Cataraft decking - Mountain Buzz

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Old 04-01-2015   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 16
Cataraft decking

What is the best way to set up decking that runs the length of my 10ft frame? Should I use wood or marine plastic? What are the pros and cons?

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Old 04-01-2015   #2
codycleve's Avatar
salmon, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,102
I have a deck the full length of my 12 foot frame.. I used wood and really like it... The pro's, it's very cost affective. If I ever change my frame setup I can either change it or trash and replace it.. It is easy to work with.. I painted it with behr deckover so it is non slip.. it es contoured to the exact shape of my boxes, coolers and bags so there is not gap or wasted space. it ranges from 17" inches wide to 8" inches wide. my dog loves the big wide ends to sleep on.. and they are handy for easy on and off the cat. The Con's It wont last forever.
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Old 04-01-2015   #3
Helena, Montana
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 37
Wooden kitchen tables with fold-up metal legs are a great way to kill two birds with one stone.

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Old 04-02-2015   #4
Wondervu, CO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 491
I use a plywood floor on my boat, with occasional maintenance it is still going strong after 6 seasons. Some of the early versions didn't last beyond 1 trip. Some thoughts on my experiences.

1. I considered marine plastic but was unable to afford it. High quality plywood at $60 sheet vs plastic at over $300. I can easily find plywood at local stores, the plastic required special orders, minimum quantities and extra shipping.
2. Exterior house paint is a much better waterproofing than spar varnish,
and a whole lot cheaper.
3. Waterproofing plywood depends mostly on sealing the edges and voids, which can wick water deep into the board. You can fill edge voids with 2 part epoxy wood putty or auto body putty. Then seal the whole board on all sides with a coat of epoxy thinned with denatured alcohol. (check out the wooden boat builder web sights for a 'how to') The epoxy doesn't hold up under UV, so you must topcoat with spar or paint.
4. Two 5' sections are a lot easier to carry, rig and transport than one 10' section. I found three bays worked best for my boat, one was custom fit for a dry box, one for a cooler, and the third for the passengers and rower.
5. It doesn't need to be marine grade plywood, as long as the glue is rated for exterior use. It's more important that it is void and knot free. Get the best quality plys (ie: 13 ply over 7 ply over 5 ply over 3 ply etc.) you can afford.
6. Pressure treated wood will not work well. Treated wood is rot resistance NOT water resistant. The treating process actual makes the wood more likely to soak up water, plus any splinters are toxic.
7. Home made wood floors and decks are adaptable. I have made many tweaks over the years. You can make repairs or changes with materials found at any hardware store.
8. You can buy high quality plastic in smaller quantities through commercial kitchen suppliers. They sell it for use as cutting boards and counter tops.
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Old 04-02-2015   #5
Missoula, Montana
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 491
Originally Posted by kengore View Post
8. You can buy high quality plastic in smaller quantities through commercial kitchen suppliers. They sell it for use as cutting boards and counter tops.
Check if there are any plastics/sign fab shops in your area. I work with a local plastic shop on occasion, and they can get me .5" HDPE for pretty cheap and in big sheets. I'm planning on grabbing a piece for a single bay bench soon.
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Old 04-02-2015   #6
colorado springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 20
What about alloy?
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