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  1. #1

    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.



    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.
    "You're not old, you've simply aquired a patina." - Swirlchaser

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Manning, S. C. (formerly MD)
    Posts
    3,012

    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!
    Remember, no one likes to be behind the big truck, but that's better than being under it!

  3. #3

    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!
    "You're not old, you've simply aquired a patina." - Swirlchaser

  4. #4

    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

    d
    ex·pe·ri·ence noun \ik-ˈspir-ē-ən(t)s\

    1. the fact or state of having been affected by or gained knowledge through direct observation or participation

    2. that thing you get just moments after you needed it.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Building a Cheaper Pram



    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.
    "You're not old, you've simply aquired a patina." - Swirlchaser

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    South Texas
    Posts
    4,313

    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".
    http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-..._1276302_n.jpg

    I'd rather hunt fish than bait deer any day.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    quiet corner, ct
    Posts
    8,605

    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.
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements.” --- Horace Kephart

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Bennington, VT
    Posts
    1,546

    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.
    Jon Boat

    http://www.lundboats.com/pdfs/specs2012/jon_boats.pdf

    Gary

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  10. #9

    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!
    "You're not old, you've simply aquired a patina." - Swirlchaser

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Posts
    15,513
    Blog Entries
    113

    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.

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

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