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Author Topic:   Guardian 20 floor repair
JayR posted 11-06-2003 05:21 PM ET (US)   Profile for JayR   Send Email to JayR  
Well, the Everglades NPS Guardian a friend and I purchased a couple weeks ago from the GSA site is now stripped to the bare hull.

Overall, the boat is in much better condition than anticipated with the exception of a soft spot on the floor.

Console and T-top were removed today so that the floor could be removed for repair. Upon turning it over it was realized that it would be best to repair the whole substrate rather than just the area effected. Although the area was relatively small, it traversed the floor from one side to the other at an angle. Might as well do it right.

Has anyone here attempted this repair? If so, is the plywood 1/2" thick? It would appear so. It looks as though the floor was initially adhered to a 1/4" thick plywood section, glassed over and then a second 1/2" plywood substrate was fiberglassed in. Do I have it correct?

My initial plan is to grind away the underside clear to the back of the fiberglass floor and to rebuild from there just as I described above.

Are there any issues I should be aware of before starting this? Is it as clear cut as it looks? I would appreciate any input.

Thank you in advance.

BTW, I'm documenting everything with photos for later review.

alkar posted 11-06-2003 10:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for alkar  Send Email to alkar     
Try running this topic through the search engine, as several fellows have done the job you're proposing to do. Their advice might be helpful (and they might not be monitoring the site right now.)
JayR posted 11-06-2003 10:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for JayR  Send Email to JayR     
Did a search but did not find what I needed.
jxs226 posted 11-07-2003 09:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for jxs226  Send Email to jxs226     
My brother and I are doing the exact same things to a 1988 Guardian right now. The first thing we did was clean up the console, remove it and the leaning post and pull the deck up to assess the gas tank.

Using a variety of tools like claw hammers and small trowels, we removed all the closed-cell polyurethane foam surrounding the tank and removed the tank (and standing water) from the cavity. A paint scraper is a good tool for removing foam stuck to the side of the tank.

If you haven't already studied this Cetacea entry, you may want to give it a look:

Cetacea Page 70

Ployurethane foam is readily available from numerous sources, easily found on the internet. Polyurethane foam comes in different poundages per cubic foot (2 lbs/cubic foot to 16+ lbs/cubic foot).

It appears to me that for surrounding gas tanks beneath weight-bearing decks, 4 lbs/cubic foot polyurethane foam is suggested.


Outrage18 posted 11-07-2003 10:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for Outrage18  Send Email to Outrage18     

Pleae send pictures of the job to me...
I need to do this for my soft floor but
everytime I think about ripping the floot up
I chicken out.
I look forward to seeing the process.


DJS posted 11-07-2003 01:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for DJS  Send Email to DJS     

Also look at the below site for further information in regards to cetacea Page 70.



JayR posted 11-07-2003 09:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for JayR  Send Email to JayR     
I see a few items regarding the tank but done reagrding the repair of the floor. Am I missing something?
jimh posted 11-07-2003 09:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[Cleaned up some broken hyperlinks.]

What is the approximate weight of the main floor panel you removed from the center of the 20-foot Whaler cockpit?

How hard was it to break loose after the screws and caulking were removed?

JayR posted 11-07-2003 09:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for JayR  Send Email to JayR     
It weighed at least 150 pounds. At least!
Most of the plywood was saturated. 65% was still rigid and the remainder was "punky".

It came out easily. I just ran a utility knife through the caulk first. We then gently lifted it from each edge to break the seal and then lifted it upon its' side, positioned it on the gunwale and then dropped it to the ground. It might have weighed as much as 200 pounds now that I thing of it. Certainly not a one man job. I had to take a vicodin when done. It weighed almost as much as the console and t-top combined. We took those out as one unit.

Biggest surprise... the aluminum angle brace inside the fish locker. In the portion below the console. Lots of screws there! The floor is bolted to the angle and the angle to the side of the fish locker. Many screws were already missing but there were at least a dozen still in place. Remove them after the console has been set aside. You can lay on the floor and look under to accomplish their removal. Otherwise, you need a contortionist.

Gep posted 11-07-2003 10:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for Gep  Send Email to Gep     
My gas deck cover on my 18' Outrage weighed 290lbs. I know this because I weighed it when I took mine off this Spring.
I would think yours weighed more.
JayR posted 11-08-2003 09:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for JayR  Send Email to JayR     
Gep, I have a large scale just beside the boat. I'll weigh it and post the results.
JayR posted 11-08-2003 09:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for JayR  Send Email to JayR     
The friend that removed it with me is a bull. Maybe he had the heavy end :-).
JayR posted 11-10-2003 08:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for JayR  Send Email to JayR     
I am working on the separation of plywood from the underside of the floor. About half of it separated easily with just a heavy duty putty knife. The remainder is still solid and adhered to the glass very well.

Question... what is the best way to attack the rest of this, without damaging the fiberglass floor? I am reluctant to attack it aggressively and crack the fiberglass.

Any suggestions?

Chap posted 11-10-2003 11:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chap  Send Email to Chap     

JayR, you might use a circular saw or router, set shallower than the fiberglass skin, to carve out some trenches in the interior core from the underside to allow easier chipping out of the plywood.


JayR posted 11-11-2003 10:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for JayR  Send Email to JayR     
Thanks for that idea. I was planning on the router but am afraid I will go through the glass. The underside is very rough. Some places already rotted all the way through.

Not having a uniform thickness, I am certain I will not keep the depth of cut from varying. Arrrgggghhhhh!!!!

A planer perhaps?

kingfish posted 11-11-2003 10:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Mike (Gep) - 290 lbs., no kidding??

What are the outside (planview) dimensions of your gas deck cover?



Chase posted 11-11-2003 10:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chase  Send Email to Chase     
I replaced the tank in my 18' Outrage this past summer; my deck weighed over 200 pounds...I got the plywood out by using a chisel and a hammer along with a belt sander....
Problem came when I tried to replace the plywood...The fiberglass was so thin it would not lay flat...I eventually used 15 bags of sand on top of the plywood....seemed to workout all right.....Good Luck
JayR posted 11-12-2003 07:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for JayR  Send Email to JayR     
Mine is already warping. I have the weights from a Universal weight training system. The old type. Four stacks of 25 pound black cast iron weights. Got enough to do 3 floors. That should do the trick.

Plywood is proving to be a challenge. Tempted to leave it on the lawn and let the ants, termites and powder-post beetles do the work. What do you figure.... 2 years??? :-).

Honestly, it is going to be a chore getting that wood off.

I'll try to do just a small portion each day and not look at the big picture... too depressing.

jws posted 11-12-2003 01:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for jws  Send Email to jws     

An electric planer of the handheld variety. I've owned one for many years and also have used them on many work related jobs. They work great and prices aren't bad at all. They fly through wood and they have depth control adjustments. I would use the planer to get it down very close to the fiberglass and then use a 24 grit sanding disc to take it all to the bare glass and rough up the glass for best adhesion. I would use your weights and some 3/4" plywood sheet to hold the panel flat on a concrete floor while using the planer. It will take work and some money but not that much in relation to the value of the completed project. Look at it is as an investment in the Whaler. That makes the cost of the planer free.

Do't forget a good professional type respirator while working on the glass. Worth the money for your lungs.

Good luck and enjoy, don't get depressed. John

Plotman posted 11-12-2003 02:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for Plotman  Send Email to Plotman     
Even though the floor is uneven and it might be hard to guide the depth of a router or skillsaw running the guideplate on the wood beneath the floor, you could use wood template as a gude for the tool that would bridge any gaps in the floor and keep the cutting tool bit at a consistent depth. Perhaps a piece of plywood 12" wide by about 4 feet long with a rectangular slot about 1/2 the width of your router base plate would work.

JayR posted 11-12-2003 04:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for JayR  Send Email to JayR     
I am using a very sharp chisel and it appears it will do the job. It is slow but I am getting the floor clean right to the glass. I've got about a 1/3 completed and believe I'll finish with another 5 hours of work.

I've got pictures for any of you that are interested.

frank_king posted 11-13-2003 08:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for frank_king  Send Email to frank_king     
very much so........
send pics to me
JayR posted 11-14-2003 08:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for JayR  Send Email to JayR     
Frank, pics sent....
JayR posted 11-15-2003 05:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for JayR  Send Email to JayR     
Contemplating the use of a pneumatic chisel. Cheapo version from Lowe's is just $20. Figure I can re-grind the angle on it to be more conducive to my application. Play with the air pressure and get away from having to use a hammer.

Think it will work?

Three hours of working on it has me totally incapacitated. Can't lift either of my arms above my shoulders this morning. Got to find a less laborious way. Got the "told you so" speech from the wife last night.

She says a guy with 7 ruptured discs should not be doing such things.... Oh, what does she know? I take it easy as she suggests, I might as well eat that shotgun barrel. Hehehehehe...

I need work to keep me going.... now where is that new bottle of Vicodins.....

JayR posted 11-17-2003 11:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for JayR  Send Email to JayR     
Half way done stripping the plywood off. Not a job I would care to repeat!

I would have paid dearly for a replacement floor panel. BW calls them "gas tank covers". 4' by 10' is too damn big a cover as far as I am concerned.

Will I ever finish???

JayR posted 11-19-2003 08:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for JayR  Send Email to JayR     
Had a banner day yesterday. Not only was the weather perfect for working outdoors (55 degrees and sunny) but the plywood was coming off in large pieces. Saved a couple hours of work. Worked just a couple of hours (1/2 hour here and there) and made great progress. 2-4 more hours and it will be ready for new plywood.

Now if I can manage a few good days to fiberglass it all.

Gep posted 11-19-2003 12:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for Gep  Send Email to Gep     
No kidding!
I weighed it with a forklift when I went to put it back in.
I just went and measured it and the deck and it's 4'X10'.


kingfish posted 11-19-2003 02:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Thanks Mike-
JayR posted 11-21-2003 08:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for JayR  Send Email to JayR     
New wood gets cut to size tomorrow and glassed too if I have time. So far, things are progressing very well.
JayR posted 11-27-2003 07:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for JayR  Send Email to JayR     
New wood has been installed. Came out very well. Still need to cover it all with a layer of glass and a few layers of epoxy to make it water tight. Hope to have it completed in a week.

Not a job I would care to repeat.

JayR posted 12-09-2003 02:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for JayR  Send Email to JayR     
Someone recently emailed me for information regarding this repair. He too needed to perform this work and was looking for information.

Well, I inadvertently deleted the message without answering and would like to. So, could whoever you are, please email me once again?

Sorry and thanks

JayR posted 12-09-2003 06:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for JayR  Send Email to JayR     
frank_king posted 12-14-2003 11:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for frank_king  Send Email to frank_king     
could you sent me pics again?

i took my gas tank cover off about a week ago. i didn't find any standing water in the fuel tank hole. the foam is wet and the tank is pitted a small amount but i am going to concetrate on deck relaminating. i don't have any "soft" spots but wood is rotten and i am going to replace.

what thickness is the wood on the back side of the deck cover?

i plan on using some coosa composite to replace wood.


JayR posted 12-14-2003 08:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for JayR  Send Email to JayR     
The layer of plywood directly against the back side of the fiberglass floor is 1/4" and the second layer is 3/8".

I used 2 layers of 3'8" because I had plenty of it on hand.
I will test fit the floor before sealing it with a layer of fiberglass resin. If I find it to sit too high, I'll plane it down some.

Pictures, I'll try to get those out tomorrow.

Anything particular you are interested in. I've got over 4 dozen photos...

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