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The Tinnie Restoration Project: The Interior

Your tinnie’s looking brand new on the outside: What’s next? In this article we look at restoring the interior, including the flooring and seats.

Remember as you’re building the interior surfaces to allow for wiring the electronics, which will be covered in the next article in this series.

Deck it out

One of the best modifications you can make to your tinnie is to add flooring or decking. Decking not only gives you a level floor to stand on, but allows for storage and seating. Just make sure it’s built low in the boat so you don’t accidentally tip overboard. The steps are as follows:

  1. Remove any existing framework and seating, as necessary.
  2. Build wooden frame to fit into the hull of the boat, using solid, marine-grade, pressure-treated timber. If you prefer to use ordinary structural ply, it will need to be sealed with an industrial-strength waterproofing agent. Marine grade will last longer and won’t rot as quickly, but regular deck wood is cheaper and should last 10­–15 years anyway.
  3. Cut out a sheet of ply to match the shape of the hull, taking into account ribs and any other protuberances. To ensure it’s a perfect fit first time, use a large sheet of cardboard or paper as a template.
  4. Designate a part to cut out, allowing access to storage. This could be hinged or lift-out, as you prefer.
  5. Paint with sealant to repel water damage.
  6. Cover ply with marine carpet (it may be expensive but lasts longer, will repel stains and water, and contains UV inhibitors), overlapping by 7–10cm underneath. Use marine adhesive on the top side of the board to hold the carpet in place and fasten underneath with staples.

Rock out with the mods

Once the decking is in place, it’s time to add the modifications that will make your boating more comfortable.

  • Bimini. For protection against UV rays and the hot summer sun, add a bimini for less than $200. Follow the instructions according to the kit, which will have everything you need including deck mounts, stays and numbering on the poles for easy installation.
  • Swivelling tinnie seat. Seats for your tinnie can often be picked up second-hand or new. Bolt or rivet the swivel base onto the edge of the seat or decking, then place the seat into it and tighten screws through the matching holes (swivelling it each time so you can reach them).
  • Livewell or bait tank. These can be built into the decking, but if you’re installing just one, position it so it doesn’t affect the boat’s balance when filled.
  • Centre console. Want room to move around the boat when you’re fishing? Add a centre console and wire the controls under the decking boards so everything’s tidy and out of the way. Units are available second-hand for around $500.

Your tinnie’s nearly ready to launch. In the last article in our series we look at fitting it out with the latest technology to optimise your boating experience.

Now that your boat’s looking good again, here’s how you can keep it safe.

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