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Jon Boat to Bass Boat Conversion

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Hello, I recently got a 10 foot jon boat from a friend of a friend, it has an anchor, and oars, but no title. It was made by sears. Very hard to cover water with because i have to paddle, and not overly stable. I keep it at my lake house, which is right on the water. I am 15 years old, 5'8" and weigh about 150 pounds. My friend has a lowe rowboat. i would guess its 12-14 feet long. Upon my suggestion he converted it into a "bass boat". it is quite stable with two people, and moves quite fast with a 36 pound thrust motor and two people. I am considering saving up my money to buy a better boat. i have several questions.

1. What is a good length? I will use it solo most often, with my dad (200lbs) or a friend, plus trolling motor, and battery, and gear.

2. Is the bass boat upgrade worth it, it seems better for casting and looks cool?

3. Electric only lake, saw a transom minn kota 45 pound thrust for 200 at a store, is this overkill or undersell. Should i keep saving for a bow mount foot one?

4. Can i make my own trailer?

thanks

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I'm assuming you're talking about getting a jon boat and adding a casting deck...

1. 14'+and 48' + wide. The wider it is, the more stable it will be. 

2. Bassboat upgrade? If by that you mean adding a casting deck and a little storage to a jon boat, then yes. 

3. a 12v 45# trolling motor will move but not that great. Look for a 24v 70(ish)# thrust TM for speed and longer battery life.

4. If you're handy, probably. 

 

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 A 14 to 16 foot jon is a great starter boat.  I have had 11 boats in 40 years of fishing. My first was a 12 foot jon. That boat had the regular three benches and we fished three out of it often. I was fishing an electric only lake as well. Before you go changing boats consider doing a little mod to yours. First make the driving station in the rear. Add a seat mount like this from Bass Pro   Bass Pro Shops Jon Boat Seat Clamp and a seat like this Bass Pro Shops Padded Folding Molded Boat Seats

In smaller boats you are going to be safer and the boat more stable if you stay sitting. If you want to build a box to fill in between the seats you could build it say 8 inches high add a door and you have some storage.     Add two deep cycle batteries in order to switch between them and a 12 volt 50 pound transom mount trolling motor. Also look used, sometimes you can find good deals on transom mounted trolling motors.  I ran a 15 foot mod v bass boat with two 12 volt Minn Kota Endura Maxes to fish a real big drinking reservoir.  I would add these pieces and a small depth finder and enjoy what you have.  In the future you can look for a deal on a bigger boat. Here is a picture of he 15 footer I had. I originally had a 25 hp gas engine on it. I pulled it off and used it on a different boat.  This is a good size to upgrade to but a trailer and a tow vehicle is a must then.

HPIM0454_zps2049b21e.jpg

HPIM0447.JPG

HPIM0466.JPG

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Hi, I have actually been in this boat.  Two 55 lb thrust motors did fine when going a long run on the lake.  Once you get where you want he would run off the bow mount to fish the area.  Worked well.

I actually bought the batteries and trolling motors from Bob when he sold this boat.   I mounted one of them on a 14 ft Grumman that I had to fish local lakes and reservoirs here.  It was fine for me and moved it well even with my big butt in the boat.  It was a Grumman V jon which was quite steady in the water with 52 inches at the stern floor.  I just sold it in July and started redoing another old boat, this time a 16 footer.  I just purchased a Minn Kota Traxxis 70, 24 volt from the Minn Kota Outlet on line site for  $399.99 if you're interested in something like that.  Good luck.

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I'd recommend no shorter than a 14' if you're looking for a boat to deck out, and no narrower than 48".  1548 or 1652 are even better

Regarding trolling motors -- if you deck the front you'll absolutely want a bow-mount.  Get as big a TM as you can.  I'm sure the 36 or 45lb motors will feel fine on a calm day but the true test is when the wind kicks up a bit.  

Personally, I gave two 80lb transom mount TMs and another 80lb bow mount and some days that feels too slow :)

 

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Here is are some piicture of my 1973 Ouachita 16 X 48 in process.  The white wood you see is Azek, plastic wood, with exterior grade plywood that is coated twice with Thompson's Water Seal and has just one coat of color now.  There will be a second coat of color with play sand for traction.  This is my third redo on an aluminum boat and I have found that exterior grade plywood does fine if treated correctly first.

This boat has been abused in its life and a previous owner used pressure treated plywood which is a HUGE no no with an aluminum boat.  I believe it is the copper sulfate in the pressure treating that eats "micro" holes in the aluminum.  This boat had so many that the stern and bow pieces have been replaced.  The 2 X 4 that you normally see in the stern has been replaced with extruded aluminum box so no rot worries.  The bottom of the boat has been cleaned, rivets sealed where needed with 3M 5200 sealer (best sealer I know of) and bottom painted with Rust-O-Leum bedliner paint inside and out.  Outside bottom rivets were also cleaned and sealed with the same sealer.  It may get another coat later.  You probably don't need to go this way unless the boat is a leaker.

Inside of the boat will be completed after a Maiden Voyage in a local lake.  Boat will be mostly red and black.

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