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September 09 2019, 04:19 PM #1

Chris Haller

Fingerling

Member Since : 2018
Number of Posts : 92

Jon Boat Rebuild/Conversion - Finished (almost)!!

I have been tinkering with the idea of getting a boat to use in our lakes.  I usually fish with my 13 year old son and wanted something we could both enjoy with the ability to add an engine to fish public waters.

After looking at everything from kayaks, to bass busters and even some used Xpress's and such, I decided I would by buy an old jon boat and retrofit it.  I found a 1967 14 Fisher Marine Jon Boat with a trailer online.  It was in decent enough shape and cheap so I bought it and have started my build.

I thought I would do a live thread on it here and post pics of my progress.  Would love any feedback as I go along.  I'll post up some pictures of our progress here.

September 09 2019, 08:17 PM #2

Chris Haller

Fingerling

Member Since : 2018
Number of Posts : 92

 

Here is the boat specs.

14’ Aluminum.  36” inch bottom width.  56” beam.  It was a sticksteer boat.

We have stripped everything out including the seats, deck, floor, foam flotation, steering, transom wood.  

I had originally thought of adding a front deck back in but it’s just too narrow of a boat and wouldn’t be very stable even though it had a deck before. 

I’ll try too post a few pics below.  

 

 

 

 

September 09 2019, 08:18 PM #3

Chris Haller

Fingerling

Member Since : 2018
Number of Posts : 92

September 09 2019, 08:22 PM #4

Chris Haller

Fingerling

Member Since : 2018
Number of Posts : 92

My son working on the floor.

September 10 2019, 10:10 AM #5

Chris Haller

Fingerling

Member Since : 2018
Number of Posts : 92

Some of the old foam in the bottom.  We will replace with new closed cell foam and put a floor over it.

September 10 2019, 10:13 AM #6

Chris Haller

Fingerling

Member Since : 2018
Number of Posts : 92

Old floor and foam removed.  The front deck was a real pain to remove.

September 10 2019, 10:18 AM #7

Chris Haller

Fingerling

Member Since : 2018
Number of Posts : 92

Cleaning up the bottom.  I basically cut the deck off with a grinder and drilling out some rivets.  I also removed the wood transom.  It basically disintegrated in my hand.

September 10 2019, 10:20 AM #8

Chris Haller

Fingerling

Member Since : 2018
Number of Posts : 92

Deck removed.  I acid washed the interior and exterior to try and remove some of the oxidation. 

The boat had not been painted which was nice.

September 10 2019, 10:26 AM #9

Chris Haller

Fingerling

Member Since : 2018
Number of Posts : 92

Here is the transom with the wood removed.  I'll put back on a wood backer on the outside and renenforce the transome with 2 sheets of 1/2 inch ply.

The previous owner had 2 transducers mounted in the lower left corner so I took those off.  I brazed a few of the holes but decided to use Marine JB weld for the rest.  The aluminum along the transom had some pitting and small pin holes so I used JB on those.  

September 10 2019, 10:29 AM #10

Chris Haller

Fingerling

Member Since : 2018
Number of Posts : 92

You can see some of the pin holes and the pitting here in the transom as well as the holes I will reuse to secure the wood for the transom reenforcement.

September 10 2019, 10:36 AM #11

Chris Haller

Fingerling

Member Since : 2018
Number of Posts : 92

That's all for now.  I have been going around and fixing holes with steel stick and Marine JB Weld and sanding/grinding smooth.  The deck was revitted to the top rail and they had some rod holders mounted to the top rail that I took off.   There are few rivets I need to look at on the bottom.  I am taking the trailer to get sandblasted this weekend and then placing the bunks, rollers, winch and jack stand.

I need to do a leak/float test at some point.  I have filled her with water and she seems pretty tight.  Next major task is to use some Gluvit (marine grade epoxy) on the seams and some of the rivets as well as the pitted areas. 

September 11 2019, 09:32 AM #12

Mark Daugherty

Slot Fish

Member Since : 2015
Number of Posts : 159

Chris - thank you for bringing us along for the conversion!  It will be great to see the progress.  I have no advice - but mainly wanted to say that the most inspiring part is to see that this is a project that you and son are involved in together.  Keep us posted!

September 11 2019, 01:42 PM #13

Steve Carpenter

Keeper

Member Since : 2015
Number of Posts : 295

Good luck with your project. Hope yall have years of fun in it.

September 11 2019, 07:40 PM #14

Greg Zimmerman

Fingerling

Member Since : 2018
Number of Posts : 72

Chris, what a fantastic project  Thank you so much for sharing.  I echo what Mark Daugherty said, my thoughts exactly, what a wonderful project for your and your son.  

September 11 2019, 09:02 PM #15

Chris Haller

Fingerling

Member Since : 2018
Number of Posts : 92

Guys,

Thanks for the kind words.  I will get some more pictures posted this weekend.  

September 18 2019, 05:34 PM #16

Chris Haller

Fingerling

Member Since : 2018
Number of Posts : 92

Got more of the boat interior cleaned and sanded.  Flipped her over and started on the bottom.  There was some sort of a film around the rivets which leads me to believe that a previous owner had some leaky rivets.  I have filled the boat with water a few times and have not noticed any leaking rivets except for a few pin holes in the chines.  I wire brushed around the rivets to clean them up.  I plan to sand the entire exterior thoroughly and then come back and hit the rivet heads with some Gluvit.  

September 18 2019, 05:41 PM #17

Chris Haller

Fingerling

Member Since : 2018
Number of Posts : 92

Here is the transom.  I had a lot of bolt holes to patch.  I used JB Marine Weld.  I'm still unsure about that and starting to wonder if I should have welded them.  The JB seems good on rigid holes but the transom flexes and can cause the JB Weld to crack.  I am reinforcing the inside of the the transom with 1" ply so hopefully it won't flex on me. 

September 18 2019, 05:56 PM #18

Chris Haller

Fingerling

Member Since : 2018
Number of Posts : 92

I'm trying to get the trailer into get sandblasted this week.  Once that comes back, I am going to work on putting in new bunks, jack, winch and guide on rollers and hold off on the boat.

I am trying to plan ahead with the electrical components as far as a graph, trolling motor and batteries are concerned.  I am thinking about farming that portion out.  If anyone has any leads on that or knows someone that would work on something like this let me know.  It's not a 2019 Skeeter but I want to add a good quality graph and trolling motor, just don't know what I want/need.  Actually, I want an I-Pilot and Panoptix but those aren't in the budget.

October 08 2019, 02:36 PM #19

Chris Haller

Fingerling

Member Since : 2018
Number of Posts : 92

Latest update.  I have started on the trailer.  1st step was to go get it sandblasted to remove the rust and old paint.  Once it came I went to work painting the trailer with a couple of primer coats and then 2 coats of Rustoleum Hammertone Black rattle can paint.

 

Above is the trailer before getting sandblasted.

October 08 2019, 02:49 PM #20

Chris Haller

Fingerling

Member Since : 2018
Number of Posts : 92

 

Here is the trailer in painting stage.  I took off the axle and will be replacing the bushings in the leaf springs.  I am replacing all the studs and need to replace the bearings.

Next up is the new bunks and roller guides.  I am putting the bunks a little farther back in order to help the boat float off the trailer without having to back up into the water as much.  The transom will hang off the bunks a little but I have decided to not add a motor so there won't be a lot of weight in the back except for batteries and transom TM.  The batt's should be far enough forward to not create a problem.  I drive a WD 4 Runner (for now) so don't want to risk getting stuck.  I know some lakes I am not going to be able to launch at all until I get 4 WD.

October 14 2019, 04:22 PM #21

Chris Haller

Fingerling

Member Since : 2018
Number of Posts : 92

Latest update.

The trailer is a the shop for new seals and bearings.  Probably a do it yourself type thing but want to let someone else do it so I know it's done right (hopefully).

I started back on the boat and applied Gluvit to the outside rivets.  Gluvit is super tough marine grade epoxy.  I creeps in to small spaces, gaps, holes and seals them.  I plan to sand down the Gluvit and prime the outside and then focus on doing the same thing for the interior.  Once that is done, its on to painting.  Royal blue for the outside and gun metal gray for the interior.  Once it's painted it will be one to building the floor, front deck and rear bench and adding the trolling motor and graph and wiring up everything  Hopefully its done by Christmas!  It's been fun but a lot of work!

Steve/Cole, do you guys have any PWF stickers I can add to the boat?

Until next time....

 

 

 

 

October 24 2019, 12:25 PM #22

Steve Alexander

Admin

Member Since : 2002
Number of Posts : 742

We do have a sticker. I'll put it in the mail. 

October 24 2019, 01:29 PM #23

Chris Haller

Fingerling

Member Since : 2018
Number of Posts : 92

Thanks Steve!

Got the the 1st coat of paint on the boat on earlier this week.  I wet sanded it last night with 220 grit.  Will try to get on the 2nd and 3rd coat this weekend.  The paint the interior.  Going with Gun Metal gray for that.  I think it will look good with the Navy Blue exterior.

After that, the fun work begins on the floor, front deck and rear bench.  Then it's wiring up the TM, batteries and graph.  Hopefully just in time for the spawn next spring.  LOL.

 

December 17 2019, 04:10 AM #24

Chris Haller

Fingerling

Member Since : 2018
Number of Posts : 92

Got the outside painted and back on the trailer.  Started cutting foam blocks to add to the sides and floor for some floation. 

December 17 2019, 04:11 AM #25

Chris Haller

Fingerling

Member Since : 2018
Number of Posts : 92

December 17 2019, 04:17 AM #26

Chris Haller

Fingerling

Member Since : 2018
Number of Posts : 92

My son cutting foam. I also did another fill test.  Found one leaky rivet. Just a small one. We put some marine sealant around the inside of it but not sure it will be 100%. 

 

 

December 18 2019, 03:26 PM #27

David May

Slot Fish

Member Since : 2018
Number of Posts : 110

Coming along nicely!

December 19 2019, 12:05 AM #28

Steve Carpenter

Keeper

Member Since : 2015
Number of Posts : 295

Very good job Chris. Looking forward to hearing some good fishing reports. Curious if you will name it?""

December 20 2019, 03:47 PM #29

Chris Haller

Fingerling

Member Since : 2018
Number of Posts : 92

Haven't thought about a name yet.  I am hoping to make a lot of progress over Xmas and new years.  I have my aluminum and angle iron in so as soon as the inside is painted and foamed I will be in carpentry mode.   

January 07 2020, 12:27 AM #30

Chris Haller

Fingerling

Member Since : 2018
Number of Posts : 92

Got a lot of work done over the holidays.  

First off, we took the boat out to a local lake here in Fort Worth to do a float test and it passed with flying colors!

Next, I got all the floor joists in.  I used 6 pieces of 1.5" square tube.  I also so got the front deck framed and the rear bench framed.  I have cut most of the plywood out for the floor and the deck and bench.  I still need to frame the battery compartment in the back behind the bench.  I'll try to load some pics below.

Off to the float test.

She floats!

Starting on the floor joists.

Floor and rear bench in.

Front deck framed in.

January 12 2020, 07:17 PM #31

Steve Carpenter

Keeper

Member Since : 2015
Number of Posts : 295

Thanks for the update. Good job

January 21 2020, 09:47 PM #32

Chris Haller

Fingerling

Member Since : 2018
Number of Posts : 92

Alright, so the fun is really starting.  The past 2 weekends I was able to get the floor of my rear bench in and mount my 2 Bank battery charger.  I also got the transom reinforced and bolted together.  The batteries will go behind the rear bench in another covered compartment.  I went with Duracell 27 Wet Cells.  They are cheaper and lighter than the AGM batteries.  But they don't last as long. 

I was also able to get the main floor and sides carpeted and installed along with the 2 pedestal seats.  I ran 8awg wires from the front to the rear through some 1" pvc.  I will mount a tiller type TM on the front with a plug for easy disconnecting.  

I need to finish out the front deck, rear deck and batteries compartment and get everything wired up.

If you have any questions let me know.  Thanks for following along.

 

January 22 2020, 12:01 AM #33

Steve Carpenter

Keeper

Member Since : 2015
Number of Posts : 295

Quite a project. Look forward to its completion.

February 18 2020, 01:30 AM #34

Chris Haller

Fingerling

Member Since : 2018
Number of Posts : 92

It's getting close!

I have carpeted the rear and front decks.  I've got both trolling motors mounted and wired up and a Hummingbird Downscan.

I added 2 casting seats to the rear bench for some place to sit if we get tired of standing.  They can get moved out of the way if needed.

I've found my self hurrying a little bit too much lately because I'm trying to get it ready for a few trips over spring break; Martins Mill Lakeside and Yates Place are 1st up in mid March.

All I have left to do is carpet the deck above the battery compartment and the front of the rear bench; then do a test run this weekend at Marine Creek Lake in Fort Worth to dial in the Hummingbird and make sure after all the banging around, drilling and riveting that she does not fall apart on me.

Here are a few pics.  Not great shots but I'll post some more up this weekend. 

 

February 18 2020, 01:35 AM #35

Chris Haller

Fingerling

Member Since : 2018
Number of Posts : 92

Originally Posted by Steve Carpenter

Very good job Chris. Looking forward to hearing some good fishing reports. Curious if you will name it?""

Steve,

I've got 2 names in mind.

Lil' Basstard

That Damn Boat (my wife's name for it)

 

February 23 2020, 08:36 AM #36

Chris Haller

Fingerling

Member Since : 2018
Number of Posts : 92

Well, we're about 99% done.  I need to add a board to the front of the rear deck.  It will be painted as I ran out of carpet.

We took it out for a little test run on Marine Creek Lake yesterday.  

The good:

Trolling Motors work great   I put a 55 on the front and back  I thought the 55 on the front would be a little too much but it seems about right

It holds well into the wind  I put a bull rudder on the back TM and facing into the wind I could set the front on 1 and it's almost like having spot lock.  

Shes very stable if both fisherman stay in the relative center of the boat   If both go to 1 side it lists pretty well. I added 2 bass seats to the rear bench. They look cool but pretty worthless for me.  They are too far to the side.   If I sit on 1 without anyone to counterbalance it's lists pretty bad.  I'm just too big to sit that far to the side.      

The bad:

She is fairly water tight but not perfect.  I think I have 1 or 2 leaky rivets   In about 2 hours in the lake there might be about 2 ozs of water so I figure a full day might yield a cup of water, nothing a sponge can soak up.  

Overall I'm really pleased with how it turned out   I learned a lot and also learned I'm terrible at laying carpet.  It will be a great boat for us to use on our PWF lakes.   I need to get 4x4 drive so I'm not limited in launching but I'm going to give the bank account a rest for a bit  

Well we couldn't go out on a lake and not bring a couple of rods with us.  We managed 1 little chunk to break her in.

Thanks for the views.  I hoped you enjoyed the build, it was something different for the off season if anything.  I'll add some photos below.    


 


 

 

February 23 2020, 08:41 AM #37

Chris Haller

Fingerling

Member Since : 2018
Number of Posts : 92

February 23 2020, 08:43 AM #38

Chris Haller

Fingerling

Member Since : 2018
Number of Posts : 92

February 25 2020, 09:54 AM #39

Mark Daugherty

Slot Fish

Member Since : 2015
Number of Posts : 159

That is a VERY impressive makeover Chris!  You should be super proud of that boat and it'll be perfect for PWF waters.  Thank you for sharing the journey.  I'm way jealous.

Mark

 

February 25 2020, 11:02 AM #40

Chris Haller

Fingerling

Member Since : 2018
Number of Posts : 92

Thanks Mark!

I'm very please with how it turned out.  I may bring it out to the fish fry in April  

Thanks for following along.


 

 

February 25 2020, 11:03 AM #41

Kevin Fuller

Slot Fish

Member Since : 2014
Number of Posts : 119

Very cool little boat - I'm very impressed with your project.  If I had tried something like this I wouldn't be talking about it leaking a little bit I'd be saying something like it lasted 2 hours before it sank completely.  Great job. 

February 25 2020, 06:33 PM #42

Chris Haller

Fingerling

Member Since : 2018
Number of Posts : 92

Thanks Kevin!

February 28 2020, 09:37 AM #43

Bob Scheidemann

Slot Fish

Member Since : 2016
Number of Posts : 150

Chris, thanks for sharing this project!

I enjoyed following your progress and the final product looks great!

Congrats to you and your son! I hope you have great success fishing off of your boat in 2020!

Bob

February 28 2020, 10:04 PM #44

Chris Haller

Fingerling

Member Since : 2018
Number of Posts : 92

Thanks Bob.  We are headed to Martins Mill and Yates Place next week to break her in.  

March 01 2020, 05:32 PM #45

Steve Carpenter

Keeper

Member Since : 2015
Number of Posts : 295

Looks great. Nice to see the results of your efforts. Hope you have many fond memories fishing from her.

March 01 2020, 08:18 PM #46

Chris Haller

Fingerling

Member Since : 2018
Number of Posts : 92

Thanks Steve!
 

 

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