Eric Van De Vens Blog

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The Mako Floor Project

Right after our wedding in 2005, the floor on the boat seemed “soft”. Actually, at the test run, the seat stand came loose. The seat stands are held in by eight screws. It was suggested by one of the guys at the marina, that I turn the seat stand, drill new holes, and screw it back down in order to get through the wedding. That is what I did.

Original cover

The story of how the above picture occurred will be detailed in another portion of this blog. Approximately a year after our wedding, I replaced all the wood in the cover. I cut everything out using a skill saw and a router.

I then, and here is where the mistakes start to happen, used a ½ inch sheet of plywood to rebuild the cover. I added fiberglass resin and put the wood in the cover after cutting it to the proper size.
The assembly seemed spongy, but, fishing season was fast approaching and I didn’t care. I had also used two aluminum plates to hold the seat stands to. I used bolts and nuts to secure everything.

Although it was quite difficult to do and required precise measurements, everything was still intact when I took it apart.

And now, on to the floor replacement part 2:

July 13, 2010

Pulled the floor up on the Mako last night. I found what I pretty much expected. The wood was separated from the deck covering, which, made it very easy to remove.

The cover is in good shape. I’ll be using small strips of 1/4 inch plywood that will be resined over. I’ll run the pieces one way, and then on the second layer, run them perpendicular. That should give added strength.

Meanwhile, I have to suck all the water out of the “coffin” where the fuel tank sits. For some reason, Mako decided not to put a drain under the fuel tank to let any water that got in there to escape into the bilge.

While I repair the deck cover, I’ll re-foam everything and then, paint it to make sure it is all water-tight.

It should be done by Thursday…….which means that sometime in August, it will actually be done!

The cover is screwed in and caulked. Apparently, the caulk I used wasn’t good enough as it leaked at the joint between the cover and the deck by the front seat stand. It also leaked at the front seat stands. That 5200 sucks! The good news is that there is no rot to any other part of the deck.

July 14, 2010

I ground down the resin that was on the cover and cut out all of the wood pieces yesterday. I’ll take some pictures today before I resin everything in.

Two layers of 1/4 inch plywood, cut into strips. Just clamped together it is pretty sturdy now.
I was going to suck out the water that was in the “coffin”, but it rained yesterday, so, good thing I didn’t!
I actually used at as an adhesive, to help hold the seat stands in place.
Progress was made today. The first layer of wood has been resined in and is drying.
A little later, I’ll put the second layer on and then tomorrow, the final coat of resin to seal everything up.
Everything is secured now. I remember when I did this the last time, I used one sheet of 1/2 inch and I don’t think it ever got stuck to the cover. I know the first layer is “stuck”.
The highlight, the auto dispensing pump kit from West Marine.

No mess so far!

Layer one of wood. Resin has been added and everything appears to be adhering to the cover……so far!

July 17, 2010

The second layer….curing overnight.

July 22, 2010

Layer 2 has cured and now for layer three.
A couple of more coats of epoxy and this cover will be done!

Some notes. The third layer was added after measuring the lip in the deck and doing a test fit, there was room for one more layer. It also will give an entire inch of wood to screw the seat stands to.
The third layer was cut smaller intentionally. The perimeter cannot be any bigger than what it is, as it fits perfectly now. The third layer is also for support and so I won’t have to use as much foam.
The way Mako mounts the fuel tank, the area between the tank and the cover, where the cover goes gets smaller as you get near the rear of the boat. Three layers are all that is going to fit.

Lifting the cover yesterday for the test fit, it is quite stiff. A lot stiffer than it ever was since I have owned the boat, and that was before the third layer was added. Once I caulk everything in and foam it, there won’t be any room for any water to get in anywhere!
Now, for some bad news. The resin leaked through every hole (seat stands, access plates, etc.) all over the top side of the cover.
Fortunately, I ground and sanded it all off and actually, filled in a few dents and chips.

Someday, I may redo the non-skid…………someday!

The third and final layer of wood has been secured. Now, time for a test fit.

August 2, 2010
The test fit revealed that there were a few high spots that needed to be ground down. Today I’ll be doing that. The lip that the cover sits in is only one inch wide. Therefore, the perimeter of the cover can only be one inch thick.

After several test fits and grinding, the cover now fits perfectly level on all sides. I have made anoter pass with the 80 grit sandpaper as I can’t leave the exposed wood open to the elements. Two more coats of resin are going to be applied. One has been applied in the picture below.

While I was at it, the side rails on the boat had damaged canvas. I was going to recover them myself, however, when I took them apart, the wood was rotted. This necessitated making new pieces of wood to be covered with foam and canvas.

It is nice to have tools! The router, chop saw, and table saw came in handy for this project. I used the old wood as a template and used the router to make the exact curved pattern at the top side of the rail as the old one had. I increased the width by two inches, as this should provide more area for padding and in the end, more comfort for any one leaning against these rails.

One tool I don’t have is a vice. No problem! The fence on the table saw and the blade of the table saw worked quite well!

The next phase will be to resin in all the old holes on the well where the cover goes. To do this, a little resin and a few toothpicks should do the trick.

Tomorrow, I should be able to get all the water out of the well and then re-foam the fuel tank.
After that, just caulk and bolt on the cover and everything will be done.

August 3, 2010

Before the monsoon hit, I was able to get some of the old foam out. One area that needs replacement was the foam where the fuel lines go. This was full of water and I feared the worst. Fortunately, Mako was smart enough to resin over the wood stringer and no damage was detected.
The shop vac worked wonders as far as removing the old water-logged foam. The new foam has been sprayed in certain areas. These areas will have to be cut to fit and then resined over. The problem with the factory foam as that once it is cut into, the skin is no longer watertight. That is what happened at the fuel line area. Fortunately, that area is separate from everything else.

I now see that filling in the old deck securing holes, isn’t going to be as easy as I thought. It appears as though the holes go into wood, but, the top rail where the holes were drilled, also goes over the top of the fuel tank well.

It looks like things will have to wait until I get some clear weather. More good news…while at Lowes the other day, I noticed some type of 2 x 1 x 38 inch aluminum brace and bracket assembly. This will fit perfectly right about the center of the fuel tank cover. Speaking of the cover, after it was all trimmed yesterday, I put it in for the test fit. I stepped right in the center of the cover and it is solid as a rock!

The foam has been cut and resin added so it will never get wet.



And, the cover and side rails have had resin applied to them as well. The final, final coat of resin for the cover!


August 4, 2010

Today I got all of the old foam out of the fuel tank well. A neat little trick to say the least. The combination of a shop vac, with a “modified” attachment did the trick.
There is still some water under the tank in the foam I can’t get out. Right now, the trailer wheel is all the way down so the water runs to the forward portion of the tank. That is where there is the most access to the well. The shop vac has sucked most of the water out and now the water that is there is clear. If we don’t get any rain, I am pretty sure that it will all be out by tomorrow.

I foamed the other three sides and the foam has skinned over, so it is watertight. When I trim it for the cover, I’ll paint it all and caulk all the edges. There will not be any place for the water to go, if it ever does get wet, which, when I put the cover on, should never happen.
This project is almost near the end.

On a side note, one of the spray foam cans was defective and splattered me from head to toe with the foam. I just spent 1/2 an hour in the shower removing most of the foam.

August 5, 2010
Today was a little bit rough! The bottle of wine caught up with me!
Today was spent removing all of the rest of the foam that was under the center of the fuel tank. There wasn’t much, but it wasn’t easy to get it all out.
Numerous “make-shift” tools were used. From some old pieces of framing to one of my lobster tickling sticks!
Another make-shift tool was the extension for the shop vac. A little bit of aluminum flashing, and we’re all set!

The brace has been installed and a test fit was done. Solid as a rock! Added some foam and realized that I didn’t get enough. Tomorrow I will resin in the holes where the deck screws go, finish foaming everything, fix some of the gelcoat on the deck lid and one spot on the rear of the hull, and hopefully, get the cover, hatches and seat stands screwed and caulked in. I’ll let it set all day Saturday and Sunday will be the big cleaning day.



August 6, 2010

Today was a day for acquiring the remaining parts and finishing up the foam.
I got 4 scuba tanks vip’d, fixed my dive light, got all of the needed bolts, screws, washers and nuts to finish the floor project. I also got the bolts and nuts for the side rail cushions.
The foaming is complete! Finally!
I’ll trim it in the morning as it swelled up a little more than I expected, then paint and caulk it.
After that, the cover goes on for hopefully, the last time.
A quick cleaning Sunday and The Mighty Mako will be ready for a Monday trial run.

August 7, 2010
Today was another successful day!
The foam is all in. After it dried, it had to be trimmed in a few areas. After the trimming was done, I painted the foam, and, fortunately, it didn’t deteriorate. Now, the foam is sealed and also is hard as a rock. All of the edges where the foam meets the side of the fuel tank compartment were caulked and now, no water can get in anywhere.

Meanwhile, there were a few spots on the cover where the 80 grit went through the gelcoat, so that necessitated a repair. Mako uses this yellowish/white color which will take some time to match, so, I just used the white to get everything sealed.
At some point later on, I’ll redo the gelcoat on the cover and match the color so I can fill in a few other areas there are chipped.

Finally, after four tubes of caulk, the cover is ready to go on….for good! I placed the cover on and began to install all the screws. That resin is some strong stuff. I broke three screws even though the holes were pre-drilled. I’ll have to go back to Broward Bolt to get a few more screws. The access hatches are in as well. I’ll take them out again tomorrow and caulk them in and re-attach them, and they will be done.

All that remains to do is attach the seat stands and a real good cleaning and waxing.

August 8, 2010

I was awakened today by the blank screen on the TV with the message “satellite searching for signal”, which means, imminent rain!
Fortunately, it must be raining in Texas, but not here. Off to install the seat stands and final caulking. Then, to allow the caulk to dry, mow the yard, and then back for the “big clean”!
The seat stands, fuel tank cover, and access hatches are caulked in. Everything is solid!
Tomorrow will be the big cleaning day and Tuesday will be the sea trial.
It rained all day after I put the seat stands in. That 4000 is some strong stuff. It glazed over in 20 minutes and I doubt I’ll ever get that cover off again!

August 9, 2010
Today was spent taking everything out of the boat and cleaning every nook and cranny. The last time I did this was when I bought the boat.
Everything came out nice and clean. There are a few issues that did crop up. The foam that splattered all over the deck took quite some time to remove. The “green” caulk and foam remover….didn’t exactly perform as advertised! What worked best, was Brillo pads. I ran out of pads, so I’ll get the rest of the foam off after the test run.
Speaking of which, the test run has been moved to Thursday as I have to get some parts and work rears its ugly head Wednesday.
I need to replace some flotation cushions, bumpers, flares, and, I may have to buy anew bilge pump for the cuddy.

August 10, 2010
Although it was supposed to rain all day yesterday, it didn’t. Unfortunately, today, it is pouring, so, I’ll take today off!

August 12, 2010

As I could not prolong this anymore, it was time for the test run.
Took the boat to the ramp and loaded it in all by myself. No problems.
Fired it up and motored out the inlet. It was nice to see that the GPS is working! The sun was out, a slight breeze, and not a cloud in the sky. In a word, “perfect”! The seas were a 2-3 foot chop and it was now time to get on it a little. I pushed the throttle forward and off she goes! The Mako got right up on plane and soon, I was at full throttle. Top speed was 38.6 knots which is much faster than the 32 knots before on a flat day. I guess all the water logged foam was slowing the boat down.

Since the seas had settled down, I thought I would do a little fishing. I put out a couple of lines, and noticed that there wasn’t any music. I looked at the radio and now, knew the answer. The entire front and the top plate of the radio had come apart. The mounting brackets pulled through the plastic case, and the radio was well on its way to resting in the cabin!

Meanwhile, I also noticed that my trusty Hummingbird depth finder wasn’t working either. Just a bunch of squeals! Apparently, from setting for some time, the caulk that goes between a trim piece above the console where the radio and fish-finder were, had deteriorated and leaked. This looks like a fun project! Also, I noticed that the compass glass was cracked in several places and the oil was leaking out. Something to add to my shopping list.

As for the sea trial itself, no fish were caught and no other problems showed up. On the way back, the winds had kicked up but the boat cruised comfortably at 28 knots all the way home.
Got home, washed down the boat and put her away. I have some work to do!

August 17, 2010
Time to address the radio issue. The console has an inner liner which is what the previous owner mounted the radio to. As this liner is plastic, it was only a matter of time before it failed. Fortunately, the inner liner was only held in by 2 screws which also held the fish finder in. As the fish finder is being replaced, everything came out nice and neat.
Now that the radio was out, I snapped everything back together to see if it still worked. Plugged everything back in, turned it on, and everything still works! That is great news as I don’t have to buy a new radio/cd changer!

I re-enforced the plastic box with some left over wood I had from the floor project. A few rivets, new holes, and everything is stronger than before. Meanwhile, the fish finder still doesn’t work. It looks like it is time for a new one. Off to West Marine. West Marine had a sale on Garmin fish finders and since I have a Garmin GPS, now all the electronics match. Tomorrow, I’ll install the fish finder.

August 18, 2010

I got up this morning and began to disassemble the old fish finder. I pulled the transducer wire all the way through the hull and it came out very easily. Hopefully, the new lines would go in as easily.
This unit has a screw to the hull transponder so, more holes had to be drilled in the hull. I drilled the new holes, plugged the old holes with resin, and then caulked the new holes and screwed the transponder bracket in. That was easy!
Now for the transponder wiring. I used the old wires as a puller and…surprise, surprise, pulled the new line right into the wiring area under the console. That was too easy! I mounted the bracket, hooked up the wires and the unit came right on. Nice and bright!
Since I have to work today and tomorrow, the next test run will most likely be Monday and hopefully, my brother and I can go diving Wednesday.

August 25, 2010
My brother came over this morning at 5:45 am, we loaded up the boat, and were at the dock by 6:15. Launched the boat and headed out. I am happy to report that all the electronics worked perfectly!

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August 18, 2010 - Posted by | Boating, Mako Floor Project | , , , , ,

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