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Kansas Angler

Removing bench seats

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Can somebody teach me how to remove the bench seats on my 14 foot lone star. I'm going to floor it and put a casting deck and live-well in it and I think it would be better if I removed the front too bench seats. Do the bench seats add structural integrity to the boat? Will the boat still be safe. Any advice would help even advice on where to lay out the bracing and stuff for the deck and floor.

thanks, nick

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Assuming riveted, you can grind the heads off of all the rivets.  Then test for leaks and tighten the rivets if they leak.  At least that is what I did.  Yes there is some structural reason for the seats and there is probably some flotation inside those seats also.  Adding the flooring should help stiffen the boat back up.  Make sure to use 2 long stringers under the flooring for this stiffness.  Since you have removed more than half the flotation from the boat it will probably sink if flooded or flipped.  Wear a life jacket. At least that's what I do.  

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I wouldn't do it.  The bench seats contain flotation foam, plus add to the structural integrity of the boat.  I would strongly suggest that you leave them as is.

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Removing the seats is not a big deal unless you are getting into offshore racing(LOL). Seriously though, some sort of cross brace should be reinstalled, I used them to create a storage area for gear and batteries in a more useful location. Make your aluminum additions to the hull by using stainless steel 1/4" bolts with nylon loc nuts and seat them in silcone, it will not leak. Interior fasteners can be, more bolts, screws or pop rivets. The easiest way to remove original rivets is to make a small pilot hole in the center of the domed head (1/8"), no deeper than the depth of that dome, then gently use a larger bit (about 3/8"), before you hit the base metal the head will pop off, push the remainder out, done with that part. Next, remove seats and you will find foam. Replace any foam you remove with equal amounts distributed evenly througout the boat. Be sure to use a foam proven to not soak up water. I took some samples and found the 3/4" blue and pink board from any home center does not absorb water when imersed in a sealed container of water for a period of 2 weeks. I have hidden most of mine in a built up sub floor to accept same keeping the floor low as possible for stability reasons. Recently a fella posted the use of 3/4 x 3/4 aluminum tube ran bow to stern. This works well to create the space to redistribute the foam. I have used this modification method 4x before in growing from small jons to larger jons. I am now doing it again since a divorce in the 90s got in the way of fishing for a while. If you wish I can post some pics later when I get home from work.

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