14' jon boat project. Input welcomed!

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by wrw712, Sep 1, 2007.

  1. wrw712
    Joined: Sep 2007
    Posts: 1
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Indiana

    wrw712 New Member

    I have finally graduated to fishing from a boat, I was able to get a 14' jon boat for 45$ and I would like to take it and make it into something special not only to fit my personal taste but yet be a functioning beautiful craft for years to come. With plans to eventually sell it down the road and rebuild another one only start with a bigger boat.

    I have a lot of ideas and I plan to build this in phases during the course of the winter so I gladly accept input from more experienced boat owners who may have insight that I have overlooked. With that in mind lets move onto the plans.

    The Boat
    I have a 14' Delta boat I believe the Factory tag is very hard to read. it is 48" at the beam and rated for a 10 hp motor. It is a lighter riveted aluminum flatbottom boat. It appears to have had the typical rivet leaks over time and the previous owners have slapped tar,silicone, rubber, chewing gum and god knows what else on them over the years. I am currently in the process of removed all that crap to reseal the rivets properly and then moving on to an exterior paint job.

    I am thinking of using a black for the exterior of the craft. I am not sure if I should use a glossy top coat or leave the flat paint. Later I will be using grey carpet for the interior with having other parts in silver. I kinda wanted something other than the typical green or blue type boats. But would black be a bad color as far as showing damage or just look bad over time.

    The Casting Deck
    I have looked at designs ranging from excellent to floating death traps. Wood to steel. I kinda wanna stay away from using too much lumber for weight and not only that but a rot issue, using pressure treated wood is good, but the chemicals could possibly damage the boat. so what I have thought about to fix this problem is some sort of aluminum frame that will be installed about an inch or two below the bow's edge and bolted to the boat. with an extensive framework I could also get away with using a thinner plywood. the question is what would be better, more framework less wood or thicker wood less framework. I am thinking its roughly the same, but while Im factoring things in might as well find the best fit. With a framework it will clear up things for a side opening hatch facing the stern. I also thought of using a plexiglass or fiberglass deck to mount onto the frame to get away from wood altogether.

    The Internal Design
    with the Casting deck extended back, removing the middle seat and putting down a subfloor, more on that later. but installing a raised seat or stool haven't decided which would be best. The back seat I will mount a smaller seat that roughly matches the height of the middle seat. Not to high to prevent roll but high enough so I don't feel like im tubing. With the casting deck's frame extending back the middle cutaway will still have support. Also with a cut out section I have room for installing livewells, and future electronics on the rear end of the casting deck. The side will have panels that are carpeted to look nice/dampen sound/mount small items and hide the wires I will run. I also plan to have some onboard lights in the panels for night fishing. and maybe some running lights. Really no purpose for the running lights unless you fish in an area that requires it at night. Better to be safe than sorry.

    The Robo Oar (AKA trolling motor)
    The boat is rated for 10 HP engine, but for fishing I really don't need speed. what I am instead looking at is getting a good trolling motor with spare battery and solar charger. Would it be so bad to use a trolling motor as the main thrust of going to point A to B. What are the disadvantages of not having a regular motor? Being a small craft it just seems rather pointless unless I want speed, when I really don't need it. And with a battery, would a solar charger be enough to keep it up, or should I even bother? Next does it affect the charge amount it can produce if you have it run through maybe 12-14' of wire to the battery or does the closer to batteyr make it better. I am going for balance of the boat not to have a lot of items in one area.

    Its a ever going process of what to do what not to do. I just want to make a beautiful rig that will be useful, balanced, safe, and doesn't sink my wallet in the process. I just would value your input and maybe you thought of something I haven't which is very very likely. What do you guys think? Thanks for your time.
  2. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
    Posts: 3,731
    Likes: 121, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 1404
    Location: maine

    alan white Senior Member

    Be aware your boat is 48" beam, and I am assuming that is at the gunwales. The actual beam is perhaps 40"-42". It is no doubt flat-bottomed, but still, you are talking about standing at near deck-height and casting. Definitely mock up your proposed changes with scrap and clamps and try them out out on the water.
    Black paint is fine on the outside. Glossy lasts a bit longer, but flat is very easy to apply with a roller as often as you like while gloss takes patience and time to apply nicely. If either flat or glossy are equal to you, go with the flat for practicality, say I.
    Regarding wire and length from batteries to motor, the bigger the better. If you double the distance, double the cross-section of the wire. Doubling the run takes four times, not two times the copper to achieve the same efficiency. Try to locate batteries as close to the motor as possible.
    Regarding solar charging, the answer is dependant on your geographical location, time of year, and how long the boat is likely to sit between uses. A boat pulled up and tied off far from an electrical source, and left to sit between uses, will either have to have the batteries hauled home (not fun) or use a solar panel.
    Solar panels are buggers to calculate because they are entirely weather-dependant and are seldom oriented at right angles to the sun anyway. They achieve maybe 15%-20% efficiency (percentage of available sunlight converted to electrical energy) AT BEST. Yet, the effect of sunlight is cumulative, and it's likely that during an average season, the right sized panel (s) will do a lot of charging during the week, often enough to satisfy your needs.

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