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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've looked at other post in the past about suspended raft floors, I've been on aluminum raft floors but have never made my own out of plywood. I'm looking for pictures of other peoples raft floors look like. Trying to make a nice one and am open to alotnof ideas. I'd be carrying rocket boxes and jerry. Cans on them.
Thanks!
 

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I often run a set of rocket boxes either side of me in the rowing bay. Good spot for a prone tank to. I can leave the tank rigged, and set up a stove on my Dry Box if I need to. Also two rockets end to end, fore and aft of my cooler and dry box. A couple of straps through the floor makes it pretty easy to secure them.

The floor generally makes rigging easier, but a row of rockets would probably be better, I just don't have the space in my 14'.
 

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This is what I came up with recently. It's 3/4 inch plywood that I wiped quite a bit of stain on to give it some oils and keep from drying out. Then I sealed it real well with shellac with crushed Walnut shell for traction.

1x2 pine to stiffen it. The floor hangs from the frame​ by 6 straps, 2 on each cross rail and 1 on each side rail. It's pretty stable. I can secure 4 rocket boxes total and still have plenty of space in the middle.
 

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Your best bet thing to do is go to a boat ramp and see what others are doing. It is very important to use marine grade plywood. It's more expensive but well worth it. Our floors and walk ways on the frame are 15 year and in great shape. I only use them on multi-day trips.


We drilled holes in the floor corners and looped small nylon straps through them to use to suspend the floor, using cam straps, to our frame. I've also prepared a few other small loops to strap ammo and rocket boxes to. You can't do too many because it will weaken the floor. I used 1/4 round trim to secure boxes in. I have a spot under my seat for ammo boxes. On big trips I have rocket boxes on the sides by my legs. Wish I had a pic but my father has the boat on the river right now!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the responses, I'd say I spend ALOT of time at the boat ramp. It kind of feeds my family. Anyways I was just looking for some ideas. Surprisingly, home made captains floors don't show up as often as you'd think. :) all good! I'll figure it out, any location in the junction area to get marine plywood?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Your best bet thing to do is go to a boat ramp and see what others are doing. It is very important to use marine grade plywood. It's more expensive but well worth it. Our floors and walk ways on the frame are 15 year and in great shape. I only use them on multi-day trips.


We drilled holes in the floor corners and looped small nylon straps through them to use to suspend the floor, using cam straps, to our frame. I've also prepared a few other small loops to strap ammo and rocket boxes to. You can't do too many because it will weaken the floor. I used 1/4 round trim to secure boxes in. I have a spot under my seat for ammo boxes. On big trips I have rocket boxes on the sides by my legs. Wish I had a pic but my father has the boat on the river right now!

A picture would be great, I got a bunch of wood and I'll play around with it. But great advice, thanks
 

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I just cut slots as wide as my cam straps with a plunge router and it worked great. Cut the slot, then get a corner round bit to make the slot have a nice smooth curve to it. Do edge of the plywood while you are at it. For my little boat I did one at each end of a 48" long by 36" wide board, but my big boat I do a pair of slots at crossbar on the frame since its the full 8 foot length and needs the support.

If you haven't bought your plywood yet or don't have some at hand, I highly highly recommend MDO (medium density overlay). Its essentially marine grade plywood with a sheet of heavy duty paper laminated on top. Super sturdy, and is very smooth and flat. I decided to leave it untreated (no paint, poly or varnish) and I've been using the crap out of floor made with it this year (40-50 day on the river) and its holding up awesome. If you are a cheap ass like me, a lot of sign companies use it and have remnant cuts of it that they'll either give you for free or super cheap.
 

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I'll have to look for some MDO at the sign shops, it looks like a great product with alot of uses. Marine plywood is very difficult to find where I live. I'm curious to see how my standard plywood floors the I saturated with left over stain and shellac hold up, so far so good. One definite recommendation I can give is sprinkling on the crushed Walnut shells into the shellac . It gives a lot if grip but is fine on barefeet.

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I got the marine grade that I used on my cat floors and decks at Intermountain in GJ...

Intermountain Wood Products

It was pricey, but was much higher quality wood than the A-C grade plywood I used for the "paco paradise" 36"x72" front deck for the round boat. As it is only for day trips (and overnighters where a full-size cooler is unnecessary) I'm sure it will be fine...
 

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I think Intermountain Wood is the only place in GJ that sells marine grade plywood. They have a lot of other wood and wood products too. They're pretty easy to find - west of town off River Road on the way to Fruita.
 

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I'll have to look for some MDO at the sign shops, it looks like a great product with alot of uses.
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DO NOT USE MDO. It is "medium density overlay". The overlay is the plywood veneer that you see. What it is 'overlaid' upon is MDF..."medium density fiberboard". AKA sponge board. AKA sawdust and glue. MDF, when in contact with water, can swell up to 100% of its original dimension, thickness wise.
MDF is about the worse thing that you could put into a raft.
 

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While marine ply may be the most durable option (if taken care of- that is, either oiled frequently or glassed/epoxied and painted), I have had very acceptable results from CDX plywood, generously coated with oil-based Kilz.

It is miles cheaper- about a quarter the price for 5/8" ply. I had decking last 6-7 years with a fair amount of use. I repainted every other year, with minimal prep scraping off any obviously loose/flaking paint.
 

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I just cut slots as wide as my cam straps with a plunge router and it worked great. Cut the slot, then get a corner round bit to make the slot have a nice smooth curve to it. Do edge of the plywood while you are at it. For my little boat I did one at each end of a 48" long by 36" wide board, but my big boat I do a pair of slots at crossbar on the frame since its the full 8 foot length and needs the support.

If you haven't bought your plywood yet or don't have some at hand, I highly highly recommend MDO (medium density overlay).
I always thought MDO was outdoor grade particle board? Are you using particle or ply?
 

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DO NOT USE MDO. It is "medium density overlay". The overlay is the plywood veneer that you see. What it is 'overlaid' upon is MDF..."medium density fiberboard". AKA sponge board. AKA sawdust and glue. MDF, when in contact with water, can swell up to 100% of its original dimension, thickness wise.
MDF is about the worse thing that you could put into a raft.
Actually, DO use MDO, it is paper and resin coated exterior plywood. Commonly used in outdoor signs.

DO NOT use MDF, that is particle board and is the worst thing you could put into wet environment.

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I’ve just completed my first drop floor build (PHOTOS ATTACHED), which we will put to the test next week on Gates of Lodore. Big thank you to everyone who contributed to this and other conversations on the topic. Very helpful. I chose pressure treated plywood coated with two layers of spar urethane. Probably would have gone with marine grade plywood if it was more readily available, but time was limited. Also added side boards along both tubes and applied traction strips, like you would find on a skateboard. I like the extra weight that it adds and I think it makes our entire rig a much safer system. We’ll see if that all holds true next week. Thanks again everybody.
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You dont need marine plywood. I do recognize it as the best material, it is way over kill. If you raft lived in water then yes, but by lives in water i mean launched in April , moored when not used, and hauled out on October. Sign board is fine or regular plywood with spar varnish, spar urethane, or epoxy on it. Here is mine. I mount rocket boxes on either side. Thats why i have the funny cut outs. The double holes is cause i bring the hanger strap around the sides and grab the piece in between the 2 holes.

Its worked well but lately ive been considering running 1 board from under my back cooler, under the captains bay, up under the front cooler since i dont use a drybox. Strapping the coolers down to it will make it solid. Not trying to steal your thread with that idea. If its a bad idea pls talk me out of it.
 

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