut around with the replacement wood. Its also more pieces and components to have to carpet as well. I got that done within the last week (I’d say on and off I worked on it over the course of a week and a half maybe 20 hours or so). All I have left now is a couple of trim pieces and I’ll be done. The front I just started and should be easier since there is only one lid to work around. My piece of plywood wasn’t big enough to make the front piece in one piece (though it was within about 6″!) so I added a couple other small pieces on and fiberglassed them in place. That wasn’t a big deal since I was already sealing all plywood with fiberglass resin for waterproofing reasons. I also hung a piece of treated 4×4 I already had so the joint in the area of the small pieces would be fully supported so I’d not break my one sheet of fiber glass.

While the pieces are off the boat its much easier to do things like drill through vertical supports to run conduit for the trolling motor, mark where the stringers are so I know where fasteners go, and fasten things to the underside of the wood. My old wood all rotted out around the screw holes for the seat bases, but more than that the T nuts disappeared at some point! They rusted off and must have broke off. All the sheet metal screws were also rusted. In the front out of 14 screws I was able to extract 2 of them with a manual impact, the other 12 I had to cut out with a cutoff wheel. I am using ALL stainless hardware for replacement. My goal is to be able to easily remove the pieces if I need to be able to do any maintenance. I even found some stainless T nuts on amazon which are allowing the seat mounts to be quite secure the same way they were mounted from the factory. THe difference, in the rear deck they used a single piece of plywood, some strips of which were under 2″ wide. I made everything individual pieces for two reasons. I’d get better utilization of the sheet of plywood, but also if any component needs replaced I can do just THAT piece rather than the whole deck. Seat mount, I’m looking at you!

I’ve heard a couple places now of people who used a sheet of rubber for the main floor so it can be taken out and washed. I am strongly considering that since replacing the main floor wood would be a pain (and when it DOES need to happen, I could still use the piece of rubber for the floor). I am thinking I’ll bond the carpet to the rubber sheet though. I’ll rip up all the carpet, then seal the old wood with the fiberglass resin so it’ll continue to last. I did find that the old wood uses 2-3 times as much resin since the wood has so much texture to it compared to new wood! Something to keep in mind. So far for the front and back I’ve gone through 2 quarts of resin. If I did the main floor I’d expect to need another 2 quarts (even though size-wise its about the same as the rear deck alone). Actually, I wouldn’t have access to the under side, so I MAY get away with just 1 quart, but it’d be close.

If I put the carpet in the main floor I may be just a foot short of being able to do all the nooks and crannies like the rod locker, walls, console, etc. So, I may have to buy another section of carpet to FULLY complete it (not a big deal, the extra 5 feet would have run me $50 if I bought it as one continuous, I can get it for $65 on its own, so I’d say it was worth the risk).

My seats aren’t very good, unfortunately due to the layout of the boat replacements will be next to impossible to find! The rod locker goes back to the rear deck next to the seats. This means I have about 8″ less width for the seat area than the boat. MY seat area is only 47″ wide, the seats in there are only about 15.5″ wide compared to 17 or 18″ normal seats. I am thinking about using quick disconnects to raise seats by about 1-2″ and get them up over the top of the rod locker. Then I could put a seat over the rod locker, and when we get to a fishing area I can take it off and put it in one of the fishing decks. Then the middle seat could be moved over to a more normal position that’d allow access to the rod locker. I haven’t fully decided on that, but the savings in the seats alone (compared to a semi-custom like bassboatseats.com ) would pay for the quick disconnects.

Soon it’ll be time to not do as much boat work or fishing; I need to get my wood furnace installed this year! The weather is already turning cooler, all days the next week or two are HIGHS in the 70’s (some days low 70’s), nights are getting down in the 40’s to 50’s. So I definitely need to invest the time and money to get that wood furnace installed so we can utilize some of this wood I’ve put up over the last couple years (not a ton, maybe 3-4 cords).

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