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Best surface material for a fish cleaning station

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Best surface material for a fish cleaning station

Old 02-11-2021, 06:34 AM
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Default Best surface material for a fish cleaning station

Hello all. There may be a thread already on this topic but I can't seem to locate it. I recently bought a canal front fixer upper house on the Texas coast that has a fish cleaning station in the back by the water. The house was built about 30 years ago and the plywood on the surface of the fish cleaning station that is used for fileting fish is badly in need of replacement. I see a lot of recommendations on line for starboard. Is that what you guys would recommend? A
any other suggestions will be greatly appreciated!! Many thx.
Old 02-11-2021, 06:38 AM
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Starboard is great, also Amazon has big cutting boards made from High Density Pastic and its fair cheap, I think the 18"x28" was under 40$. you could also get PVC sheets from a box store- thats what i used for a few years. 24"x24" was like 15$ and its easy to cut.
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Old 02-11-2021, 06:43 AM
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Thx Flyrod for the quick reply. I should have also mentioned in my original post that the fish cleaning surface is about seven feet in length and approx, 3 feet in depth. I would like to use a sheet material that would cover those dimensions without any seams, if possible.
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Old 02-11-2021, 06:46 AM
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If it were me- I would price out the PVC sheet in half inch.

If that is crazy expensive i would use a sheet of plywood and coat it with a bar top coat, the clear epoxy. that would last forever and you could lay in a cool logo or your name.
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Old 02-11-2021, 06:52 AM
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Not sure where you are in Texas, but Blue Water Marine in Kemah stocks poly sheets in various thicknesses and will cut to fit.
Old 02-11-2021, 07:01 AM
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I bought a piece Corian. Been using it for years and it holds up in the sun.
Old 02-11-2021, 07:03 AM
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Flyrod04's reply about using Starboard is a common answer to your question, but I've read the Starboard retains bacteria, whereas the wood does not. That is contrary to what most of us would think since restaurants use the plastic prep areas, but that is probably because it can be washed easier, plus state & federal regulations for food handlers. That being said, I am currently working on my waterfront redoing the bulkhead, including a fish cleaning station and will use the Starboard(HDPE) type product, because I want to and because of the ability to clean it easier. The one I bough has a texture on the surface.
Your measurements are a little more generous then mine at 6' X 24" before with a 3" drain across the rear. You have not mentioned where your primary home is in Texas, but in Austin and other similar size towns there are plastic dealers which generally operate out of warehouse areas and sell any material you may want in 8' or longer sheets. My "starboard" is 3/4" and I had to buy a 4' X 8' sheet minimum and it's not cheap or light. BTW, there are various colors available, as well, in case you want to get fancy.

Last edited by Bayfly; 02-11-2021 at 03:06 PM. Reason: Add content.
Old 02-11-2021, 07:06 AM
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Polyethylene (HDPE) is the best. Used for many cutting boards. Cleans well. Durable. Affordable. Just get a 48" X 96" X 1/4" sheet and screw in in over your existing counter. https://www.usplastic.com/catalog/it...1934&catid=705
Old 02-11-2021, 07:10 AM
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Stainless steel is the best, plastic is the cheapest and easiest. With plastic will need to sand it ever now and then, if not the knife marks will collect dirt, slime, guts, etc... Same with wood, but need to sand and reseal wood.
Old 02-11-2021, 07:12 AM
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Would a thin sheet of stainless steel over the plywood not work and last for ever?
Old 02-11-2021, 07:16 AM
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Thx all for the replies. I am in Rockport. The HDPE sounds like an interesting option, as well as all the others. Never considered Corian or Stainless steel...the one complaint I have heard about starboard ( I believe that was the material...I've read so many threads..) is that it can be slippery and makes holding on to the fish while fileting a little challenging. I will have raised sides and a raised back with holes drilled to allow drainage but don't want my fish slipping and sliding into the water below!! LOL
Old 02-11-2021, 07:19 AM
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You can lay a wet towel on the Corian and fish will not slide . I keep a squeeze bottle of bleach under the table when I'm done . Rinse everything down and bleach it.
Old 02-11-2021, 07:19 AM
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Built a cleaning station for the dock last summer- I used polyproylene that I ordered from Grainger; works well but does accumulate knife marks and is a bit slick when you've got a big cobia on it. Used the hole saw to pop a few holes in the back for drainage and eventually nailed one of those cheap AstroTurf doormats down to one side to give it some grip, works well!


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Old 02-11-2021, 07:20 AM
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Go with a sheet of PVC. I've been using it forever. Lowe's or HD will have it. Fish slide all over stainless. You need a towel or a spike to hold them in place.
Old 02-11-2021, 07:27 AM
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Will say the fastest, cheapest way I have seen was done by my old man. He bought one of the cheap folding plastic tables, cut legs off and screwed it down to an old wood table. Unscrewed it last year and replaced it with the same, cleans a lot of catfish and crappie on it each year.
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Old 02-11-2021, 07:28 AM
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Another vote for HDPE. You can even find some places that sell it with a scale pattern so it's not slick smooth... perfect for cutting boards or table tops.

Stainless will dull a knife as soon as you hit the edge on it. HDPE will not. Wood? I prefer my fish free of slivers... plus it warps with moisture and temperature changes, so putting epoxy over it works great inside, but won't work outside.
Old 02-11-2021, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeepman View Post
Will say the fastest, cheapest way I have seen was done by my old man. He bought one of the cheap folding plastic tables, cut legs off and screwed it down to an old wood table. Unscrewed it last year and replaced it with the same, cleans a lot of catfish and crappie on it each year.
This was my plan initially- neighbor did it and his works great. The BassPro sells plastic cleaning stations that can easily be converted.
Old 02-11-2021, 07:29 AM
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I would go to a local counter top builder and see what he has for leftover remnant of corian, quarts or granite could be had for cheep.
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Old 02-11-2021, 07:36 AM
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Another vote for corian. I’ve acquired a few pieces from kitchen remodels free or cheap. Most I’ve come across is 24”D though. Buts that’s all I’ve looked for.
Old 02-11-2021, 08:10 AM
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Starboard is the worst for cleaning fish for the reasons mentioned.

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