How to design an aluminum 16ft flat bottom Jon boat, beginner boat building.

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Adam Whitfield, Aug 2, 2020.

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  1. Adam Whitfield
    Joined: Jul 2020
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    Location: Florida

    Adam Whitfield New Member

    Hello all, my name is Adam Whitfield. I am 22 years old and a welder by trade. I am looking to build my first boat. I live in pensacola fl on the gulf coast, I do a lot of saltwater fishing inshore. I'm looking to build a simple 16ft flat bottom aluminum jon boat for a little floundering and inshore fishing on calm nights. I have a design thought up in my mind, but I have no clue where to start as far as getting all the measurements and curves. I'm looking for some help getting started and pointed in the right direction as far as designing and getting my parts laid out. Should I get a design software like fusion 360? Any help and pointers will be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Welcome to the Forum Adam.

    Re designing your jon boat, it might be easier to simply buy a set of plans for a design that is proven.
    One example here -
    15 1/2' Scrambler - outboard whitewater sled-boatdesign https://www.boatdesigns.com/15-1_2-Scrambler-outboard-whitewater-sled/products/870/

    Or you could build something like a garvey, which would be better able to cope with choppy conditions than a jon boat - I'm sure that you might find yourself in rougher water occasionally in Pensacola bay?
    15'-9" Jimbo AL - garvey hull with center console-boatdesign https://www.boatdesigns.com/15-9-Jimbo-AL-garvey-hull-with-center-console/products/126/

    These are mostly plywood designs, but maybe some design ideas here re what you want?
    Fishing Boat Plans – Boat Builder Central https://www.boatbuildercentral.com/fishing-boat-plans/

    Here is a very simple jon boat type in plywood, but it could be adapted fairly easily for aluminium construction -
    https://spirainternational.com/study/WyeRiverStudy.pdf

    If you are absolutely determined to design it yourself, sketch out your ideas on paper initially - you don't need a fancy CAD program for this - take a photo (or scan your sketch), and post it on here, and you will receive good constructive advice about it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020
  3. Adam Whitfield
    Joined: Jul 2020
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    Location: Florida

    Adam Whitfield New Member

    Thank you so much for the info!
     
  4. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    BlueBell likes this.
  5. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
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    Location: Victoria BC Canada

    BlueBell Ahhhhh...

    There is a lot to be said to building to someone else's design.
    It has to be a good, proven design though.
    Especially with Al.
    Don't get sucked into designing your first build...
    well, if there is no other way, go ahead.
    But I warned you.

    And welcome to the Forum.
     
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  6. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Location: Australia

    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    The trouble with alloy for such a build, is that unswaged material necessitates a heavier boat. Ideally, relatively thin sheet, with pressings to give stiffness, and also some longitudinal grip on the water, is the way to go. The cottage-industry plate build is really not that good an idea at or under 5 metres boat length, you have to use thicker material, and more internal longitudinals, that add up to weight, to avoid "dishing" the bottom.
     
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  7. upchurchmr
    Joined: Feb 2011
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    Location: Ft. Worth, Tx, USA

    upchurchmr Senior Member

    Build the first one to someone else's design.
    That is the best suggestion you are going to get from everyone here.
    You need some experience before you design something.

    Your own design will need to be "fixed" at least 3 times, unless you are super talented (not likely for most of us).
    And yes, this is from personal experience, and I've been an aerospace designer for 35 years. Just not a boat designer. :rolleyes:

    What every you do, have fun, and report back.
     
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  8. Cajunpockettunnel
    Joined: Aug 2020
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    Location: Franklin, LA

    Cajunpockettunnel Junior Member

  9. JSL
    Joined: Nov 2012
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    Location: Delta BC

    JSL Senior Member

    Adam, you might also want to check out any regulations/standards you have to comply with (USCG, ABYC, etc.) as well as insurance.
     

  10. Barry
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Barry Senior Member

    $500 for a cnc file to get the parts cut. With a proven design. Though longer than what you wanted, you might be able to contact metal boat kits, and they may easily be able to provide a shorter version.
    6m (19ft) Aluminum Lifeboat MILITARY VERSION- *NEW* - Metal Boat Kits https://metalboatkits.com/product/6m-19ft-aluminum-lifeboat-military-version-new/
    I believe that they also supply a Hull Identification Number to make registration and insurance easier. This might include the approved sticker for weight and horsepower. You may want to check in your jurisdiction what the requirements
    are for registering a "home built" boat before you build

    In some areas, for a home built, prior to registering the boat, you might have to have the
    boat surveyed. The $500 for the files may save the cost of this process
     
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