New Deck Flooring for a Boat
LESLIE: Now we’re going to take a call from Paul in Louisiana.
Paul, how can we help?
PAUL: Yes, I was trying to find out about some – a polymer or plastic-type plywood sheeting.
LESLIE: Sheeting, not planks. What are you looking to make?
PAUL: Actually, it’s for the sole of my boat; the floor of the boat. Instead of buying teak wood, I wanted to make something to replace that.
TOM: Interesting, interesting. So it’s a boat repair that you’re working on. (Leslie chuckles)
PAUL: Yes. (chuckles)
TOM: I’m not aware of any kind of a plastic plywood for boats. Now I’m not much of a boat builder but it sounds to me …
LESLIE: Nor am I.
TOM: Yeah, so it sounds to me like that’s – probably you should use the wood that was intended to be used for that. What about plywood? I mean I know that you could wrap the structure of a hull of a boat with plywood and then use fiberglass on top of that. Is that an option for you?
PAUL: Well, yes. Basically it’s the floor of the boat; it’s not the hull. It’s the floor of the boat where you’d walk on. It’s (inaudible).
TOM: Oh OK, it’s the walk surface. So you want basically a surface that’s not going to rot away.
TOM: Well, why don’t you use pressure-treated plywood?
PAUL: OK, that’s what I was wondering; if they made something like that. That’s an idea.
TOM: Yeah, it’s not plastic. It’s wood but it’s pressure-treated just like the green lumber that’s used for decks, that doesn’t rot, there’s pressure-treated plywood that would be a good choice for something like that.
LESLIE: And that’ll really withstand all of the elements as well.
TOM: Yeah, and make sure you use stainless steel fasteners, Paul, because if you don’t, everything’s going to rust away very quickly.
LESLIE: Now what about a Trex decking-type material?
TOM: Well, a Trex decking would be a great idea because one thing I like about Trex is it’s not slippery when it gets wet and that would probably work really well for a floor like that.
LESLIE: And that’s a composite material and it’s made out of plastics?
TOM: Yeah, it’s made out of a couple of things. It’s made out of ground-up wood fiber and recycled plastics and it’s really durable stuff. In fact, we have it here near where I live on the east coast of the United States and they use it for boardwalks here; you know, where you have like hundreds of thousands of people that walk on this stuff. It’s been down for like 10, 15 years and it really shows no wear and tear.
LESLIE: I’ve even – I was in the Caribbean last year for Hurricane Charlie, which was the first one, and there was a huge Trex deck that went out into the Caribbean Sea. And the wood decks, the morning after the storm, were completely gone and demolished, but the Trex deck withstood it. And you know what? It stays, it ages well, it’s gray, and it’s lovely; so it’s a durable product as well.
TOM: OK, Paul? There’s a couple of options for you. You can go with pressure-treated plywood or you can go with a Trex deck.
PAUL: OK, I appreciate it. I thank y’all.
TOM: Alright. Well, happy boating.
PAUL: Alright. Y’all take – bye-bye.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show where you can ask a question about your house or your houseboat. (both chuckle) We’ll take them all. 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Leslie, who’s next?