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Old 04-07-2014   #1
north little rock, Arkansas
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 342
Converting Standard Floor

Greetings. Been a LONG time since I've posted here, but I've been mulling something over. I have an old Odyssey hypalon bucket boat that I only use a few times a year for trips. It's a fourteen footer. The tubes are solid but the floor leaks like a sieve. I've just been dealing with it but it's time to get off my arse and do something. I just saw a very similar size/shape Achilles in gear swap that had been modified that way and it looked really nice. He cut the floor, rolled it and reglued it higher on the tubes then added grommets. I think it could work on my rig, but here are some questions:

1. How would I measure and what else would I need to consider in determining what floor would work?
2. How high up the tubes would I need to glue the material? Any tips for making sure I get it on there straight? Should I glue it on with the boat inflated?

I know there's a lot of other stuff to consider before tackling something like this but answers to these questions and any other thoughts you can give me would be very helpful. It's either this or go over the floor and patch every leak, which is probably by far the more sensible approach, but what fun is that?

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Old 04-07-2014   #2
albuquerque, New Mexico
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 134
The boat in the swap is mine. I think I did a pretty good job, but it was a huge pain in the ass and I wouldn't suggest it unless you love being high off hypalon glue and enjoy working with annoying, awkward materials.
Also, the only reason I even started the project was because I got a good deal on a floor that actually fit the tubes, and I think that's pretty rare, and floors are usually absurdly expensive, even used.
It's super messy, labor intensive job for a boat that, done correctly, should work ok, but will essentially leave you with a raft having a resale value of $300(hopefully ) time vs. money.

I only took on this project because, at the time, I thought it was all I could afford. I ended up getting a "real" job, though, and got a new boat.

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Old 04-07-2014   #3
montrose, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 326
I tend to agree with bigscottone. Unless you come across a smoking deal on a used floor that fits your boat, it just won't be worth it. If I were you, and you really only use the boat once in a while, I would consider giving the floor a good coat of system 6.

Just some thing to think about:

1. Sourcing a floor will be difficult or really expensive.
2. The cusp of the floor is not an easy place to prep and glue.
3. Smacking grommets into a boat with a little hardware store type tool is harder than it looks.

Of course, I would point out that if you are really clean and meticulous in your work and you find a good floor, your retrofitted boat should be worth more than bigsottone's $300. In fact is his boat did not apparently have a blown baffle and the floor was anything other than an air bladder type floor, my friend in Albuquerque would be on his way now. Actually, I would still jump at his boat if I needed one now. $300 is cheap.
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Old 04-07-2014   #4
albuquerque, New Mexico
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 134
I totally agree with mikepart. Just to be clear though, the boat I am selling in the swap doesn't have a blown baffle, it only has 3 original chambers. 2 in back, one up front.
And he's probably right that the value could be more, but I just want to get the boat out of my living room.
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Old 04-08-2014   #5
north little rock, Arkansas
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 342
Okay, thanks for the thoughts guys. Bigscott, I don't blame you for not wanting to mess with shipping, but if you change your mind about that let me know. Be glad to cover it plus a little extra for your trouble.
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Old 04-11-2014   #6
Daryl's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 98
Floor replacement

I too have an Odyssey 14' boat that had colossal floor loss. My first self bailing re-floor was pictured below. Many buzzers said it looked like an entrampment risk if the boat were to flip. It worked great on small rapids (wasn't going to roll the dice on 3+, see I can heed a warning) and self bailed instantly.

The cam straps held the mesh assembly in the middle of the tubes in mild water but could see the mesh moving all over the place when the raft flexes in deep holes or goes over rocks. Probably won't use this raft except for gear on big water floats (thanks to the swap last weekend at Downriver I now have a new SB)

If I were to make the mesh type system work I would probably glue a series of mini rings all along the tubes and thwarts at 3 or 9 o'clock and lace a floor using weaved strap. That would likely work and but the thwarts would be a snag risk since they aren't hiding above any floor material. It's just fun building new mousetraps.
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Old 04-11-2014   #7
north little rock, Arkansas
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 342
Interesting. I don't generally run the gear pig in anything over II, so something like that could work. What material is that?
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Old 04-11-2014   #8
Daryl's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 98
Floor replacement

It is construction fence. Home Depot stuff but it is really strong. I go 230+ and never step through.

What is shown is a folded 2 ply and there is small poly rope fished through the perimeter for better integrity and even ran a few passes across the mesh in case a rock comes from below or a heel pushes from above.

The pic shown illustrated my proof of concept, It looked a little better (very little) when I spent more time and used appropriately sized cam straps. My 4 kids use it like a weak trampoline when it sits on the ground.

Was going to build new floor panels with 3/8" polypropylene sheets. The material is strong just like a cutting board and I can easily round the edges with a router so it wouldn't punch through the tubes. 1/2" x 1" slots cut along the edges would allow you to use cam straps to hold it in place. (See pic)

The raft kinda looks like a chubby gal with a really tight bra at every cam strap but I'm cheap and love to get on the river.
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Old 04-11-2014   #9
Sembob's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 485
Hey Daryl this is an interesting idea. I thought to do something similar with plywood to one of my boats. I would like to know how it goes for you. My boat is a big one so I would be doing three separate floors because of size limitation of plywood. But if I could get large sheets of poly that might be better. I would rather have just one floor. By the way I like your original idea also. With the fence. I would worry about hooking something on the bottom but still that's an outside the box idea. And I guess if the floor is above the bottom of the tubes it's unlikely to snag.

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Old 04-12-2014   #10
MT4Runner's Avatar
Kalispell, Montana
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,436
Are your tubes big enough you could just run your raft with drop frame rails and a cataraft floor?

How about a double cataraft floor with a layer of closed cell foam in between?

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