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haleywp

MN sled bass boat (Part 1)

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In 2005 I was in the Mankato, MN area installing a power plant.  Coming back from one of my 3rd week-end trips home I stopped by the Cabela’s in Owatonna to do some shopping. It was late fall early winter.  I spotted something looking like a small boat.  While standing there looking at this thing a short plump older salesman walks up and says, ‘oh, you are going to do some ice fishing, a’.  I told him not in this lifetime.  He says ‘we use these to pull our stuff out on the ice for ice fishing’.  I told him that is good.  He says ‘what are you going to use it for?’  I told him what you are looking at is a bass boat.  He looked at me as if I had just fallen off a turnip truck.  He says ‘how are you going to make a bass boat out of that?’  I told him put a bracket on the front, a hand control trolling motor on it, an ice chest with a small seat, battery, and some small tackle boxes and you have a bass boat.  As I picked it up, through it over my shoulder and started to the checkout stand I look back and he was laughing.  I get it home rig it up and take it on it’s madden trip to a small lake.  Front to back it was very stable, side to side it would turn over before a cat could lick its butt.  Here is the first trip out on the lake. (Look at the guy in the upper right).

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Well, I tells myself this won’t work.  I let my son-in-law and grandsons use it for about 5 years.  One afternoon I ask my son-in law if he still had the thing.  We go retrieve it out of a tank (small pond for watering cattle in TX) where they used it to retrieve doves during hunting season.  I call Tractor Supply and ask if sell some large Styrofoam and he says no but he might have something I can use, to come see him.  I drive there and come to find out when they deliver the small trailers they put 12” X 12” X 18” Styrofoam blocks between them to keep them from bumping into each other.  He give me all I want because they blow during the night and set off the alarm system and he has to go out and see what is the issue.  I buy some ½” all thread and 2” alum flat bar and drive home.  I install three blocks on each side of the boat and take it for a spin.  I can turn 360 degrees stand and flip/pitch with no issues.  Here is the fix.

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Part 2

Well here it is 2018 and I am back in Mankato, MN installing another unit in the same power plane.  I stop by Cabela’s and they have a new and bigger sled.  At the end of ice fishing season I by the 96” X 44” sled.  On this one I install a foot control trolling motor. Next will be some homemade power poles (YouTube tiny boat nation shows you how).

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This past summer while fishing around the Mankato area the local fishermen would see me in the boat (sled) and thought I was nuts, it got lots of head turns.

By the way, I have a 20 foot Ranger Bass boat also.  It will not go in some of the smaller lakes in North Texas so I use my small boats.

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What is the BIA weight rating on this sled? 

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I don't know if they put one on it.  It sits about 4" in the water.  I have had it in lakes in MN with big boats running with no issues.  If needed some Styrofoam could be added on the sides.  Some small jon boats are less then 44" wide.  I can stand and cast, flip, and pitch in it as it is.  I am 6 foot and 185 lbs.

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we used to mix mortar in those things! 👍

 

j/k

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That is funny and pretty darn neat at the same time. I know some people use those sleds up here to drag hunting and trapping equipment across rivers etc. since they do float well with the deep sides but I never would have thought of using one as a boat! Looks like it works pretty well for your needs on those smaller lakes. very cool idea. By the way, ice fishing is a lot of fun, you should try it sometime if you are up north when the ice is thick enough. 

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Did you go with a 24 volt system to keep everything symmetrical? Very nice! I like.

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No PFD in any photo, hope you know how to swim with all your cloths on.

Tom

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Curious how you get that licensed. A lot of  states require a water craft to be licensed if it has a motor.

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