Take a look around your home. Much of the “quality” of that home depends on the flooring—the woodwork, the carpeting, the tiling. Is it any different with boats? If you want your boat to look its best, it’s vital to make sure that your fiberglass flooring is in top quality shape. That’s why we’ve put together this brief guide on how to fiberglass a boat floor. We hope it’s helpful!
Getting Rid Of Old Flooring
The first step to fiberglassing a boat floor is to remove any damaged flooring from the area. First, you’ll want to get rid of anything loose in your boat, just as you’d clear out the furniture in your living room to clean the floors. Next, you’ll clear out debris and even remove anything that’s old and damaged like plywood underneath the carpeting.
We recommend getting the center console and any cables out of the way at this point as well. This isn’t going to be a project you can finish in a half-hour. Note: you’ll want to write down everything you’ve disconnected so you know where everything goes when you’ve finished!
Replacing The Boat Stringers?
We’ve written previously on boat stringer repair. If you’re unfamiliar with them, take the time to revisit that article and get a sense of what’s involved. It’s possible you can use this time to also replace your stringers, which will add time overall to the project. However, because you’re already working with the flooring in the first place, there may be no better time to address any faulty boat stringers.
Installing The New Flooring
After removing the old, damaged flooring, make extensive measurements—following the idiom “measure twice, cut once”—to get a sense of everything that will be involved with putting in the new flooring. Measure the size of your deck to get a sense of how much flooring you’ll need, and don’t be afraid to cut these into individual supported segments if necessary.
Installing deck sheets also requires you to be wary of any cables or connections that need to move once you’ve finished the flooring, which is why it’s so important to keep close tabs on these connections and write them down throughout the process.
Applying Fiberglass Matting
Once the deck sheets are in place, you can secure them together with screws before applying the fiberglass matting. Take care to ensure that this matting is properly sealed. That’s where our sealants at BoatLIFE come in. You’ll be putting the finishing touches on the boat floor shortly, which is why it’s so vital that you get a water-tight seal that you can rely on for years to come.
Reattach the seats and center console with all the proper connections and clean out the area. You should start the engine in a secure location to make sure that these connections work just as they did prior to your repairs.
Need more boating products to give your boat the boost it needs, or to repair old issues? Visit all the cleaning, sealing, and repair products here at BoatLIFE.