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Thread: Are any of you boaters?

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    Are any of you boaters?

    We live up an estuary/canal leading to the Gulf of Mexico, with rivers everywhere around here. I have a lot of boats and have had a lot more. I've probably given away at least 10 - all running - for free to get rid of them over the last few years - ranging from 4 personal watercraft (jet bike/boats), two 40+ foot twin diesel cabin cruisers (one a fishing style hull), a 32 foot twin 454 big block Sea Ray speedster, a 32 foot twin 6 cylinder inboards cruiser, a 9 foot little boat with a 5 hp outboard on a trailer with center steering station, and a picklefork trimaran drag boat hull (that I can think of off the top of my head.) All but the 2 big cruisers included the trailer.

    I still have a 52 twin turbo cat 1980s diesel Cigarette, my Bass Tracker and am restoring a 1960s 12 foot "Ski Bird" 2 seat little race boat (turning out to be it far worse condition so it is a total strip down to the bare hull, removing half a century of multiple different color paint, and repairing all the hull and floor damage. If any of you are into boating I'll put up pics thru the restoration. I had forgotten I had bought it along the road for a few hundred dollars on the trailer with an old Evinrude and then just parked it in the weeds (becoming invisibly overgrown.) I like how it looks and thought it would be an easy quick clean up - not a total strip down to a completely empty bare hull with virtually nothing reusable.

    Surprisingly, the motor runs perfect - though looks like hell. Most people would have considered this a scrape/junk hull. But it is quite unique and rare. When done, it will weigh a total of under 500 pounds running a 2 cylinder 2 stroke 60 hp outboard, which will give it a terrifying top speed of around 60 mph. In a 40 footer on smooth water that isn't that extreme. In a 12 foot 500 pound boat with you inches off the water it is. I figure it a 2 month project - if lucky.

    My best boat has been the cheapest. My 17 foot bass tracker. I stripped it totally about 4 years ago. Put in an aluminum floor, a new 30 hp outboard, rewired it all, new seats and buffed out the hull to a mirror finish (that lasted about 3 months). That boat always gets me home - and I've been trapped with a boat full of people many miles offshore out in the Gulf in water so rough there were no other boats out - even the big 30+ footers had headed in. But we were on an island way, way out there and didn't notice the wind really kicking up.

    Quite an exciting challenge struggling against the wind and tide with 4 foot white caps coming in at a 45 degree angle - in a boat that has less than 2 feet freeboard in the front - and less than a foot in the rear. No problem. I actually enjoyed the challenge, but I was driving and the others seemed a mix between being miserable and terrified. LOL

    Probably going to add a 4th boat for personal boats. Probably have a couple more boats laying around somewhere.

    So... are any of you boaters?

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    Re: Are any of you boaters?

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    Re: Are any of you boaters?

    Quote Originally Posted by joko104 View Post
    We live up an estuary/canal leading to the Gulf of Mexico, with rivers everywhere around here. I have a lot of boats and have had a lot more. I've probably given away at least 10 - all running - for free to get rid of them over the last few years - ranging from 4 personal watercraft (jet bike/boats), two 40+ foot twin diesel cabin cruisers (one a fishing style hull), a 32 foot twin 454 big block Sea Ray speedster, a 32 foot twin 6 cylinder inboards cruiser, a 9 foot little boat with a 5 hp outboard on a trailer with center steering station, and a picklefork trimaran drag boat hull (that I can think of off the top of my head.) All but the 2 big cruisers included the trailer.

    I still have a 52 twin turbo cat 1980s diesel Cigarette, my Bass Tracker and am restoring a 1960s 12 foot "Ski Bird" 2 seat little race boat (turning out to be it far worse condition so it is a total strip down to the bare hull, removing half a century of multiple different color paint, and repairing all the hull and floor damage. If any of you are into boating I'll put up pics thru the restoration. I had forgotten I had bought it along the road for a few hundred dollars on the trailer with an old Evinrude and then just parked it in the weeds (becoming invisibly overgrown.) I like how it looks and thought it would be an easy quick clean up - not a total strip down to a completely empty bare hull with virtually nothing reusable.

    Surprisingly, the motor runs perfect - though looks like hell. Most people would have considered this a scrape/junk hull. But it is quite unique and rare. When done, it will weigh a total of under 500 pounds running a 2 cylinder 2 stroke 60 hp outboard, which will give it a terrifying top speed of around 60 mph. In a 40 footer on smooth water that isn't that extreme. In a 12 foot 500 pound boat with you inches off the water it is. I figure it a 2 month project - if lucky.

    My best boat has been the cheapest. My 17 foot bass tracker. I stripped it totally about 4 years ago. Put in an aluminum floor, a new 30 hp outboard, rewired it all, new seats and buffed out the hull to a mirror finish (that lasted about 3 months). That boat always gets me home - and I've been trapped with a boat full of people many miles offshore out in the Gulf in water so rough there were no other boats out - even the big 30+ footers had headed in. But we were on an island way, way out there and didn't notice the wind really kicking up.

    Quite an exciting challenge struggling against the wind and tide with 4 foot white caps coming in at a 45 degree angle - in a boat that has less than 2 feet freeboard in the front - and less than a foot in the rear. No problem. I actually enjoyed the challenge, but I was driving and the others seemed a mix between being miserable and terrified. LOL

    Probably going to add a 4th boat for personal boats. Probably have a couple more boats laying around somewhere.

    So... are any of you boaters?
    I build boats when I get a break from my business and Dump's.

    13532976_1775914172643950_3695658273017858988_n[1].jpg

    This one is a 14" crabbing skiff designed to be bashed into oyster beds and other rough stuff. As you can see by the bottom exposed chimes. The transom hasn't been cut yet to fit the outboard because I didn't know if the guy would be running a long or short shaft motor.

    My next one will be a 18' version with a much wider transom.
    Last edited by RetiredUSN; 11-12-19 at 06:17 PM.
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    Re: Are any of you boaters?

    Quote Originally Posted by joko104 View Post
    We live up an estuary/canal leading to the Gulf of Mexico, with rivers everywhere around here. I have a lot of boats and have had a lot more. I've probably given away at least 10 - all running - for free to get rid of them over the last few years - ranging from 4 personal watercraft (jet bike/boats), two 40+ foot twin diesel cabin cruisers (one a fishing style hull), a 32 foot twin 454 big block Sea Ray speedster, a 32 foot twin 6 cylinder inboards cruiser, a 9 foot little boat with a 5 hp outboard on a trailer with center steering station, and a picklefork trimaran drag boat hull (that I can think of off the top of my head.) All but the 2 big cruisers included the trailer.

    I still have a 52 twin turbo cat 1980s diesel Cigarette, my Bass Tracker and am restoring a 1960s 12 foot "Ski Bird" 2 seat little race boat (turning out to be it far worse condition so it is a total strip down to the bare hull, removing half a century of multiple different color paint, and repairing all the hull and floor damage. If any of you are into boating I'll put up pics thru the restoration. I had forgotten I had bought it along the road for a few hundred dollars on the trailer with an old Evinrude and then just parked it in the weeds (becoming invisibly overgrown.) I like how it looks and thought it would be an easy quick clean up - not a total strip down to a completely empty bare hull with virtually nothing reusable.

    Surprisingly, the motor runs perfect - though looks like hell. Most people would have considered this a scrape/junk hull. But it is quite unique and rare. When done, it will weigh a total of under 500 pounds running a 2 cylinder 2 stroke 60 hp outboard, which will give it a terrifying top speed of around 60 mph. In a 40 footer on smooth water that isn't that extreme. In a 12 foot 500 pound boat with you inches off the water it is. I figure it a 2 month project - if lucky.

    My best boat has been the cheapest. My 17 foot bass tracker. I stripped it totally about 4 years ago. Put in an aluminum floor, a new 30 hp outboard, rewired it all, new seats and buffed out the hull to a mirror finish (that lasted about 3 months). That boat always gets me home - and I've been trapped with a boat full of people many miles offshore out in the Gulf in water so rough there were no other boats out - even the big 30+ footers had headed in. But we were on an island way, way out there and didn't notice the wind really kicking up.

    Quite an exciting challenge struggling against the wind and tide with 4 foot white caps coming in at a 45 degree angle - in a boat that has less than 2 feet freeboard in the front - and less than a foot in the rear. No problem. I actually enjoyed the challenge, but I was driving and the others seemed a mix between being miserable and terrified. LOL

    Probably going to add a 4th boat for personal boats. Probably have a couple more boats laying around somewhere.

    So... are any of you boaters?
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    Re: Are any of you boaters?

    When I was a kid we had a johnboat with a 6hp outboard and a canoe. We used those at a cabin we had on the Mississippi River. When I was 18 I got my own boat, a 16' Larson ski boat with a 60hp Evinrude. Couple years after that I acquired a 14' johnboat I hauled around in the back of a truck to fish farm ponds. No outboard, just an electric trolling motor.

    My last year in the Army I bought another 14' johnboat, this time with a 25hp Johnson outboard, later repowered with a 25hp Nissan when the Johnson blew up. A few years after I got out of the Army I wanted my kids to experience the joy of waterskiing (and myself to have an entertaining venue to drink Tequila on the weekends) so we got a 18' Rinker I/O. I gave both those to my son eventually (minus the Nissan which I kept for my next boat) and he still has the johnboat. The boat I put the Nissan on was an 18' johnboat. I used that rig very little over the next several years because I got into trapshooting which took up all my time. Right about the time I quit trapshooting I bought an older Bomber style bass boat at an estate sale. It had a 85hp Mercury that I promptly (like the next day) blew up. I repowered it with a 40hp Merc. Still that is one boat I've often wished I kept. It was a very practical layout for the type of fishing I do. Nevertheless, I got back into motorcycles and sold both the bass boat and the johnboat to pursue that hobby.

    When I had enough of motorcycles for awhile, I wanted to get back into fishing so I traded one of my bikes (a Kawasaki VN2000) for a Tracker Pro 185 with a 50hp Mercury. I guess that was about 2010 or so and it was a damn fine boat until I finally sold it just a month ago. I suspect the new owner with get lots of years enjoyment from it as well. It was just getting a little cramped for me. Also the safety factor as I get older. I swim well, but probably not in cold water. A couple of the lakes I fish are renowned for their rough water at times. The Tracker's Revolution hull handled round water well but could be a wet ride. That style of boat has little freeboard. They seem easy to fall out. Do you know how many guys drown because they were peeing over the side and fell out? I bet a bunch of them. I replaced that Tracker with a Sylvan 1900 Adventurer with a 125hp Mercury and a 9.9 Yamaha kicker. Deep V boat with a walk through windshield and a weather top. Very spacious, lots of freeboard, a toe-kick for peeing over the side and fits my fishing to a tee.

    Well I'm sure that was boring enough for most but I can't help it. Boats are one of my great loves.

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    Re: Are any of you boaters?

    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredUSN View Post
    I build boats when I get a break from my business and Dump's.

    13532976_1775914172643950_3695658273017858988_n[1].jpg

    This one is a 14" crabbing skiff designed to be bashed into oyster beds and other rough stuff. As you can see by the bottom exposed chimes. The transom hasn't been cut yet to fit the outboard because I didn't know if the guy would be running a long or short shaft motor.

    My next one will be a 18' version with a much wider transom.
    Nice hobby. Takes patience and attention to detail.

    Some fellas here (North Central Florida Natural West Coast) build heavy (thick lumber) small boats of classic construction techniques that they used for crabbing, gathering oysters long ago etc. They are extremely rugged boats not really damaged scrapping across shell reefs, but also very heavy.

    As for building for a motor shaft length, HIGHLY urge they go with a 20 inch, particularly if going over 15 hp. Used 15 inch shaft motors and used mid and lower units for larger HP motors are very rare and difficult to find. I have a 40/60 hp 1985 15' shaft Evinrude/Johnson and have been watching for a used 15 inch lower end for some time without any luck. They also may want to consider the 20 inch shaft even if buying a new motor for future parts availability AND if they ever want to re-power it years from now and then to sell off the old motor.

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    Re: Are any of you boaters?

    Quote Originally Posted by RF667799 View Post
    When I was a kid we had a johnboat with a 6hp outboard and a canoe. We used those at a cabin we had on the Mississippi River. When I was 18 I got my own boat, a 16' Larson ski boat with a 60hp Evinrude. Couple years after that I acquired a 14' johnboat I hauled around in the back of a truck to fish farm ponds. No outboard, just an electric trolling motor.

    My last year in the Army I bought another 14' johnboat, this time with a 25hp Johnson outboard, later repowered with a 25hp Nissan when the Johnson blew up. A few years after I got out of the Army I wanted my kids to experience the joy of waterskiing (and myself to have an entertaining venue to drink Tequila on the weekends) so we got a 18' Rinker I/O. I gave both those to my son eventually (minus the Nissan which I kept for my next boat) and he still has the johnboat. The boat I put the Nissan on was an 18' johnboat. I used that rig very little over the next several years because I got into trapshooting which took up all my time. Right about the time I quit trapshooting I bought an older Bomber style bass boat at an estate sale. It had a 85hp Mercury that I promptly (like the next day) blew up. I repowered it with a 40hp Merc. Still that is one boat I've often wished I kept. It was a very practical layout for the type of fishing I do. Nevertheless, I got back into motorcycles and sold both the bass boat and the johnboat to pursue that hobby.

    When I had enough of motorcycles for awhile, I wanted to get back into fishing so I traded one of my bikes (a Kawasaki VN2000) for a Tracker Pro 185 with a 50hp Mercury. I guess that was about 2010 or so and it was a damn fine boat until I finally sold it just a month ago. I suspect the new owner with get lots of years enjoyment from it as well. It was just getting a little cramped for me. Also the safety factor as I get older. I swim well, but probably not in cold water. A couple of the lakes I fish are renowned for their rough water at times. The Tracker's Revolution hull handled round water well but could be a wet ride. That style of boat has little freeboard. They seem easy to fall out. Do you know how many guys drown because they were peeing over the side and fell out? I bet a bunch of them. I replaced that Tracker with a Sylvan 1900 Adventurer with a 125hp Mercury and a 9.9 Yamaha kicker. Deep V boat with a walk through windshield and a weather top. Very spacious, lots of freeboard, a toe-kick for peeing over the side and fits my fishing to a tee.

    Well I'm sure that was boring enough for most but I can't help it. Boats are one of my great loves.
    Bass boats are not well suited for rough water as I stated in the OP. I totally redid an 80s aluminum Bass Tracker to the bare hull, plus replaced the rotted wood floor with aluminum - and added A LOT of foam. We go offshore farther than anyone else in such a boat. As you note, in the rear there is less than 1 foot free board. However, the water is always warm here.

    IF you can safely be headed in the right direction and are really good at what you're doing, they can handle up to about a 3 foot chop - but it is very challenging and slow going.

    This boat I'm doing pre-dated the law requiring small boats have enough flotation to not sink - meaning it has none. Adding flotation foam is one major design aspect of this 12 footer, plus triple bilge pumps, in the event it is wave swapped. That makes a boat so heavy that the motor would bog down so much it couldn't develop any rpms. So I also will prop it way down just-in-case.

    While the general rule is get the biggest motor your transom can handle, it is speed that gets boaters in trouble REAL fast, particularly if wind is making any level of wave chop. You need enough power to both hold the boat into the waves and to keep going, but going slow is the only way to safely do it if caught in a wind storm off shore. Worst case is to throw out the anchor hooked to the bow hook and ride it out, but that's truly miserable in a small boat.

    We've gone thru dozens of boats of all kinds and sizes. A couple were truly awesome jet drag boats, but totally wrong for anything but smooth lake water so we got rid of those. Past the age for PWCs, so got rid of those. While we have BIG boats, they are almost never used. Small boats are so much easier and more fun all the way around.

    A deep V hull sounds like what is best suited for you. The kicker motor is a must have, though a trolling motor and deep cycle battery can get a person home too - just very slowly.
    Last edited by joko104; 11-14-19 at 02:51 PM.

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    Re: Are any of you boaters?

    I hired to ex boat factory employees here (company went broke) to redo the hull of a BIG 1980s custom made to order ex-drug running Cigarette with twin turbo Cat diesels and surface drives. Being in the weather for decades meant the fiberglass was beyond just buffing out after new gel coat. They suggested painting it with 2 stage polyurethane - by paint brush. Promised it would be perfect.

    Painting a boat with a paint brush? I was skeptical but they were the boat pros, not me. Turned out they were correct. It color sanded and buffed out perfectly smooth and is much stronger and scratch resistance than gelcoat nor does it spider web like old gelcoat will. But you MUST wear a respirator mask if using 2 stage polyurethane.

    People buy new boats when usually all they need to do is replace a worn out motor and brighten up the hull - polish - and maybe new seats if the old one's are tearing.

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    Re: Are any of you boaters?

    The trend is people keep opting for bigger motors. Bass boats that used to have 40 hp now usually will have 90s or 115s. Boats sized that used to have 85 to 110 hp, now have 150 to 350 hp. This makes the boat heavier overall.

    While the bigger motor does make the boats faster - that standard of 30 mph for the average sport boat is now 50 - and a really fast sport boat has gone from 45 to 65 mph, like with cars it takes exponentially more power to go faster. For example, a single engine 255 hp Sea Doo sport jet boat will do 60 mph. The same version with twin 255s for a total of 510 hp will do 70 mph. Double the horsepower - double the fuel consumption too - for only an extra 10 mph.

    My Bass Tracker is underpowered with only a 30 hp, plus the boat is heavy for it's size for all the gear I carry. To do it again I would have stuck with a 40, but no bigger. However, the 30 hp makes me drive the boat thoughtfully in rough water - and therefore keeps me out of trouble. There simply isn't enough power to hit a wave wrong flipping the boat.

    I would guess these are the #1 causes of boating deaths (excluding children):

    1. Flipping the boat at high speed underestimating how easily a boat can be flipped hitting even a small wave or wake at a 45 degree angle at high speed.

    2. Getting bounced out of the boat with no life jacket and no kill-switch line hooked up.

    3. Falling off the front of a barge - meaning the person can not possibly avoid getting hit by the prop.

    4. Getting hit by another boat

    For children it is falling or getting bounced out of the boat without a life jacket, though those drowning can occur dockside too.

    I would estimate that for over 90% of boating deaths the person was not wearing a life jacket.

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    Re: Are any of you boaters?

    If a boat capsizes, the rule is "stay with the boat." It is VERY difficult to see a person in the water from another boat even in fairly calm water. All small boats are required to have enough foam to not sink (this is not so for big boats).

    For example, if water has any chop to it, I make certain the anchor and line our in the open so if somehow the boat did flip it the anchor will be thrown or drop out of the boat. While I have an emergency raft, well stocked emergency float bag and carry enough for 2 people to be able to survive at least 10 days, the boat of the boat would be the life raft. Even just a 2-3 mph current can mean in an hour you are 3 miles away. Your boat is easy to see from the air. You in the water are not.

    I also have a line to my throw cushion so I have a line to get to - that is tied to the boat. Even if the boat somehow sunk, I want to stay with the boat. In that boat is everything we need to survive and could swim down to it.

    Water is shallow here, but so are most lakes and rivers. Even if you boat sinks to the bottom, still - if possible - stay with the boat. You don't want you or the boat drifting. So make a practice of keeping your anchor and anchor line where it is easily tossed out on a flip and easy for you to toss out if the boat otherwise is sinking. Tie a line to anything of size that floats too. Cooler, toss cushion, spare gas can etc. But tied in a way you can until it, meaning some quick release ring a great idea. These are all things for people to grab onto - noting not 10% of people wear life jackets.

    Stay with the boat. Unless you can WALK to shore, don't try to swim to shore. Among other rules? Save yourself first. You can't save anyone else if you don't. If swimming to rescue someone, take along ANYTHING that floats. The other person will instinctively grab onto it - instead of trying to climb on top of you. Throw-rings aren't cheap, but you can toss one twice the distance of a flotation cushion.

    AND use the kill switch line. They are many videos of people in other boats trying to run down an empty boat going full throttle after tossing out the people and the driver had not hooked on the kill switch line to.him/herself.

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