Underskinning Materials....

You know the drill..

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Underskinning Materials....

#1 Post by andymul87 » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:17 am

I am thinking about installing underskin but don't know what kind of material to get or where to get it. I can't seem to find it available anywhere....

1. What is the aluminum grade I should be looking for?
2. What thickness do I need?
3. Where might I start my search for material?
4. Do I need to think about anything else as I approach this project? (metal on metal rattling, specialty fasteners, etc.)

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Underskinning Materials....

#2 Post by BADsDAD » Sat Jun 23, 2018 4:16 am

I am preparing to start my Underskinning project this week. From my research, .063 5052 aluminum sheet seems to fit the bill.

I have a metalsupermarkets about 30 mins from me so I’ll likely get mine there. They have locations all over and sell to the public with no minimums like other metal yards who can’t be bothered by the diy guy. Downside is they aren’t the cheapest place around, but I only need a couple of 4x8 sheets.

For fasteners, I intend to try self tapping with the rubber washers from Lowes/HD. Hopefully they have stainless, if not, coated or galvanized will probably do since mine won’t see salt water. Some have not had luck with self tapping into the aluminum cross bracing and have used rivets, but I don’t want to have to drill them when I need access so I am going to try a small box first.

I also have to extend my fish finder transducer cable as it’s too short and is run diagonally under all my bracing and needs to be attached horizontally across the brace.
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Re: Underskinning Materials....

#3 Post by TDJ2591 » Sat Jun 23, 2018 3:45 pm

There are lots of posts, including my own, on this forum about underskinning. Also, Google it for more links. I agree with the .063, 5052 aluminum. You can order SS screws and/or structural rivets on-line. Far more selections and sheaper on-line than in the local big box stores.

I used 3/16" Magnaloc aluminum structural rivets. For panels that I might want remove later I drilled and tapped for fine threaded SS screws and rubber washers. I'm not convinced that self-tapping screws get enough thread bite into the aluminum to not back out later. I'm of the "more is better" camp regarding the number of rivets or screws to use. I also ran nylon pull strings from under the console to each corner of the toon in case I wanted to pull wires later for accessories, speakers, etc.

I special ordered the aluminum from a local metals supplier
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Re: Underskinning Materials....

#4 Post by rbtnt » Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:53 pm

For a prior boat I was able to pickup some .063, 5052 aluminum from a local recycler at a reasonable price. I tried the self tapping ss screws and they would break off without pilot holes.
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Re: Underskinning Materials....

#5 Post by BobG » Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:33 pm

Just for grins, I took some corrugated galvanized steel roof panels, painted them with white epoxy paint, and screwed them up between my toons.
That was 2 years ago.
They're still doing fine.
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