Location: Skamokawa, WA questions about self bailing deck in a small skiff I went to look at a 16' wooden skiff the other day to replace my cracked and failing aluminum one. My question is how best would I go about drying this out and protecting the wood below deck, or is that even really necessary? Location: maine Use a fan to dry the area below, but in addition to the hatch, cut a approx. As regards the question of bare plywood, it might pay to spray some green Cuprinol into the bilge.
The problem with a self-bailing deck on a small boat is that while the sole is above the waterline, so is your own weight and that of every other thing you bring onboard.
Still, my druthers, depending on the particular design (high sides are a plus), would be to have the self-bailing sole.
The best solution (if you've got a raised sole) would be to be able to remove large inspection hatches to allow access to the under area.

Location: Skamokawa, WA As soon as I can scrape up the money, I'll be buying this. When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Would it be a better idea in terms of caring for the wood to just cut out the self-bailing deck and dry and treat the inside of the hull somehow? I sure haven't seen anything else that would be a good fit for my Yamaha P60 for the price.
There are a couple of other small repairs that it needs, and I might end up replacing the console with a different one, as this one has some rot in it. But I still like the self bailing deck idea, since I would be using this boat in the ocean sometimes. But what has me more concerned is the fact that in the forward part of the boat, it has a not perfectly tight hatch that opens into the area beneath the floor.

It's the same length as my Valco, but way roomier and I think it will handle a little better than the Valco, too. This last winter, a storm took the tarp off of the boat, and some water leaked through this hatch and there is now a few inches of fresh water standing below deck. It looks like the wood down there had mostly been painted at one time, but much of it has peeled off over the years, so it is mostly bare plywood. There is a bilge pump below, too, and seawater valves for a live bait well, which I would be removing, since I would have no need of it.

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