I have not been happy with the sealing qualities of the screw-in style deck plates that I installed in my floats. By end of the rainy season, there was usually 2-3" of water sitting on the bottom of each float section (which of course I would vacuum out, but that's not the point). So when I heard about the Armstrong deck plates which use an entirely different principle to seal the hole, I decided to switch over.
The new deck plates require a 6 3/4" cutout, the old ones were 6 1/2". So after removing all of the old ones (eight little screws per each, glad to be done with those), I then had to jigsaw an extra 1/8" in radius around each hole. Mostly I just free-handed this job:
Then I cleaned off the dirt and remaining silicon (ugh, don't think I will ever use silicon again). Looked cool - I could see eight(8)-year old paint shining through :).
As a final step, I then installed all six new plates (in less than five minutes, these things are great):
Look at all of the old deck plate hardware that now can get stuffed into the garage somewhere.
Truth be told, I think the leakage had as much to do with installer (me) errors rather than the design of the old deck plates. From what I could tell, not using sufficient silicon and/or not applying it in all the right places, were probably the biggest issues. It will be interesting to see how the new deck plates perform while sitting outside in a Pacific NW rainy season, and also interesting to see if the rectangular center hatches were a leak source or not. The new deck plates are also going in the main hull, for the forward bow compartment and for the inside & outside capsize compartment holes.
Trailer update: I got sick of continual pondering on how to make the bunk carpet lie flat (it kept bubbling up) on the bunk, and how to attach it securely. Decide to brute-force it by gluing it down with contact cement on top, and aluminum bars screwed into the sides and bottom (on the ends) of the bunk:
The contact cement is supposed to be water-resistant, and I filled each screw hole with epoxy before screwing everything down for the last time. Worst that can happen is that some far off future day I will end up attacking the carpet with a grinder to get it off. I will hate myself at that point, but for now am just glad it's done.
Anyway, getting closer to putting the boat on the trailer for good.