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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm considering a pontoon boat. I've run across a few relatively cheap floatable ones but that need new decking (and a few other stuff). Anyone here ever tried that?

Just trying to get an idea on the PITA Factor or if I should spend a little more for one in better shape? Are there any suitable materials more durable, lighter, stronger, and/or more cost effective than marine plywood? Built a lot of things just not ever worked much on a boat. I'm leaning toward the good-used but trying to keep the cost down since the wife is opposed. For reasons no one can explain, she sees no need for a boat. It defies logic...

thanks
 

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Tryin' every day
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Some higher end 'toons have plastic panels instead of plywood.
Although , nothing wrong with plywood. Ours is 19yrs old and still solid.

The sides, furniture, etc are screwed & though bolted to the deck. The deck is screwed to the aluminum cross members. Carpet glued to the deck.
Wiring harnesses generally unplugs at helm. Steering and throttle shift cables will need to be disconnected. Some wires may need to be cut .

During reassembly, the side panels will need to be aligned so that doors fit / open/ close properly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just to be clear....you do know the difference between "marine" plywood....and other grades of plywood?
Well, not exactly a lumber expert but I know marine plywood uses glues/resins that handle wet environments better, inside it's still wood though. The price of marine plywood is quite high but using a lesser grade would be a mistake. The boat I was looking at had a wooden deck that although probably still usable will need to be replaced in the very near future.

There is a reason BOAT mean Bail Out Another Thou$and... I'm trying to decide if I want a boat or a project.
 
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Aluminum would be my suggestion, but the cost of materials is going to be a lot more than others and if you need it welded at all, it can be and likely will be a pain. Hell, I have people come in and spend hundreds of dollars just getting pieces of aluminum to reconstruct their boat docks. If I were you, I'd probably save up the money to get something in better condition that won't require extensive repairs.
 

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AimSmallMissSmall
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but using a lesser grade would be a mistake.
Not necessarily....

You are correct..."marine" plywood does use a water resistant glue for the laminations....but it does not make "marine" plywood waterproof.

"marine" plywood uses a higher grade of materials....and does not have the voids that other grades of plywood will have. When you cut plywood, and look at it edgewise, you will see that "marine" plywood will have more layers, and no visible voids. Other grades, you will see the voids.


And you are correct, between the layers of water resistant glue...its still wood....and wood will absorb water...swell and fail....unless you treat the wood for waterproofness.....and that brings us around to using less expensive plywoods….that you properly treat for waterproofness....


Less expensive plywood that will be covered....be it carpet or vinyl...will work just fine....with a coating of epoxy...to seal the wood from water...the edges in particular....but covering all the surface with epoxy is even better.
(adding a layer of fiberglass is an option....but not necessary)


Just do not go the cheap method of using the cheap polyester resin (aka fiberglass resin)...but use an epoxy meant to seal, waterproof, and strengthen wood.....read up on "WEST Systems Epoxy"....

https://www.westsystem.com/
 

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Yes I pulled the old carpet and rotten decking off of mine and then cut the new pieces of marine plywood to fit. I layed the plywood out on the floor of the garage and painted the plywood with Tuff Coat paint. It is a rubberized paint that is used on wooden decks and docks. Got the plywood and the kit for shimming the rails up from Pontoon Stuff in Elkhart In. Ordered the paint from West Marine If I remember right. I had a lot of old leaves and maple seeds on the deck this year because we didn't use the boat last year. I washed it all off the deck real easily with a garden hose. Then I poured Totally Awesome cleaner from the Dollar tree on the deck and swabbed the stains off. Cleaned the seats and the boat looks ship shape again. Deck still looks new after 4 years now. Don't let anybody tell you that you can use regular plywood and expect it to hold up. Marine plywood should last for at least ten years. Mine may go twenty. Replacing the deck on a pontoon boat is not something that I would want to do very often. It is a lot of work just taking everything off of the old deck and putting it back together.
 

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What kills wood deck boats prematurely is leaving them out in the yard/weather with leaves,trash and dirt holding moisture. Marine covers dont help as much as you would think ether. If you do decide to buy one, consider a carport to help protect your investment.
 

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patriarch
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It seems to me the expense of most boats are the motors. Yep, used boats are cheap, but usually come without a motor.

My neighbor has several pontoon frames setting in his business supply yard. I watched him repair one couple years ago. Didn't take him long to remove all the seats, rails, and old decking. He put down new floor, carpet and had the seats redone. Polished the aluminum. Looked like new. But it did have a motor.
Big money savings compared to a new one.
 

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A carpet that lacks this feature is useless in protecting your boat from rust and molds. Although most boat rugs claim to be mold and mildew resistant, different materials affect the product’s price and efficacy, not to mention maintenance. More expensive carpets require less maintenance and use high-quality materials.
 
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