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Alluminum boat bench seat replacement on a budget

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  • Alluminum boat bench seat replacement on a budget

    The original bench seats are rotten on my 12' Aluminum Starcraft, what are my economical alternatives for replacing them? I thought about buying a sheet of 1/2" marine ply and using it for the transom and the seats but by the time I buy epoxy and the plywood it's a little more than I can spend right now, and the transom isn't all that bad anyway.

    I'd just as soon use 1x12's for the seats but I don't know what types of AFFORDABLE wood is appropriate and I still have to buy the epoxy.

    Any ideas?


  • #2
    Re: Alluminum boat bench seat replacement on a budget

    You could probably get by with some pressure treated lumber if need be. If you wanted to "glass" over the wood I would just use poly resin. Much cheaper and would be great just for your general purpose. However, I wouldn't use the resin over the PT lumber - might cause a bonding issue down the road. No 12" lumber will be cheap and you just might be stuck with a piece longer than you need. Don't forget that PT lumber is heavy ! With a small boat such as yours I would really watch what I put in there. Every now and then Home Cheapo has a scrap pile of cut culls by their wall saw. Wander back there and see what they have. !/2" ply with a support in the middle would probably be all you'd need. The width would be completely your choice, obviously.
    Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance

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    • #3
      Re: Alluminum boat bench seat replacement on a budget

      i had a 1960's 14' lonestar that i replace the transom with a 2x10, don not use todays pressure treated and it is corrosive to the metal boat. as for seats you could use 1/2 plywood and screw a 1x3 vertically under each edge, like an upside down U. this would give it strength. 2 coats of paint and good to go. also the 2x10 i painted. i did have to cut a notch out of the top of the 2x10 so it would fit under the alum cap. thru bolted, and ran a 15hp rude. never flexed. works great.


      FLORIDA GATORS
      TEBOW Country



      Please, NO PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems. they will not be answered.
      That is what these forums are for. Post your questions, in the appropriate Forum.

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      • #4
        Re: Alluminum boat bench seat replacement on a budget

        I replaced the bench seats on my 14' starcraft with pressure treated wood a few years ago. I used 2 peices side by side - It made it easier to reinstall the seats. I can snap a pic tonight if you would like to see what it looks like.
        Mike

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        • #5
          Re: Alluminum boat bench seat replacement on a budget

          I build folding seats into my fiberglass boat. This might give you some ideas:

          http://www.shareaproject.com/pages/p...,p,260,00.html
          Tiny Tanic Rebuild Custom Folding Rear Seats Outboard Steering Rigging

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          • #6
            Re: Alluminum boat bench seat replacement on a budget

            It might have been helpful to mention that this boat will be stored indoors.

            I am one of those people who get "analysis paralysis". I overthink things too much and can't decide what to do. Of course it would be easier if I had more money available!

            It sucks too because this boat was my step-dad's and I watched him let it rot and the old seats are hardwood, color and grain looks like they could be teak. Would have been nice to refinish them.

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            • #7
              Re: Alluminum boat bench seat replacement on a budget

              I've fixed several $20 12' aluminum jon boats with rotten seats and transoms "on a budget". They're easy to find around here and real easy to fix. I use wood from a pile of old treated lumber I got when a buddy tore out a backyard deck that was sagging and looked crummy. The deck planks are thicker than regular 1" boards and don't flex. They can span a 12' boat's beam with one layer and no flex. Used, weathered treated is good because it's already dried out and shrunk, if it's gonna warp it already has, if it's gonna split it already has, it's free, and you can paint it and the paint will stick. Tashasdaddy is right that it's not good to lay it right against the aluminum without sealing it with paint or pruning tar or gutter seal or something. There's salty chemicals in the wood that eats metal, and those chemicals are active forever. That's why people tear down old decks - the deck screws and lags have turned to corroded toothpicks. The wood looks grey and weathered. Don't be fooled - that wood will last and last. Check Craigslist etc. for someone giving away old deck lumber (you haul). These old boats are very useful. You can hang a beatup looking but good running 3-5HP motor on them and it looks right at home. Workhorses and no fuss. You just flop them upside down for the Winter and shove some bricks or something under the sides to keep it from sitting right in the dirt. It will last decades.

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              • #8
                Re: Alluminum boat bench seat replacement on a budget

                86 the pressure treated wood idea. It does not play well with metal and much of it has arsenic as the active ingredient. The treated wood resists rot and deterioration as long as it is in contact with water and or soil. It will dry rot as any wood when left exposed to sunlight.

                I am not sure what your seats look like, but if they are the usual planks running from gunwale to gunwale why not use one of the synthetic decking materials. It is low cost, durable, and prefinished. Look for stainless hardware for fasteners; something that is countersunk and an ovate head (easy on the tender spots)

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                • #9
                  Re: Alluminum boat bench seat replacement on a budget

                  Depending on pricing, you could use redwood. Does not need to be glassed or finished for weather protection and can be bolted directly to aluminum without issue.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Alluminum boat bench seat replacement on a budget

                    Originally posted by itstippy View Post
                    You can hang a beatup looking but good running 3-5HP motor on them and it looks right at home. Workhorses and no fuss.
                    Here is an article talking about where to find tat beatup motor: http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/02/...wawrzyniak.htm

                    and how to tune it up to run like a champ..
                    http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/07/...x/articles.htm

                    I just did a 'bucket cruise' with my 1965 WEST BEND last night. Started right up on 1st try. Once it warmed up, idles sweet and starts 1st time every time..

                    Of course I also run 1 oz of Seafoam per gallon of gas in my motors all of the time..
                    Tiny Tanic Rebuild Custom Folding Rear Seats Outboard Steering Rigging

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                    • #11
                      Re: Alluminum boat bench seat replacement on a budget

                      After doing a little window shopping I came up with a plan.

                      For the transom I can just use a nice piece of Southern Pine 2x as tashasdaddy suggested. I'll just have my father-in-law plane the wood to fit under the cap. The old one is about 5 1/2" - 6" wide. Should I go with a 2x6 or would a 2x8 be a better idea. Personally, I was leaning toward the 2x8.

                      Then for the seats, I can get a 1/2" or 3/4" piece of AC exterior plywood. the local Menards has that in 2'x8' sheets for much cheaper than marine ply and I wouldn't have to pay for a full sheet.

                      This will leave me with very little scrap left over and would cost me less than $30.

                      How does this sound?

                      Then I had a weird idea: Has anyone ever tried coating wooden seats or transom like this with bed liner? Can you even USE that on wood? Seems like it would be indestructible as far as seats go but I am not sure how they would look, feel etc. (how much does that stuff even cost?) I am not into carpet in boats, especially fishing boats, so I am looking for good utilitarian options that are still decent looking.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Alluminum boat bench seat replacement on a budget

                        Yes bedliner can be used on wood ........... I thought you were on a budget! If you are going to invest I would reccomend cedar decking or good old fashion 3/4 boards they paint them to seal them up. Use nothing but stainless steel screws and bolts. If you go with the plywood you will have to seal that up properly too.
                        This is a great link to boat specifications http://boatspecs.iboats.com/
                        Please, shop iboats first!!

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                        • #13
                          Re: Alluminum boat bench seat replacement on a budget

                          Yeah bed liner seems like it's gonna cost me too.

                          I looked at boards and to use 1x's that are the same width as the old ones is still gonna be $40-$50. I thought about cedar but I was afraid that it would be too soft and would dent easily and I read somewhere here that it might not be stable enough and would expand a lot.

                          No matter how I slice it I guess there is just no way I'm gonna get off cheap AND be satisfied that I did a good job. This boat has been sitting un-used for years now, no sense in rushing it back together so I can save 10 or 20 bucks. If I have to wait a little longer until I have the money I need to do it right then I guess I will. I'm just not one of those people that can throw it together now and worry about it later.

                          Thanks for all your help!

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                          • #14
                            Re: Alluminum boat bench seat replacement on a budget

                            Follow your plan with the wood, and just prime and paint it (2 coats) with a good latex or oil-based paint. It'll need a repaint in about 6-8 years, but you've got time right?

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                            • #15
                              Re: Alluminum boat bench seat replacement on a budget

                              Originally posted by tmcalavy View Post
                              but you've got time right?
                              Oh, that's something I DO have!

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