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Jon Boat Deck Material

Old 07-25-2017, 10:33 AM
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Default Jon Boat Deck Material

I have a Polar Kraft Jon Boat with a deck style like the ones pictured below. I would like to attach a deck to the stringers to give me a flat, low surface on which to stand, that won't hurt my feet when I misstep.

The boat has is powered by a 9.9, is stored outside exposed to the elements, and otherwise treated like the dirty girl she is.. I need the flooring to be lightweight, durable, and cheap. I was thinking of using the composite boards that Lowe's sells for porches. They aren't cheap if used for a big deck, but I think they might be affordable for my application.

I don't want the deck to be raised, and I don't like marine plywood for this job.

Old 07-25-2017, 10:58 AM
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Take a trip over to www.tinboats.net There are tons of ideas over there......
Old 07-25-2017, 02:17 PM
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I did. Those guys take Jon Boats WAY too seriously. This thing is just a stop gap measure to get me fishing protected areas until I can afford something better. A lot of their ideas involve sheets of diamond tread aluminum, welding, back filling with foam, raised platforms made from unobtanium, adding dilithium crystals., etc. In other words, big money. The rest seem to be rigged with 3/4 marine plywood.

I just want a pretty flat area to stand on that is light, and won't break the bank. I get that the latter two may come into conflict with one another.

Last edited by Chimpo; 07-25-2017 at 02:20 PM. Reason: typo's
Old 07-25-2017, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Chimpo View Post
I did. Those guys take Jon Boats WAY too seriously. This thing is just a stop gap measure to get me fishing protected areas until I can afford something better. A lot of their ideas involve sheets of diamond tread aluminum, welding, back filling with foam, raised platforms made from unobtanium, adding dilithium crystals., etc. In other words, big money. The rest seem to be rigged with 3/4 marine plywood.

I just want a pretty flat area to stand on that is light, and won't break the bank. I get that the latter two may come into conflict with one another.
Then it would pretty well be carpeted plywood layed across the ribs. I can't think of anything much simpler than that.
Old 07-26-2017, 03:07 PM
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I cut foam to fit between ribs (same thickness as rib height). Then painted marine ply. Do this in my duckboats for insulation and solid footing. For fishing, it greatly reduces noise etc in still water
Old 07-26-2017, 04:27 PM
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I just measured the floor today. It's about 36" x 47". I was thinking about some kind of foam product underneath whatever flooring I went with.

Is there any starboard like product I could get in 1/2" thickness that might do the job?
Old 07-26-2017, 05:13 PM
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With a 9.9, weight is your enemy. Foam, thickness matched to the height of the ribs, cut to fit, and covered with indoor/outdoor carpeting is a solution to works surprisingly well. The dense structural foams are tough, and if you don't wear high heels, the system will stand up well for a few years.
Old 07-26-2017, 05:29 PM
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Temporary, weight, limited horsepower, simple, quick, go fishin!

1/4 inch exterior plywood, coated with one or two coats of epoxy to seal, and painted or varnished with non skid additives. Recoat as needed. Seats or plywood covers on top of aluminum seats. Keep it simple as you stated about tinnies in Australia. Wood is easy, even if you just paint it with house paint. And you will have enough money left to buy bait.

The boat will float as is, no extra foam needed. KISS,

Good Luck!
Old 07-27-2017, 03:18 AM
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Originally Posted by weatherman View Post
... and if you don't wear high heels, the system will stand up well for a few years.

I didn't think I needed to list this under requirements for my project, but without the high heels, how the hell am I going to keep my feet dry and spot fish?!
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Old 07-27-2017, 05:06 AM
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A sheet of painted plywood will last a season or two, maybe even longer most pontoon boats use it.

be into it for under $100 less if you already have some paint laying around
Old 07-27-2017, 06:23 AM
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Someone suggested above that i use 1/4" sheet. Do you think that would be enough for my lard ass?
Old 07-27-2017, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by mobjack22 View Post
I cut foam to fit between ribs (same thickness as rib height). Then painted marine ply. Do this in my duckboats for insulation and solid footing. For fishing, it greatly reduces noise etc in still water

I did this but instead of marine plywood I went to Harbor Freight and bought a couple of packs of their anti fatigue foam mats. I cut these to size and glued them to the foam layer between the ribs. It's been two years stored outside and the floor is still great. Lightweight, quiet and soft under your feet!
Old 07-27-2017, 08:32 AM
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I've done this several times on my first few jonboats. A soft or overly rigid foam between the ribs won't work. What you want is the Styrofoam boards sold at home depot or lowes, I forget the right thickness but there is one that is just right. Lay it out between the ribs and cut to fit closely. Either measure or make a template for the floor. Then you lay a properly sized and cut, well sealed 1/4 inch layer of plywood over the floor. In my very poor teen and college days I used messy coal tar or roofing tar, it lasted years though. Thinned epoxy works, too. Thin with acetone up to maybe 20% but it will effect the final cure if you use too much and it will remain slightly soft. But it has to penetrate the wood grain if it's going to last. And you have to do all sides of the wood. Once you have your wood cut and sealed, lay a bead of construction adhesive like liquid nails on the ribs and then screw the wood down to the ribs. Roll out some contact cement or carpet glue and cover with whatever carpet you like, but the green indoor outdoor is universally acceptable and won't be a turn-off for when you go to sell it.

Make sure that all your rivets are tight before you do this. And do not do anything that would block water drainage through the little channels in the floor. I went so far as to place thin walled pvc in them, but I don't think it was really necessary.
Old 07-27-2017, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by GRGB View Post
I did this but instead of marine plywood I went to Harbor Freight and bought a couple of packs of their anti fatigue foam mats. I cut these to size and glued them to the foam layer between the ribs. It's been two years stored outside and the floor is still great. Lightweight, quiet and soft under your feet!
I use a heavy duty rubber floor mat cut to fit. Obviously it will not be flat but it's confortable to walk on and doesn't break the bank.
Old 07-27-2017, 12:03 PM
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Foam board covered with 1/4" ply simply lay over the ribs with aluminum angle iron cleats riveted to the vertical of the seat back/front to keep in place. Annually the aluminum rivets can be drilled out to clean/inspect under the floor.


Primed and painted 1/4 exterior plywood will last many many seasons unless stored in the rain.


Other options of star board, dense vinyl, decking are simply too heavy for a jon boat and will negatively impact it.
Old 07-27-2017, 12:11 PM
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I cut 1.5" foam board and put it down b/w the ribs then laid a rubber anti fatigue mat over that
Old 07-27-2017, 01:16 PM
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If you live near commercial/industrial docks I suggest you consider some of the fiberglass waffle decking they use to allow good drainage. It won't serve to quite the noise associated with the aluminum hull, but will be stable. You can buy it new, but it get expensive.
Old 07-27-2017, 02:30 PM
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I vote for the blue insulation sheets sold at Lowe's or Home Depot cut to fit between the ribs and covered with sealed(paint or whatever) 1/4" plywood. The plywood can be attached with liquid nails(to keep the squeaks down) and a couple of stainless steel screws into the ribs. Cover with indoor/outdoor carpet if you like. Will deaden the noise without adding much weight and cost will be minimal. Also keeps the floor much cooler in the hot sun.
Old 07-27-2017, 04:20 PM
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I appreciate the ideas. I'm going to check out some of these supplies at Lowe's this weekend.
Old 07-28-2017, 12:10 PM
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whatever foam you choose, it shouldn't be overly rigid. It should be able to flex enough so that it doesn't break due to the floor's curvature. Are you going to glue the foam down tight to the bottom?

The foam of choice also will have to have enough strength so that it doesn't crush or compress under foot.

You going to build a casting deck over the bow?

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