Sunday, February 26, 2012

14' Modified V Jon Boat............2/19/2012 UPDATE

Fished a couple times this week, but the bite was slow. We ended up fishing twice for a combined 7.5 hours. Nearly spent as much time driving to our spots as we did fishing. Can't complain, It's just nice to be able to fish in February.

With that being said I had plenty of time to work on the boat again. Been thinking about hitching the Monte Carlo up and seeing if I can get the car to pull the boat. It has a 1000lb tow limit, which is fine because the boat weighs a little over 250lbs loaded and the trailer is nearly 300lbs. So the weight should be no problem at all. However I watched a guy on Youtube use a tilt trailer to launch a jon boat, and he did so without letting the trailer touch the water. If I could do this with my tilt trailer I feel that the Monte Carlo will handle nicely and save me tons of gas money, as well as allowing me to use the boat without having to ask to use the truck. Here's the video of the guy using his tilt trailer to launch his boat.

Since I will be fishing solo on occasion I figured that I would need to get the boat on and off with as little effort as possible. After a little research I found that there are a few products that allow boats to slide off of trailers much more easily than the carpet on the bunks. So I ordered a few last week and installed them this weekend. The product is called E-Z Slides from Ironwood Pacific Outdoors. 
The idea is that by adding a smooth plastic surface, you will reduce friction and thus your boat will slide off with less effort. The pack that I ordered came with two bunk enders and 8 regular E-Z slides. It turns out that I could only use 4 of the regular slides, maybe we can equip Rylan's boat trailer with the left overs. 
 Above is a picture of the bunk end slides and two of the regular slides that I was able to place at the rear of the trailer. I simply lined them up, drilled holes, and screwed them down. Below is a picture of the two E-Z slides I mounted up front.
With the rollers fully greased I figured the boat should now slide off pretty easily.

Before I went to bed Thursday night I decided to give the transom wood a fresh coat of black enamel. So I sanded the wood down and gave it a coat of enamel. I have to look good while I'm fishing.

 I also gave the opposite board a fresh coat of enamel as well.
The majority of the weekend was spent installing the rocker switches, cigarette lighter, battery gauge control panel. Since there will be times when I will be fishing alone, I decided to install it under the fish finder on the middle bench seat. I cut a hole in the aluminum seat, and began carving the Styrofoam out with a flathead screwdriver to allow room for the wires. I then re-ran all of the wires using half inch pvc and got rid of the half inch cpvc. The pvc allowed for more wires to be ran through. I then ran the wires through the opening and began attaching wires from the battery to the panel.
I decided to keep the transducer wire separate from the other wires because the Lowrance manual said that other wires may cause excess noise on the fish finder when in use. I simply zip-tied it to the top of the pvc in order to keep it out of the water, if it were ever to get in the boat. Once all of the wires were in place I then began to connect the wires to their individual toggle switches. (It was very complicated and really irritating, no instructions were given.) After all of the "lets see if this wire works here" testing, I only blew one fuse.....but its all operational now. I'll be connecting the control panel to the battery with one set of clips and I then have a separate set of clips that run wires to the back of the boat if I ever need to mount a trolling motor to the transom.
Below is a view from the captains chair. I thought I had the panel level, but it appears to have adjusted itself once I started adding screws. I will probably drill new holes and line it up a bit more in the upcoming week.
Next weekend I hope to get the trailer weighed at a local feed mill so I can get it registered. I'm going to order a few life jackets this week, and once they arrive I should be ready to go. All I'll need then is some nice weather and a hot bite.

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