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Trouthunter

replace flooring in Starcraft Islander 26

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looking to replace flooring in my islander 26 is there anything other than marine plywood to replace flooring such as plastic plywood or something like it

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Maybe new stuff is different but about 6 years or so ago we replaced our large outdoor deck with the plastic stuff........ I know when the temp dropped to 20* outside , I can hear the deck popping and banging like someone firing a gun..... I think it may shrink too much for a boat floor..... but maybe it's better now 

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You could use starboard. Expensive but will last forever.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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If you use wood , be sure to cut out as much foam as possible so it don't come in contact with the wood . It needs air space to dry or it will just rot again very quickly .

We have this plactic sheet material where I work . I think it's called duro slide . Very expensive and personally I think it would warp under a hot sun .

Good luck .

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I stripped my islander 4 years ago and used high end cabinet plywood. Gave it two coatings of epoxy and wrapped it in marine carpet. For a fishing boat I would advise against the carpet and opt for the white plastic 4x8 sheets. If I had to do it again I think I'd talk to a sheet metal shop and have them knock up a metal floor and just rivet it down, then cover it with whatever. Mine is still holding strong the way it is and cost was under $1,000. Best of luck and check your transom for rot while you got it stripped.

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You can use just about any 3/4 inch 6 ply plywood as long as you properly seal it with either epoxy paint or glass it in (on both sides). Marine plywood is great for transoms but it  would be a waste of money for the floor. It seems very tempting to use pressure treated plywood, but aluminum and pressure treated do not get along at all and the aluminum will greatly suffer in the resulting chemical reaction.Use either aluminum rivets or stainless screws. Stainless does react to aluminum but not very much. Do not use iron ,bronze or copper screws.

I did my Islander about 5 years ago and it is holding strong. The only change and possible improvement I made  was leaving roughly a half inch space between the hull and the wood and i filled that up with silicone, so the wood can expand and shrink without pushing against the hull. I also poured some sand like material into the paint in order to prevent a slippery floor. I considered a metal floor, but on a hot day you can fry eggs on it.

Edited by rolmops

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1/2 " exterior 4 ply sanded plywood is sufficient . The original mfg was 1/2" .

3/4 would seem it would require modification to fit under the metal sides along the gunnels and transom .

The center piece over the gas tank is however 3/4" . There is a drop down of the aluminum supports in that section .

Seal it well with primer and coat it well with topside marine paint .

I added anti skid additive and hated that as It collects dirt . Ended up sanding that out and re coated with straight topside paint . Not slippery and easy to maintain , just recoat every other season .

Total coast , about $200. -300.00

Rich

Edited by Rich s

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I replaced the floor and the transom on my 191 Islander. Used exterior grade 3/4 inch from Lowe's. Found it was cheaper and better plywood than HD. Remove all the foam. [very messy job] replace foam with Styrofoam SM and pool noodles. Look up Aluthane. Use it to coat all the wood. The original floor was 1/2 inch. The new one is 3/4.

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So if you use 3/4 ,

in order to fit under the aluminum skirts under the gunnel , you must cut the trim .

If you use 3/4 on the outer ( the floor is in 3 sections ) then you must also modify the center section over the gas tank to meet the extra height of the outter sections .

Like I said , 1/2 " on the 2 outter sections and 3/4 in the center were from factory .

If mine lasted 25 years with a flawed( pouring expandable foam not leaving any air space to dry ) then I'm hoping my replacement correcting the airspace will last my lifetime .

Rich

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Removing the foam is a good idea only if it is waterlogged. Cut a test hole in a few places and if the foam that comes out is dry, leave it. Replacing foam with Styrofoam or pool noodles is a bad idea, because the foam in an aluminum boat supports the hull structure and the other materials will leave a lot of open space that will fill up with water in case of trouble and you will end up with less flotation material than you need.. But only boats up to 20 foot are legally supposed to have foam, so you may very well not have any foam to begin with.

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My floor was original and most of the foam is ( was water logged) . I can't imagine most out the not being waterlogged due to the poor , poured in construction that didn't allow drain passages in the stringers and bottom of the hull .

I only cut enough foam out underneath the floor to allow airspace so that it won't come in contact with the floor .

I also took a Sheetrock saw and various tools like metal rods and wire to poke the hull and stringer water drain passages free of foam .

Seriously and honestly , I don't believe that the 25 year old foam would keep my boat from sinking anyway .

Yes , it does perform some rigidity in some areas but it is not providing any structural integrity by any means .

It more of a sound proofing .

Rich

Edited by Rich s

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The foam used in the Islander is 2 lb foam. The floatation it provides is to keep the boat near the surface of swamped. There is little or no structural aspect to this foam. While it does provide floatation and sound proofing, it also causes problems. Any water that gets below the floor. Is not able to reach the sump. The foam is a closed cell foam. Just like SM and pool noodles. Replacing the foam (in most cases, waterlogged) allows any water to make its way to the bilge. I found a hole in the hull as well as fuel filler pipes that needed replacing. Replacing the floor with 3/4 gives both added structural ridgitity as well as less flex in the floor. The skirts on the sides need to have the rivits drilled out when you replace the floor. I had no issues replacing them. The floor does go under the cabin bulkhead. The new floor needs to be extended under this bulkhead. I used a oscillating took with a wood saw blade to make the slots under the bulkhead for the new floor. I put 3 coats of Aluthane (a moistur cured urethane) on all sides of both the plywood. It's been 3 years and the floors still look new. The Islander is a fantastic boat. Mine is a 1989. The factory floor and transom lasted 25 years with no waterproofing. I see no reason why the waterproofed replacements shouldn't last another 25 years.

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Funny you say that . I found my fuel fill hose compromised as well . What a bad design . It was encased in foam thus trapping water around it causing it ( well ethanol didn't help ) to rot . What a chore to cut the foam around it out . We kept smelling fuel but couldn't find the leak , well after finally finding the issue , all fuel lines were replaced . Every time we filled the tank , fuel would leak and absorb into the foam, bad , bad situation .

Just a tip :

Make sure when replacing the floor to replace ALL fuel lines , it could be a life saver ..

Edited by Rich s

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I replaced all mine when I did the floor. The main filler pipe was surprisingly expensive. When I removed the foam, I found a small hole in the hull. The foam had contained it, but absorbed a lot of water as well. Now if there is a future leak, I will know. Removing the foam did challenge my patience.

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Funny you say that . I found my fuel fill hose compromised as well . What a bad design . It was encased in foam thus trapping water around it causing it ( well ethanol didn't help ) to rot . What a chore to cut the foam around it out . We kept smelling fuel but couldn't find the leak , well after finally finding the issue , all fuel lines were replaced . Every time we filled the tank , fuel would leak and absorb into the foam, bad , bad situation .

Just a tip :

Make sure when replacing the floor to replace ALL fuel lines , it could be a life saver ..

I had the same issues with my fuel hoses and replaced them all like you did.

The main problem with foam is that when the law was passed that all boats under 20 foot must have flotation foam there were no guidelines and directions as to how to put it in and where not to put it in,the boat builders took the cheap route and poured it in without creating drainage. Bayliner did the worst job,hence the nickname Bilgeliner

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Some of the older starcrafts have sheet foam in them. It was much easier to replace. I considered going with no foam but thought better. I always cover my boat, but if I forget or get caught in a storm, the water runs freely to the bilge. Like you said , they took the fast and easy way.

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Pretty good and informative thread .

I learned about my boat from Starcraft owners on I - boats .

I love the fact that it's all aluminum hull and stringers that don't rot or have uv issues like wood or fiberglass .

My fiberglass ranger boat required much maintenance . Tin boats require little . My boats are never inside or covered other then winter because they are on the water - dock .

Rich

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Hello all thank you for post a subject... I am new to the sailboat scene. I am in the process of buying a 1986 26 islander at amazing price but needs major work including a new floor.

This thing has a PA title and has been sitting for about 5 years.. It appears rain was left to get in the boat so there is water under the floor and major rot..

My biggest concerns are the flooring, water, gas lines, missing rutter, new sail most likely, missing motor. Boat is a debt collection so I know was left go.

Lots of floor rott looks really bad. It's been sitting in the current wet slip for 5 years.

floor rot also extends under the seating on either side.

I want to take the project on but I do have a chance in the next 10 days to just walk away.

How do evaluate this thing.. I been researching this thing.

Any input is helpful.

Nor

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I don't know if it matters but they are not talking about the saliboat scene. They are talking about Starcraft islanders, a popular Great Lakes aluminum fishing boat

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Hello all thank you for post a subject... I am new to the sailboat scene. I am in the process of buying a 1986 26 islander at amazing price but needs major work including a new floor.

This thing has a PA title and has been sitting for about 5 years.. It appears rain was left to get in the boat so there is water under the floor and major rot..

My biggest concerns are the flooring, water, gas lines, missing rutter, new sail most likely, missing motor. Boat is a debt collection so I know was left go.

Lots of floor rott looks really bad. It's been sitting in the current wet slip for 5 years.

floor rot also extends under the seating on either side.

I want to take the project on but I do have a chance in the next 10 days to just walk away.

How do evaluate this thing.. I been researching this thing.

Any input is helpful.

Nor

Your talking about a fiberglass sailboat to the best of my knowledge. With what you described they,the debt collector would have to pay me to take that mess your describing. I would run.not walk away from that major expensive never ever get anywhere near the money you would have to put into it back wreck of a boat as fast as I could. I am being kind in describing that boat waiting for "Davey" to reach out and grab it.Run,run run.

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I would offer scrap value less 20%.  Last I checked aluminum was getting .50/lb at junk yard, but that was a while ago and metal prices have fallen.

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I thought you were talking about an islander. Scratch what I said previously. Take Bob's advice!  Run and don't look back.

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Yes run from that one

Unless you are a woodwork miracle worker and you need a serious project.

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