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Discussion Starter #1
Building up my trailer. I have 2 x 6 x 10 planks that will be screwed to the rig, my question: do folks leave a space between the planks for drainage? Or should I keep the planks flush?? Carpet or no carpet? Lol. Oh boy, I guess I just opened up a debatable question I’m just looking for some guidance from the buzz, Rivers are opening up!!
 

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Put em together the wood will shrink getting you your spaces.
 

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Depending on the wood, bigger spaces and carpet that lets the sand through.

splinters don't agree with rafts, and wood generates those, especially if the trailer does more than carry a raft.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Any experience with applying polyurethane to yer boards after painting. It supposed to b as hard as plastic. I’m hoping it will case the wood and reduce any splintering. Hoping it will allow for a smoother surface for the raft
 

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in 20 years of hauling rafts around on mostly unfinished wood decks I've never had a splinter be an issue... and in fact, feel that if a splinter damaged my boat I'd seriously reconsider trusting the boat on the water.... I mean rivers are filled with pungy sticks, sharp rocks, occasionally even fence posts; all kinds of things that are much tougher and scarier than a splinter...

With that said, I added 12" HDPE runners under my tubes a few years ago and love them. They are there to reduce friction, not protect the boat but they do add a layer of protection from those pesky splinters as well.

I highly recommend this concept! Plus you can make the center of the trailer grippy to aid in loading or keep you from sliding off the trailer on a steep ramp (BTDT...)
 

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With that said, I added 12" HDPE runners under my tubes a few years ago and love them. They are there to reduce friction, not protect the boat but they do add a layer of protection from those pesky splinters as well.

Elk - I've been wanting to do this for a while, but I'm cheap and haven't found good sources for used HDPE. Don't suppose there's a restaurant supply or something near you that gets it in for better cost than plastic suppliers?
 

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That’s awesome!! Well put, if my boat can’t handle a splinter I got some serious rethinking to do. Haha. 👍
 

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Elk - I've been wanting to do this for a while, but I'm cheap and haven't found good sources for used HDPE. Don't suppose there's a restaurant supply or something near you that gets it in for better cost than plastic suppliers?

I happen to have a 4x8 sheet leaning against my garage wall. Want it? I think it cost me $50 a couple years ago...

I got it at menards while on a road trip for work... I got this idea from a buddy who drove to Missoula to get his sheet 10 or so years ago... but I do not know of any place local to get it.
 

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That’s awesome!! Well put, if my boat can’t handle a splinter I got some serious rethinking to do. Haha. 👍
I understand what dave is saying, a splinter sitting there rubbing could conceivably cause damage, but in reality I feel that raft material is the tougher of the two and will abraid the wood, not vice versa. The biggest deal is getting angular gravel up onto the deck that works it's way under the boat. But even with that, I still haven't had any issues with damage from trailering except a roller that wore on my old hypalon boat. I think it would actually roll while going down the road, creating the abrasion. Nothing from rocks or the deck.
 

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Any experience with applying polyurethane to yer boards after painting. It supposed to b as hard as plastic. I’m hoping it will case the wood and reduce any splintering. Hoping it will allow for a smoother surface for the raft
you might take a look at cabbot deck correct.. I used it to paint my side decks. It is like putting a hard plastic coating on the boards. You would never have a problem with splinters.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Found some fibreglass reinforced panels at Home Depot. It’s surface is smooth as butter, will be nice on the tubes sliding on and off, as well the panels cover the wood insuring long lasting timber.
 

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Any experience with applying polyurethane to yer boards after painting. It supposed to b as hard as plastic. I’m hoping it will case the wood and reduce any splintering. Hoping it will allow for a smoother surface for the raft
Polyurethane isn't really all that different from an oil-based paint. Go for a good primer and then a couple of coats of oil-based paint.

you might take a look at cabbot deck correct.. I used it to paint my side decks. It is like putting a hard plastic coating on the boards. You would never have a problem with splinters.
This is a great idea. I'm looking forward to trying it.




Found some fibreglass reinforced panels at Home Depot. It’s surface is smooth as butter, will be nice on the tubes sliding on and off, as well the panels cover the wood insuring long lasting timber.
I think the issue you'll have with FRP panels is that they don't bond to the wood...you will trap water/sand/grit between the FRP and the wood, and that wet sand/grit will be a mold/rot magnet.
 

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Plank spacing

I suggest that you leave 1/8 to 1/4" space between planks. Wood expands and contracts 2% to 5% as it gets wet and then dry. If you assemble it with dry wood, the wood will expand when it gets wet, so leave a little room for that expansion.

Richard
 

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If you use pressure treated wood definitely install tight together they will shrink for sure, I would install white wood tight as well. If treated wood make sure you let them dry before treating (paint or stain) it will not adhere.Good luck
 

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I have 2x6 fir decking on my trailer and after a year or so I painted it with a Deck paint that I bought from Home depot. It makes it much easier to slide the raft on and off the trailer than on bare wood. The stuff I used was not oil based, but I think that may have been a better choice?
 
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