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Discussion Starter #1
Word is born. So hello. I am from Montana where I do a lot of boating. I have been an off and on whitewater/fly-fishing guide for a long time. I have been trying to get away from the commercial side of it, though not get away from the rivers. I mostly boat for trout, do a lot of wilderness floats all over Montana and Idaho. I always row the Locsha a couple of times a year, and get out on some other whitewater too. I am looking forward to some upcoming Smith River floats and whatever summer brings- not looking like much with the snowpack we have. I have surfed through here a couple of times when Google led me this way and it seems cool enough. So hopefully I can contribute something meaningful in the future, but for now- I need an answer:


My trailer decking is MDO/signboard that has seen better days. It is structurally sound however and I am thinking about keeping it and treating it. I was thinking some of that paint that has sand mixed in with it, but I don't know if that will be too harsh on the bottom of my boats. I could just go with new MDO, but that's going to cost me a couple hundred $$. I would prefer to treat it with something- paint? Deck Sealant? Have it Rhino Lined? I will be applying this with a brush myself or paying rhino liner, but I hear it's way expensive.


Another trailer related thing: If I back out all of the decking screws that hold the deck down, will they go back into the same holes, or since they are self tapping am I going to have to use new holes? If using the old holes, what's the best stuff to keep them in place while rattling down the highway? I am thinking about gorilla glue? I am sure there is something better for that.
 

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I've done a couple different things. One that worked well was to thin spar varnish way, way down so it penetrates, and doesn't build up on the surface . It ends up not slick at all, but protects against UV and water penetration. This is in the Pac Northwest where it rains all the time.
 

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MDO is an exterior grade plywood with one smooth fiberboard face thermofused to the underlying veneer. They make things like highway signs out of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Signboard is Marine Grade Plywood with one smooth side, sometimes both sides smooth. There is like a paper thin layer laminated to it, which I guess is why it's nice for making outdoor signs. The self tapping screws go into tubular steel that makes up the frame.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I've done a couple different things. One that worked well was to thin spar varnish way, way down so it penetrates, and doesn't build up on the surface . It ends up not slick at all, but protects against UV and water penetration. This is in the Pac Northwest where it rains all the time.
What do you thin the spar varnish with? Will it still penetrate the thin veneer? I am leaning towards this option. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I ended up sealing it with a thick coat of marine epoxy. We laid fiberglass cloth with epoxy in all the high wear areas and also made a nice walkway up the middle with sand in epoxy for traction while loading. Then painted with porch and patio paint. It looks nice and is now done in the true spirit of overdoing things. Cost about $140, or less than redecking, which would have needed to be coated with something also. It should outlast the trailer after all that.
 

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Another option for future consideration

If you ever need to re-seal or work on a new project with similar demands you should consider using garage floor sealer. It is a tinted uv-stable epoxy product that is available at most automotive locations as well as bigger Wal-marts. The advantage over straight epoxy is that it is less likely to break down over time due to sun exposure.

That said, I'm sure what you did will be the bomb.

Dan
 

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Penetrol

Also for future posterity, I used to work on antique wooden schooners up in Maine. We dealt with quite a bit of rotten and rotting wood as you can imagine, and spar varnish that has been thinned out with a product called Penetrol REALLY allows the varnish the penetrate deep into the wood. We never varnished without it. Also, if you are going the marine epoxy route, thin it with denatured alcohol for the same deep penetrating effect.
 
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