BigTerp's Tracker Sportsman 16' O/B Jet build

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BigTerp
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BigTerp's Tracker Sportsman 16' O/B Jet build

Post by BigTerp » 17 Jul 2012, 12:03

First off this is an awesome site. Tons of awesome ideas and a bunch of people willing to give advice.

Was finally able to find a decent deal on a 16 footer over the weekend so I pulled the trigger and brought her home. I recently moved to a subdivision that has river access with a boat ramp about 300 yards from my front door. I sold my old 12 footer before we moved, so a new (to me) boat was in the near future. Got myself a '95 Tracker Sportsman 1648 with a like new '06 Valu-Line trailer. Couldn't be more excited!! Going to be a long and expensive project, but I hope to have her finished by the spring, which helps give me time to gather funds as the project progresses. Will be used for fishing (mostly catfish with occasional musky and smallmouth chasing) and duck/goose hunting the potomac river. I'm hoping to make this boat last a LONG time, so I plan to try and do things right from the start. My plans include:

-Steelflex for the bottom of the hull and fresh paint everywhere else.
-Small aluminum bow deck, riveted to and braced with aluminum angle from the existing bow deck back to the first rib in front of the middle bench.
-Dry storage and storage for batteries under deck.
-Removal of the middle bench seat for a more open floor.
-Aluminum sheet for flooring. (Foam beneath)
-Aluminum sheet to cover gunwalls similar to what caveman and dixie_boysles did in their builds. https://www.tinboats.net/forum/viewtopic ... t+thinking
https://www.tinboats.net/forum/viewtopic ... &start=105
-Hydroturf for the deck/floor/back bench.
-Hydroturf (or possibly something like grizzly grip) for the aluminum sheet up the gunnels.
-Transom replacement. Transom isn't in horrible shape, but I'd rather knock this out now than have to fool with it down the road.
-3 pin mounted seats. 1 captains seat, 1 in middle of open floor and 1 on the deck.
-Radio
-LED lighting mounted to the aluminum sheet on the gunwalls for night fishing.
-Hard wired nav/anchor lights
-Switch panel and 12V socket for spotlight
-Rod holders
-Fish finder/sonar
-25hp tiller and either bow or transom mounted trolling motor.

A few questions.
-What is the best way to reinforce the gunwalls after removing the middle bench? Is the decking/flooring and aluminum sheet up the gunwalls enough? I plan to bring the deck back to the first rib that's right in front of the existing bench, and floor the rest of the way back to the back bench with aluminum sheet attached to the ribs with stainless steel screws. I'll also be attaching the aluminum sheet on the gunwall to the ribs with stainless stell screws.

-When installing a pin mounted seat to an aluminum deck what do you attach it to? I'm thinking you would pattern your aluminum angle bracing so that the seat base is screwed through the aluminum sheet and the aluminum angle? How about attaching a pin mounted seat to an aluminum sheet floor?

-The boats in good shape, but has some typical dents from running a rocky river. Whats the best way to deal with these? Leave them as is, or go to town with a rubber mallet?

I'm sure I'll have many questions along the way, and I already appreciate the help/advice I've gotten so far.

On to the pictures.
Last edited by BigTerp on 15 Jun 2015, 15:06, edited 5 times in total.
BigTerp's Tracker Sportsman 16' build-------> http://www.tinboats.net/forum/viewtopic ... 21&t=26774

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BigTerp
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Tracker Sportsman 16'

Post by BigTerp » 17 Jul 2012, 12:14

The day I brought her home:

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Was told this issue can be fixed by adjusting the bow roller down since it looks like the boat is sitting a little stern heavy on the trailer. Theres also a stern roller on the trailer, but the boat sits to far forward to touch it. Should I also adjust the bow roller back to get use out of the stern roller?
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What do you guys think about the transom? It seems to be in decent shape, but is obviously the original and is about 17 years old. Seems like it would be fairly easy to replace without having to remove any rivets. I'd rather do this now if it's only going to last a few more years.
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Halfway through a pressure washing. Didn't get any after pictures since it started to rain. But she really cleaned up surprisingly well.
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BigTerp's Tracker Sportsman 16' build-------> http://www.tinboats.net/forum/viewtopic ... 21&t=26774

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Tracker Sportsman 16'

Post by BigTerp » 17 Jul 2012, 12:26

I'll keep this thread updated throughout my build. I got so many good ideas from others threads, and maybe someone will get some ideas from mine. It will be slow going, and I'm sure I'll have alot of questions, so thanks in advance!!

First up will be dealing with the cosmetic dents, transom replacement and giving her a good leak test. Hopefully get some of that accomplished over the coming weekend.
BigTerp's Tracker Sportsman 16' build-------> http://www.tinboats.net/forum/viewtopic ... 21&t=26774

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Tracker Sportsman 16'

Post by BigTerp » 18 Jul 2012, 12:28

A few pics to show how well she cleaned up. Just a thorough pressure washing did wonders!!

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Here is a pic of the stern trailer roller I was mentioning thats not doing a thing. I need to adjust the bow roller down and back so I can get the stern of the boat over this roller. The more I looked over things I realized the bottom and side bunks are somewhat out of whack and need adjusting so the boat is sitting centered on the trailer and not resting on the ribs. You can see how off center she sits on trailer, and to get her centered the bottom bunks would be resting on the ribs, which I don't think is the best way to go. Where should the bottom bunks be resting? More towards the center or outer part of the boat?
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Still not sure what I should do with the few dents in the hull. Hammer 'em out, or leave them alone? Any suggestions? I'll try and get some pictures of the dents I'm reffering to.
BigTerp's Tracker Sportsman 16' build-------> http://www.tinboats.net/forum/viewtopic ... 21&t=26774

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donmac
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Tracker Sportsman 16'

Post by donmac » 18 Jul 2012, 13:36

Just in case you haven't stumbled upon this similar build: https://www.tinboats.net/forum/viewtopic ... 21&t=11485
Tinboats:
2004 Lowe Roughneck 1655TN w/ Evinrude 70/50 Jet
2010 Lund WC-12 w/ Honda 8hp

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Zum
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Tracker Sportsman 16'

Post by Zum » 18 Jul 2012, 16:19

Cleaned up real nice,good size,looks ready to go as is.
If those little pieces added to your boat(bow and stern) are steel...I'd get them off first.
I find a bow mount trolling motor easier to fish with but depends on your style fishing.
Looks like you already have a little bow deck,are you thinking raising it?
Are you planing to do all these mods right away,seems it might add up in a hurry.
Might off been cheaper to buy a loaded boat to start with but I guess you will get what you want this way.
Have fun.
Image

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novaman
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Tracker Sportsman 16'

Post by novaman » 18 Jul 2012, 18:37

Nice cleanup job =D> . I think You've 2 pcs. to remove though, the TM mount on the bow, and the FF transducer mount on the rear. The rear is showing corrosion now, so get it off asap, then clean good ,down to bare metal and put some self etching primer on to seal up the surface for now. As far as the dents go, IF THEY'RE NOT LEAKING, I'd leave them alone since they're out of sight, rather than maybe make a crack from pushing the aluminum back past center point of where it's already been strecthed. Look at them as river character, and move on to the part You really want to change. You've got a great start, carryon with it!! =D> MHO
If something was done unorthodox, I might have had a hand in it, and then again I might have had the ONLY hands in it!


2004 Tracker Grizzly 1648/ 04 25 hp.Mercury 4 stroke http://www.tinboats.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=24919
2008 Alumacraft 2072 w/Nissan 115 TLDI for push.

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BigTerp
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Tracker Sportsman 16'

Post by BigTerp » 18 Jul 2012, 21:37

donmac wrote:Just in case you haven't stumbled upon this similar build: https://www.tinboats.net/forum/viewtopic ... 21&t=11485
Thanks. A little disappointing when I got to page 4 and saw the op never finished posting his build. Some good ideas on how he did his framing though. Kind of how I'm envisioning mine.
BigTerp's Tracker Sportsman 16' build-------> http://www.tinboats.net/forum/viewtopic ... 21&t=26774

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Tracker Sportsman 16'

Post by BigTerp » 18 Jul 2012, 22:01

Zum wrote:Cleaned up real nice,good size,looks ready to go as is.
If those little pieces added to your boat(bow and stern) are steel...I'd get them off first.
I find a bow mount trolling motor easier to fish with but depends on your style fishing.
Looks like you already have a little bow deck,are you thinking raising it?
Are you planing to do all these mods right away,seems it might add up in a hurry.
Might off been cheaper to buy a loaded boat to start with but I guess you will get what you want this way.
Have fun.
Yes she did clean up surprisingly well. Actually a good thing the previous owner did very little to the boat. She obviously sat outside uncovered for quite a few years, but without any wooden decks, carpet, etc. nothing really to rot or rust. I removed the steel bracket on the stern yesterday. Just a bit of corrosion from the screws, but alot better shape then what I was expecting. What looks like corrosion around the transducer on the stern is actually some sort of crap goop the previous owner used to seal it up. The transducer is the typical plastic. There is 2 rusty screws holding the transducer to the stern I need to remove and seal up with some solid rivets. I'm going to do a leak test first though. I know I have big plans, but I'm hoping to have this done by march/april. I do pitching lessons in the fall/winter for a local baseball complex they earns be some extra money. That will provide most of the funding for this project. No way I could afford to tackle this all at once. Plus i'd still like to be married when I'm finished my build!!! I plan to extend the bow deck back to in front of the existing middle bench at the same height. I'm 6'8" and plan to duck hunt out of this boat as well so I don't want a huge high deck.
BigTerp's Tracker Sportsman 16' build-------> http://www.tinboats.net/forum/viewtopic ... 21&t=26774

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Tracker Sportsman 16'

Post by BigTerp » 18 Jul 2012, 22:13

novaman wrote:Nice cleanup job =D> . I think You've 2 pcs. to remove though, the TM mount on the bow, and the FF transducer mount on the rear. The rear is showing corrosion now, so get it off asap, then clean good ,down to bare metal and put some self etching primer on to seal up the surface for now. As far as the dents go, IF THEY'RE NOT LEAKING, I'd leave them alone since they're out of sight, rather than maybe make a crack from pushing the aluminum back past center point of where it's already been strecthed. Look at them as river character, and move on to the part You really want to change. You've got a great start, carryon with it!! =D> MHO
I mentioned in my last post about the transducer and trolling motor mount. What looks like corrosion around the transducer is some sort of sealant the previous owner had used to seal up around the transducer. I'm still anxious to see what I'm going to be dealing with under the transducer once I remove it. Hopefullly it don't be to bad!!! Thanks for the advice on the dents. I really doubt they leak, but I'll find out this weekend when I do a leak test. I was really stumped on what to do. Never thought about causing a crack while trying to beat them out. Thanks!!! Should I sand down the corroded area around the screw holes from the TM mount and throw on some primer like you suggested for the transducer? Only place I've found any corrosion/rust so far. Hopefullly it stays that way.
BigTerp's Tracker Sportsman 16' build-------> http://www.tinboats.net/forum/viewtopic ... 21&t=26774

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Tracker Sportsman 16'

Post by panFried » 18 Jul 2012, 23:15

Cleans up nice! Are you still planning a transom replacement? I am looking forward to see how you plan to tackle it. For the posts Ive seen on this forum, theres everything from installing transom with rivets, to pop-rivets, to nuts-n-bolts with marine sealant on them. Just curious which approach you will be taking.

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Post by BigTerp » 19 Jul 2012, 10:15

panFried wrote:Cleans up nice! Are you still planning a transom replacement? I am looking forward to see how you plan to tackle it. For the posts Ive seen on this forum, theres everything from installing transom with rivets, to pop-rivets, to nuts-n-bolts with marine sealant on them. Just curious which approach you will be taking.
Yeah, I think I'm going to go ahead and tackle the transom. Like I said, it doesn't seem to be in that bad of shape, but the nuts on the inside of the hull are pushing through the transom wood. So I"m thinking it's definitely starting to soften a bit. I'm not sure how I'll tackle it, but I'm thinking that solid rivets would be the best. I'm going to have to remove a few solid rivets below the waterline during my mod, so if I'm going to be replacing them with solid rivets as well as the holes from the previous transducer I might as well use them on the transom also. I plan to use plywood coated with epoxy resin for the transom as well.
BigTerp's Tracker Sportsman 16' build-------> http://www.tinboats.net/forum/viewtopic ... 21&t=26774

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Post by BigTerp » 19 Jul 2012, 10:53

While trying to wrap my head around the design of my deck and floor I've come up with a few questions. I'll be using .125" aluminum sheet for the deck/floor and .063" sheet for the gunwalls. Planning on angle for all my bracing below deck and under the floor, but the more I check out other builds I'm thinking I'll need some square tubing as well. Obviously tube is stronger than angle, but where exaclty should I be using the tube within my bracing? Support from the floor up? Under seat bases? Around hatches? Or just angle and no square?
-What size angle should I be using? I can get my hands on 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" x 3/16" and 1" x 1" x 1/4". I'll be using 6063.
-What size square should I be using?
-Should I plan my bracing around my accessories (radio, speakers, LED lights, switch panel) so I can secure them through the aluminum sheet and into my bracing? Or can I just screw that stuff directly into the aluminum sheet?

Also tyring to figure out how to mount my seat bases. I plan to install three of these:
https://www.basspro.com/LockNPin-Seat-Ba ... 4640/62545

One I'll screw directly to a 1/2" piece of plywood I plan to install on top of the rear bench. Will be the only wood on my build but seems to be the most secure way to install a seat base to the bench, unless someone has a better suggestion.

I'm stumped on figuring out how to install the remaining 2 seat bases though. One will be going on the deck and the other on the open floor. Can I screw them directly through the aluminum sheet and into my bracing, either angle or square, and it be secure enough for a 6'8" 255lb guy? Also concerned about under floor clearance for a pin type seat post. I want to keep my floor as low as possible, but also like the idea of a removeable seat post to keep the floor open as needed. Any idea how far below deck these seat bases and corresponding posts would go?

Any and all suggestions, tips and criticisms welcome!!!!!!
BigTerp's Tracker Sportsman 16' build-------> http://www.tinboats.net/forum/viewtopic ... 21&t=26774

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Post by BigTerp » 20 Jul 2012, 09:42

Here is s agood pic of what the metal (galvinized steel??) trolling motor bracket that the previous owner had installed on the bow did to the aluminum. Going to pick up some self etching primer this evening and take a wire brush to debur the old screw holes. Then I'll sand it down to bare meteal and throw on some of the primer.
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Here is whats left of the transducer bracket. I'm going to do a thorough leak test before I remove this mess. I'm anxious to see what I'm going to find underneath :shock:
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Plans for the weekend:
-Thorough leak test
-Remove old transducer bracket and clean up all the sealent that was used around it
-Sand and prime any spots that show corrosion
-Remove boat from trailer and adjust bunks and rollers to get her sitting level and even
-Beer drinking :beer:
BigTerp's Tracker Sportsman 16' build-------> http://www.tinboats.net/forum/viewtopic ... 21&t=26774

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Post by BigTerp » 22 Jul 2012, 09:39

Got a little bit of work done yesterday. Once it finally stopped raining I was able to clean up the corroded areas around the old TM bracket and stern transducer. Did a good leak test and only found 1 leak!! She's leaking from the drain plug. The aluminum opening was a bit smashed when I got the boat. I simply rounded it back out with a screwdriver so the plug would fit. Obviously the plug doesn't fit as well as it should, although it seems like I have to really smash it in to get it in the hole. Maybe the plug is bad?? Whats the best remedy for this?? Also pulled her off the trailer, gave the trailer a good pressure washing and got all the bunks and rollers adjusted. She sits alot better on the trailer now. Some pics....

Here is where the old transducer was mounted. There wasn't any corrosion, just some sort of sealant that I removed with a razor blade. I went ahead and sanded it down regardless and apllied a few coats of self-etching primer. Whats the best way to go about sealing these holes back up? I plan to use solid rivets, so I guess I'll have to drill these 4 holes to size??
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The bow being prepped for primer. Also need to deal with these holes at some point. Since there above the water line I'm assumming I can use something like jb weld to seal them up, sand them down and paint. I want to close them up mearly for cosmetic reasons.
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After 3 coats of primer. Looks much better than the mess that was under the old TM bracket.
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There are a few, I guess rust, spots inside the hull. Should I sand these down as well and apply some primer? I don't plan to paint anything that will be hidden under the deck or floor, but if this is rust/corrosion I should sand it down and at least get some primer over it, right?
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Something just doesn't seem right about filling a boat up with water. I was extremely pleased to not find a single leaky rivet, just a small leak at the drain plug.
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I may have went a bit overboard with the amount of water I put in her, but I wanted to get as much as I could so I could test some of the rivets that were on the side of the hull. Tires were screaming for help during the leak test :shock:
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Empty trailer. Was pretty easy to adjust the bunks and rollers. She fits a bit more snug and square on the trailer now. Should make for a safer tow. The trailer is in excellent shape. Was told by the previous owner it was bought, towed home and then sat until I bought it. You can tell the tires are pretty much brand new.
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BigTerp's Tracker Sportsman 16' build-------> http://www.tinboats.net/forum/viewtopic ... 21&t=26774

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