Hello fellow boaters and anglers,
I have decided to go ahead and convert my Smoker Craft. Currently running a 13.5' Sea King and will continue to use that boat. It lacks storage but is an excellent boat otherwise. I will be mounting the 25hp Johnson from the Smoker Craft onto the Sea King. Main use will be bigger lakes. The usage for the Smoker Craft will be for fishing in hp limited/electric lakes. I plan on maximizing storage capacity. The is a mid range budget build. I am nit going over the top, but I am going to take my time and do it right. I will be removing all the benches and framing that is currently in it. I have designed a blueprint for the boat. I will be mounting a Minn Kota Powerdrive V2 on the front w/ an MKA-21 Quick Release Bracket. Will run aMinn Kota 55lb Transom Mount in the back. It will mostly serve as a rudder. Rod locker will be open concept, I don't like tubed rod lockers. I will lay a yoga mat on the bottom, and I always cover my rods and reels, so im not worried about damage. Will mount a rod strap on top of the rod lockers on both sides to strap rods down. Livewell will be made out of a cheap igloo cooler, dimensions fit well. I currently carry a 17 gal Home Depot tote into the Sea King when I fish. It holds my 3700s very well; therefore, I will be using 3 of this in the center hatches. I will cut a hole in the bottom middle of each bin so water can drain effectively. Not sure what I am going to do with the front hatch yet. I store my anchor in the front hatch of the Sea King, but if it is open concept, I am worried the rods will get damaged but it rolling around. Back hatch will be open concept. In the front most storage hatch in between the rod locker, I will likely store the batteries, will start with two, may add a third. I will also attempt to mount a pedestal over that hatch. To access this compartment, one must remove the pedestal. This is functional because battery maintenance will only occur off the water. Not sure what will be stored in the back hatch. Will run two Garmin 93SV Plus units up front, next to the trolling motor. These will be removable and I will have the other boat setup for them as well. Hopefully I will be able to network them and use one transducer per boat. In the event that both boats are in use simultaneously, like the opening day of trout season on my lake, I will be able to use one trolling motor (bow or transom) and one fish finder on each rig, along with one battery as well.
I am going to be using 1" or 1.5" square aluminum tubing for the build. I will also use angled aluminum to rivet the tubing to the boat itself. Will screw the aluminum to each other and to the plywood using self tapping screws and 1/16" flat bar aluminum to hold the junctions of aluminum together. Still debating over what thickness plywood to use. I am leaning towards 1/2" and playing it safe, but depending on responses I may go with 3/8" the weakest area is the front of the rod locker without the hatch. I will have the concave nature of the bow to my advantage though, so it will help displace some weight. Im not heavy, 5'10" 160lbs 18 y/o, so its not a he concern.
My biggest concern is how to secure the bins. they will have a decent amount of tackle in them. I want them to be floating so that any leaked water can flow through the bottom of the boat to where I am implementing a bilge pump. plan is to place foam boards on the riband for the bins to rest on that, but there is more planning to be done here. Another concern is how to make it level/how high to raise the deck. I want stability, yet storage. I am lucky that the transom only drops about 2" in the lowest point. That back compartment doesn't have a height requirement, but the front has to be tall enough for the containers to fit. The totes are 12.5" and the cooler is 14" tall. I need to figure out how to wire the trolling motor to the batteries.
Overall, I am excited to be starting the process of this conversion. It has been sitting in my driveway for quite some time now. The trailer is a complete disaster and I will tackle that another time. Might switch boat trailers until the old one is fixed. I am currently away at school, so I am having to work remotely, based off of images I have of the boat. I am hoping my plan is fine and am trying to think of every little detail. I doubt I covered everything though. My spring break is March 6th through 15th. Will attempt to complete most of the work then. I am trying to get everything ready for when I get home and can begin working on the build.
This is the first step to my build. I am in the planning stage right now. Please feel free to comment or criticize my plan. I need people to tell me what I am overlooking. Thanks, be sure to follow along.
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