Jump to content
14ft lowe jon boat conversion
10 replies to this topic
Posted 30 March 2008 - 10:18 AM
i just bought a 14 ft flat bottom lowe fishing boat and i am trying to covert it into a bass fishing boat. i have looked at many boat projects and pretty much know what i am trying to do as far as the lay out of the boat. i don't know what i should use to support the front deck and back deck with out putting to much extra weight on the boat. i also don't know if i should leave the original metal seats in because they are rivitted into the boat and there would be all these whole left....if someone could help me out and throw some tip my way i would really appreciate it..
Posted 23 April 2008 - 07:21 PM
Just ran into this thread.
DO NOT REMOVE the seats ... your floation is incorporated into them.
Build your decks using the seats as supports. Use as little material as possible to keep the weight down.
Let us know how it turns out.
Posted 23 April 2008 - 09:32 PM
I have not purchased mine yet but I will be getting one soon. I plan on using 1"x1"x1/8" aluminum angle for the support. You will have to rivet it but it will be much lighter than wood.
Posted 24 April 2008 - 07:13 AM
The Alum for bracing is the way to go ... You do not have to think rivets all the way as it can be bolted as well.
Keep us up to date.
Posted 24 April 2008 - 10:25 AM
I totally agree ....... I screwed an alumnium frame to the supports on the bottom and to wood blocks that were even with the bench seats and made a plywood deck with a bunch of hatches ......... it's very comfortable and the whole boat is storage below the decking .......
Posted 24 April 2008 - 11:08 AM
Are you standing on the deck or sitting on a pedestal? How stable is it? What's the width of the beam?
Posted 24 April 2008 - 11:12 PM
I am working on my 1985 Bass Tracker Tournament V-17 and the bulk of the boat is rivets with some kind of sealant (it could be J B Weld for all I know) in the seams. Rather than aluminum angles, you might want to go with the added strength of aluminum square or rectangle tube for the center of the boat. I had the local sheet metal shop bend me some aluminum zees to go around the deck hatches on the deck and some C-channel to go around the hatch covers to prevent warping. Take some time to figure out how to route the water that is going to collect in the hatches and along the sides of the decks into the bilge so it can be pumped or drained. RTV and vinyl tubing can be your friends
Remember to use either aluminum rivets or stainless steel fasteners or you'll have electrolysis problems because of the dissimilar metals, zinc fished screws won't last very long.
Posted 27 April 2008 - 10:17 AM
Good tips Bruce.
On any jon boat conversion, keep in mind the original design...It is not a boat structurally engineered for the modifications you're going to perform---original seats not only contain the flotation but are vitally important to the structural integrity of the boat. Try to keep your added weight down as much as posssible, if you're expecting to run the boat on plane with an outboard...extra weight in the front of the boat will mean extra strain and flex on the transom. Also remember that old adage about a boat being a hole in the water into which you throw money, as it can get spendy for a boat that has a limited scope; because you can't hang a big motor on the back for fishing bigger water, which in turn, hurts its resale value.
However, if the boat suits a lot of the places you're going to fish, such as outboard or horsepower restricted water, and you plan on keeping the boat for a long time for just that purpose, a personally customized jon conversion can be well suited and a lot of fun to fish from!
Posted 27 April 2008 - 09:21 PM
i have a 14' Lowe (48" bottom, 72" beam) that has front and back decks.
use angle iron or 2x4 bolted to the front face of the font deck and then the middle seat to support your front deck. If you use 3/4 plywood, you won't need any other support. I'm 230lbs and my deck supports me just fine. its even cut with "hatches" on either side like rod-lockers on a traditional bass boat (not big enough for rods) and has a pedestal seat mount.
For the rear, i have a pedestal seat mount in the rear bench. I used a piece of 3/4 ply bolted up to the back of the seat and set about 1" lower than the top. I have a single piece of 3/4 that is hinged directly to the transom and rests on top of the other 3/4 i just mentioned - it sits flush with the rear bench.
user exterior treated plywood - or if you want it to be super strong - use exterior untreated ply and "paint" it with some u.s. composites epoxy. The epoxy will permanently seal the ply and add strength.
Posted 27 April 2008 - 09:29 PM
you can remove seats if you want.. but take heed about the flotation. It is also a good idea to add some type of reinforcement (2x2 aluminum tube w/ gussets) in its place. The benches will keep the boat from twisting, so removing them is probably not a great idea, but you can get away with it on shorter boats like a 14'.