Boat replacement becomes necessary in many conditions. Whether you want a new look or require to change the damaged flooring, you can decide on replacing the boat floor. But the confusion arises while doing the entire procedure. To do it effectively, you need to have a minimum idea about the procedure. Otherwise, you may end up messing up the project.
Especially while changing a ski boat floor, the task is a bit challenging. The shape of the floor is not simple, and you need more caution to replace this flooring. Though you may not have time to get trained on floor replacement, you can surely read an article to learn the process.
In this article, you can learn about ski boat floor replacement and get the information you might be searching for. For your convenience, I have added some useful information here so that you can accomplish the task of boat replacement effortlessly and quickly.
Ready for the task? Let’s start then.
7 Steps To Ski Boat Floor Replacement: A Step-by-step Guide
Ski boat floor replacement is done if the floor is damaged or if you need a new look. No matter the reason, you can also consider repairing the flooring if the damage is minor. But if you find soft spots that are severe, you should replace the boat floor for safety and longevity. Also, after a certain time, you should check the condition of the boat floor to see whether it needs replacement or not.
Without further discussions, let us start replacing a ski boat. The replacement should be done cautiously as the task is a bit complicated but not impossible to crack.
Oh, but before moving on to the steps, let me mention the materials you need for the task:
- Plywood board or plank;
- Circular saw;
- Plastic sheet and marker (if you make a template);
- Epoxy resin;
- Measuring tape;
- Drill machine;
- Fiberglass sheet;
Now here go the steps of ski boat floor replacement:
Step 1: Preparation For Ski Floor Replacement
Before you install the new flooring, there are a bunch of tasks you need to do. These activities make your project efficient and convenient. For preparing for the boat floor replacement, you need to do these tasks:
- The first task is to stabilize the ski boat on a cradle. A cradle is a frame on which the boat remains fixed and doesn’t move. This means you can work with ease and convenience when the boat is on the cradle;
- Check the condition of the stringers and transom. These are the two parts of the boat that stabilize and hold the entire deck. If you see any damage or creaking sound on the transom or stringer, you should either replace or repair these parts of the boat;
- Next, clear the deck and remove all the elements, materials, and machines from the deck. Make sure that you take note of the cables and machines you are detaching so that you can reconnect them properly;
The basic preparation is done. Now let’s move to the next part.
Step 2: Create A Floor Template (Optional)
A boat template is a map of the flooring so that you can use it to get a new flooring of the same measurement. In case you are ordering a new boat flooring, you should consider making a boat floor template. As you send the template, the company would digitize it and make a perfect map for the floor. With that reference, the company makes the flooring and sends it to you.
For making the template, lay a plastic sheet flat on the deck. Tape it tightly to the deck and draw an outline from the bow to the stern and from the stern back to the bow. Mark the areas of overlapping, location of console, hinges, holes, etc. If needed, write notes on the sheet. It is good to make notes for clarity. Then click some photos of the template and remove the sheet gently. This template can be sent to companies for getting a new floor.
Step 3: Remove The Flooring
After you make the template, you can now remove the existing boat flooring. For that, you will need a circular saw. With the saw, cut through the flooring in an organized way. Don’t cut it randomly. Go across the length of the flooring and cut ⅝ inch deep into the flooring. Don’t go too deep as it may cut and damage the hull.
After you cut the flooring, slowly pull out each section of the flooring and store it together. If you are disinterested in making a boat floor template, you can refer to this flooring and install the new one. This flooring can help you understand the direction of the floor, points for screwing, and many more. This is why I have told you that you should cut the flooring cautiously.
Step 4: Measure The Deck
As mentioned before, the shape of a ski boat is not flat. It has a pointed front end that ends flat at the back. This is why measuring the deck is very important so that you can know how many plywood planks you would need.
For measuring the deck, follow the steps mentioned below:
- Tie a string across the length of the boat straight from the center of the bow to the center of the stern;
- Starting from the bow, keep marking on the string after each 16-inch distance to the stern;
- Now, from each 16-inch mark, measure the width of the boat by holding a measuring tape on the string to one side of the boat wall (starboard or port). Start measuring the width across the port and then measure the width of the port on each 16-inch mark point;
- Now divide the bow and stern into three sections. From each section, measure the length by holding the measuring tape in the middle of the section. Extend it to the other end. This way, measure the lengths of the three sections;
Step 5: Cut And Prepare The Plywood
Now that the measurement is done, you can transfer this on the plywood board. You can also refer to the previous flooring or the floor template you have made. With that reference, cut the plywood planks one by one and see how many planks you would need to cover the ski boat deck.
After cutting the plywood planks, do paint them with oil-based paint. This leaves a waterproof layer on the plywood so that it can survive longer in marine conditions. If possible, you can lay a foam board before installing the plywood plank on the ski boat.
Step 6: Put On The Planks
Before you put on the planks on the flooring, apply a layer of epoxy resin on the deck. Epoxy resin is known for its water resistance. Applying it stabilizes the deck and increases the water-resistance of the plywood flooring. Let the epoxy resin dry and then install the planks one by one.
Take reference to where to nail the planks. Make holes with a drill machine and attach cleats for attaching the plywood planks on the deck. Slowly and carefully, install each plank on the deck. Do decide on the direction of laying the planks too. Ideally, they would go across the length of the boat.
Step 7: Fiberglass The Flooring
Fiberglassing the plywood flooring is mandatory. In fact, on any boat floor, you must install fiberglass. Fiberglass layers protect the flooring from water damage and keep up the condition. Also, it gives a super shiny and smooth look to the flooring.
After the plywood flooring settles, lay a layer of fiberglass sheet on the floor. Make sure that there is no wrinkle on the sheet and then seal it with epoxy resin. After the seal dries out, apply another layer of fiberglass mat and seal it. If possible, another layer of fiberglass matting can be added to this for extra protection and safety.
After the fiberglass mat settles on the floor, you can reinstall the materials you have removed. Also, attach the cables and machines carefully and correctly. And you are done with replacing the ski boat floor.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What Can You Put On A Ski Boat Floor?
You may get confused about the flooring to be used on the ski boat. A variety of boat flooring options are available for ski boats. So before you think of ski boat floor replacement, let me tell you some flooring options that you can check out:
- A wooden floor is always the best flooring option if you are okay with regular maintenance and cleaning;
- Plywood is a better option than wood as it is slightly more water-resistant than wood;
- Vinyl or linoleum flooring is another alternative to wood and plywood boat flooring;
- Fiberglass boat flooring is quite popular for its excellent water resistance;
- A rubber mat is a good boat flooring for its durability and water adaptability;
- Aluminum boat flooring is also popularly used;
You can check out these options for replacing the ski boat floor.
What Kind Of Carpet To Lay On A Ski Boat Floor?
If you are considering laying carpet on a ski boat floor for extra glamor and protection, you should be choosy about the carpet you are going to buy.
You can choose a fairly water-resistant carpet. Apart from that, it has to be slip-resistant. The best way to find it is to get a marine-grade carpet that is suitable for marine conditions and survives in moisture areas. Rubber or fiberglass carpets are available in different designs and colors. You can choose from these varieties to get a long-lasting service.
How Long Will A Ski Plywood Boat Floor Last?
When you are replacing a ski boat floor, you must know how long the flooring will last. Only then can you invest in the right material.
If you are choosing marine-grade plywood for the boat flooring, you can get a long-lasting service. Though you would need occasional maintenance and sealing, plywood flooring can last around 25 years which is quite a long time compared to other flooring options. If you seal it from time to time, it can last for longer depending on how you are caring for the flooring.
How To Seal A Plywood Boat Floor?
After you install a plywood boat floor, you must seal it so that it becomes water-resistant. For sealing the flooring, apply any of the tricks mentioned below:
- Paint the planks with oil-based paint before installing them;
- Lay two or three layers of fiberglass sheets on the plywood flooring and seal it;
- Apply epoxy resin on the flooring;
- Sand the plywood from time to time to enhance its strength and compactness;
- Apply wood sealant on the flooring;
These are some ways to seal the plywood boat flooring.
Is It Hard To Replace Ski Boat Floor?
It is quite complex to replace a ski boat floor if you are inexperienced. But if you follow a guide and have the right set of tools, you can slowly crack this task. Just be careful!
The difficult part of the task is to measure the deck and transfer it to the plywood board. If you can measure it accurately, the rest of the installation task is not so hard. Be consistent, follow the steps sincerely, go slow and steady to accomplish this task of ski boat floor replacement. If you are concentrated, it won’t take long to replace the floor and you can do it effectively.
I hope you have a clear idea about ski boat floor replacement by now. I have explained the steps and also added some extra tips for your convenience. Now take note of these steps, follow them, and install new flooring on your ski boat.
I have done my part. When will you start your project?
You can checkout more eye-catching & long-lasting boat flooring design from here: