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Old 07-20-2021, 05:41 PM   #1
Wall_Hanger
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Location: Huffman, TX
Hunt In: Victoria & Rel county
Default life of a jon boat

Thought I would share a quick update on my duck rig. I got this jon boat back in 2014. SeaArk 16' commercial tunnel hull. It was the response vessel for a plant I managed I was able to barter for it. Its a 2005 hull and had a 2001 Johnson 40. It had never been used since purchased new but had been run every month as part of our spill response plan. So when I got it, the motor had all of 14 hours on it all of which were on a muff in the shop.

I decided to strip the boat, repaint, rewire, rebuild the trailer, new water pump and spark plugs, and added lights and other accessories (bilge, aerator, etc.) to get her ready for the lake. This was Phase 1 of the rebuild. I also added a jack plate here to get more use out of the tunnel. The first pictures of the day it came home, tear down, and rebuild.

The Johnson 40 was a very reliable motor and had such low hours that I really wanted to use it but the fact was, it was a slouch. The motor was geared for commercial services and had no "get up and go" but it had a ton of low end torque which meant it was great for pulling booms in the ship channel but terrible for shallow hole shots in the marsh. I decided that needed to go and set out for the holy grail of small boat motors, the 2-stroke Yamaha 70. I found one local with a busted lower unit so I bought it and then ordered a rebuild lower from Australia. The new to me 70 is actually a 1985 model but had great compression and ran well so I went with it.

Phase 2 - I decided I wanted to reconfigure the boat to make it more usable. The original setup had the oil tank, battery, and gas tank all in the rear bilge plus the driver standing just in front of that. This meant all the weight in the boat was in the stern and was terrible for performance overall. I wanted the gas tank mounted mid boat and the battery as well and also wanted it setup to stand and drive. So we set out and built a new console and welded the old live well box to it. The gas tank is now in the old live well box and is almost perfectly mid boat and out of the way. You just lift the seat and fill. I also wanted to add storage to the boat so I cut the front deck out and the rear bench seat out to create a general storage hatch and also a rear gun box respectively. With the new motor I wanted something easy to drive so I decided to add power steering as well. Over three days, we pulled all new tinned marine wire for all electronics, built the gas tank, built the console, built the lean bar, and re-rigged every part of the boat. I also added a wash-down pump to be able to spray the boat down when it get hot or when the kids need something to do. We went ahead and installed two JL Audio 7.7 marine speaks, JL amp and JL Bluetooth controller as well to have some tunes in the rig. We moved the battery to underneath the new console and added an onboard digital charger with extension cord plug for charging. Overall I am very happy with how it turned out. The hatches are very much temporary right now because we are waiting for the aluminum Z and Channel to be run at the mill (covid has them way backed up) so we can build the hatch lids out the way I want but for now we made do. I am sure that I am leaving some things out but here she is. My buddy who owns JCM (Jameson Custom Marine) in Huffman did most of the grunt work and I helped were I could without getting in the way but overall I am happy with the progress. More to come when we build the duck blind for it!
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Last edited by Wall_Hanger; 07-20-2021 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 07-20-2021, 05:42 PM   #2
Wall_Hanger
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Phase 1.5 with only the new Yamaha mounted
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Old 07-20-2021, 05:45 PM   #3
Wall_Hanger
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Phase 2
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Old 07-20-2021, 06:02 PM   #4
duckhacker
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Nice rig!
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Old 07-20-2021, 06:03 PM   #5
LWC
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Very nice
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Old 07-20-2021, 06:03 PM   #6
hopedale
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Looks great
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Old 07-20-2021, 07:05 PM   #7
WyoBull
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Very nice rebuild!

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
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Old 07-20-2021, 07:15 PM   #8
rvd
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Looks great!
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Old 07-20-2021, 07:39 PM   #9
Wall_Hanger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duckhacker View Post
Nice rig!


Thank you. Ready to get some duck blood on it this year!
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Old 07-20-2021, 08:39 PM   #10
sailor
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Good job.
I do so love, working on boats.
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Old 07-20-2021, 08:41 PM   #11
Smart
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Dang nice rig!
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Old 07-20-2021, 08:41 PM   #12
Texas Grown
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Nice job on the refurb ! That's a well built hull. I have a special appreciation for this type of work.
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Old 07-20-2021, 11:01 PM   #13
Wall_Hanger
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Default life of a jon boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Grown View Post
Nice job on the refurb ! That's a well built hull. I have a special appreciation for this type of work.

Thank you! This was my first adventure into boat refurbs.

We were pleasantly surprised at the craftsmanship on the hull when the refurb started. Theres no aluminum on the boat less than 1/8 and the diamond plate floor has bracing under it too. Very well put together. The rigging left a lot to be desired but it wasnt mean to be a marsh boat from the factory.
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Old 07-21-2021, 12:42 AM   #14
Burnadell
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Wow! Great job!
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Old 07-21-2021, 08:10 AM   #15
kevin nicholls
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That's a good looking rig. Job well done.
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Old 07-21-2021, 08:20 AM   #16
PoppinPiggies
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Wow! Definitely following this, would like to do something similar
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Old 07-21-2021, 10:20 AM   #17
Wall_Hanger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burnadell View Post
Wow! Great job!


Thank you.

By far the best addition (other than more horsepower) has been the hydraulic steering. These little boats can be a bear to turn when the motor is all the way up on the Jack plate. With the power steering, its easy enough that my 3yo son drove it standing on of the bar in front of me with ease. Little **** actually really good. For those with little kids, he thought cruising in the boat listening to Paw Patrol was the coolest thing ever! Haha.

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Old 07-21-2021, 11:27 AM   #18
3under3
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Looks really good. Make sure you put a kill switch in and use it every time.
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Old 07-21-2021, 11:53 AM   #19
Wall_Hanger
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Location: Huffman, TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3under3 View Post
Looks really good. Make sure you put a kill switch in and use it every time.
It has the standard Yamaha remote controls with kill, just hard to see from the picture angle be the controls are mounted at an angle and the kill switch in on the bottom. Its the law in Texas now so you better have it or they will pop ya.
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