Houseboat Roof Construction - repair it with wood stud, or galvanized studs?

Houseboat Roof Repairs - use wood stud, or galvanized studs?

Houseboat Roof Repairs - use wood stud, or galvanized studs?

I'm wondering about houseboat roof construction, and am looking to repair it with wood stud, or galvanized studs?

The reason I ask, I have a 1982 kayot houseboat and I need to replace the roof as it is sagging in several spots.

I have already replaced the decking material on the front deck and I am wondering if the roof is constructed with the same galvanized studs or if it is constructed with wood studs.

The overall thickness of the roof is 3 1/2". Short of cutting into the roof, does anyone have any ideas?

Thanks for any help.

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Reply - Answer
Welcome to the forums, and sorry to hear about your sagging houseboat roof problem.

You are not alone when it comes to roof issues, and some have them after 10, 20, or 30 years. Water infiltration is a common issue that happens slowly over the years.

Now as to the Kayot houseboats using wood studs, or galvanized studs, that is a question that I cannot answer, however I am sure that one of our readers with a Kayot, that has opened up the roof, will likely be glad to post comment to help you.

Short of cutting up the roof, have you considered dropping an interior ceiling panel to allow you access to see the interior roof construction?

You could also use an "electronic stud finder", and once you locate a stud, try and drive a nail into the ceiling to see if it's wood or a galvanized stud?

I don't know if you can rent locally, a gauge or instrument similar to the electronic stud finder above, that is used specifically for finding "metal studs"?

But from the sounds of it, you will eventually have to open up the roof to see what, and how the roof repair or replacement project will have to unfold.

I know it looks like a big project, but take it one day at a time, and break the project down into "bite sized bits" as this makes it easier to not get overwhelmed or discouraged.

Just look at it the other way, once you have done the roof replacement, you will be able to enjoy it for many many years to come :)

Lastly, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about their houseboat roof repair or replacement projects, and can share any tips, ideas, or experiences. Feel free to use the "Click here to post comments." link found near the bottom of this page.

Thanks again for sharing, IAN from all-about-houseboats

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Comments for Houseboat Roof Construction - repair it with wood stud, or galvanized studs?

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Rhino Liner on houseboats
by: Anonymous

I built a wooden box that sits on top of the houseboat roof for the water tank and storage. I used 3/4" plywood, primer paint then RhinoLiner. Now after 2 years in the Nevada sun the Rhino Liner did not hold up.

Roof Replacement for 1984 Kayot houseboat
by: Shad Wilson

Thanks for your comments, I have thought about putting 3-5 steel supports accross the top. Now that I know 2x6's will fit I will buy a bunch of those instead of 2x4's. Do you remember the span inbetween each, was it 16 inches?

I replaced the houseboat roof
by: Anonymous

I have replaced a roof on a Kayot houseboat, and they are wood cross supports. I had to remove the entire roof so I replaced the 2x4s with 2x6. The supports are tapered to give the roof a slight arc or crown. Top if off with 3/4 tongue and groove plywood.

I tried several roll-on sealers finally ended up putting on a rubber roof. I ordered a white one that was for RV mobile homes, you can get them wide enough so it is all one piece.

Good luck, it is great when it is done, never leaked a drop. Let me know if you have any questions.

I have a 1984 Kayot 53 foot, I"m also replacing the roof
by: Shad Wilson

I have a 53 foot Kayot houseboat at Lake Powell and have been working on this boat for the last 3 years. The last thing I have to replace is the roof.

Just like the last questions not sure what I will get into once I start peeling the roof off. My guess at this point is the roof is made of 3/4 inch plywood marine grade and below that it has runs of 2/2. Not sure if anyone knows if this is true or not.

I want to replace the roof with new tung and grove marine plywood but I want to seal it first. There is a wood sealer that Smith & Co sell, it's pricey but think it will hold up under the conditions.

My next question is Rhino Lining. I was going to roll on Rhino lining for my exterior coat. Does anyone have any experience with that.

79 thru 88 Kayot, Masterfab, Leisurecraft houseboats
by: know it all boats guy

Kayot houseboats like Masterfab and Leisurecraft etc... have wooden studs. You can remove the ceiling panels and insulation to really get a look at your problem areas.

A lot of times you don't need to rebuild the entire thing, just where you can clearly see moisture has gotten through and caused damage.

They have a weird construction but you can duplicate using 1"x2"s and 1/4" paneling that you can get at your local home depot or make a template and tar some 2"x6"s.

Remember though, the problems normally originate from a leak on the roof, so replace any rotten plywood, pressure wash, prepare, and seal the top well.

I recommend a product called Gaco Flex, it's expensive but so is the time it will take you to do it again if it's not sealed properly.

Reply - Answer
Thanks for the great tips and the name of the Gaco Flex product.

IAN from

Have you considered a big magnet?
by: Dan Pedersen

With a big magnet from a loudspeaker you could probably find out. Steel or alloy is great but you must remember to insulate the metal or you will get the same problem again.

There will be condensation in your roof if the steel goes from top to bottom. I now there is some one in here taking about clever roof construction so take a look around. It is something about sandwich composite construction.

Reply - Answer
Dan, that's a very good tip about using the magnet. Here is the link for the composite panels for houseboats.

IAN from

Houseboat roof replacement
by: River Rebel

Sounds as if you're going to have to open her up one way or another, just one of those things you don't know till you get there...

I have 72 Gibson 36' and have run into similar problems with my roof and deck issues. If it were me I would use the galvenized over the wood any will last much longer is more durable and stronger, not to mention fireproof.

If I have to do my decks on my Gibson again, I am going to strip it to the fiberglass hull like last time, but this time I will use aluminum structure and deck plate so there will be no more soft spots or rotting issues... Robert

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