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Old 12-18-2011, 11:26 AM
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Default Building a Cheaper Pram

I'm considering a new boat. What I'd like to have is one of those Sweet Sping Creek prams, but $1800 is a bit pricey for what you get in my honest opinion. That, not to mention its fiberglass, and fiberglass boats are hell around here in the Granite State. Yep, you guessed it. Rocks. Rocks and ledges, huge boulders, and the shoreline is usually rock-strewn. A regular fisherman around here can really raise hell with a fiberglass canoe or other boat.

So here's what I am considering. I'm thinking of taking a small jon boat, like the 10-foot Lowe jon, and modifying it slightly to make it a better fishing boat for solo work. I think the 10-footer is a good size for my 250lb sack of lard, and I can easily carry it in the back of my F150.

Click the image to open in full size.

I was thinking of moving the seats - spreading them apart more to make room for a center box, which I would fabricate from aluminum. The box would serve as a battery box, and as a pedestal for a swiveling seat. Hey, a guy has got to have his comfort!

What do you guys think? I would welcome comments and advice. I'm thinking this would be a great winter project, and have it ready for some spring fishing.
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Old 12-18-2011, 11:47 AM
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Default Re: Building a Cheaper Pram

I don't think I would move the seats, especially if they're welded in place. They're likely supporting the side walls where they are, and moving them may cause the hull to twist. If you intend to fish anyplace there is a strong current, or occasional rough water, that may not be an ideal situation. Adding the seat mount/battery box should be OK. I have a bigger jon (15'9") and don't fish in rocky water much. Mine's already been decked out & has swivel seats mounted over the old bench seats.

I would deck the front & back using aluminum channel attached to the existing seats for supports & a good grade of plywood for decking, with storage under the front deck & just go from there. That would give you a good casting platform up front. But that's just me!
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Old 12-18-2011, 12:36 PM
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Default Re: Building a Cheaper Pram

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjim5589 View Post
I don't think I would move the seats, especially if they're welded in place. They're likely supporting the side walls where they are, and moving them may cause the hull to twist.
The hull will twist. I removed a seat from a 14' jon, and it was like rubber until I braced it in some. That's probably what I'd have to do with this one.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjim5589 View Post
I would deck the front & back using aluminum channel attached to the existing seats for supports & a good grade of plywood for decking, with storage under the front deck & just go from there. That would give you a good casting platform up front.
I think thats an excellent idea, and if the boat was bigger, that is surely what I would do. Thing is, the boat is just a wee thing, and I'm 250 lbs. I'm sure that would be pretty funny looking as I cast from the bow of it!
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Old 12-18-2011, 12:44 PM
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Default Re: Building a Cheaper Pram

I would keep an eye on Craigslist - this one is probably sold being that it is a month old, but, there is an 8ft aluminum pram in california right now for $250.

8ft Pram Western Aluminum Boat

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Old 12-18-2011, 01:37 PM
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Default Re: Building a Cheaper Pram

Click the image to open in full size.

What if I built a deck on either side, like in the black areas? I'd totally remove the seats, and build the decks. I'd fill them in with pourable foam. I bet that'd be stiff enough.
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:36 AM
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Default Re: Building a Cheaper Pram

Why not leave the forward seat in place and just build a larger deck that rests on it?

That would also allow you to stand nearer the middle of the boat, reducing "nose dive".
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:45 AM
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Default Re: Building a Cheaper Pram

I went and looked at the Lowe jon boats one time when I saw them on sale cheap. That's exactly what they were. A very thin gauge aluminum hull with a lousy riveting . Even I could see this was not something worth buying.
Hopefully they're better quality now.
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Old 12-19-2011, 11:20 AM
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Default Go LUND!!

My semi-v hull Lund was built almost 30 years ago. It has been full of ice up to the seat tops, left out in 100 degree sun, you name it. And it does not have a single loose rivet, not leak one. You can't buy a better small boat. IMHO, of course.
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Old 12-19-2011, 04:02 PM
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Default Re: Building a Cheaper Pram

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCliff View Post
Why not leave the forward seat in place and just build a larger deck that rests on it?

That would also allow you to stand nearer the middle of the boat, reducing "nose dive".
Hmm... that does sound like a good idea. Maybe I will take the boat out a couple times with nothing on it. That way I can actually find the right center of balance for me. I'm not too crazy about standing in a small boat liike that. Sitting would be better because I am on my feet all day. Blah! Maybe I shoudl just get a kickboat and relax, heehee!
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:07 PM
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Default Re: Building a Cheaper Pram

I'm figuring you are going to fish ponds and small lakes with this boat, is that correct? Sometimes we would be better served by waiting and saving money in order to find something that will fill the bill just right. Depending on what gear you intend to take along a 10' boat will fill pretty quick. I have an 18.5 with a wide beam and it's easy to run outta room with one that big. I am a fellow who does not like to fly fish from a boat so I use them as transport only 99% of the time. If you have mostly lake fishing opportunity in your area a bigger boat will be appreciated in the years ahead.
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