Jon Boat

kylemcintyre67

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Joined
Sep 11, 2018
Messages
415
Location
El Paso, TX
So a couple years ago my daughter and I built a stich and glue canoe over the summer. It was primarily built to ease access for hunting whitetails on public in Oklahoma. We have put it to good use and had some fun with it, but getting up at 3 in the morning to paddle the 2 miles up the creek before sunrise was getting old. I decided we needed something with power, the ability to carry coolers and more comfort items would be a nice bonus. Shallow draft being a necessity, we landed on the classic American jon boat. Construction began over Christmas break, but the lions share of it was completed during the month of May when I had to take off from work. I did not purchase any plans because well, its a floating rectangle, even I can suss that out. I wanted an open deck design that I could sleep on if the occasion warranted it. I went wide for the length, at 48 inches on the bottom, keeping it to 12 foot so I can stuff it in the garage. I fabbed a retracting trailer tongue to assist with that requirement as well. It is ply on frame construction with a fully fiber glassed hull and all other components coated in epoxy. This is not a comprehensive build thread, but I have included some of the construction pictures as well as some of the fun we have been having on it since we first launched two weeks ago. I did not grow up in a fishing or hunting household so now we are learning to fish as well. I put a mudskipper twister kit on her for the power with a 6 horse northern tool motor. She runs a solid 6 mph on flat water at wot, around 3mph at idle. I am looking at changing to their 2 blade prop adapter as it is supposed to use the power better and produce more speed. Until then we are content to plow our way around the Caballo reservoir in southern NM having fun treasure hunting the shores and seeing how much farther upriver we can get from the crowd. If you haven't played with one, mud motors are fun. I have it in mind to figure out an electric motor set up in the future to get rid of the noise. Anyway, I give you the "Kay-Dee P"
 

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TN2shot07

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Aug 30, 2019
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965
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West TN
That’s an awesome project! I’ve been toying around with picking one up for the same purpose once prices come back to normal around here! I’ll be taking the lazy route and buying an aluminum one for all the cypress here tho!
 

kylemcintyre67

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Joined
Sep 11, 2018
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415
Location
El Paso, TX
That’s an awesome project! I’ve been toying around with picking one up for the same purpose once prices come back to normal around here! I’ll be taking the lazy route and buying an aluminum one for all the cypress here tho!
I spent a lot of time looking at used boats while this project was in it's infancy. The problem was they either didn't have a title or they were super expensive. I still spent new boat money building this, but I got the exact layout I wanted and a few amenities plus the motor for what a hull would have run me. The time spent in the garage with my daughter was priceless too.
 

kylemcintyre67

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Joined
Sep 11, 2018
Messages
415
Location
El Paso, TX
One comment and Two questions:

Comment:
Really cool experience and good dad-ing

Questions:
1) How much does that thing weigh?

2) When was the last time you ate at Trattoria Bella Sera? It's the best Italian restaurant in the country

I have no idea on the weight. The original goal was something I could pull off the trailer and use some launch wheels to push over any bank, but that ship has sailed... If I had to guess I would put the hull without gear in the 250 pound range, maybe a bit more. Its a bit of a bear to wrestle onto the beach when we go ashore with everything in it.

I've been here in El Paso for almost 13 years now and used to live right down the street from that place, never been in. I really haven't even had any locals recommend it ever. I guess we will have to check it out.
 

1_pointer

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Joined
Dec 20, 2000
Messages
18,108
Location
Indiana
Very well done!! That's a cool as hell project! Something like that, or even a bit shorter, would be perfect for the pond we built last year.
 

morley.tyler

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Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Messages
681
Location
North Idaho, Living in PDX
I've been here in El Paso for almost 13 years now and used to live right down the street from that place, never been in. I really haven't even had any locals recommend it ever. I guess we will have to check it out.
The owner, Christina, moved there from Italy. When I used to travel to El Paso for biz, I’d fly in a day early and leave a day late just for two more meals…
 

jrabq

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Joined
Jul 4, 2014
Messages
735
Location
NM
That's a neat project, I'd like to hear more about the motor build. Easy, hard, lessons learned, etc., been toying with idea of building one.

Be careful on any NM lake in a small boat like that, after a near death experience 20 years ago I bought a "bigger" boat.
 

kylemcintyre67

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Joined
Sep 11, 2018
Messages
415
Location
El Paso, TX
That's a neat project, I'd like to hear more about the motor build. Easy, hard, lessons learned, etc., been toying with idea of building one.

Be careful on any NM lake in a small boat like that, after a near death experience 20 years ago I bought a "bigger" boat.
The motor and kit were pretty straight forward. It came with all the hardware and pretty detailed instructions. They also have several detailed videos on youtube. I have been wrenching on motorcycles my entire life and spent a lot of time around small engines as a kid. After the first day on the water I did end up fabricating a steel collar to go over the transom. The wood on it's own was too soft and the bolts dug into it pretty good. Some thickened epoxy and fresh paint under the steel took care of that.

We did have some pretty good chop both days we were out. The first day it was up about a foot when we launched, the hull just plowed through. The wind kicked up pretty good on this past Sunday too. I tend to overprepare so we exceed all of the safety requirements as far as pfd, lights, horn ect. I am also meticulous about using the motor cutoff band and keeping lines stowed. I spent 6 years aboard destroyers many years ago as well as taking some sailing classes at the mwr marina. and safety is my priority. We haven't had any super busy days on the water yet, most other vessels stay pretty far away from each other so far. They are my biggest concern out there.
 
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kylemcintyre67

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Joined
Sep 11, 2018
Messages
415
Location
El Paso, TX
Far out and groovy dudette and dude!
I'm considering the same scenario, but with Baffin Bay on the Texas coast in mind.
There are a ton of different plans out there for plywood boats of all types. Spira international has good prices on plans and a lot of different designs. There are plenty of others, but Jeff Spira designs simple to construct and easy to customize hulls. If I had the space I would have built his Walden 15' skiff instead. Careful though, it can get to be a habit. I'm all ready planning to do a stand up paddle board for my mom, Layla wants to do a kayak for her, and long term I want to do a 18-20 foot shanty/houseboat type deal.
 
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kylemcintyre67

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Joined
Sep 11, 2018
Messages
415
Location
El Paso, TX
Yeah I got lucky and purchased all of the plywood and most of the framing back in December before it got bad. Getting the last few pieces I needed later was rough.
 
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