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Quarry Man

Casting Deck Professionally Installed?

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I am hoping to complete my new boat project by April 13. I just bought my second 14' V-Hull, a Smoker Craft Big Fisherman 14 last fall. I never got around to fixing it up until now. Last time, I used wood and copied the previous casting deck design, which works great, but lacks storage. I also messed a few big things up, like neglecting to treat my wood and using outdoor, bait not boat carpet. Basically, I am wondering if I should have the basic framing for my boat professionally installed by a metal fabricator? I know it would be expensive, but if its going to last, and be done right I'm willing to pay. I would probably say yes if they quote under $800, but anything over, I would need to think through. I feel that the time, tools, labor, and supplies would add up quick, and it might be easier to pay someone to do it. I am 17, and smart, but not particularly skilled when it comes to actually building the boat frame. My dad is handy, but is intimidated by this project and has never worked with aluminum. We do have a family friend that has most of the tools, and definitely the know how, but he lives in NYC and is very busy. I may see what the metal company I reached out to says, and ask my friend if he can do it for the same/less.

 

oh, I forgot to mention that I would just be paying for aluminum framing, and could do the wood decking myself.

 

please let me know what you think, I am open to anything!

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Unless you plan on keeping the boat for a long time, I'd invest the $800 in pot stocks and when you've made a fortune, cash out and get a decent boat.

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What did it cost you to do it last time? When you “didn’t do it right.”

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If ya gonna do it right then I would let a fabrication shop do the entire thing including fabricating the deck.

 

Going with a aluminum deck will eliminate some of the framing.

 

I'd also have it welded 😉

 

Don't know why but I don't have a good picture of my front deck!

 

 

imagejpeg_1.jpg

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12 hours ago, slonezp said:

Unless you plan on keeping the boat for a long time, I'd invest the $800 in pot stocks and when you've made a fortune, cash out and get a decent boat.

I guess 800 would be a bit much, but I don’t know what would be a reasonable cost

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When I modified my 16' jon boat into a river jet boat, I had never worked with aluminum before. I cutout the middle bench, fabricated side control panels to house my stick steer lever, throttle box and electrical control panel, installed an aluminum floor, and extended my front deck creating storage underneath. The only thing I had professionally done was the front deck extension and hatches. I did all the framing and sent the measurements out of what I needed and had it fabricated. Kind of cliche, but if I succeeded just about anyone can. Tinboats.net is a GREAT resource for stuff like this. 

 

Here is where I got my deck extension from. IIRC, it was under $300 for the whole thing which included 3 hatch lids installed, it may have been closer to $200. All I had to do was attach it to my framing. I was very happy with the quality of the work.   https://www.fishonfabrications.com/

 

As far as time, tools, etc. It was definitely a time consuming project, but I took my time and wanted to do it right. All I needed was a blind rivet tool (cheap), solid rivet gun (cheap harbor freight air chisel with appropriate rivet setting head), angle grinder with cutoff wheels, appropriate blind and solid rivets and obviously aluminum angle and sheet. Definitely would have been easier to have someone else do all the work, but I would bet at LEAST twice as expensive.

On 2/6/2019 at 10:32 AM, Catt said:

I'd also have it welded 😉

 

I disagree with this. If you ever need to remove the decking for whatever reason, you're going to kick yourself for having it welded in. Good quality blind rivets will hold well and be much easier to remove if you ever have to. My floor and deck are all attached to my framing using blind rivets. The framing is attached to the boat using solid rivets. I run my boat using a 50/35 jet in a shallow, rocky river with a lot of riffles, rapids, etc. In 5 years of HARD use I've had a few blind rivets work loose or the head gets sheared off. Easy fix in about 30 seconds.

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10 minutes ago, BigTerp said:

Good quality blind rivets will hold well and be much easier to remove if you ever have to

 

A blind rivet is no easier to remove than a solid rivet.

 

I can't think of any reason one would need to remove a deck.

 

The deck & "wall" of the under deck storage is fabricated & installed in one piece it eliminates most of the bracing.

 

 

Merc40.jpg

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I don't want to hijack the thread but can someone explain really quickly what you do about a bilge pump?  I haven't really figured out a way to do that.  If you had a deck on and everything how would you get the water to flow to the back?  Is it necessary to have one? It seems like everything would kind of rot without one.  What do you do about water getting in the hatches?  Thanks!

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6 minutes ago, Catt said:

 

A blind rivet is no easier to remove than a solid rivet.

 

I can't think of any reason one would need to remove a deck.

 

The deck & "wall" of the under deck storage is fabricated & installed in one piece it eliminates most of the bracing.

 

 

Merc40.jpg

I was referring to ease of removal of a blind rivet vs a weld. But yeah, a blind rivet is also easier to remove than a solid rivet. Appropriate size drill bit fits right into the head of a blind rivet. It's then drilled out in seconds. A solid rivet you need to be precise with the drill bit, or create a dimple in the head to get the bit started. Then it's fairly easy to do. But also easy to wallow out the rivet hole. With a welded in deck/floor your talking grinder and cutoff wheel.

 

Several reasons a deck may need to be removed. Ease of wiring access, access if something needs repaired/replaced, hull bottom damage that needs repaired from the inside, etc. Certainly not a necessity, and probably more reason to need to remove a floor than a deck, but IMO, it's nice to be able to have the option if needed. 

 

 

 

   

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10 minutes ago, ratherbfishin1 said:

I don't want to hijack the thread but can someone explain really quickly what you do about a bilge pump?  I haven't really figured out a way to do that.  If you had a deck on and everything how would you get the water to flow to the back?  Is it necessary to have one? It seems like everything would kind of rot without one.  What do you do about water getting in the hatches?  Thanks!

Most boats should have the ability for water to drain from the front of the boat back to the bilge area. In my boat (Tracker Sportsman 1648) the strakes on the bottom of the hull create a channel on the inside of the hull that allows any water to drain back to the bilge.

 

A bilge is necessary IMO, and in my case running a shallow rocky river where rock strikes and hull damage are almost a "when" and not "if" a good bilge pump is an important safety feature. I actually run 2. If I punch a hole in my boat, I want the water out ASAP!! Even on a calm lake with little risk of bottom strikes, if you take on a big wake you could be in trouble in hurry without a bilge pump.

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26 minutes ago, BigTerp said:

Most boats should have the ability for water to drain from the front of the boat back to the bilge area. In my boat (Tracker Sportsman 1648) the strakes on the bottom of the hull create a channel on the inside of the hull that allows any water to drain back to the bilge.

 

A bilge is necessary IMO, and in my case running a shallow rocky river where rock strikes and hull damage are almost a "when" and not "if" a good bilge pump is an important safety feature. I actually run 2. If I punch a hole in my boat, I want the water out ASAP!! Even on a calm lake with little risk of bottom strikes, if you take on a big wake you could be in trouble in hurry without a bilge pump.

So how hard and expensive was it to set up? Did you have  to drill a hole in your boat?

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I like "one-n-done" 😉

 

I don't think everyone fishes where your constantly running in to stuff.

 

1 hour ago, ratherbfishin1 said:

I don't want to hijack the thread but can someone explain really quickly what you do about a bilge pump?  I haven't really figured out a way to do that.  If you had a deck on and everything how would you get the water to flow to the back?  Is it necessary to have one? It seems like everything would kind of rot without one.  What do you do about water getting in the hatches?  Thanks!

 

My boats have a welded in floor with two drains in the back that drain into the bilge area.

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2 hours ago, ratherbfishin1 said:

I don't want to hijack the thread but can someone explain really quickly what you do about a bilge pump?  I haven't really figured out a way to do that.  If you had a deck on and everything how would you get the water to flow to the back?  Is it necessary to have one? It seems like everything would kind of rot without one.  What do you do about water getting in the hatches?  Thanks!

My boat has two holes near the transom. One for the current livewell and one for the plug. I am gonna rig an auto bulge pump to the livewell hole probably

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If the hole is below the water line, then you do not want to use that for a bilge pump.  Water pumped from the bilge should exit above water level.  Otherwise, the boat will sink.

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45 minutes ago, Quarry Man said:

My boat has two holes near the transom. One for the current livewell and one for the plug. I am gonna rig an auto bulge pump to the livewell hole probably

 

Photos please!

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2 hours ago, Catt said:

I like "one-n-done" 😉

 

I don't think everyone fishes where your constantly running in to stuff.

 

 

My boats have a welded in floor with two drains in the back that drain into the bilge area.

Fair enough. But another consideration for the OP in regards to cost is it's less expensive to rivet down a floor or deck than it is to have it welded.

 

And I'm with the others who have drains in the back of their floors that get water off the floor, to the hull bottom and then back to the bilge.

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3 hours ago, ratherbfishin1 said:

So how hard and expensive was it to set up? Did you have  to drill a hole in your boat?

Just the cost of the bilge pump, hose and thru hull fitting. Yes, you need to drill a hole to install the thru hull fitting.

1 hour ago, Quarry Man said:

My boat has two holes near the transom. One for the current livewell and one for the plug. I am gonna rig an auto bulge pump to the livewell hole probably

I'm guessing the livewell hole is for passively filling while on the water and then a drain for when trailered. Like @ J Francho said, your pump outlet needs to be above the waterline. 

 

 

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On 2/8/2019 at 1:43 PM, BigTerp said:

I'm guessing the livewell hole is for passively filling while on the water and then a drain for when trailered. Like @ J Francho said, your pump outlet needs to be above the waterline. 

Yes, it is for passively and actively filling the livewell.  The livewell drain, if it exists,  would also be above water level. 

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1 hour ago, J Francho said:

Yes, it is for passively and actively filling the livewell.  The livewell drain, if it exists,  would also be above water level. 

That makes sense, but there are two holes in my boat, both different, one is obviously the plug hole but I have no clue what the other does

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Do you have a livewell?  What is the second attached to?  Pics?

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45 minutes ago, J Francho said:

Do you have a livewell?  What is the second attached to?  Pics?

I have been having trouble uploading images lately

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Need to see the inside.  Also, use the direct link.  That will let the image show up here.

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