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Boat Casting Deck Project

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    Opinions Needed Boat Casting Deck Project

    We recently purchased a 1971 Starcraft, 16' long, 58" beam boat that we absolutely love. It's the perfect size for our family to fish out of, and has tons of room when fishing with two or three people. It has 4 bench seats that desperately need replaced, they are very weather-checked and cracked, mine even broke on our last trip. They will be replaced with 3/4" plywood and the foam underneath will go right back where it was when purchased. Everything that I put in will be painted with 2-3 coats of quality exterior paint, absolutely no carpet.

    Included with the boat is a bow-mount trolling motor that I want to be able to use. The previous owner had a mount rigged up but it was putting undue pressure on the motor mount and boat that it needs to be redone as well. What I'd really like to do is something like the picture below, minus the carpet.



    I really would like to have a casting deck up front. On our trip, I stood up there and walked around on the bench to check stability and I was pleasantly surprised with how the boat handled me walking around. What I have envisioned is replacing the bench, putting a casting deck on top of the bench that runs all the way into the bow, and build a compartment between the casting deck and trolling motor mount to allow the battery to be stored there.

    After all that, I have two main questions.

    1. How do I frame under the casting deck so it's solid, yet won't add a bunch of weight?

    I found a picture that shows what I think I will have to do, but will have to modify things to make it work with the boat we have so the deck won't shift.



    2. Any issues seen with using dimensional lumber and plywood, all coated with exterior paint? From what I've read, treated wood isn't a good idea as that can eat the aluminum.

    Below are a couple pictures of our boat for reference.



    Fishing trips aren't measured in pounds and inches; they're measured in smiles, laughter, and memories with friends and family.

    #2
    Do not use treated lumber or plywood. For plywood I would use nothing but marine grade plywood and be sure to get a couple of heavy coats of paint or sealer on it. As for the lumber that you will use for your braces. I think I would rip the pieces of marine plywood that you have left into the dimensions that you need. You can double them up if you need more thickness to fasten your deck to. It will be heavier then you are used to but I don't think it will be too bad.

    The marine grade plywood will last longer then regular plywood and the treated lumber is not good for any metal.

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks for the ideas, I really like the thought of using the plywood for the framing.

      Would exterior grade plywood be sufficient instead of the marine? Looking at cost, there's about a $40/sheet difference.
      Fishing trips aren't measured in pounds and inches; they're measured in smiles, laughter, and memories with friends and family.

      Comment


        #4
        I once did a similar project but troweled on fiberglass resin as the water proofing agent. I thought it did an excellent job.

        Comment


        • Fish On
          Fish On commented
          Editing a comment
          I did the same on my first boat floor, worked great!

        #5
        If possible, I would consider using aluminum rather than wood for the structure. It will reduce the weight by over half, and you won't have to worry about it rotting or the screws rusting. Rivets will hold just fine, and you would probably do just fine with exterior grade plywood with a hefty coat of spar urethane over it. If it rotts out, just throw it away and replace it, but at least you would have an aluminum frame to reattach to if you keep it for a long time. Good luck, and if you run out of ideas, check out the link below.

        Comment


          #6
          Originally posted by michael.magorian View Post
          If possible, I would consider using aluminum rather than wood for the structure. It will reduce the weight by over half, and you won't have to worry about it rotting or the screws rusting. Rivets will hold just fine, and you would probably do just fine with exterior grade plywood with a hefty coat of spar urethane over it. If it rotts out, just throw it away and replace it, but at least you would have an aluminum frame to reattach to if you keep it for a long time. Good luck, and if you run out of ideas, check out the link below.
          I'd love to use aluminum, haven't used it before on anything so I'm way more confident in using lumber. Have been reading a lot on tinboats the last couple days, lots of good info. I will see if I can get enough info and confidence to give aluminum a try.
          Fishing trips aren't measured in pounds and inches; they're measured in smiles, laughter, and memories with friends and family.

          Comment


            #7
            I had some time today and completed the cardboard templates for the trolling motor mount area and the deck.

            One issue that I ran into is that the deck isn't big enough to mount a seat, sit comfortably and operate the trolling motor. The deck needs to be about 2' longer unfortunately.

            My first thought was to extend the deck back to the second bench. Doing so would create a huge platform and allow for storage space, BUT it would mean another 50-60 pounds.

            My second thought is to build the casting deck as planned, just leave it without a seat. With the deck and an aluminum frame, it would only add 25-30 pounds to the boat.

            My next thought is to abandon ship (rimshot). Simply replace the benches, and operate the trolling motor by hand while it sits on the bench. It's a cable drive motor, so the foot control can't be moved to a different area of the boat, unfortunately.

            Fishing trips aren't measured in pounds and inches; they're measured in smiles, laughter, and memories with friends and family.

            Comment


              #8
              You might be over estimating the added weight. An entire 4x8 sheet of 3/4" plywood only weighs 65 pounds.

              The weight is always in the plywood not the 2x4s. When I built a deck and floor for my flatbottom I used 5/8" plywood and added a couple short 2x4s for added support. The 5/8" plywood was 55 pounds per sheet instead of 65. A couple short 2x4s didn't weigh close to 10 pounds.

              My flatbottom was 15' long and 42" wide on the bottom. I put a deck on the front and covered the floor in the middle. I also built a couple long narrow storage compartments on the sides for rods. I used a total of 1 1/2 sheets of plywood, which would total about 75 or 80 pounds. Throw in a few 2x4s and I probably added 100 pounds for the whole thing.
              Whoever said cats always land on their feet wasn't throwing them right.-Anonymous

              Comment


                #9
                If you dont have enough room and if you have some extra cash you might want to look into a MinnKota with iPilot and eliminate the food control. Just a suggesttion

                Comment


                  #10
                  Did mine this weekend, lumber frame underneath is temporary for this season. Going to have a friend weld up a steel or aluminum frame over the winter. Had leftover carpet from the rehab of the original floor a few years ago.

                  Had some pics of rehab in this thread
                  https://www.nefga.org/forum/other-ou...arpet-question

                  Comment


                  • Jayomaha
                    Jayomaha commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Very nice!
                    Keep it safe! JDL

                  #11
                  Top Notch work Lenny

                  Comment


                    #12
                    Originally posted by Lenny View Post
                    Did mine this weekend, lumber frame underneath is temporary for this season. Going to have a friend weld up a steel or aluminum frame over the winter. Had leftover carpet from the rehab of the original floor a few years ago.

                    Had some pics of rehab in this thread
                    https://www.nefga.org/forum/other-ou...arpet-question
                    Excellent, Lenny! I wish our boat had a front seat like yours. That would make the project so much easier, may have to get creative in ours.
                    Fishing trips aren't measured in pounds and inches; they're measured in smiles, laughter, and memories with friends and family.

                    Comment


                    • Lenny
                      Lenny commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Thank you, been wanting to get this done for awhile now. Your thread actually provided the needed motivation to go out and do it. Project has been on hold a few years.
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