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Replacing Rotted Wood Deck with Aluminum Tracker Magna 17

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  • Replacing Rotted Wood Deck with Aluminum Tracker Magna 17

    Hey all! This is my second thread documenting a boat project, thanks for checking it out! First things first - the patient...

    Sorry, I don't have any pictures on the water, I'm mostly in or behind when she's on the water. Wife and MIL do, but they put them into the picture video thingys lol.

    Anywho, I believe the Magna was a gift from my wife's grandma to grandpa, i believe they're the second owners. Grandpa passed a few years back, but it's wonderful to see all the memories come back every time the Magna is gets launched during a family trip to their Lake house in the North woods of WI.This past summer is the first time I've spent any real time on her, and many of the younger ones in the family, as well as myself and FIL enjoy tubing, knee-boarding, skiing and a little wakeboarding too! I installed a tripod in my Sylvan 16 Sport and it made a world of difference, from piloting, wear and tear on the transom, to the riders behind, and have been considering installing a different tripod/pylon setup in my boat, so offered up my current rig to the family boat... my FIL was eager to make the swap! Floor felt solid, boat was always covered and stored under a carport, easy peasy, right? HA! Pour in foam makes the condition of a wood deck deceptively solid! Needless to say, we drug the Magna 5 hours home in August with high hopes of returning her Labor Day weekend... and here we are in January.

    After agreeing that we wouldn't have her ready to go back for Labor Day, even if we just pulled the rot, and replaced it with epoxy sealed decking, We decided that the foam would be dug out and replaced. Then my buddy stopped by and asked "would an aluminum deck work? Then you wouldn't have to worry about it rotting ever again, right?" and so the project grows! Turns out, I was able to get 2 sheets of 1/8" thick 4'x8' Aluminum for a small amount more than marine ply and epoxy, so FIL said, lets give it a shot!

    Start the work:

    Foam is wet (and frozen, as the garage isn't heated when I'm not out there)






    https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...-other-updates
    https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat...acker-magna-17

  • #2
    More evidence support the decision to remove the original foam:


    Father In Law (also named Jim):


    12" wide section cut to make subfloor supports:


    Please don't judge, it's been some time since I've welded aluminum:

    and the first time I used my little Hobart Handler to do so:


    https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...-other-updates
    https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat...acker-magna-17

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    • #3
      So, I got really excited that the welder was working, and put the horse in front of the cart: (stern to bow)


      bow to stern:


      again:


      about this point is when it really sank in that I'd no longer be able to use the 2" thick pink panels I purchased from the big box for flotation... we'd have to now use pour in now. darnit. I'd planned to copy BWR's method on the might KingFisher! Luckily, FIL didn't give me too much flack and said "well, would it be best if we paint the hull before pouring in new foam to reduce corrosion?" and went to town with a couple brass wire wheels!:


      https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...-other-updates
      https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat...acker-magna-17

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      • #4
        Are you going to add any flotation to the floor? I feel your pain on miging aluminum it is truely difficult

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        • #5
          Whoops posted to soon.

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          • #6
            Next up was a wipe down with Acetone, followed by Acid Etching Primer:






            Ok, a little explaining here. The Magna utilized pedestal seats, and we're going to be installing a tripod, of which the main base will be mounted just forward of the belly fuel tank. I felt that there would be far too much stress at the mounting points for just 1/8" aluminum, so reinforcements were welded in flush with the top of the ribs to double the thickness the riv-nuts will be placed in, as well as reduce the the stress of the 3/16" rivets that will be holding the main deck down/ tying the ribs together. There are 4 pedestals, of course the captains is permanent, but the 3 passengers are just bases. I took measurement to the center of the plates, so I'll be able to properly position the bases and mounting brackets.




            Next was taping the bottom gap between the fuel tank and hull, then covering the hull with plastic to protect it from the foam:
            https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...-other-updates
            https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat...acker-magna-17

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            • #7
              Hey Pro! yes sir! Thanks for making sure I wasn't going to completely forget such a crucial step!

              Jimmy
              https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...-other-updates
              https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat...acker-magna-17

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              • #8
                In an attempt to reduce squeeks, we put in flooring underlayment:


                and then the really cool part:


                I didn't get a picture of it prior to installation, but I did cut out a 10" deep by 20" wide section for the stern:


                This is about it for now. had to shrink wrap this and my Sylvan 16 Sport, as I had to free the garage up for other projects. Will be restarting work in the spring, until then, please share your thoughts! I love all of the ideas and advice I've seen on this wonderful forum!

                Thanks again!

                Jimmy
                https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...-other-updates
                https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat...acker-magna-17

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                • #9
                  Looks good to me. Are you going to put nautolex or carpet down?

                  I'll be tagging along.
                  Starcraft Transom Repair https://forums.iboats.com/boat-restor...om-640860.html
                  Stratos Restore Thread https://forums.iboats.com/boat-restor...ep-630863.html
                  Dave
                  Elizabethton Tennessee

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                  • #10
                    I posted while you were posting. Looks like you got plenty of welding experience during this project. I have not mastered the aluminum with a mig or a tig. Just been playing on scraps so far. Cant wait to see what you do to her.

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                    • #11
                      Hi Dave!

                      I believe that carpet will be reinstalled. It's not done yet, so I may be able to sway my FIL. Hopefully he'll be reading this, so persuasive reasoning for Nautolex is more than welcome!

                      I think the family really wants it to look as original as possible, but with half of them more interested in fishing, and the other half sports and cruising, I think the Nautolex is a great choice, given the reduced likely hood of "lost" hooks and jigs, that will surely be found by the youngest of our mariners... or worse yet, admirals!

                      I think the biggest visible change I've worked in is the possibility of replacing the old vinyl gas tank/ battery hider with a piece of aluminum (covered in carpet) on a piano hinge. Will also be adding a battery shutoff/selector and on-board charger.

                      So one idea we came up with, was using pool noodles under the gunwales, rather than pour in as was original. Reasoning? pour in didn't really fill the entire cavity, and those areas would make wonderful ski/ pole lockers. There will never be a wave large enough on the lake this is one to swamp it, so when we're just playing, pull out the noodles, keep the deck clean and clear. Then when it's time for fishing, or if it's going on big water (it likely NEVER will) put the noodles back... thoughts?

                      Thanks again!
                      https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...-other-updates
                      https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat...acker-magna-17

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                      • #12
                        Pro, I figured as much trying to keep the little ones entertained while posting is a complex balance!

                        It wasn't that bad when I could keep my whip straight. Unfortunately, as time was a factor, I just used what was available, a long whip without a nylon liner, as well as the softer 4043 instead of 5356 (stiffer) so there were far to many birds nests cleared that day! I should also mention how fortunate I was that a good friend lent me his argon tank, manifold and gave me the wire, so this beggar will not be a complainer. I do believe that I will be purchasing a shorter nylon lined whip, as there are other projects I've been brewing up for my snowmobile and Sylvan!

                        Just have to keep in mind the duty cycle capabilities of the smaller buzz boxes, if that's what you're using. I believe mine is the Handler 135. I was also advised afterwords by another friend and professional welder that using a tip 1 size too large, also really helps, as the contact tip swells under the heat and pinches the wire.

                        https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...-other-updates
                        https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat...acker-magna-17

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by strokendiesel002;n10326343I
                          I was also advised afterwords by another friend and professional welder that using a tip 1 size too large, also really helps, as the contact tip swells under the heat and pinches the wire.
                          I stumbled on this by accident,.. I put a .030 spool in a .035 tip and could believe how many less snags I got. I run my buzz box like this always now.
                          1987 SeaRay 300 Sundancer w/twin 5.7's
                          1990 SeaRay 280 Sundancer w/twin 5.0 Mercruisers
                          1988 SeaRay 230 Weekender w/ 5.7 Mercruiser
                          1969 Starcraft Suncruiser 20V
                          1992 Winner 180 w/ 5.7 Mercruiser
                          1989 SeaRay 290 Amber Jack w/ twin 5.7 Mercruisers
                          1981 Thompson Sportsman 20' hardtop w/165hp Mercruiser
                          1978 SeaRay 190 SRV w/ 160hp Mercruiser
                          1975 Silverline 18' w/ 115hp Mercury O/B
                          1960 Thompson 18' woody w/ 90hp Evinrude

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                          • #14
                            Really nice work so far. Looks like a great hull. I put carpet in my last boat and Nautolex into the next one. LOVE the Nautolex. It's super tough and easy to clean and take care of. Only downside is it's hard on the knees if you knell on it.
                            2002 20' Hydra-Sports 202DC 200HP Yamaha HPDI
                            1976 18' Starcraft SuperSport 90HP Evinrude
                            Restoration thread https://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=357767

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                            • #15
                              Sign up today
                              Thank you guys!
                              https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...-other-updates
                              https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat...acker-magna-17

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