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I am constructing a flat deck onto a utility trailer to haul my raft.....it will be plywood on top......I will have a roller on the back too.....overall it will be about two and a half feet off the ground.....the question is? should I just spar varnish over the plywood [obviously no sharp stuff/screws etc. on the surface] who votes for Astroturf?....indoor/outdoor carpeting? any best suggestions/experience? thanks, Chet
 

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I just painted my plywood deck with several coats of glossy Rustolium, the boat slides really well but I've never slipped on it. It's several years old and still looks pretty good.
 

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I painted the plywood on my trailer to make it last a little longer then put indoor outdoor carpet over it. my boat slides well across it and the wood still seems to be holding up after 3 years. I would recommend a single piece of carpet. I pieced mine together and it would be nicer to have a single piece. Also choose the placement of you staples or screws to hold it down wisely.

Dave
 

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I used a special paint designed for wood deck and patios (get it at a real paint store, won't find it at Home Depot) Much more durable than the spar varnish. The spar only lasted 1 season (I store the trailer outside all winter) the patio paint has held up for over 4 years and is still going strong.
 

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i built a raft platform similar to the one you've described on a utility trailer. i bought enough astro turf to cover it completely. i used sub floor adhesive and wrapped the ends around the bottom and stapled them. it's been going strong for four? years. the boat slides better on this than indoor/outdoor carpeting.
 

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Carpet

I use an Echo ATV trailer for my cataraft. It has a sturdy metal deck, so I don't think I really need the plywood. However, the metal deck has a very rough texture which doesn't allow me to scoot things (dry boxes, coolers, boats) around very easily. I've decided just to cover it with indoor/outdoor carpet. A friend suggested securing it with pop rivets instead of screws to make the attachment more low profile. I have the carpet cut to size, but haven't gotten it secured yet. Any opinions about pop rivets vs screws? The rivets I have are aluminum, 3/16.
KJ
 

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just get enough material that you don't have to secure it to the surface that your boat is going to be on. mine is an 8'x8' dance floor/putting green built out of two by fours and covered in plywood. the carpet is glued down on top and secured on the bottom with the sharp stuff. cat girl, pop rivets sound better than screws to me if you are going to put them where your boat is going to go.
 

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I covered mine with outdoor carpeting. It's better than bare wood, but probably not as slick as astro turf. It's holding up well though (on it's second year now). I glued it with flooring adhesive, wrapped the edges around to the underside, and then stapeled it.

I helped a guy load a raft a couple of weekends ago, and he had some sort of really slick film applied over several boards that ran lengthwise on his trailer (parallel to the raft and trailer). It was really smooth, like teflon. Not sure what it was, but things sure slide easilly on it! wish I would have written down what it was.
 

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i built a raft platform similar to the one you've described on a utility trailer. i bought enough astro turf to cover it completely. i used sub floor adhesive and wrapped the ends around the bottom and stapled them. it's been going strong for four? years. the boat slides better on this than indoor/outdoor carpeting.
We have essentially this also. One downside is that it holds dirt and Mag Chloride which was a nightmare taking off the MFS once right after they applied it (the potholes had lakes of that nasty stuff). I spent a boatload at the carwash trying to get it all out of the turf. I'm still happy with it though.
 

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Personally I have had an awful time with my plywood decks. I have had to replace my deck every year. I even used marine grade plywood, and 3 coats of polyurethane, along with astro turf on top. {I do leave my trailer outside in the elements all year long though) So I decided to tear my trailer apart and start fresh. Here is my trailer so far. I am waiting to get my diamond plate pressed for my sides and floor then it with be complete. I will post more pictures when done.
 

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