Bass Boat to Flats Boat Conversion

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by silverhand, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. silverhand
    Joined: Aug 2011
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    Location: Palm Bay

    silverhand Junior Member

    I hope that I am in the right forum for this. Just wondering if anyone has done this or has anything to add.

    Heres the boat Im starting with

    I have always wanted to build a flats boat. But Im wondering if anyone else has done this with a bass boat?

    I picked up this bass boat for $350.00 with a nice trailer and a nice running pro V 150 Yamaha on a jack plate.

    The boat is totally rotted out inside. My Hope is to remove the liner. Gut the boat and do a flats boat design similar to this,r:15,s:160&biw=1280&bih=818 What it looks like to me is that flats boats by nature of the design just have a lot of stiffness and would not require a liner. I am a bit consearned with how fast it will be with at least 25% of the weight gone and that pro v pusing it. Since the boat did 70 MPH with the liner in it. Do I need to power it down a bit?

    Also does anyone have exp with what material is best for the top decks? I can do encapsulated plywood but Im wondering if theres a better material for the job?
  2. keysdisease
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    Location: South Florida USA

    keysdisease Senior Member

    Some of those answers may come after we know how you plan to use the boat. Mosquito Lagoon would be much better ultra light with less power for instance. The kind of flats fishing you get in the ICW weight won't be that big a deal.

    In Florida, "flats boats" can be unique for every 50 miles of coast, The Keys might call for a couple of different types, the Gulf Coast will be different from Boca Grande to Tampa Bay. And then there's Mosquito Lagoon where a technical poling skiff will serve best just like a boat for Everglades National Park.

    For instance boats from Boca Grande have short towers and are bigger with more power because they chase Tarpon on the beaches not just flats.

    Of course, any of these boats can be used anywhere, but the specific designs for the various areas are optimum and specialized.

    I would think a bass boat could make a pretty good flats boat, That gunnel has to go, depending on the brand the trolling motor may be good (salt water) and of course the metalflake, what about the metalflake?:eek:

  3. silverhand
    Joined: Aug 2011
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    Location: Palm Bay

    silverhand Junior Member

    This will be mostly ICW. Mosuito is an an hour north of here. I'll do sebasitan inlet a good bit and surely trips to the keys.
    Yea the metal flake.... That gets sanded and painted or gel coated. I dont like awlgrip because it makes you die if you do it wrong.

    I guess the pretty bass boat trailer will have to get sold. It will be a pile of rust in a week using it in the ICW

    Im planning to do away with the entire liner. Everything from the rubrail up.

    But Im still wondering whats the best material for the new deck/gunnel

    UPDATE Today I began removing the all the hatch covers and storing them for possible future use. All the good stainless. The fuel tank and I have the engine derigged and ready to hoist off. The Pro V stll commands a premium price so if I decide to go to a smaller engine I wont have trouble selling it
  4. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    There's no problem making your boat into a flats boat, though I couldn't see what type of hull you have in the images, it's likely you have a lot of dead rise, maybe a lot more then desirable with a flats boat. Stability at low speed and adrift as well as shoal capabilities are the desirable traits. The jack plate will help in some of this.

    Materials will be plywood and 'glass, just like what the manufacture used. You can do the whole thing from 'glass, or more exotic materials, but this is more costly and requires more "goo factor".

    Replace the stringers and other sole supports. Don't be tempted to use 2 by stock, if some of the stringers are thick, use two layers of 1 by stock instead (glued together). Drop a few sheets of plywood on top and tab it to the hull shell. From this point up, the furniture and other accommodations (storage boxes, bait wells, etc.) are purely up to your needs.

    The first thing to do is get in supported level both side to side and fore and aft. This will permit you to use a laser level to mark out where the sole hits the hulls heel, the tops of the stringers, etc.

  5. Cawley
    Joined: Aug 2011
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    Location: Treasure Island

    Cawley Junior Member

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