Excited about some adventurous rides on the waterfront next season? Then you should prepare your boat for it ahead of time. Suppose you can get resistant and functional boat flooring. In that case, you don’t have to be conscious about wandering on the water throughout the season. That’s where the choice of Coosa board boat floor comes into the recommendation.
So, what exactly is a Coosa board? Well, Coosa is one kind of composite material admired for its no-rot and high resistance properties. It’s a relatively new, advanced technology-based product developed in recent years. Gaining a broader market, it has created quite a hype as a reliable and highly-functional flooring, decking, and transom material for various boats.
This article explains why Coosa board boat flooring is incredibly efficient for flooring your vessel. It’ll also discuss various Coosa board types that perform great. Let’s begin.
Coosa Board Boat Floor: An Overview
The Coosa board products are developed and manufactured by Coosa Composites, based near Birmingham, Alabama, USA. This company has been working with various kinds of marine-grade products for a couple of decades now.
The use of the Coosa board in flooring a boat is as a sub-flooring material. It functions just like plywood and plastic-based marine boards used as boat floorings. Although Coosa products have higher structural integrity and rigidity, these are about 40 to 60 percent lighter than plywood and plastic boards.
Also, you don’t have to upgrade to new tools to cut the Coosa board since you can do it with your existing plywood cutter. If you’re planning to replace your boat’s plywood or plastic marine board flooring with Coosa, you must wonder what thickness to use. In this case, the Coosa board’s thickness should be the same as the thickness of plywood or other material you were using in the flooring.
Coosa boards are much stronger and stiffer than materials of the same thickness. So, you don’t need a thicker Coosa than your existing plywood for the boat floor. Instead, a similarly dense Coosa board will perform much better than any other flooring material.
Another factor you may be thinking about is whether or not the Coosa flooring needs to be encapsulated or finished like other flooring materials. Well, the Coosa primarily doesn’t require encapsulation or finishing, unlike all other materials, but it’s better if you do.
I’m explaining why that is. The reasons behind encapsulating materials like marine grade plywood for boat floors, plastic marine board, etc., with resins or other kinds of paints differ from that of the Coosa.
All conventional floorings almost always require encapsulation to become more durable and cope with rot, mold, decay, and so on. Whereas, this is not the case for the Coosa board materials.
As the Coosa board already has fiberglass amongst its key ingredients, it doesn’t require additional encapsulation with any such material. However, you should cover the Coosa in resin or paint to avoid loose fiberglass strings/dust from the board getting to your skin and causing itchiness.
Another reason is to make the Coosa board boat flooring more attractive since this material isn’t generally visually appealing. If you want some sophistication and beauty regarding how your boat flooring looks, paint it with a suitable marine resin.
Resin and paint finishes will also prevent loose remnants of the Coosa board’s fiberglass and foam materials from coming across your skin, soles, and other things.
The relief is that you don’t need to look for a new or exclusive finishing material for the Coosa flooring. Most of the regular marine-grade resins, such as epoxy, polyester, vinyl-ester, etc., work great as Coosa board finishing materials as well.
Coosa Board Boat Flooring Material Components: Know The Ingredients
Coosa products are composite substrate and coring materials that can be used for various purposes in the structure of a boat. There are different types and grades of Coosa suitable for different uses. Some predominant usages of Coosa composite materials include boat flooring, switch or power distribution panels, transoms, lifting points, bulkheads, coring of various parts of a boat, etc.
Coosa boards typically contain polyurethane foam, fiberglass, epoxy or polyester resin, etc. These board sheets are lightweight and resistant to mold, moisture, mildew, insect infections, and so much more.
The Coosa has much greater longevity than plywood and other materials because of the higher density of fortified polyurethane foam and fiberglass’s supreme strength and resistance. All the combined factors ensure that your boat parts will not rot for long despite acute marine adversities.
2 Premier Types Of Coosa Board Materials: Which One Should You Choose?
There are two main types of Coosa material series based on their primary structures and functionalities. If you are wondering which one is the right choice for a boat flooring application, please read through the following categorical analysis:
1. Coosa Bluewater Series:
The Bluewater series is the type that has more structural usage. It is stronger and more rigid than the Nautical series. It is due to the difference in their respective manufacturing processes and materials.
The only difference between these two series is that Bluewater contains woven roving fiberglass strands. In contrast, Nautical doesn’t have woven roving. Everything else is just the same.
Therefore, the Bluewater series is for purposes that need structural integrity, such as – a substrate for floorings, decks, seats, transoms, lifting points, bulkheads, etc.
2. Coosa Nautical Series:
Coosa Nautical panel is for mild, less-traffic usages such as armrests, headrests, low-traffic paneling, decorative elements, and various other semi or non-structural components. The Nautical series is a semi-structural or non-structural Coosa type. Therefore, it’s not suitable for boat flooring. But this Coosa material efficiently serves other purposes I’ve mentioned.
Coosa Board Boat Floor: The Best Boat Floor Materials
As I have already mentioned, Coosa Bluewater is the appropriate substrate material for flooring your boats. Unfortunately, the Nautical series doesn’t work for this particular purpose. So, let’s take a look at the Bluewater series in detail.
Bluewater materials are made for applications that require structural rigidity and integrity. As far as flooring your boat is concerned, this is a suitable series. These products contain continuous strands of woven roving fiberglass and reinforced polyurethane foam. There are 2 different product grades available based on their density, strength, and consistency.
However, let’s get into the analytical and descriptive discussion regarding these two products:
- Coosa Bluewater 26:
Coosa Bluewater 26 Series Composite Board has the highest strength-to-weight ratio amongst all the types of Coosa boards. It has a density of 26 lb/ft³. It is the preferred Coosa material for boat flooring due to its higher density, structural integrity, and strength.
Bluewater 26 is typically 30-45% lighter than plastic marine boards and plywood. It virtually has zero water absorption, making it a no-rot flooring choice. It is the ultimate heavy-duty reinforced Coosa material that you can think of.
A Bluewater 26 Coosa board is way stronger than plywood or a marine board of the same thickness. However, it’s pretty expensive, costing almost 3 times that of plywood flooring. But if you think analytically, the lifetime expenses of plywood floorings would be the same as a once and for all Coosa installment.
Since plywood and other marine boards are not immune to rot, decay, and molds, they get worn out regularly. You then need to change or refurbish the flooring materials frequently and continuously for the entire lifetime of your boat.
So, the accumulated cost of replacing and maintaining these floorings matches that of Coosa boards. But, on the other hand, you can easily replace Coosa materials once you install them. It saves you time and effort and takes little to no maintenance.
- Bluewater 20:
Bluewater 20 also is a great product. It’s an ideal semi-structural component and relatively more economical. Decking, cabinets, hatch-lids, stringers, and other applications are among its most popular uses.
Up to 12-inch spanning, this product will work with similar functionality, strength, and resistance as Coosa Composite Board – Bluewater 26. However, Bluewater 20 has a density of 20 lb/ft³ and is way lighter, weighing about 45-60% less than plywood. In addition, it has a meager water absorption rate of less than 1%.
To sum up, Bluewater 26 is denser, stronger, and stiffer, while Bluewater 20 is a medium-density Coosa product regarded as a semi-structural material. Therefore, Bluewater 26 is one true structural component material and costs more than Bluewater 20.
The Bluewater 20 is an economic Coosa board alternative to Bluewater 26. It performs excellently in almost all kinds of semi-structural applications. If your boat has a spanning of fewer than 12 inches, Bluewater 20 can also be used in the flooring. For a 14-inch or higher spanning, Bluewater 26 is the way to go.
Available Sizes Of Coosa Board Boat Flooring Panels:
Both types of Coosa flooring (Bluewater) panels come in various Coosa board sizes – from Coosa board 4×8 to 5′ x 12′ and provide a thickness range between 1/4″ and 2″. With densities of 26 and 20 pounds per cubic foot, these two Coosa items are available in different weight categories – from 18 lb to 104lb, depending on the size and thickness of a particular product.
You can choose your desired Coosa panel according to the spanning of your boat. The required thickness to replace your plywood flooring and the size you deem suitable. The Coosa board materials have a huge diversity in fulfilling your desired needs.
20 Outstanding Advantages Of Coosa Board Boat Floors:
Let’s take a quick look at all the overwhelming advantages of the Coosa flooring panels:
- These panels will not rot.
- Have utmost longevity. These don’t require to be changed or refurbished frequently as opposed to other marine board materials.
- 30-60% lighter than marine-grade plywood.
- Have an extremely low water absorption rate, between 0 to 0.9 percent.
- Utterly resistant to molds, bacteria, algae, fungal build-ups, wear from salty water, and other environmental factors.
- Have dimensional stability.
- Can be painted or laminated with a multitude of finishing materials.
- Regular lamination process and materials will suffice. Nothing special is needed.
- Have very low resin absorption.
- Can be installed and fabricated using regular woodworking tools.
- Will not get spoiled around the adhesive or fastener due to moisture.
- Attachable to other materials through screws, adhesives, resins, and staples.
- Immune to any kind of insect infestation.
- Have almost 2 to 3 times more insulation (R-value) than plywood.
- Can be sanded to increase the potential of lamination.
- Have superb bonding abilities.
- Excellent resilience and endurance.
- Greatest strength-to-weight ratio (Bluewater 26).
- Does not require any special maintenance.
- Does not require fiberglass encapsulation to enhance resistance as these products already contain it as a key component.
4 Typical Limitations Of Coosa Board Materials:
Just like everything else in this world, Coosa materials also aren’t devoid of shortcomings. So let’s look at some of this product’s disadvantages:
- Coosa panels aren’t UV-stabilized. That means this material will discolor over time upon direct exposure to sunlight. However, this factor will not harm the structural aspects of the Coosa, but it’ll turn washed out and chalky.
- The fiberglass residue and dust from the Coosa products can cause discomfort on bare skin. Coating the panels in any finishing material will prevent this issue.
- All the Coosa Products are way more expensive than other materials such as plywood and plastic marine board. The most expensive grade of the Coosa is Bluewater 26, which costs about 3 times higher than that plywood. But the good part is that you must deal with this higher expense issue only once.
Since the Coosa is not susceptible to rot, it doesn’t need to be changed or refurbished from time to time, like plywood and other materials. So technically, the overall lifetime expenditure for your boat remains the same as it’d be for the plywood flooring. You just need to cope with the higher initial expenses, which will reward you with a better result.
- The fourth and final drawback of the Coosa material is that it has less screw retention than plywood. This is because the Coosa products have a foam composition. The suggested solution is that this panel should be secured or thru-bolted using specialized fastening materials such as stainless steel Tee nuts.
A Comparison Between Coosa Board Boat Floors and Other Marine Materials:
The table of comparison amongst the Coosa product and other widely used marine board materials (all for 4′ x 8′ x 3/4 Coosa board) intends to highlight the superiority of the Coosa in all respects:
|Factors||Coosa Board||Marine Plywood||Plastic Honeycomb||Engineered OSB|
|Weight||40 lbs (Bluewater 20). 53 lbs (Bluewater 26).||70 lbs (Approx).||Less than plywood. The exact weight depends on construction.||78 lbs (Approx).|
|Dimensional Stability||Yes||No||Yes, Generally||No|
|Water Absorption||0 to 0.99%||Higher than 1%||Virtually less than 1%, but the honeycomb can trap water inside.||Higher than 1%|
|Resistance to Rot & Mold||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|R-value||2 to 3 times that of Plywood.||Less than 50% of the Coosa.||Depends greatly on the construction.||Less than 50% of the Coosa.|
Hence, it’s apparent from the comparison above that the Coosa materials have the highest number of positives among various marine-grade products. Hopefully, this Coosa board comparison will help you choose better.
Is Coosa Board Stronger Than Plywood?
The Coosa board has the highest strength-to-weight ratio among all the marine board alternatives. It is extremely strong and possesses great structural integrity. As a result, a Coosa board product is stronger and more enduring than plywood or other marine boards of the same thickness.
The strongest product of the Coosa is Bluewater 26 panels. These products are exclusive heavy-duty materials. They provide much higher strength than plywood or plastic marine boards in terms of flooring, Coosa transom, paneling, decking, etc. The perk of Coosa Bluewater 26 is that it can perform as a stand-alone coring material, given its excellent strength, stiffness, and resilience.
How Is The Coosa Board Made?
The key components of the Coosa board are high-density polyurethane foam and fiberglass. The Coosa Bluewater series has fiberglass woven roving, whereas the Coosa Nautical series doesn’t contain woven roving. But both series have all the ingredients in common. They just vary in the technological aspects.
The polyurethane foam used in the Coosa boards has a very high density. In addition, the polyurethane is reinforced by continuous fiberglass strands, making the Coosa a stronger, more resistant, and enduring marine board choice.
Is The Coosa Board Waterproof?
The Coosa board is virtually waterproof due to its woven roving fiberglass properties. As a result, it doesn’t absorb water or get saturated. In contrast, the Coosa Nautical series has a meager water absorption rate of less than 1%. Most other marine-grade board materials, such as marine-grade plywood or engineered OSB, have more than 1% absorption rate.
The Coosa also doesn’t trap water inside as Honeycomb does. The Coosa panels are immune to wear or deterioration surrounding the fastening areas and have little to no resin absorption.
How Flexible Is The Coosa?
Coosa materials’ flexibility depends on the product’s core thickness. Different thicknesses (1/4 Coosa board up to 2 inches) and densities correspond to degrees of flexibility. For example, like plywood, a Coosa board with a low-density and less thick core can bend pretty easily. However, this is not the case for a higher-density and thicker-cored Coosa product.
Due to its high-density, rigid polyurethane and higher amount of fiberglass constituents, the Coosa board isn’t exceptionally flexible. Any product containing a significant amount of glass can’t possess much flex. Structural rigidity is among Coosa’s signature properties. So, you are looking for a marine product with great flex. In that case, you should consider some other flexible materials instead.
What Is The Weight Of The Coosa Board?
The Coosa comes in different sizes and thicknesses, and these factors determine the weight of a particular product. There are quite a few Coosa Board weight categories for each Coosa series. The weight of the Coosa Nautical series starts from 13 lb, and the density starts from 15 lb/ft³. The densest and heaviest product from the Nautical series is Nautical 24, which has a density of 24 pounds per cubic foot.
As for the Bluewater series, the weight ranges from 18 lb up to 104 lb. The Bluewater 20 has a density of 20 lb/ft³, and the Bluewater 26 is 26 pounds per cubic square foot. The thickness (length x width) of the Bluewater series lies between 1/4″ and 2″, and the sizes are available from 4′ x 8′ to 5′ x 12′.
Do You Have To Fiber-glass Over Coosa Board?
Coosa board materials don’t need fiberglass coating since these already have a significant amount of fiberglass as a key ingredient. The fiberglass strands in these products make them strong and resistant to rot, mold, algae, and insect infestation. In cases of other marine grade board materials, fiberglass coating becomes quintessential because those products are structurally more vulnerable to rot and other damage.
The Coosa products have the upper hand in this aspect. However, you can coat the Coosa in marine-grade resin to prevent the loose fiberglass residue or dust from getting to your skin. There’s no structural reason behind coating the Coosa in resins, but it is generally recommended as a way of eliminating the chance of itchiness that fiberglass residue can cause to your bare skin.
Does Coosa Board Rot?
Coosa board products will not rot. They get their no-rot properties from the type of raw materials they contain. The polyurethane foam and fiberglass strands are highly resistant to moisture and water absorption. In addition, it withstands mold, fungi, algae, insect infestation, and other environmental factors that cause marine boards to rot.
Luckily, you don’t have to coat these boards in fiberglass or other finishers to protect them from rotting. There’s no way of not encapsulating plywood or engineered OSB cases in a good quality finisher like resin or fiberglass. Another technical reason that the Coosa doesn’t rot is that this product does not trap water inside like Honeycomb sometimes does.
Coosa Bluewater 20 VS 26: What Are The Differences?
Unlike the Coosa Board Bluewater 20, the Bluewater 26 is quite heavy. But despite its lightweight, it is an excellent economical option that maintains the rigidity and strength of the boat surface. The 20 seems more convenient than the Bluewater 26. However, the Bluewater 26 is considered a strong Coosa composite board.
Although it is heavier than the 20 is still a highly high-strength composite panel. However, a common feature between the 20 and 26 is that they are composed of polyurethane foam. At the same time, the 20 has multiple layers of woven roving fiberglass, while the Bluewater 26 has continuous-strand layers.
Coosa Board VS Wood: Which Is Better?
In the Coosa board VS marine plywood discussion on grades, the Coosa board comes with only one grade. In contrast, wood offers several grades that can be effectively used for a marine boat flooring application. Although many people use plywood as a Coosa board alternative, they are pretty different in terms of properties.
Marine Coosa board is made of fiberglass-reinforced polyurethane that feels like plastic or rubber. On the other hand, wood refers to engineered wood. Coosa board is quite advantageous as moisture resistant as it is completely waterproof, whereas wood is not entirely moisture resistant. That is why many prefer the Coosa marine board for marine applications.
How Much Does a Coosa Board Cost?
Coosa board cost varies in some cases. For example, when owners choose Coosa Bluewater 26 for boat floor boards, costs are relatively low. On the other hand, if you are considering selecting a composite board for boats, you can assume that the Coosa board price will be higher.
Composite boards are generally more costly than the Bluewater series. So the price will depend on which one user wants to use. Of course, there is no need to go for the costly option when your needs are met at a low price, but you can use composite options for large needs with a reasonable budget.
How Do You Cut Different Sizes Of Coosa Board?
Working with the Coosa board is relatively easy. There is no need to look for anything different for Coosa board cutters, even when planning to cut them into different shapes. People can use woodworking tools for cutting Coosa boards.
When cutting Coosa marine floor boards, remember all the precautions that should be taken when cutting plywood. The same rules require wearing protective gloves, masks, and eye goggles. Even for dealing with high-density Coosa boards, the same tool can be helpful to the user.
Are Laminating Coosa Boards Better?
Coosa board floor of boat laminating is a good idea as these panels are polyurethane-based, which can be damaged by the sun’s ultraviolet rays. In this case, providing an extra layer of protection is a good idea by laminating the Coosa board for the boat deck.
Painting a Coosa board is a better idea to make a preventive layer. Now, what is the best material to make this extra layer? You can paint the panels with polyurethane and epoxy. You can also use a suitable adhesive for the laminate, which will strengthen the bond of the Coosa board with it.
The Coosa board is an incredible addition to the technologically advanced and futuristic marine-grade materials list. In addition, the Coosa’s no-rot property enables a highly extended and functional lifespan for your boat.
Feel free to go for your boat’s Coosa board material flooring because it is undoubtedly the best option.
MotorBoating. (1964). https://books.google.com.bd/books?id=WheS60vs7dIC&pg=PA39&dq=marine+grade+plywood+for+boat+floors&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiuosTdnYH8AhVZT2wGHYThAQEQ6AF6BAgBEAI#v=onepage&q=marine%20grade%20plywood%20for%20boat%20floors&f=falseSteele, R. (Ed.). (2006). Boating. https://books.google.com.bd/books?id=_zN5-khiIYkC&pg=PA40&dq=Coosa+transom&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwicgIP-noH8AhU7WGwGHYc_BY8Q6AF6BAgJEAI#v=onepage&q=Coosa%20transom&f=false