How to Replace a Floor in a Boat

by Danny Waldo
Replace your boat's flooring as often as necessary to maintain a safe and sturdy watercraft.

Replace your boat's flooring as often as necessary to maintain a safe and sturdy watercraft.

Over time, boat floors begin to show wear and tear from repeated exposure to the elements, specifically water. The need for a new boat floor becomes inevitable when the floor has a soft, spongy feel that is a sure sign of dry rot. However, the need for replacing a boat floor does not mean the end of your boating days. You can replace your floor in a short amount of time and with minimal labor. Your boat will have a sturdier feel to it, and you'll be back out on the water in no time.

1. Remove all seats, consoles and fixed items from your old floor. Disconnect any wiring or connections prior to removing them from the boat.

2. Remove your boat's old flooring. Try and keep as much of the old flooring intact as you can use it as a template to measure your new flooring pieces as well as a guide to line up screw holes for reassembling your deck. Leave a three-inch trim of old flooring around the edge of your boat. This will ensure you do not puncture the side of your boat while removing the old flooring, but more importantly, it will serve as a sturdy support for the new floor since it is molded into the framework of the boat.

3. Measure the new pieces of plywood, using old flooring pieces as templates if possible. Soak the measured pieces in epoxy to seal water out. When the epoxy has dried, screw the new flooring pieces in place. Be sure to note the location of screw holes and mark them on the flooring pieces prior to reconstructing the floor. Drill new screw holes prior to laying the flooring down.

4. Cover the plywood flooring pieces with a fiberglass mat, and seal in place using a fiberglass resin. When the resin has dried, you may wish to smooth off any rough edges with a soft sander. Drill screw holes in the dried fiberglass mat.

5. Lay exterior carpet or similar floor covering down to complete the refurbishment of your boat's floor. Reinstall the seats, consoles and other fixed items on your boat's deck.

Items you will need

  • Circular saw
  • Epoxy
  • Fiberglass mat
  • Exterior carpet or other floor covering
  • Plywood
  • Power drill

About the Author

Danny Waldo started writing professionally in 2011, covering topics in education and sports. His writing has appeared on various websites, including BleacherReport.com. Waldo holds a Bachelor of Science in education from Montana State University-Bozeman and a Master of Science in education from Walden University.

Photo Credits

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