TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


By beantamug
#2057574
I'm a Texan living in WA courtesy of the US Air Force. After moving here I missed fishing the Hill Country rivers and Galveston area bays and beaches. Then I learned some of the lakes here are full of largemouth and smallmouth bass, and the lower Yakima has excellent smallmouth and channel cat fishing - game on!

I needed a boat. I looked at tons of plans online and just couldn't find one I liked enough to purchase, so I drew one up, made a trip to Home Depot, and got to building. I wanted a simple easy to build boat, that would propel easily with paddle, electric motor, or outboard motor and plane. I settled on an upswept bow flat bottom Jon boat that narrows at the bow and also narrows a little at the stern. Similar to the paddle Jons and float boats that float the White River in Arkansas.

It is 14'4" long and 44" wide at the gunnel midship. The sides have a 10 degree flare and the transom is set at 5 degrees. I did it quick and dirty, it is not glassed. It is simply AC plywood screwed and tite bond 3 glued to frames and bulkheads, sealed with silicone, primed with Killz, and painted with latex enamel exterior house paint. I narrowed the stern thinking this would be better for paddling, and it is. This also means that when on plane the rear seat rides a little wet. Larger spray rails or simply making the stern the widest part of the boat would have helped with a drier ride. It is heavier than I wanted at ~200 pounds. If I could do it over I would have built it lighter and glassed it to maintain rigidity and strength. The boat has 5/8 bottom, 1/2 sides and bow, double 3/4 transom, 3/8 bulk heads and frame gussets, 3/4 decks and seats, and 2x2 framing and interior chines. The sides are 13" high and it has a 15" transom. In hindsight I also would make the sides 15" like the transom. It also has 1x2 bottom rub strips. I hoped these would aid in tracking while paddling but it tracks pretty poorly under paddle. It works ideally with an electric trolling motor or small outboard. A 6hp will plane it with me, my wife, and fishin gear - about a 430lb load. A 6hp wouldn't quite plane my larger fishing buddy and I with our gear on a recent trip, about a 550lb load. I think a 9.9hp would have been ideal. It is serving me well though. I've caught a bunch of fish this summer and it only cost me about $250 and a 4 day weekend to build and outfit.

I have not yet made the 4hr drive to do a float trip down the lower Yakima River for all those big smallies and channel cats. That and duck hunting were the original impetus for building this boat. Time and budget constraints haven't let it materialize yet. Fortunately there are a lot of lakes closer to me in Federal Way, WA that are filled with bass. At the moment I'm laid up healing from a foot surgery (motorcycle accident) so I'm not getting any time on the water for a week or two. As soon as I do make the Yakima River trip I will update this thread with how the boat performs in moving water.

I should mention that this may be the first boat I have built entirely on my own, but I am not really new to small boat building. As a boy my grandfather and I built two barge like Jon boats - 8'6"x4' with plumb sides, 45 degree bow made of plywood and 1x12 boards. We also built the well known 6hr canoe that was really a 6 week pirogue! Those boats and my grandfather's imparted wisdom gave me the confidence and background to dive into this one.
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Last edited by beantamug on Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.
By beantamug
#2057594
The underside of the decks and inside of the middle seat / storage compartment are primed and painted as well.
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By beantamug
#2057597
I fabricated a hitch extension to hold up the bow of the boat so I could carry it in my pickup bed. With a 6' bed and big floor mounted toolbox over 8' of boat sticks out, even with my tailgate down! The exit on has worked great. Everyone asks the same thing - is that legal?!? I looked in the WA public safety web site and all I could find is any load extending 3' or more must be flagged, it doesn't list a maximum permissible extension or overhang.
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By beantamug
#2057600
I got a new (to me) truck and had to rework the hitch extension as the hitch to bed floor distance is now different. I also added a 3 rod vertical rack and two Scotty rod holders.
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By Iamdamoder
#2060792
I don't usually comment on the not human powered builds, but you won me over with the pics of greenfish. 8)

Good job on the getter done, Home Depot to on the hook, gotta love that.
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By preacher
#2061169
Great job with great results(fish). That's what it's all about.
I may have to give that design a shot;^)

Nice talking with you.

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