Lowering gunwale on fish n ski boat

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by Sodbuster, Jul 26, 2015.

  1. Sodbuster
    Joined: Jul 2015
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    Location: NW Iowa

    Sodbuster Junior Member

    Very new to this, so apologies in advance for any dumb questions if I ask any :)

    I love tinkering and projects and I have an ugly old 17' searay fish n ski that I'd like to convert to "an all the time" fishing boat.

    Some of things I'd like to do on it are convert it from full console to single, lower the gunwales and add gunwale rod lockers, and install a raised casting deck.

    My biggest gripe about fishing out this boat is it has a long aerodynamic windshield which makes it all but impossible to fish from the drivers seat, but while I'm at it I'm thinking of making an all out transformation of it.

    I will be reinforcing it well in the process of raising the fore and aft for casting decks so I'm not so concerned about the structural integrity of removing the left half of the console, and the long tapered windshield will be simple to remove and replace with a single console style windscreen, but I'm having trouble on lowering the gunwales.

    So, I've been looking and thinking of solutions and this is what I'm proposing to do....

    I'm looking at cutting away the raised section of the gunwales lengthwise, then forming a bottom under it, a couple inches below the cut away area with certa-foam (a foil lined, strucural foam building sheet product)

    This would leave about a 2" deep by 3" wide void, which I'm thinking of pouring full of foam, which I could then cut back down to a profile to lay a new layer of fiberglass over.

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts and ideas and Fire away!!!

    :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2015
  2. Sodbuster
    Joined: Jul 2015
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    Location: NW Iowa

    Sodbuster Junior Member

    Raised area to be cut down

    this is the raised area on the gunwale I want to cut down (at the back of the boat) it gets much higher farther forward
     

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    Last edited: Jul 26, 2015
  3. ondarvr
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    Location: Monroe WA

    ondarvr Senior Member

    Are you looking for a major project, or to just go fishing?

    All the changes can be made, but it will cost time and money, it won't be a low cost way to get on the water quickly. Selling yours and buying what you want will be quicker and possibly much cheaper.

    If you like projects, have the time and money to put into, then go for it.
     
  4. Sodbuster
    Joined: Jul 2015
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    Location: NW Iowa

    Sodbuster Junior Member

    time is not an issue I'm looking for possibly working on it through the winter and having it ready to go next spring.

    I'm fairly handy with tools and electrical, and have had a half dozen snowmobiles and several wrecked Harley's down to the last nuts and bolts.

    I have aluminum fishing boats available to me, but I've always wanted something with a little smoother ride, and I've never worked with fiberglass so it appeals to me
     
  5. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Welcome to the forum.

    How about a full photo, possibly with a sketch of your plans. It can be done, though the ride of a boat really isn't dependant on the hull material choices, so much as the hull form shapes employed.
     
  6. Sodbuster
    Joined: Jul 2015
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    Location: NW Iowa

    Sodbuster Junior Member

    port side console

    port side console to be removed

    so, in front, the gunwale area is fairly low, and wide enough to provide pretty good footing for old farts like me...;)

    I'm thinking after refinishing, I'll want to lay down some type of non skid product, probably a row of strips rather than a wide sheet.
     

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  7. Sodbuster
    Joined: Jul 2015
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    Location: NW Iowa

    Sodbuster Junior Member

    same area from the inside...

    after the port side console is cut away, I want to raise the front deck. Not exactly sure how much, but high enough to provide compartments deep enough for 1 1000 amp trolling battery on each side, and anchors etc in front.
     

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    Last edited: Jul 27, 2015
  8. Sodbuster
    Joined: Jul 2015
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    Location: NW Iowa

    Sodbuster Junior Member

    view from the side..

    you can see the gunwale is constructed for looks, and not practical entry or good footing...

    removing the looooong aerodynamic windshield would be good enough to provide good fishing, but as you get older, (I find) you start having more trouble getting ones -self- in and out of the boat than you do with the fish!
     

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  9. Kailani
    Joined: Apr 2013
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    Location: Hawaii

    Kailani Senior Member

    Remember the gunwale shape and console bulkheads give some support to the sides of the boat.
     

  10. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The deck cap is all one piece and does provide a fair bit of athwart stiffness to the hull shell. These walk through design are the weakest of all. The side decks will still need to be there, though can be a different shape if desired. The whole boat could be reconfigured for a center console or whatever you're trying to do, but I'll bet once you start cutting into the liner, you'll find other stuff you need to address, like a soft sole, bad stringers, rotten transom core, etc. It might be easier to just remove the deck cap and liner and start from a clean piece of paper.
     
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