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Capt.Bob

Walleye Rover Boat Project

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Decided to try and restore this old Ouachita to a specialty rig for the largest river run in the world. This means ice out conditions and high water on the largest tributary to all the great lakes. This is what I am starting with.

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Needs a lot of work, but I'll make it happen. I will post my progress here, once I get rolling, don't be shy with suggestions.

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a week or so of work got it to this, am now starting on the interior. Got the rod box locations decided.

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But the biggest upgrade is this, not just going to be the front deck most of the year, but the main battery and safety equipment box. But the beefed up support structure, and tied to the sides, floor struts and front seat to support the 12v winch and boom frame that will be above deck and mounted to it during the spring Walleye Run on the Mighty Maummee.

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It will be solid enough to be capable of supporting up to a 100 pound anchor for the extreme currents during Ice out,, but before testing I am hoping a 50 pound custom poured pure lead Pyramid anchor will be enough,, will need some high water to test this. I already have the material to build the frame with boom, but it will be after everything else is finished, and fabricated to fit the platform supports and any other accessories fitted to the deck.  

 

The work continues, but I need to kick it in the but,,, gotta custom crossbow bow I am building getting the finish applied to the parts now,, and I know me, when they get back it will get priority,,, But till then, I'm push'n forward.

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I got a lot done yesterday, I got the floor laid out and opened up, and got her flipped over and ready for some WWII OD GREEN w/a kaki tint, I will be using Gillespie Coatings, zink oxide primer & their Mill Spec paint.gonna have some dry weather for the next two days, so I will be trying to get inside and out painted.

 

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Looking good.

A 50 or 100 lb anchor ~ interesting. 

Are you planning on incorporating a winch or are you going with the tried & true Man Power recovery unit ?

#popeyeforearms . . . . 

Good Luck with the rest of your build.

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

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Anchors, high water, and strong current.  That actually sounds terrifying.

 

The boat looks like it's going to really cool, and tough as nails.

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On 6/21/2017 at 9:01 AM, A-Jay said:

Looking good.

A 50 or 100 lb anchor ~ interesting. 

Are you planning on incorporating a winch or are you going with the tried & true Man Power recovery unit ?

#popeyeforearms . . . . 

Good Luck with the rest of your build.

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

I really hope the and think the 50#is going to work, but I have been in a number of situations doing custom builds on all kinds of project's, and one thing I have always incorporated into all of, probably from my Iron Worker background is, we always build things John Wayne strong, and always make provisions for upgrades without having to start over.

 

So by using real C channel's and incorporating this sub frame to incorporate it into the Deck,, Sides,, Front Seat, and Floor for the whole front 5' of the whole boat, it is way over kill,, even with a 100# anchor. Plus by using this industrial construction weight frame members, and all high quality aluminum alloy,, the weight isn't 10" heavier than using stamped out frame material that even the highest quality boat manufacturers use.

 

But in March and April with water ranging from rising  3 or 4 inches an hour, sometimes cresting a couple feet to over 15' on some instances in a day or 2, and with bottom material ranging from bed rock,, in shallower faster fishing spots, to deeper and even faster currents on gravel spots from golf ball size to softball and boulder size, even times when river level dictates spots with mud bottom,, no one anchor is always right. I am hoping the shape size and weight of this anchor I am going to cast myself will work. 

 

On 6/21/2017 at 9:12 AM, J Francho said:

Anchors, high water, and strong current.  That actually sounds terrifying.

 

The boat looks like it's going to really cool, and tough as nails.

 

I here you John, but trust , me in the 44 years I have fished this amazing tributary I have waded in way more dangerous situations than I'll be in using a 16' flat bottom. I have waded to spots in years past even my buddies my own age back then would not go to. Plus I have seen all the stupid tricks some of the "Yippy Kiay Boaters" have pulled. That and being an old USCG licensed master captain, been well educated over the years in safe operation on many vessels in many different situations. So my biggest challenge will be watching the wanna bee boaters around me! I am also well versed in that.

 

 

 

 

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Well some history on this boat first off this is a true Missouri built Bayou and river boat. This was Built in the late 50's to early sixties by the Ouachita boat co. named after the Ouachita river, so it is a flat bow and not a modified-v, which I think is a safer design where it is going to be used. Made for staying on top with little draft, and not rough water and smooth ride. 

 

The other good thing is since this boat was built before the stamped in serial numbers law's, it had none. Plus this boat was bought for use on a private closed down gravel pit, meaning the land owner never registered it. So with no title, never registered, and been in one family and never left their farm,,,, I had to work with the Ohio Division of Watercraft for over 6 months to get a title. So,,,, it is now a 2017 Ouachita and I am the original owner,,,,,, I just gotta make it a special boat. I mean what else an Old Man do when he has to survive on a 26 year old pension. 

Ouichita fresh paint WWII OD  green 34087 lusterless-II.jpg

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1 hour ago, Capt.Bob said:

I here you John, but trust , me in the 44 years I have fished this amazing tributary I have waded in way more dangerous situations than I'll be in using a 16' flat bottom. I have waded to spots in years past even my buddies my own age back then would not go to.

 

I know that story....Nips deep in the Salmon R. to get to "the spot."

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Got everything painted that will be exposed when it's done, I got the floor in and painted to. be building panels and start'n to install them tomorrow. The Gillespie Coatings WWII OD Green ''Khaki Tint'' came out better than I had anticipated, I rely like it and am glad I didn't go with the WWII Green Tint. 

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Well the deck is in the rod lockers and side storage is in, just need to finish the doors and ends. Plus get the 6 ga. cables from front to back, both ends of the cables will be terminated with 120 amp 12v disconnect. will have room for 3 rods a side, and still be able to store the plano plastic boxes with lures weights and plastics outa the way and easy to access.

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This single power wire with disconect plugs at both ends will let me mount the battery in the rear if I decide to use the boat when most of the weight is ion the front, or in the front when I am by myself and need that extra weight in the bow. Plus if I use it in reserviors where electric motors are all thats allowed,,, I simply run 2 batteries. The batteries I have ran for the past 2 years and been very happy with are the 135 amh are the VMaxtank Solar backup deep cycles,, AGM design, 99% virgin lead, and unbelievably long lasting. 

 

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Thanks Tony, I don't remember if I mentioned but this has to be capable of being towed by the Mini Suburban,, my HHR fish'n bugy. But I made some progress and it surely look'n like a river Walleye rig. rod lockers and storage done, just a few more rivets and some rivet fins to install but pretty much done with the exception of the removeable power anchor frame system.

 

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Nice work!  Looks like a well thought out floor plan.

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Well we took the Walleye "Hunt'r" out for her maiden voyage,,, there is a lot to like about this hull for this kind of use. The main thing is boarding, no docks or big launches most places I will be using this, and this hull was unbelievable for boarding and landing on a bare bank. I am dealing with extreme arthritis, along with 11 busted vertebra, so even in warm dry weather I suffer a lot of stiffness and limited mobility, this thing is easier to step out of than my steps on the front porch, and once landed on shore,,, and I hit the bank with a few different shorelines from flat to right on the base of a 5 to 10' bank. In every case once the bow was on it, the boat was rock solid with no movement walking and stepping up and off the bow deck. 

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The 15hp Johnson moved it fine but with 17 mph peak speed on light current down stream, and 14 mph max going into the current, I believe maybe a 25hp Johnson or Evenrude  may be something I will look at before March. I am sure it will move it upstream in the flooded spring waters, but this is no environment for slow sluggish response when flooded debris or other vessels can be in distress or run by some with less than knowledgeable and responsible operators at their helm! 

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The boat rode smooth was responsive came on plane quickly, and set level in the water, even when drifting with me and my first mate, "Carter" walking around, when stepping up on the deck was the only time you could tell any drop to the bow, minimal but walking around @ 285# it didn't change the way it sat in the water, and side to side had little lean to it even when kneeling on the rod locker lid's. Plus the built in Hum'n bird,,, with it's own battery in the hidden compartment,,, marked flawless even at 17 mph, this was a real surprise!

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I run a very heavy large 135 Amh battery, around 80# the Solar backup Vmax Tank AGM  made the boat perform it's

best mounted up front, and the quick connect disconnects made for super easy changing locations from front to back, it was great! It planed quicker and had 3 to 4 mph higher speed with battery up front compared to moving it to the rear. This may change with another fisherman in the front seat,,, which is not installed yet, and the Captain seat is just thrown in for the test run and will be determined what seats will be used later!

 

No wrenches simply unplug the power supply from the plug in the bow, and move the battery and case to the rear, and plug it in. The power wire has 2 disconnects,18" long for each one, soldered to each copper eye terminal that bolts to the battery with 5/16" stainless steel bolt's. This is really handy changing the battery from the Hunt'r, to v-bottm Metal Miss-fit I resurrected 3 years ago. So handy to simply unplug a 120 amp disconect and throw the baterry box and all in the other boat and pug it in,,, ready roll!

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Then when it comes to pulling this boat, as well as the V-bottom, the mini suburban I picked up last fall, a 2009 HHR 2LT with just 27,000 original one owner miles, pulls them like big Suburban pulls my 21' center console Lake Erie boat. This because when I found this HHR, it had the 3:91 final drive, compared the the 3:36 gear ratio most come with, that and the bigger 2.4L HO engine with the sport tuned suspension, and 1000# factory tow package really is a legitimate towing vehicle, and does it with authority. And comfortable with it's heated leather Bluetooth, and wide open cargo erea, jujst like the bigger Suburban. But you really don't even know it's there, and with front wheel drive, should have no problem even some iffy launching spots. But unlike the Suburban that gets 14 mpg, the HHR when doing pulling duties is get,n  a little over 25+ mpg, and 32.6 mpg when running solo, and that is on a 6,300 mile average. With the Heritage High Roof which is what HHR stands for, it is easy in and out even with my pinned neck with rods and screw's in it @ 6'2" without ducking and cramping to get in, this was a great investment for my spring summer and fall fish'n rig. Anytime there ain't salted road's it is now what I jump into fer everything, unless I need to haul really large items,, the the old suburban sit's wait'n for the call. Even passing on a St Rt. at 53 to 63 mph was instant and very responsive with Walleye Hunt'r on the back. 

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The boat loaded good but I do need to address the last 8" to 12" coming to the winch. This will be next to address, along with a face lift on the trailer that pulls perfect. New tires and rim's, fresh paint, rear padded guides, and we should be ready to build the anchor frame. But this is on hold for know,, with all my part arriving for a new Custom Crossbow I am building is scheduled to arrive in a ,matter of an hour or two. Once it gets here, that assembly will begin,, I just hope it turns out as well as the Walleye Hunt'r, right now I am a pretty satisfied skipper,,,, :thumbsup:

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7/2/2017
This is Sunday afternoon, and I just got back from Toledo. We dropped the boat in at Perrysburg, downstream of where it will be used in these same flooded conditions durring the run, we ran upstream thru the Ft. Meigs narrows up to buttonwood, it passed this test with ease. This is some of the fastest water in the areas the Walleye run, and higher than I plan to use the boat for, or in. I did this this morning because the river is at flood stage! With anywhere from 3" to 7" of rain in the entire region gave us what we needed to make this test, with the river up over 8'. It is higher than I will be using the boat to fish from, and it is faster than I will use it in. This is the fastest water I have ever used any boat in. With the biggest problem this morning being dodging driftwood and debris floating down at us. I also wanted to make sure the 15 horse Johnson OB was enough to push this boat in these flooded conditions. I was assured with me and a fishing buddy in the boat and my German shorthair to account for the weight of our fishing gear, we would have no trouble come spring.

Now I just need to get the seats mounted and their support channels cut fabricated and installed. Other than that the anchor frame,, and the trailer face lift, this is all that needs attention before March,, I will have that taken care of before September! This has been a very rewarding project.

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New and hopefully final upgrade fer the Custom Ouchita, one man river anchor system, was going to go with an ATV winch but seeing the down speed decided it was not feasible for the crowds in the fast water at times I would be depending on it for. So I went with the MinnKota Deck Hand which is not only much faster feet per minute, but nearly silent in operation. I built the mount and anchored it through the deck into the heavy aluminum I used to frame the deck with, and came out better than I expected, actually the frame was a little overkill if there is such a thing?

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I'll get around to painting the anchor mount this summer, but since I used the quick release plate will be taking the electric winch off for the summer and mounting an anchor mate manual winch to a plate that will bolt to the channel frame on top when the Deck Hand is removed, and with a lighter 10# anchor be used for lake fishing shedding about 70# in the bow! But it worked great even if we didn't always have to anchor as here where we are tied to bushes in 2' of water over the river bank, it truly gets around in less than 12" of water, and runs without struggling in the fastest water, even with two oversize old farts aboard.

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With boat guides for loading her in fast water, by myself or with others. Finally the Guides bade it easy in fast water to keep it centered on the rails, and the rollers made it easy even when the river was to low to get the rails in the water to dry load and unload even by myself. But in the high fast water it made it possible to control the boat safely while loading in this boat in the freezing fast water. 

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As seen above with the boat tied to the brush in areas most cant get to because of rifles littered with bolder's to get to, this made it easy this first Walleye season on the new rig to get us anywhere fish were, that others weren't! It has proven to be ideal, not as comfortable as a bigger rig, but definitely gets you where the bigger rigs won't,, especially when water levels start getting very low. As it would be impossible to get a boat in and out areas that can't be accessed because of riffles that don't allow navigation from accessible access points with ramps, I literally backed right in off the bank and with the boat not even being the water pushed it of and went fishing in the pools others could only access with Kayak or Canoe. That is not an option for me anymore at my age and with my disabilities. 

 

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Almost forgot, the Deck Hand can be operated by the person in the front seat when the skipper is trying to hold in a line with boats already anchored as the skipper controls the throttle and keeps the boat in single file, or if I run solo I have a a hard wired remote switch on the side of the starboard rod locker next to my seat. This allows me to pull up behind boats, while holding the proper throttle speed while staying in single file order while dropping the anchor, and then once it hits bottom pay out rope by backing off the throttle, and allowing the fast current to overtake the motor till I am sure I have a solid anchor.

 

This was another reason for not using the much cheaper ATV winch, controlling anchor payout speed and motor throttle speed to eliminate paying out to much rope while drifting out enough line, usually about one shot. With the Minn Kota Deck Hand 45, the winch requires a 20# minimum anchor just to pay out anchor line. What this does is allows you to drop the anchor and if you are not letting the current push you back as fast as the the drum can run, the winch stall's until there is at least 20# of pressure pulling on the drum. This keeps the winch tightly spooled 

eliminating any backlash and tangles on the rope on the drum, once you have payed out enough line, toggle the switch to neutral position and the drum is locked.  

 

Speed, drum over runs eliminated, dual operation options, and much lower battery draw. While taking up to 45# anchors made for holding in heavy currents make this the right option for me. If I only used it a half dozen times a year, I may have went the cheaper route, the winch frame could have been adapted to either. But I use this rig a half dozen times on a weekly basis for these two months of March and April every year.

 

Low profile, compact, plenty of power, and faster winching speed both in and out, giving total boat control in difficult currents, all made this higher cost much more palatable this season. Plus, no licensed Captain allows himself to be less than professional in the operation of his vessel, and always demands total boat control, regardless the size of the vessel he is operating,,,,, :thumbsup3:

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Looks great, like new, better than new!

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