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Old 05-09-2014   #1
Yukon, Alabama
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 92
Raft Trailer "plywood covering"


Getting a new aluminum snow machine trailer for hauling my big raft. It comes with a plywood covered bed. My instinct is to treat the plywood with some sort of weather proofing, but not sure of what to use. I definitely do not want to coat the plywood with something that is going to mare up the bottom of the raft.

Locally, I've heard suggestion to glue on outdoor carpet, treat the wood with linseed oil, or water proofing deck stain. Any suggestions on what I can use to treat/protect the plywood that won't mark up the brand new raft would be most appreciated.

I know the outdoor carpet is one option that would work for the raft, but the idea of gluing it on a trailer that will probably be sold and used for snow machines in a couple years is not appealing - the reason I'm considering alternatives to just treating the plywood.

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Old 05-09-2014   #2
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David Miller's Avatar
Gypsum, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 458
The outdoor carpet will help the boat slide on and off the trailer. Wrap the carpet around the deck and ten attach the deck to the trailer without glue.

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Old 05-09-2014   #3
flagstaff, Arizona
Paddling Since: 09
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 155
the thing I like about linseed oil is it is a natural product. IF you have nerve enough and a place to do so without setting fire to the house.... warm the oil over a propane burner or wood fire. It penetrates way deeper hot than cold. Be safe though.... linseed oil is flammable and very subject to spontaneous combustion. We set fire to our finish room with it once.
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Old 05-09-2014   #4
mrett's Avatar
Lincoln City, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 96
My snow machine trailer has a coat of Thompson's Water Seal, seems to work and does not trap or hold any dirt, gravel etc. My last wood deck trailer had conveyer belting, screwed to the deck using rings to counter sink the screw heads. Both have held up well $ .02

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Old 05-10-2014   #5
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 25
While you're at it either get rid of those crappy little sled trailer wheels/tires or go out and buy a half dozen spares. Especially if you are going to be towing this thing around AK.
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Old 05-10-2014   #6
Yukon, Alabama
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 92
I understand the issues with the small trailer wheels. The trailer comes stock with 8 inch fat tires and I'm getting the upgraded 10 inch tires that are "supposed" to travel better. Despite their negatives, the snow machine trailers with 8 and 10 inch tires remain quite popular in Alaska. Bearings are easy and cheap to grease, replace, and the upgraded tires are professed to hold-up better. I'm only personally going to use the trailer for hauling the raft.
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Old 05-11-2014   #7
Highlands Ranch, CO Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 482
I just redid the wood on my trailer with super deck, it is a paint that is applied via roller. It's designed for decks and docks.

It is pretty thick and fills in cracks, once dry it hardens.

Since I just did this I'll repost later after a couple trips.

FYI it is $45 a gallon and I used the entire gallon.

My hope is I won't have to do anything to this for a couple years.

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Old 05-11-2014   #8
San Juan Islands, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 217
I painted the deck of my trailer with Rustolium, It's cheap and holds up well. My raft has no problem sliding on the deck but it isn't too slippery to walk on. Don't use carpeting, It only keeps the wood wet allowing it to rot faster.

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