Sunday, July 8, 2012

14' Modified V Jon Boat, lessons learned

Since the last jon boat post I have made a few adjustments to the jon boat. We have also learned what has worked and what hasn't worked.

The most recent adjustment has been the addition of a second fish finder, (a spare fish finder from Rylan's previous boat) and a trolling motor to the bow of the boat. This will allow the person in the front of the boat to have as much control over the boat as the person in the back of the boat. The second trolling motor is really nice on days we fish without anchors, especially when the winds exceed 10 mph. The second fish finder will allow the person in the front of the boat to see fish/structure before we go over them. It will also allow us to more accurately read ledges, points, etc.

I also recently added a temporary flat floor to the front of the boat so the person in the front has a stable platform to stand on while bass fishing or casting. Rylan had mentioned that he got Charley horses while bass fishing, the flat floor has solved those issues.  The wood floor is temporary and has not been treated. It was left over from a few rental house projects, and I figure it will get us through the year. Maybe by the end of the year, I will know if I want to make a more permanent floor.
Middle floor for casting.
Front Floor for trolling motor and fish finder battery.
While it may look awkward on the water, it is very practical.
A practical set up.
What Hasn't Worked:

On a side note we found out that the do it yourself truck bed liner on the bottom of the boat does not work to keep out water, or stay on the boat for that matter. After a dozen trips the rubber had wore off of the nose of the boat and where the trailer rollers came in contact with the boat. The silicone on the rivets is also leaking again, so I recently placed some JB Water Weld putty on the rivets and for now it seems to have stopped the leaks.
Rubber peeling off.
Wooden mount for trolling motor.
The wooden box that I created for the bow mount trolling motor made it through a dozen or so trips, but one trip to Grant Lake in Mt. Orab, Ohio was more than the box could take. Grant Lake is very shallow, we observed a maximum depth of around 8 feet and an averaged depth of less than four feet. We took the boat into a shallow cove to get a snagged bait and ran ashore and shattered the wooden mount.

The aluminum handle that I mounted the bow trolling motor and fish finder finally gave out the other day. We were putting the boat into Adams Lake and we couldn't get the boat deep enough to get it off of the trailer so we pushed it off as much as we could, and then I pulled the trailer up. At this point the boat was still hanging on the last roller of the trailer, I gave the boat another push and the bow mounted trolling motor hit the trailer and shattered the mount.

The only solution was to add some angle iron to the rail of the boat and then mount the fish finder and trolling motor back. Its been banged around a few trips and it seems to be fine.


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