How to Build a Casting Deck on a Fiberglass Boat

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Key Take­aways:

  • Build­ing a cast­ing deck on a fiber­glass boat can improve your fish­ing expe­ri­ence by pro­vid­ing a sta­ble, flat sur­face from which to spot and cast for fish. This process involves mea­sur­ing the space, choos­ing strong and water-resis­tant mate­ri­als like marine-grade ply­wood for the deck and stain­less steel for the sup­port struc­ture, cut­ting the mate­ri­als to fit, con­struct­ing the frame, attach­ing the deck, seal­ing it with a water-resis­tant sealant, and installing a marine car­pet for grip and com­fort.
  • Dur­ing the con­struc­tion process, it’s essen­tial to ensure the deck is secure and sta­ble, tak­ing care to water­proof the deck, and using marine-grade adhe­sive for car­pet instal­la­tion. Extra pre­cau­tions such as using cor­ro­sion-resis­tant screws, ensur­ing the deck doesn’t obstruct cru­cial boat parts, and test­ing the sta­bil­i­ty of the deck before hit­ting the waters can increase the safe­ty and longevi­ty of your cast­ing deck.
  • You can also refresh your exist­ing fiber­glass boat deck by clean­ing it thor­ough­ly, sand­ing the sur­face, apply­ing a primer, and fin­ish­ing with a marine-grade paint or gel­coat. This main­te­nance process not only enhances the boat’s aes­thet­ics but also pre­serves the deck’s func­tion­al­i­ty and dura­bil­i­ty.

Who says you can’t give your trusty old fiber­glass boat a lit­tle facelift? One of the best ways to add func­tion­al­i­ty and refresh its look is by build­ing a cast­ing deck. This pro­vides you with a flat, sta­ble sur­face from where you can spot fish in the water and cast your line, mak­ing it per­fect for all fish­ing enthu­si­asts. In this guide, we’ll take you step-by-step through the process of build­ing a cast­ing deck on your fiber­glass boat, turn­ing it into the per­fect com­pan­ion for your angling adven­tures!

How to Build a Casting Deck on a Fiberglass Boat

Build­ing a cast­ing deck on a fiber­glass boat is an excel­lent way to cus­tomize your boat for fish­ing trips.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get the job done:

  1. Mea­sure Your Space: Mea­sure the area where you plan to build the deck. Record the length, width, and height. This will help you deter­mine how much mate­r­i­al you need.
  2. Choose Your Mate­ri­als: You’ll need a strong, water-resis­tant mate­r­i­al like marine-grade ply­wood for the deck. For the sup­port struc­ture, con­sid­er alu­minum or stain­less steel due to their strength and resis­tance to rust.
  3. Cut the Mate­r­i­al: Cut the ply­wood to fit the des­ig­nat­ed area. Make sure to leave some room for adjust­ments and fit­tings.
  4. Con­struct the Frame: Build the sup­port struc­ture using the alu­minum or stain­less steel. This will pro­vide sta­bil­i­ty and strength to your deck.
  5. Attach the Deck: Screw the cut-out ply­wood onto the frame. Make sure it’s secured tight­ly to pre­vent any acci­dents while at sea.
  6. Seal the Deck: Apply a lay­er of water-resis­tant sealant to the ply­wood. This will pro­tect it from the ele­ments and extend its lifes­pan.
  7. Install the Car­pet: Lay marine car­pet on the deck, trim­ming it to fit. This will pro­vide grip and com­fort.
  8. Check Sta­bil­i­ty: Make sure it’s safe­ly secured to the boat and able to with­stand move­ment and weight.

Remem­ber, safe­ty first! Make sure you have the right safe­ty gear and tools before start­ing this project. If you’re not con­fi­dent about doing this your­self, it’s best to hire a pro­fes­sion­al to ensure the job is done cor­rect­ly and safe­ly.

Here is help­ful video we have found about this top­ic:

You have your mea­sure­ments, mate­ri­als, and tools ready. Now it’s time to get your hands dirty. The first thing to remem­ber dur­ing this DIY project is that patience is key. Boat projects, espe­cial­ly ones that involve struc­tur­al changes, take time and pre­ci­sion.

  • Set­ting up the Frame: Your boat’s struc­ture and shape dic­tate the type of frame you’ll need. In some boats, you might need to build an entire­ly new frame­work, while in oth­ers, you might be able to mod­i­fy the exist­ing one. When assem­bling the frame, make sure all cor­ners are square and the cross mem­bers are even­ly spaced. The rule of thumb is to keep the frame as light as pos­si­ble with­out sac­ri­fic­ing its stur­di­ness.
  • Deck Instal­la­tion: When attach­ing the deck, start from one end and work your way to the oth­er, ensur­ing you secure the ply­wood to each cross mem­ber of the frame. Use cor­ro­sion-resis­tant screws for this pur­pose. They might be a tad bit expen­sive, but they last longer and are worth the invest­ment.
  • Water­proof­ing: Water­proof­ing is crit­i­cal, espe­cial­ly in a marine envi­ron­ment. After you’ve attached the ply­wood deck to the frame, it’s time to water­proof it. Use marine-grade paint or a fiber­glass resin to seal the deck. It not only pro­tects the deck from water dam­age but also gives it a pol­ished, fin­ished look.
  • Car­pet­ing: Lay­ing the car­pet is like icing the cake. It’s the final step that brings every­thing togeth­er. Use marine-grade adhe­sive to stick the car­pet to the deck. Make sure the car­pet you use is resis­tant to UV rays and mildew.
  • Final Check: Before you hit the waters with your new­ly built cast­ing deck, give it a good shake. Test the sta­bil­i­ty and make sure every­thing is secure. The last thing you want is the deck shift­ing or com­ing loose while you’re out in the open waters.

Through­out this process, nev­er for­get the gold­en rule of boat main­te­nance: “Mea­sure twice, cut once.” Mis­takes can be cost­ly, and in this case, they could also impact your boat’s safe­ty. So, take your time and do it right!

Gather Materials and Tools

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To build a cast­ing deck on a fiber­glass boat, you will need sev­er­al mate­ri­als and tools. You will need a stur­dy, water­proof mate­r­i­al to cov­er the deck, such as marine ply­wood or a syn­thet­ic mate­r­i­al. You will also need appro­pri­ate fas­ten­ers to secure the cast­ing deck to the boat’s hull, such as stain­less steel screws. Depend­ing on the height of the cast­ing deck, you may need addi­tion­al sup­port mate­ri­als such as lum­ber or angle alu­minum. For tools, you will need a drill, a saw, a drill bit, and a screw­driv­er. You may also need oth­er tools such as a sander, a lev­el, and a ruler.


  • Fiber­glass boat
  • Fiber­glass resin
  • Fiber­glass cloth
  • Foam padding
  • Non-skid mate­r­i­al
  • Wood­en boards
  • Screws
  • Sil­i­cone sealant


  • Safe­ty gog­gles
  • Dust mask
  • Gloves
  • Res­pi­ra­tor
  • Cir­cu­lar saw
  • Drill
  • Tape mea­sure
  • Ruler

Cut the Foam Padding

You want to ensure the foam padding will fit pre­cise­ly. Once you’ve got your mea­sure­ments, trans­fer them onto your foam mate­r­i­al. Now comes the fun part — using a sharp util­i­ty knife or a spe­cial foam cut­ter, care­ful­ly cut along the lines you’ve marked. Remem­ber to take your time and make smooth cuts to pre­vent the foam from tear­ing. See if the foam fits per­fect­ly in the deck area. If not, trim the excess until you’re hap­py with the result.

Measure the Area:

Use a tape mea­sure to mea­sure the area where the cast­ing deck will be installed.

Mark the Area:

Use a ruler and pen­cil to mark the area you mea­sured.

Cut the Foam Padding:

Use a cir­cu­lar saw to care­ful­ly cut the foam padding to the size of the area you marked.

Install the Casting Deck

Safety Tips

Once the foam padding has been cut, you can begin to install the cast­ing deck. Start by lay­ing the foam padding down in the area you mea­sured. Make sure the foam padding is flat and even.

Build­ing a cast­ing deck on a fiber­glass boat is not as com­pli­cat­ed as you might think. Here’s a basic run­down of the steps you would take:

  1. Plan­ning the Lay­out: The first step in any DIY project is to have a clear plan. Mea­sure the area where you want to install the cast­ing deck, mak­ing sure it doesn’t inter­fere with any exist­ing struc­tures or func­tion­al­i­ties of your boat.
  2. Choos­ing the Right Mate­r­i­al: The mate­r­i­al for your cast­ing deck should be strong enough to hold your weight and resist the marine envi­ron­ment. Marine-grade ply­wood is a com­mon choice due to its strength and afford­abil­i­ty.
  3. Cut­ting and Assem­bling the Frame: Based on your mea­sure­ments, cut the ply­wood to size and assem­ble the frame using screws and water­proof glue. Be sure to cre­ate a frame­work under­neath for addi­tion­al sup­port.
  4. Cov­er­ing the Deck: Once the frame is secure, cov­er it with marine car­pet or anti-slip boat deck floor­ing. This pro­vides extra grip and makes the sur­face com­fort­able to stand on.
  5. Secur­ing the Deck: Secure the deck to your boat using screws or bolts. Make sure it’s firm­ly attached and doesn’t move when pres­sure is applied.

Remem­ber, always ensure the deck doesn’t obstruct any cru­cial parts of the boat like stor­age com­part­ments or engine access points. It’s also a good idea to have some­one else around to help with the heavy lift­ing and secur­ing.

There you have it! With some care­ful plan­ning and elbow grease, you can give your fiber­glass boat a sig­nif­i­cant upgrade that will make your fish­ing trips more enjoy­able and effi­cient.

Lay the Boards:

Lay the wood­en boards on top of the foam padding. Make sure the boards fit snug­ly and that there are no gaps between them.

Secure the Boards:

Use screws to secure the wood­en boards to the foam padding. Make sure the screws are tight to ensure a secure fit.

Cover with Fiberglass Cloth:

Once the boards are secure, cov­er the cast­ing deck with fiber­glass cloth. Make sure the cloth is even and smooth.

Apply Resin:

Mix the fiber­glass resin accord­ing to the instruc­tions on the pack­age. Spread the resin over the fiber­glass cloth using a roller or brush. Make sure the resin is spread even­ly.

Finishing Touches

To com­plete build­ing a cast­ing deck on a fiber­glass boat, you will need to secure the deck to the boat with screws or bolts. Addi­tion­al­ly, you should seal any open­ings between the deck and the boat with a water­proof sealant. You should rein­force the deck with addi­tion­al fiber­glass or epoxy resin to ensure a strong, durable con­nec­tion.

Add Non-Skid Material:

Cov­er the cast­ing deck with non-skid mate­r­i­al. This will help pre­vent you from slip­ping and falling when fish­ing or cast­ing.

Seal the Edges:

Use sil­i­cone sealant to seal the edges of the cast­ing deck. This will help pre­vent water from seep­ing into the boat.

Test the Deck:

Once the cast­ing deck is installed, it is impor­tant to test it before using it. Stand on the deck and make sure it is sta­ble and secure.

Fiberglass decking material

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It comes in var­i­ous forms, includ­ing sheets and pan­els, and can be tai­lored to fit the spe­cif­ic dimen­sions and con­tours of your boat. Fiber­glass deck­ing can be tex­tured or coat­ed with non-slip mate­ri­als to ensure safe­ty while mov­ing around on the deck.

One of the sig­nif­i­cant advan­tages of fiber­glass is that it requires min­i­mal upkeep, mak­ing it a prac­ti­cal option for those who want a low-main­te­nance solu­tion. All you need to do is give it a good wash now and then to keep it look­ing fresh and clean.

Keep in mind, though, that while fiber­glass is durable, it can crack or chip upon hard impact. How­ev­er, any dam­ages can usu­al­ly be repaired quite eas­i­ly with a fiber­glass repair kit.

If you’re after a mate­r­i­al that’s tough, easy to work with, and stands up to the ele­ments, then fiber­glass could be the per­fect fit for your boat’s cast­ing deck. Just remem­ber to han­dle it with care to avoid any poten­tial dam­age dur­ing instal­la­tion.

Jon boat casting deck frame

Start with mea­sur­ing the space where you plan to install the deck. Then, you’d want to sketch out a design, keep­ing in mind that the frame should fit snug­ly into the boat. The most com­mon mate­r­i­al for this frame is 2x2 lum­ber for its dura­bil­i­ty and ease of han­dling.

Assem­ble the pieces using deck screws to cre­ate a sol­id square or rec­tan­gu­lar frame, depend­ing on the shape of your boat. It’s a good idea to add sup­port­ing beams in the mid­dle of the frame for extra sta­bil­i­ty.

Ensure that it fits prop­er­ly in your boat and is lev­el. This is cru­cial as an uneven frame could lead to insta­bil­i­ty once the deck is installed. If every­thing looks good, you’re ready to pro­ceed with the deck­ing mate­r­i­al on top, usu­al­ly marine-grade ply­wood.

How do you recoat a fiberglass boat deck

To recoat a fiber­glass boat deck, you will need to start by clean­ing the deck with a mild deter­gent and a scrub­bing pad. After the deck is thor­ough­ly cleaned and dry, you will need to sand the sur­face with a medi­um grit sand­pa­per. This will help the new coat­ing adhere to the boat deck. After sand­ing, wipe the sur­face with a damp cloth to remove any loose par­ti­cles and then apply a primer designed for fiber­glass. Once the primer has dried, apply a top­coat of marine-grade paint or gel­coat to the deck. Be sure to use even strokes and cov­er the entire sur­face. Allow the top­coat to cure and then you can enjoy your refreshed boat deck.

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How to Build a Casting Deck on a Fiberglass Boat

The pri­ma­ry mate­ri­als you’ll need are marine-grade ply­wood for the deck itself, 2x2 lum­ber for the frame, deck screws, and a sealant to pro­tect the wood from water dam­age. You’ll also need mea­sur­ing tape, a saw, and a drill.

How much weight will a casting deck add to my boat?

The weight of a cast­ing deck can vary depend­ing on its size and the mate­ri­als used. It’s cru­cial to ensure that the added weight won’t impact the boat’s bal­ance or sta­bil­i­ty. It’s always a good idea to cal­cu­late the weight of your mate­ri­als before­hand and con­sult with a boat­ing pro­fes­sion­al if you’re unsure.

Can I build a casting deck on any type of boat?

While it’s most com­mon to build a cast­ing deck on a flat-bot­tomed boat like a Jon boat, it’s pos­si­ble to add one to a vari­ety of boat types. The key is to make sure the deck is secure­ly installed and doesn’t com­pro­mise the safe­ty or func­tion­al­i­ty of the boat.


Build­ing a cast­ing deck on a fiber­glass boat is a great way to improve the per­for­mance and func­tion­al­i­ty of the boat. With the right mate­ri­als and tools, build­ing a cast­ing deck is a rel­a­tive­ly easy and straight­for­ward process. Once the deck is installed, you can enjoy a more com­fort­able and sta­ble fish­ing expe­ri­ence.

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