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Old 01-02-2007, 11:02 AM   #1
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1973 31' Sovereign
Union , Kentucky
Join Date: Oct 2006
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Partial Floor Replacement in 73 31' Soveriagn

Hello and Happy New Year.
Please forgive me I am a beginner, and I am trying to learn what to do and not to do. I was recently given a 1973 31' Sovereign Land yacht from my parents . I towed it from Florida to Kentucky. After removing the couch I noticed several areas on the floor that were rotten. I have removed the lower wall panels and found that the floor slides under the wall frames. I have read several of the posts and I am wondering if I need to remove the under belly sheetmetal to get to a few to the bolts that is holding the floor to the wall frame. Hopefully I am not getting into something over my head. I would like to do most of if not all the work myself. any and all help I could get I would apprciate ... Please help meeeeee!!!!!!

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Old 01-02-2007, 12:16 PM   #2
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
St. Cloud , Minnesota
Join Date: Aug 2003
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Hello Joe1261 -- There are almost as many methods to repair as there are members. You seem to suggest the area is in the front only. First job is to address the source of water that caused the rot. A couple of floor repairs I have done are covered here and here. Argosy & Airstream were built just about alike. You will need to remove the perimeter trim (rubrail), banana wrap near your repair and drop some of the belly wrap. Re-use the curved corner banana wrap!

B.A.L. stabilizer fastener bolts and elevator bolts holding the floor will be corroded into the frame and frozen -- grind flush and drill new holes alongside if necessary. Some of the belly wrap you loosen can be reused but it was thin .025" to begin with and will no doubt have areas damaged by corrosion. Belly wrap was originally one piece -- you'll do yourself a favor if you don't involve that at mid trailer where the gas line feeds go up. You will be drilling out and replacing a lot of aluminum-core pop rivets (Olympics are only necessary to repair the bucked rivets seen on the body above the rubrail). You'll want to Por-15 the A-frame when you have the front opened up.

Can you work on your Sovereign at home? Lucky... Keep asking questions! I know there will be a lot of them.


5 meter Langford Nahanni

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Old 01-02-2007, 08:21 PM   #3
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1973 31' Sovereign
Portland , Oregon
Join Date: May 2004
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It is possible to replace even the entire floor without removing the belly pan or bannana wrap (the curved parts between the sides and the bottom). I replaced all of my floor on my 1973 31' with about 1/2 of the belly pan still in place because it did not seem to be in bad shape. The other part I took off becuase it was going to need to be replaced anyway. I removed parts of the banana wrap that also needed replacement but left the rest of them in place. Access certainly is easier the more stuff you take off and it certainly is easier to make repairs to the frame if that is needed. Painting too is easier.

I suggest that a bit of further investigation is in order before you finally make up your mind. If it should turn out that you only need to make spot repairs to the floor you certainly can do that without taking everthing apart.

Check out the following thread for a lot of discussion about floor replacments. My post number 10 has a list of some more threads where I describe the techniques that I used in more detail.

Removing the body shell and installing new floor completely - any one done this?

The fourth listed link and my post #74 has a lot of details as to the type of tools needed and some tips and techniques you might find useful.

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