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Redesigning my 14' Aluminum v-hull...

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Overall layout works well for the way I fish.


  • Need to re-design the trolling motor mount and incorporate the new Garmin 73sv.
  • Thinking of a hatch on the up-front casting deck to utilize the area underneath for storage. 
  • Possibly deck over the gas tank and battery(?).
  • Will be doing some wiring, I plan on a Garmin Striker 4cv for the rear of the boat. 


Thoughts / suggestions are welcome...Thanks!



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Minnow:  I don't fish tournaments, no need for a live-well, not looking to spend a ton of $$ or completely rip out everything and build a "Tiny Boat."  They are very cool, just not something I'm interested in at this point in my life (I've got a 72 Chevy K-20 project truck for chits-n-giggles). And my brother is very close to ordering a Lund Alaskan.


Goals for this boat:

  • Keep it a simple, light weight, don't-care-if-I-bang-in-to-trees fishing boat
  • Create better layout / efficiency / ergonomics, while keeping costs down
  • Ability for two fisherman, especially my 80 year old Dad

Thinking more...and adding to the list:

  • Installing electric control/switch panel, tying everything together
    • Adding night-time running lights
    • Re-wiring the bilge pump
    • Adding an inexpensive on-board charger
    • Running wiring for the front and rear fish finders
  • Motor needs a carb kit and tune...I've owned since 2001 and the only thing I've done to the engine is change plugs, & installed new water pump last summer...that's it(!) My brother has a guy locally, will probably take it to him. The old Merc was a little testy last summer...


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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is the update after much research:

  • Extend decking between existing seats (blue areas), hatches on the sides (red) for storage.
  • Thinking about aluminum structure, 1/4" plywood for decking, possibly 9-ply 1/4". Paint all the wood to seal. 
  • Looking hard at TNBNation / GEN-X Aluminum Framing Kit, thoughts?
  • Cut hatches in the front casting deck (red)
  • Cover over the battery and fuel cell with removable hatch/decking.
  • Marine carpet, or maybe marine vinyl(?)
  • Control / fuse panel on the port side / rear. 
  • 2nd Battery under front casting deck.




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  • Super User
4 minutes ago, @reelChris said:

1/4" plywood is really thin.  Any weight savings will probably be lost to the extra framing you'll need to keep it from flexing under the weight of a person walking on it.  

Ya - you're gonna want at least 1/2". And spend the little extra and get marine grade plywood...yes, there is a difference.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, that escalated quickly : ) 


Looking for wood to build new front mount for trolling motor...decided I had better replace the transom wood while I'm at it. 


I replaced the outside transom wood in 2000 when I purchased the boat...just used pressure treated 3/4" plywood, no coating at all. Sealed up the edges with silicone.  I think it did pretty well. 


Did not use stainless hardware...got lucky, only had to cut off one bolt/nut. 






I then pulled the inside transom wood...I believe this was original to the boat...built in 1960! 


Not bad...


Replacing both inner and outer with marine grade plywood, that will be coated with West System's 105 epoxy resin.  











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  • 2 weeks later...

Been slow going on the boat...wife found a 5th wheel she liked...got it purchased and delivered...had to install turnover goose ball hitch on the Diesel.


Was back at the boat recently...got the front trolling motor/fish finder piece cut, as well as transom wood. Holes drilled, now it's epoxy resin time








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I would be asking one of the engineers on here how much floatation you need to add so you don’t sink if swamped. It happens. 

I rebuilt a 16’ smokercraft deep v once. I had to sacrifice the bow battery compartment to fill with foam to compensate for the added weight of a slightly extended deck and epoxy covered wood decks. 

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On 4/5/2021 at 6:39 PM, E-rude dude said:

What about pvc board instead of wood. Lighter, won’t rot, no need to paint or carpet.


Already have the Baltic birch purchased and most of it cut to fit. I think it's going to work out well...nine-ply, tough as nails. Epoxy resin and should be good for my lifetime : ) 

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  • 2 months later...

Boat build has been slow going. Brother purchased his dream boat, a brand new Lund Alaskan. Been fishing with him, other projects around the house (Honey-Do-List), and gearing up for our first 5th wheel camping trip to Glacier in a few weeks.


Made some great progress on the build in the last couple of weeks.


The Harbor Fright pneumatic rivet gun has been a Godsend!


Test fitting the back casting deck




Framing took a while...had to do some custom cuts to match sagging benches. Aluminum pretty easy to work with, and super strong.




More test fitting, most of the decking laid out and cut to fit.




Wired up the bilge in the bow




And the main breaker wiring. Kind of fun organizing, getting everything lined up, and tucked away.  Spent lots of time planning, contemplating, experimenting...





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More pictures...


On-board charger and back battery set...more wiring pictures..




Test fitting the bow...new Garmin, RAM mount for my camera




Mr. Floppy Ears...supervising as only he can : )




Bow trolling motor battery mount and cut-off...This will all be under the front deck...accessible via hatches.




I have navigation lights!!!




Laying out the Garmin for install








Not nearly as clean and tidy as my Brother's Ulterra with built in Hummingbird transducer...but this works for me!




Next up:

  • Install rear fish finder (Garmin Striker 4cv)
  • Epoxy the trolling motor bow section.
  • Epoxy the front casting deck

My hope is to fish this weekend and confirm the electronics all work as needed, explore the layout and fish-ability of the set up.


Make any adjustments to the plan...


Upon return from vacation

  • Finalize the plan
  • Order carpet, hinges, cargo netting cup holders, etc.
  • Get it all put together and finished!

What started as a new fish-finder, escalated in to a partial rebuild, and morphed in to a complete re-design...is now headed toward the finish line!






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I did not manage to get the second Garmin installed...


But I did get two coats of epoxy on the bow and casting deck(!)


When I get home from work tonight, I'm going to bold everything back in the boat, get the bow Garmin wired in...




I'm fishing tomorrow!!!

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First day back on the water was mixed...



  • Doesn't look like the added weight impacted the boat much. Doesn't seem to float any lower than before...and feels a bit more stable. 
  • 20210703_062349.jpg
  • The Garmin Echomap 7SV is a HUGE upgrade from the old Hummingbird Fish'in-Buddy
  • After sitting for 9 months, the old Merc fired right up...with even the old gas in the tank. Here's to 91 octane, ethanol free fuel(!)
  • Made some minor adjustments to the front casting deck...moved the seat back ~6 inches, extended the bow trolling motor mount...needed more room for the Garmin.  And added a Ram mount for my phone. Relocated tie-downs. The whole set up works well. Just need some tweaking.
  • Boated a nice 2lb bass right off the bat Saturday morning.


  • Stumbled around that boat...without the storage I had the same problem as before...tackle boxes and stuff between me the outboard. Always fearful I'm going to step on and break a rod, or stumble and fall
  • 20210702_231309.jpg
  • The epoxy resin coating was a bit slick in the morning...when the sun got up the epoxy got tacky. The plan is to carpet all the decking.
  • The Garmin side-view isn't all that great. I've not tweaked anything from factory settings...and have not had much chance to just mess around with it. (CHIRP and Clear View are pretty darn cool!...that is a PRO)

My 23 year old daughter asked to go fishing with me(!)...so I decided to rough-in the back decking and lids. Didn't have hinges, to I re-purposed brass door hinges from the house...wife is replacing all the brass with black. Works for me!


Then I decided to empty my tackle boxes and the dry bag, and fill up the storage...WOW!


All fits with room to spare...and I still haven't designed and built the hatches / access to storage under the front deck.  Might not need to : ) 


It ain't glamorous, it ain't pretty, the lines don't match up quite right, still leaks a little...but it's coming together nicely!  I'm fishing in the morning...






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I was on the water at 6 AM...and fished until around 4:30 PM. Daughter texted and took a rain-check on fishing with Dad. Not a problem at all. She's a great kid and we see each other a lot.


Now about the boat:

  • I really like the layout after just one day fishing. So nice to have everything stored, clean deck, no stumbling over tackle boxes.
  • Need to re-engineer the rear / starboard hatch...can't open when the seat is set to run the outboard. Minor problem...easily fixed.
  • The re-purposed brass door hinges actually worked quite well. I may keep them for the side hatches. Cannot beat the price (FREE!)
  • Need to add hatch struts to keep from banging in to rods when opened.
  • Need to check charge voltage on the batteries...and see if the onboard charger I picked up is doing it's job properly.
  • Boat leaks a small amount. Nothing bad...but I will probably seal up a few known trouble areas with the 3M | 4200
  • Thinking of places to store pliers, scissors, etc.
  • RAM mount for my cell phone was a good idea (can't remember who told me that).

That is all for now.  Next up, installing the rear Garmin 4.

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