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Old 03-03-04, 06:53 PM   #1
Fatdaddy151
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Default Jon Boat to Bass Boat

Well, after talking with my wife I think I've finally come to terms that I will not be getting a true bass boat anytime soon. Not even a used Bass Tracker. So, I'm back to plan "B". This is a idea I have toyed with for a while and I was wondering if anyone had any ideas, websites, advice, etc...

I would like to find a 14' - 16' jon boat with a fairly wide beam and convert it into my little one man bass boat complete with under deck storage for rods and tackle. I would also possibly like to add a recirculating live well if it is possible (does anyone have any plans for this). Have any of you ever tackled this project, and do you have any wisdom to impart? My main desires are to have rod storage for up to 7 foot rods, and lots of places to put built in tackle storage. I would also like a fairly large deck on the boat. This will be something that I use mostly to fish somewhat smaller no-wake lakes here in Iowa so it doesn't matter much how big the boat is.

Thanks for any help you can give. I have been enjoying this site for a few weeks now and it seems to have a lot of good information for the most part!
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Old 03-03-04, 09:24 PM   #2
IceChopper
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Default Re: Jon Boat to Bass Boat

Hi there ebook.
If you are going to build your boat, have one thing in mind, is weight. Take it from me. Years ago I bought a aluminium boat that was tranform into a bass boat, that thing was all put together with 3/4 inch plywood and 2x6's. No matter what size of motor I put all that boat did was plow water. So if you do not want that type of problem go whith 3/16 inch aluminiun, a little more costly but far less weight added to your boat. Also it will resist the environment far better than wood will and less maintenance. Oh by the way that boat was a 1985 springbok fisherman 16.9 ft ,76 in beam, new that boat weight 750 lbs. after it was built it was over a 1000 lbs.
Also that boat was rated for 50 h.p the guy who had the boat put a 115 h.p. I ended up with a 75 h.p. and only could reach a top speed of 42 m.p h.
LORENZO
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Old 03-03-04, 10:55 PM   #3
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Default Re: Jon Boat to Bass Boat

Go to HydrillaGorilla.com website & sign up for the book & CD. Ray Magness does a great job showing the conversion process from start to finish & leaves nothing to chance. You can make your own modifications to suit your needs, but Ray lays everything out in simple language so you won't overlook any of the important details.

I bought the book last fall & I'm doing my conversion as time permits. I'm really taking my time on this project because I don't want to make any modifications I'll regret later on.

My jon boat is 14' with a 5' beam. Not quite as stable as I would like, but that's why I'm choosing my options carefully.

Trust me, it's worth the small investment.
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Old 03-03-04, 11:12 PM   #4
Fatdaddy151
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Default Re: Jon Boat to Bass Boat

You know I've looked at the Hydrilla Gorilla site quite a few times and I've thought about getting the book. It sounds like it would be a good help. What sort of bracing are you going to be using with your project? I too have read that an aluminium frame helps with the weight, I guess I just haven't had much experience so I was worried that it would be too difficult for me.
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Old 03-04-04, 12:41 AM   #5
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Default Re: Jon Boat to Bass Boat

Hey, I setup a webiste that has some jon boat to bass boat mods listed on it. Here is the link

http://www.boatproject.com/projects.html



Len
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Old 03-04-04, 11:41 AM   #6
catfishtonyd
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Default Re: Jon Boat to Bass Boat

I've got a fiberglass jon boat that I rigged myself. *One advantage of my boat is that it doesn't have ribs in the floor so I didn't have to put down plywood to make a deck. *

My boat is a 16 foot Carolina Skiff with a 20 hp Mercury, a 54 lb trolling motor on the bow, a second TM on the stern for electric only lakes, a depth finder, seats, storage boxes, carpet. *The works. *The reason I went with the Carolina Skiff is that I could buy a 16 foot skiff for less than a 14 foot Lowe jon boat.

I've got less that 5000 in it buying everyting brand new excpet the seats and the depth finder. *I had them.

I've had several "real" bassboats and I think this one is more fun than any of them. *It's not as fast, but it fishes just as well.

You can see it at

http://hometown.aol.com/cajunbass/myhomepage/index.html
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Old 03-04-04, 01:41 PM   #7
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Default Re: Jon Boat to Bass Boat

EBOOK,
Here is an idea I have been toying with if I ever ruin the carpet in my boat. You might want to check it out and incoporate it into your boat project.
Rhino bed liner is a durable spray on skid proof coating that is totally waterproof. You could spray the decks on your boat project to waterproof your plywood decks, give yourself a non skid decking, it would be lighter than carpeting, and it would not stain. Rhino liner comes in several colors to match what ever color your accessories are in your boat.
Ranger uses a similar type covering in thier salt water model bass boat.

O. Pinion
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Old 03-04-04, 03:08 PM   #8
catfishtonyd
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Default Re: Jon Boat to Bass Boat

I think a lot of people are doing that now Jack. I had though of it, but I just got a cheap piece of carpet from the dollar general store and didn't even glue it place. Total cost 20 bucks.

I might try the rhino liner myself later.
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Old 03-04-04, 06:10 PM   #9
Fatdaddy151
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Default Re: Jon Boat to Bass Boat

JackL I have seen and heard about people doing that. I think you can find a link to up above to the legacy boat project. I believe that's the one that did the spray on liner. Do you know how much something like that would cost?
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Old 03-04-04, 07:15 PM   #10
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Default Re: Jon Boat to Bass Boat

EBOOK,

No I.D., you would have to check with a local firm that does that kind of work.

E. X. Press
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Old 03-04-04, 10:52 PM   #11
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Default Re: Jon Boat to Bass Boat

ebook
It's not hard at all. The book takes you through the entire process from start to finish and also explains why some of the steps are taken. You're right about the bracing because you have to cut out the seats. But you'll be putting in plywood decking and 1/4' plywood along the sides, as well as framing for storage, etc. which runs across the beam. There are instructions for wiring for a fuse panel, accessories switches, aerator pump for the live well, etc.
The instructions are really easy to follow & he takes time to emphasize the important parts of the process. You can even e-mail Ray if you get stuck.
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Old 03-04-04, 11:19 PM   #12
catfishtonyd
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Default Re: Jon Boat to Bass Boat

Another source for information about jon boat conversions is

BassJons.com

A Hampton Virginia based club that fishes several restriced hp lakes in the tidewater Va. area. These boys take their jon boats seriously. Lots of tips there.
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Old 03-05-04, 01:18 AM   #13
Fatdaddy151
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Default Re: Jon Boat to Bass Boat

Hey Jersey_Joe, I ordered the book last night and I'm looking forward to getting. So, in those plans you end up cutting out the seats? Do the plans call for a wood frame or metal? I can't wait to check it out. As spring comes along I'm going to start looking for cheap boats and motors.

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Old 03-05-04, 03:31 AM   #14
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Default Re: Jon Boat to Bass Boat

I converted my jon boat into a bass boat 14 foot not very wide I suggest you get atleast a 16 footer that is VERY WIDE you can see pictures of my converted boat at the chat site im sure someone could post the link I dont have it

goodluck!
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Old 03-05-04, 03:59 PM   #15
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Default Re: Jon Boat to Bass Boat

Width is surely going to be one of my requirements. I would like to find a 14 footer that is fairly wide, but I may have to climb up to a 16 foot model to find any width. I'm just going to be watching yard sales and classifids because I want to find something fairly cheap.
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Old 03-05-04, 05:48 PM   #16
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Default Re: Jon Boat to Bass Boat

ebook
I'm glad you ordered the book. I promise you won't regret it.
Trap & I both agree that beam width is important. But I've never seen wider than 5' on a 14 footer.
Standing on the front seat is a bit iffy.
What Ray does is build the front casting deck on top of & extended past the existing seat. I haven't gotten that far yet, so I don't know what this adds to the stability.
As far as the interior frame, your floors are 3/4" plywood. You will not be using any aluminum for bracing.
When you see the illustrations, you'll understand how everything is done for a reason.
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Old 03-08-04, 01:37 AM   #17
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Default Re: Jon Boat to Bass Boat

Have you guys seen the Olive Drab Floater website. Of the boats I've seen on the net that one is my favorite. I like having the large deck and rod storage. That design is basically what I would like to do. You can check it out at the link below.

http://www.outdoorfrontiers.com/modu...cle&sid=70
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Old 03-08-04, 05:19 PM   #18
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Default Re: Jon Boat to Bass Boat

Interesting setup. For me its too much metal fabricating & I don't have the tools for it. When you get your book you'll see the difference in the approaches & maybe make your own modifications. That boat has the exact same dimensions as mine. I think a 5' beam at the transom is about as wide as you'll find on a 14' jon boat.
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Old 03-08-04, 08:24 PM   #19
Fatdaddy151
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Default Re: Jon Boat to Bass Boat

Jersey_Joe, I received my booklet today! It looks pretty helpful except that I have a Mac and I'm not able to use the CD. I'm going to e-mail them and see if there is another way to look at the pictures. After just a quick glance at the pictures and reading the intro I think in may do some slight modifications. I may leave the middle seat where it is and use it as a support to make my deck a little larger (maybe with wood bracing between the front seat and middle seat). Also, I may just cut out part of the middle seat (like the top and front panel, but leave the back panel for strength) to add room for a rod locker, and I may spend a couple of extra dollars and buy a livewell that I can build into the deck. But the hints do look very helpful and I think the book will come in handy!
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Old 03-08-04, 10:52 PM   #20
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Default Re: Jon Boat to Bass Boat

ebook
Too bad about the CD. I would think they have a Mac version.
Glad you got the book so fast.
Have fun.
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Old 03-09-04, 07:21 PM   #21
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Default Re: Jon Boat to Bass Boat

Jersey joe you got the CD? you could send him the pics?
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Old 03-09-04, 08:06 PM   #22
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Default Re: Jon Boat to Bass Boat

Trap
I know you mean well & I appreciate it as I'm sure ebook does. The only problem is, that's copyright material & it's illegal to copy it. More than likely, Ray at Hydrilla Gorilla can accomodate ebook by reformatting the cd so that it is readable on a Mac.
Thanks for the suggestion. Besides, there are too many pix.
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Old 03-10-04, 01:27 AM   #23
Fatdaddy151
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Default Re: Jon Boat to Bass Boat

Yeah, I e-mailed him and he really had no help for me. He said he had hired someone to figure it out, but they weren't able to. I'm sure there is a way, so I'm going to take it to my friends PC and see what I can come up with. Like he says in the booklet..."Remember you can do this by yourself!"

Or atleast they say something like that...
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Old 03-10-04, 01:56 AM   #24
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Default Re: Jon Boat to Bass Boat

I dont see why you couldnt post the pics somewhere im sure it wouldnt hurt
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