My 14'Custom Lowe Bass Jon Boat
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1989 Lowe Jon 14 x 36
This is what I started with.
This was a great project. I bought this boat and trailer from a friend of mine and it was painted the typical Lowe green. After converting it a couple of times with 2x4 and 2x6, and plywood, I finally knew what needed to be done to get it right. The green paint was faded and looking bad, so I started with a paint job to match my tow vehicle, of course. I sanded the green just enough to scuff it up, not to bare aluminum, and then shot it with a coat of Dupont Vari-Prime. It's a very expensive self-etching primer, and I'm glad I went that route. Then the color coat was applied using Dupont Centari automotive paint, it's a single stage clear coat paint that can be touched up and also waxed. And it really bonded, I won't have to paint this boat again. It was worth the extra cost.
I also applied some automotive graphics where the Lowe decal was. Pretty tricky getting it to lay down around the rivets. Notice the "Limited Edition" decal, one of a kind, very limited I'd say.
You will notice in this picture that there is Rhino Lining sprayed on the bow, it is a smooth finish and protects the hull from scraping when hitting the shore to relieve ourselves. Also notice my custom trailer bunks. I wanted my trailer to support the entire weight of the boat, so I built a box frame. The trailer bunks are 12' feet long and have plastic guide strips mounted on them so this boat will slide on and off with ease. There's a two inch strip of Rhino Lining that also extends the length of the boat where it rides on the bunk boards, so as not to damage the rivets when launching and loading.
You can see the plastic guide strips on the bunk boards in this picture. No, No, No, it's a 15hp motor, I added that extra #1. I actually had a fellow say to me, "they just keep making those big motor's smaller and smaller". I about fell out, had to tell him that I added the #1, it was just a 15 horse. Boy did he feel stupid. Transducer and speed/temp also mounted on transom.
Let's look inside now.
All of the carpet is marine grade boat carpet, the same as used by most boat manufacture's, got a great deal on this carpet so I jumped on it. I started by gluing the carpet to the tank seats, and the deck and floor are glued and then stapled on the backside. I used 5/8" plywood and it's treated. 3/4" plywood was to heavy for my liking, and marine grade plywood was to expensive for me. My boat very rarely gets sopping wet, but if you fish in the rain alot, spend the extra money on the marine grade plywood.
All of the framing for the front deck is 1 1/2" aluminum angle, bolted together and riveted to the cross ribbing and the tank seat. To view images of the aluminum support system CLICK HERE. I made trusses, there's three running length wise. The seat mounting plate is bolted to the plywood floor. Notice I did not deck to the top of this boat, only to the top of the tank seat. I learned through trail and error that it was to unstable to deck beyond the height of the tank seat.
See the small dial switch next to the depth finder, that allows me to switch from the rear transducer to the trolling motor transducer. I can also see the graph while operating the outboard, best of both worlds.
The flooring is again 5/8" plywood, but I added a piece of 1 1/2" square aluminum tubing on top of all four ribs. That's how I managed to get 3" of storage depth in these boxes. It's not allot, but a little more helped. This floor is one solid piece and I cut the doors out, carpeted them, and hinged them, same with the front deck. All of these compartments are fully carpeted. When some one else fishes with me I have a pedestal so the seat can come off the rear tank and they can sit with more ease of movement, hence the base plate on the floor.
This picture is just a shot from front to back, but it does show the base plate mounted to the tank seat. I used six big 1" rivets that take a special rivet gun called "The Big Daddy" that a friend of mine had. He's in the automotive glass repair business and he uses these huge rivets on doors. Ask around, your window repair guy may have them also, there great.
My boat is completely wired for night fishing, has a cigarette lighter plug, and all wiring is under the flooring. I didn't cover the fuel/battery compartment because it allows for storage of small items, tackle logic bags, scents, flashlight, thermos, things like that . I also added some rod tie downs and cup holders. That's what's great about building your own boat, you get to do it your way.
The motor is a 1998 15hp Evinrude 2 stroke, electric start, and this boat runs 20 mph on the graph. Has never speed tested on a GPS, but in the winter when all I have is jigs and suspending jerkbait's on board, I've hit 23 mph on the graph.
Now I have to get a 16 footer with a 40 horse so I can do this again. If you want a custom boat, do it yourself, it's not hard, but take your time, use good products, and you won't be disappointed.
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