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Discussion Starter #1
I know there are numerous threads on this and I'd be glad if someone would like to point out one that directly addresses the following issues:

1) Currently my trailer has the roller mounted so it is ABOVE the deck. This allows it to contact the raft the entire time it is being unloaded/loaded. I've seen many trailers that have the roller BEHIND the decking off the back. Any preference on this?

2) I just spent the last 4 hours pulling the decking off my trailer as it was covered by glued down thick shag carpet. Yes, it's nice to sleep on and it's kind to the raft but it traps water and moisture so I'm about 99% that I'm not going to put anything back down. Even outdoor carpet has rubber backing that would seem to trap water as well. Thoughts?

3) Decking. This seems like a religious discussion. I want to use a material and coating that will keep maintenance to a minimum. The trailer is stored inside if that makes any difference. What's the overall consensus on decking material & sealing it?

Current pictures below.
 

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I use to have a carpeted trailer. Not a big fan because it held a lot of sand and grit, plus you couldn't recoat the underlying wood without removing the carpet. I replaced it with a trailer that came with marine ply and the raft slides just fine.

If I was replacing the decking and money, weight, and board support were not an issue then composite decking all the way.

One thing I was considering was ACX ply (minimum 3/4" thick) with porch paint or stain of your choice. Then attaching 3 to 5 strips of composite deck trim boards directly on the ply running forward/backwards. They are usually only 3/4" to 1" thick. They are kind of spendy, but they would elevate the raft above the plywood for drainage and would allow it to dry out. The raft should slide easily on the trim boards and it'd be pretty low maintenance, especially if stored inside. If you ever had to replace the plywood decking the trim board would be simple to reuse.

As to the roller, if mounted off the back it should still be slightly elevated above the deck to still work well. As long as the deck is big enough to for raft it doesn't really matter where the roller is. But if you have the ability I think mounting off the back is better because you can potentially accomodate more sizes of boats.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
how does the porch paint hold up? Is this similar to the garage floor paint?
 

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I don't understand why you'd want a truck bed liner on a trailer, unless they are of the slick variety... I didn't get that from the link. If they are the typical grippy type it would make it a PIA to load and unload...

As I posted on the other thread, I've just decked my trailer. I also owned an old driftboat I restored in college. When I was redoing the floor my painter buddy suggested I use latex porch and deck enamel, so I tried it. It lasted 8 years with 2 recoats before I got rid of the boat. Perfect stuff - high gloss meant slippery and easy to clean. For the walking surface (false deck) I added sand while rolling. Once complete I rolled a second non-sanded coat - very grippy and clean looking. Porch and deck paint would make a great sliding surface on a trailer BUT I would add some grip to the center section so you don't do the sliding.

I thought about doing this but had already blown my budget on my trailer rebuild and had some clear deck sealer so that's what I did. That works just fine and is a good mix of grip/slip overall but I'd like it smoother under the tubes so I may just add more coats or even add pvc runners. The composite decking as runners would work too I'm sure, just too thick and heavy for my tastes.

A third idea is to put a strip of UMHW (or even HDPE) sheeting down the sides where your tubes sit. A friend did this a decade or so ago. He took a 4X10 sheet and ripped it in half, put 2 feet against the edge of his trailer and left the ply wood exposed in the middle. He can launch a fully loaded 14'er multi-day rig totally by himself on a nearly flat ramp. It's impressive. The sheets were $125 10 years ago, so it's not cheap and they expand and contract a lot, so he had to get creative with attachment. I haven't seriously considered it due to cost and no local availability.
 

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my brother the chemist who works with paints, glues, laminates, etc suggested porch paint for my trailer deck (plywood, though not marine plywood)...hassle of oil based to use, but has held up well...trailer stored in unheated Denver garage winter and in the mountains outside/with raft on it obviously for the summer covered with a cheap auto cover...I now remember he suggested a primer or two coats...I can't remember what I did...holding up well in it's 4th year....every spring I have touched up a couple of small spots on the surface....I did a light Grey color...Chet
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Good discussion. I was hesitant to use the truck liner material because of the fact that most common color is black - I don't want that. There's really 3 requirements for this process (in priority order)

1) No damage or transfer to the raft
2) Durability of coating
3) Usability of coating (grip to walk on, not too hot in the sun, raft can slide)

It looks like some good porch paint covers at least 1&3 and people have had varied success with #2.
 

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I too have my roller elevated above the deck, makes using the tilt bed easier. I highly recommend composite decking. Bought mine at lowes. They had it 10% off one weekend. The original plywood was done, it was 8 years old and I never did anything to it. The price difference was minimal, $260 for marine plywood, $300 for the composite. But I never have to replace it..... ever. The weight really isn't noticeable, the decking is 11"x 1\2" so its not as heavy as the 2x4 variety. The original plywood was 1\2" so all the cross members on the trailer matched perfectly. Dump some water on it and the boat slides like a dream. Why would anyone put grippy bed liner on their deck???? And did I mention that I never have to replace it again!!! Lowes has a 10 year warranty on it as well.
Happy Floating!
 

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You can sometimes find used composite decking from when people have torn out a deck. They usually sell it for like 0.50 to a buck a foot. The Re-Store or similar stores sell it. Or the stuff turns up on Craigslist.

Hey Moon. What is the distance between supports for your composit decking?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm starting to like where this is going. I'm going to check out some composite decking. I'm pulling off 3/4 plywood so using 1/2" composite could definitely work well and really not add that much weight. I'll obviously have to put more supports in...but I'm going to noodle on this for a bit.
 

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In the front of the trailer I have 3 cross members that are 18" apart and those are rock solid. In the back there are 2 cross members that are 32" apart and there is a little flex when walking on those, but no more than the original 1\2" plywood. Everyone told me I would need more support for those in the back, but I haven't felt that I need it. If I ever decide to "beef it up" it will be a simple matter to weld in 2 8' pieces of 1\2" angle iron and that would bring all supports 18" or less. This winters project will be to pull the decking off and put bed liner on all the metal. Hopefully keep it rust free. The goal is to have a maintenance free trailer.....:rolleyes:
 

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Yep, I agree grease is cheap. After "the incident" on labor day last year I now carry a spare hub and bearing assembly with me on every road trip. I lost my hub cap (bearing buddy) coming out of mineral bottom and all the dirt/gravel got in the hub assembly and ate it up. Didn't notice till I got back to Green River. By then the hub was destroyed. Let me tell you how many places are open in Green River on labor day that sell parts:rolleyes:...... ended up staying the night and driving to Moab in the morning, leaving the boat and trailer at the hotel. The Napa didn't have an exact fit, but I couldn't wait another day (damn work) so I bought the one they had, then drove back to Green River and put that one in. Thank goodness I brought my tools. It lasted to the Westwater exit, then that one died. Left my trailer and boat under the overpass and drove to Junction to get the correct parts, then back to fix the trailer. Soooo this spring installed 2 new hub/ bearing assemblies and always carry a spare. Cause nothing ever breaks down in your drive way right? :lol: It was a good lesson to learn though.
 

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I'd be worried sick leaving my boat on the roadside.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Mountain Buzz mobile app
 

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I had horrible visions of coming back to an empty trailer..... it wasn't a fun drive, I might have bent the speed limit a bit....
 
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