Tuesday, January 31, 2012

14' Modified V Jon Boat....1/29/2011 UPDATE

Thursday night I met someone off of craigslist and bought a Lowrance x52 fish finder for $110. It was new, none of the packages had been opened. I thought it was a good deal since they retail for about $190-200. So when I got home I started thinking of where it needed to go. Since I do fish solo from time to time, I wanted it to be where I could see it from the back bench. So stealing another idea from a friend, I mounted it in the middle bench. I then mounted the transducer as specified in the Lowrance manual, which just happened to be on the bottom of the stern. There were a few things that I found interesting in the Lowrance manual. First, i noted that when running the transducer wires its important to run the wires separately from any other wires in the boat, other wires can cause incorrect readings on your fish finder. Secondly the transducer should be mounted flush with the bottom of the transom, this allows a steady flow of water to surround the transducer...which once again makes for a more accurate reading. I chose to mount my transducer on the bottom port side of the boat. I then filled the holes with silicone. Trust me I don't like the idea of drilling holes below the water line of the boat, but I did it anyway for the sake of having an accurate fish finder.  When running the wires I noticed that I did not have a joint in the cpvc in the middle of the boat so I just used corrugated pipe and ran the wires to the battery.
Transom Mount With Silicone
Lowrance x-52 Mounting Position
I woke up the next morning and started digging around in the barn for scraps of metal I could use for a trolling bar. I first found some really heavy duty angle iron. It was in 10 foot pieces and probably weighed 100lbs. After making the first cut I soon realized that there had to be a better way. After moving some hay around I found the perfect piece of metal. I cut it to 48" and laid it on the boat to see how it would fit. For the most part it fit alright, a little long, but okay. I did however notice that the motor was awful close to the bar, and that if I raised the motor too much it would come into contact with the bar. With that said when the motor is in its locked position for transport it does not interfere with the trolling bar or gas line.  I ended up taking another 2'' off of the metal bar. Then I marked holes where I planed to mount each side of the bar. I used a drill press and cut 3/8" holes. I then laid it on the boat and marked where I needed to drill holes on the boat. I drilled the holes and found the hardware to mount the bar. I then began to clean and sand the bar. An hour or so later the metal was as clean as I was willing to make it. 
Trolling Bar, Mock up.
Trolling Bar Bolted up and Sanded.
At this point I was officially out of work. I called up Rylan and asked if he wanted to make the trip to bass pro. All willing, we went. I picked up 4 Driftmaster rod holders. 2 Duo255H's and 2 Duo Troller 255H's. The only difference in the two are the fact that the trollers set at a slightly higher angle, I figured that they would sit nicely on the outside while the duo255h's were at a lower angle on the inside. I also bought a bilge pump and hoses, a spot light for navigation, and another anchor for when fishing calm water.

Got home at around midnight and started working again. I began by placing the rod holders in various positions to see where I wanted to drill holes. I found that the motor would have a narrower turning radius if the rod holders where too close to the motor, so I left sufficient room to account for that. I then decided to mount the rod holders 7 and 13 inches from the outside of the boat on each side. I had to use nuts to stop the rod holders from falling through the holes, and I used the supplied wing nuts to secure the rod holders in place. At this point it was time to begin coating the bar with the the DupliColor bed liner that I had left over from the bottom of the boat. After two coats I remounted the Driftmaster rod holders.
Rod Holders Installed
 Trolling Bar Painted
While the paint was drying in between coats I went ahead and ran wires for the bilge pump. Since the cpvc was pretty stuffed already from the lights and trolling motor wires, I decided to run the bilge pump wires in corrugated wire along the groove of the boat. I then wired the bilge pump. At this point I had to make the decision to drill a hole in the transom or just toss the pipe over the back for the bilge pump discharge. I figured at this point that since I had already drilled holes for the transducer, what’s another hole? I then cut a hole for the pipe and mounted the bilge pump hose, and adapter with silicone.
Bilge Pump
Bilge pump outlet
Since I had to re-run wires I figured that I should go ahead and do my best to mount the wires up off of the bottom of the boat, so when it rains my wires aren’t setting in a pool of water. I used zip ties where applicable, and went ahead and sealed all of the cpvc with glue and silicone in the open ends of the cpvc. I also added toggle switches for the bilge pump and lights. I then connected all of the wires to alligator clips. 
Mess of Wires, Toggle Switches, and Battery
At 5am I decided to call it quits. Sunday I woke up and realized that I still needed to make a bracket for my trolling motor in order to use it on the bow. I was advised to mount a bow trolling motor to aid in control during periods of high wind. Since the boat is rather light, the wind will have a much higher impact on it than it would Rylan’s tri v fiberglass boat that weighs 800lbs. Since my trolling motor is a transom mount, I had to rotate the head of the motor. It was as easy as taking a screw out, turning the head 180 degrees and putting a screw back in. I then went down to the barn and started looking for anything I could use to make my mount. I ended up grabbing a sheet of particle board. I cut a few squares out and made a little box for the mount. I then drilled holes and mounted it to the bow. After a few coats of DupliColor truck bed liner, it was good to go. Hopefully the boat will set even enough for the trolling motor to set in the water a few inches. However I have my doubts. Might have to install a bait tank in the front to keep it sitting even. 
Depth of Trolling Motor
Trolling Motor Bracket
All in all I'm pretty happy with how things are turning out. However with this weekend’s purchases the boat has $1000 in it, $1130 if you count the battery that i bought for our other boat last year. I hope to have it in tip top shape come March.


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