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Old 11 November 2014, 09:35   #1
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Country: UK - England
Town: essex
Boat name: Little Jems
Make: shetland
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Inflatable slated floor Conversation to one piece of ply

Hi my 2.6 meter inflatable floor is made of 3 sheets of 9mm ply
The slates are old and rotten so need replacing.
I could replace the floor like for like but I was wondering if I would gain anything speed wise with a single sheet of ply covering the whole bottom. This will obviously be heavier but also be a little more aerodynamic it will so make fishing from the small dinghy more manageable with a single sheet.

Powered by 2.5hp 4 stroke

Any feedback welcome
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Old 11 November 2014, 15:09   #2
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Maybe reduce caterpillaring as it did on my 3.75m
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Old 14 November 2014, 07:22   #3
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I have been thinking about this for an Avon Redcrest but getting a template is near impossible, would make the the tender a little more friendly I think. Regards Jim
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Old 14 November 2014, 07:24   #4
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I am going to give it a try
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Old 14 November 2014, 16:15   #5
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If you try and go for a full size floor in one piece I think you will find you won't fit it in , half the reason they make them in 3 and 4 pieces for other boats.
As for a template, the under side of your inflatable can give you the size you need. Inflate the tubes, turn the boat over you can get the size of the floor from the centre of the seam around the floor. You can start tight and keep removing a bit from the ply until you can get it in.
Minimum pieces you will get away with is two pieces of ply. Make sure you remove all square edges. For the long edges use a hand plane and sand paper or a router with a quarter round cutter in to round edges.
Once you know it fits, plenty of coats of paint or varnish.

Hope this helps.
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Old 14 November 2014, 19:06   #6
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Many years ago I bought a sib with no floor so I made one from plywood. I cut strips of card to make a template all around the edges. Once in place, I taped larger pieces of card to the strips. This allowed me to get quite an accurate patchwork template.
The joined pieces of card were quite flexible to get out of the boat and lay flat to draw around onto a piece of 3mm hardboard. This was then cut into three pieces and pushed into position in the boat with final shaping done, this became my main template for the floor.

The new template was used to produce a final floor in 12mm ply again cut into three pieces and rejoined using plastic piano hinges and brass screws. A bit long winded, I know and the piano hinges a little flimsy but it gave me a floor which lasted about 3 years and as the boat cost peanuts without a floor, I was quite happy and offered my very young family many enjoyable hours on the water.

Phil
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