14ft smokercraft big fisherman

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by chetc, Mar 15, 2020.

  1. chetc
    Joined: Mar 2020
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    Location: Plains Pa

    chetc New Member

    i just purchased a used 14 ft smokercraft big fishernman, i want to add a front casting platform. it has a front bench going across the front of the bot, if i add a platform and use the bench for part of the support, it is too high, the bench is about 14" high, for me it is a high step up on to the casting deck, if i were to remove the front bench and make a platform like 5 or 6" high, would removing this front bench weaken the boat, can it be done.

    chet
     
  2. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Love the name, "Smokercraft" ! How about add a step so you can get up to the 14" in two steps ? Higher is probably better for your platform, isn't it ?
     
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  3. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
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    fallguy Senior Member

    The existing bench is a required structural element; most likely, almost 100% sure.

    The best way to deal with the high step is with a flat platform on the aft side of the bench.

    If you already have a flat sole there; you could cut a step into the bench, but the bench likely has buoyancy foam there to keep your boat from sinking. Cutting in the bench is fine, but you can't throw away the baby (foam) with the bath. And removing the bench is a NO.

    Another option that is easier would be to build a small step on each or one side. You could stow some tackle in the step by leaving it open. Most likely all above the waterline; so you could rivet it in..
     
  4. Squidly-Diddly
    Joined: Sep 2007
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    Location: SF bay

    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    The "big" fisherman is only a 14' boat, so I'm guessing stability when standing to cast is a major issue, and the only reason he says "5-6 inches" is that much rise is required to make in wide enough to stand on in the Vee-bow.

    My take: Yeah, the bench is most likely very structural, but aluminum boats are very tough. You could cut out the bench an Bubba-dize in replacement structure of two flat 1/4" aluminum plate "U" members at your preferred '5-6 inches' and up along the front and back of whats left of the bench roughly the same 5-6" on either side, leaving roughly square 6" top of old bench on each side. The 6" square tops might be handy to place your foot on when casting, or serve as short term butt-pad when moving around in the boat. Craft a nice removable wooden plank to bridge the gap where you cut out the bench if you want to be able to instantly return to factory seating capacity.

    Bench likely holds flotation in exactly the part you want to remove, so figure on stuffing it under your new casting platform.

    I'm guessing that little strut is a structural member and not just a handy oar holder, so leave the part of the bench it mounts to intact.
     

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  5. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
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    fallguy Senior Member

    It should be noted that years ago I did this to a 14' lund deep vee. The casting area is nice if you mount a chair in the middle, but the rig is sort of impossible to cast from alone. The problem is the weight forward makes the boat act like a bobber. Hard, no, impossible to steer.

    I found it was sort of only usable with xtra people.

    When alone, I stopped using it, so personally, I would keep the 14" step and put on the big boy pants. My boat has a 23" deck and we built a single step to it. Anybody who can't make the step can sit and get on.
     
  6. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    I can see how a light boat with just one aboard, could become quite tippy if you moved away from the centre of a casting platform at the bow, you had better pirouette on the spot !
     
  7. chetc
    Joined: Mar 2020
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    Location: Plains Pa

    chetc New Member

    after reading all the boaters inputs, i am going to leave as it is, fish out of it for the season, if not satisfied, will look into another boat next season, my last boat was a 86 Bass tracker 16' with a 40hp and a console, then a 18' Stratos with a 150 and the works, but had a truck then and was 42 yrs old, now at 74yrs old i don't to do anything stupid and fall off the boat and had much more stable fishing off the casting platform, the main reason i went with this boat is that it is light and has a 25hp Yamaha, my tow car is a new subaru outback i did not want to over work the transmission.
    thanks
    chet
     

  8. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
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    fallguy Senior Member

    good plan

    I have a 16' Lund Predator now and it behaves far better troll casting with a fat 50hp 4 stroke on back of it than the 14'; you really need offsetting weight on the transom to use a casting deck and a small 25hp ain't it
     
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