Newbie Questions about v-bottoms

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jellyghost
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Joined: 25 May 2014, 23:15

Newbie Questions about v-bottoms

Post by jellyghost » 25 May 2014, 23:26

Hi, I am new to the forum, and I joined while trying to buy my first aluminum boat. From reading other posts, I am looking for a v-bottom, but I have some questions. IF there is a good sticky, please direct me to it!!!

I am in the midwest, and I usually fish for catfish. I have family on the east coast, and we do crabbing on sheltered water. So far, all of my boats have been canoes. I would like to buy a used beginner boat with trailer that can handle bigger water. I would really like the boat to be versatile.
Q1: How pronounced or deep should the v bottom be?
Q2: It seems like lower seats are more stable, what should I be looking for?
Q3: Are their certain brands that I should avoid or seek?
Q4: Are their signs of wear and aging that I should inspect for?
Q5: How do I evaluate a motor?
Q6: How much should I expect to spend for a good working boat with trailer?

thanks in advance.

RazorBaits
Razorback
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Newbie Questions about v-bottoms

Post by Razorback » 26 May 2014, 02:38

Man, books could be written trying to answer all your questions, and no two books would be the same. The answers to most of the quesitons you asked really would only be opinion. That said, I'll give you mine. Others will differ.

My first tin was a 14ft v-bottom, and I absolutely hated it. It was about as stable as a canoe. The same goes with every other v-bottom I've been in. I think larger, heavier v-bottoms make great boats for big water trolling, like striper rigs, but little ones.... nope. I would never advise anybody to get one.

My personal dream rig for catfish would be a 18-20 foot mod-v that was as wide as I could possibly get. If I'm fighting a 20+lb catfish, I want a boat that's as stable as possible. Keep in mind, that's my wish list, not what I have or am saying you should get.

Seat height depends on how stable the boat actually is. Get it on the water and then decide how high you want to go. You'll notice some guys are putting full casting decks on a 1436, others aren't.

As far as brands of v-bottoms, I couldn't tell you.

A wood transom can be replaced. If the metal part of the transom is all bashed up, warped, full of holes, or corroded, you can either weld another piece of aluminum over it, replace it, or look for another boat. Other things to look for are major dents on the underside, loose or missing rivets, rigidity (grab one end of the boat and try to twist it), and corrosion/pitting, especially underneath where it sits on the trailer bunks.

The best way to evaluate a motor is to have a pressure test done and see/hear it run.

The overall price of the boat/motor will vary with age, brand, model, size, etc. What you really need to look for is what it will probably cost to make it fishable. My current project is a Duracraft 1432 with a Merc 25. It was free. My brother gave it to me. I'm expecting to have $5-700 invested in it by the time it's ready to fish. The motor has a 3 year old water pump in it, and it seems to be pumping well so I'll leave that alone for now, but I am having to replace bad plastic shift linkage, fuel filter assembly, plug wires, change lower unit oil, and clean the carbs. As far as the boat goes, I'm replacing the wood transom, building a small deck on the front for mounting the trolling motor, steelflex on the outside, paint on the inside, wiring for nav lights and LED interior lights, modifying the front and rear benches to hold batteries, mounting seats, and installing flooring/carpet. I found an outdoor carpet remnant at Lowes big enough to do the whole boat for $16! I'm proud of my carpet find. lol I'll also have to re-carpet, or possibly replace the trailer bunks and rails.

Good luck. Hope you find what you're looking for.

jellyghost
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Newbie Questions about v-bottoms

Post by jellyghost » 28 May 2014, 17:40

I found your answer very helpful. Thanks!

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FerrisBueller
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Newbie Questions about v-bottoms

Post by FerrisBueller » 28 May 2014, 19:36

Razorback nailed it, it's an opinion-based plethora of answers to your questions.

Stability all depends on the model of the v's as well. I'd recommend a 16' for something to start with. Very common (especially in the midwest) and more versatile than a 14'. I've got a 1985 Lund 16' and I spend a lot of time and a little money in gutting it out and making it perfect to what I enjoy fishing for. I think it's very stable for what I do. For a beginning boat I think it fits the ticket in my instance.

I'd say that you could find something like mine in the range of $1100-2000 for a 16' v hull in the 80's-90's year models and a 20-25 hp engine and a decent working trailer.

You could also expect to spend another 200-800$ to make it fishable to your liking depending on accessories/materials and how much work you want to do.
1985 Lund S-16 DLX
Minnkota #55 Powerdrive V2
25hp Mercury

ccm
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Newbie Questions about v-bottoms

Post by ccm » 28 May 2014, 22:33

FerrisBueller » 28 May 2014, 18:36 wrote:Razorback nailed it, it's an opinion-based plethora of answers to your questions.

Stability all depends on the model of the v's as well. I'd recommend a 16' for something to start with. Very common (especially in the midwest) and more versatile than a 14'. I've got a 1985 Lund 16' and I spend a lot of time and a little money in gutting it out and making it perfect to what I enjoy fishing for. I think it's very stable for what I do. For a beginning boat I think it fits the ticket in my instance.

I'd say that you could find something like mine in the range of $1100-2000 for a 16' v hull in the 80's-90's year models and a 20-25 hp engine and a decent working trailer.

You could also expect to spend another 200-800$ to make it fishable to your liking depending on accessories/materials and how much work you want to do.
What he said.
Stability defiantly depends on what model/style of v hull you get. My buddy had a 14ft Lone Star about as stable as a trying to stand up in a canoe plus it was heavily used and had a thin hull. When I went on my boat search I finally found an old boat (14ft Sea King built by Arkansas Traveler) I liked the fact that it was flat in the back giving it great stability and it had a hull built out of a thicker gauge of aluminum ( we knocked a hole in my buddies boat & nearly sank :shock: ) I'd say a 16ft would be a good boat to start with. The extra 2ft really make a difference from that of a 14ft boat. Things to look out for: thin hull & major structural damage such as a cracked keel, & large amounts/bad areas of corrosion. And as far a brand goes at one time or another everybody and their brother built aluminum boats so there really are a lot of them still out there & you never really know what you might find.

satx78247
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Location: San Antonio, TX

Newbie Questions about v-bottoms

Post by satx78247 » 28 May 2014, 22:58

jellyghost,

IF it was me, I would LOOK FOR a deep/wide Lone Star 16 foot KING COMMANDER or any of the other quality/heavy-gauge semi-V "open fishermen" by any of the larger aluminum boat builders of the 1958 - 1970 era.

Also, I would LOOK FOR and buy a Big-Twin 2-cycle OB motor by Evinrude, Gale or Johnson, made by Outboard Motor Corporation (OMC). - Those 1955-70 outboards are TOUGH, CHEAP to buy/repair/maintain and so over-engineered that I've never seen one that was worn-out in service. = I've bought numerous BigTwins for 50-100.oo at garage/estate sales, invested 100.oo in "maintenance parts", like points, plugs, coils, sparkplug wires, carb kit, water-pump impeller, etc. AND ended up with a GOOD/RELIABLE outboard for <200.oo.
(I've seen LOTS of them that even survived being run out of the water and/or being operated with insufficient oil!)
These BigTwins were made in HP-ratings from 15-40HP, so one or a pair is quite suitable in 2014 to power most any "tin fisherman", up to 20+ feet.
(A friend of mine here in San Antonio has been running a PAIR of 1965 35HP Johnsons on his BIG/DEEP/WIDE 19ft "tin V-bottom boat", several days a week as a "bay fishing machine", for >2 decades without anything but "routine" maintenance, oil & gas.)

Also, I would FIRST buy a copy (or borrow from the public library!) a copy of: CHEAP OUTBOARDS: THE BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO MAKING AN OLD MOTOR RUN FOREVER. - I "plead guilty as charged" to being one of Max Wawrzyniak's many fans.
(That book is a "gem", imVho for us "outboard tinkerers". = I am NOT a "mechanic" & I don't have to be to successfully get/keep a "garage sale" BigTwin running for longer than I'll ever need a boat/motor.)

That book by Max Wawrzyniak is about 25.oo retail but I bought my first copy from our local Goodwill Store for about 5.oo. - Btw, the book is often discounted on the "used book sites" on the "worldwidewierd".

just my opinions, satx
Resistance to tyrants is obedience to Almighty God.
Thomas Jefferson, 1803

jellyghost
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Joined: 25 May 2014, 23:15

Newbie Questions about v-bottoms

Post by jellyghost » 31 May 2014, 19:05

Thanks for the great answers. This seems like a great forum.

Why consider vintage boats? Did they make them with thicker aluminum or more rugged? price? I like the idea of buying an older boat, but I wanted to understand the advantage.

How do aluminum boats do in brackish water or salt water? I am in KC, but I spend lots of time in the Baltimore/Washington area. I may be moving that direction in a few years. Can an aluminum boat work in both types of water? I assume the engine would need to be different.

I have found one Lonestar on the local craigslist. It is a 14' boat made in the 60s. There were a couple good looking options for 16' Lunds. Are their other good search terms?

Thanks again.
Last edited by jellyghost on 31 May 2014, 21:03, edited 1 time in total.

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Clifford_Akov
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Newbie Questions about v-bottoms

Post by Clifford_Akov » 31 May 2014, 20:04

I have an Alumacraft V-14 and have used it almost exclusively in brackish water since 1994. It is really no worse for wear. As far as the motor, I always flush it well with fresh water. Only minor cosmetic damage I have to the boat is I used a little bleach on it, and aluminum really does not like bleach. Lesson learned.
"Yola Mia", 1994 Alumacraft V-14, 25 Honda 4-stroke outboard

satx78247
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Newbie Questions about v-bottoms

Post by satx78247 » 31 May 2014, 21:58

jellyghost,

YEP. Both the "better quality" (YES, some of the new/old boats were always "JUNK".) vintage "tin boats"
AND
(imVho) the 1955-70 OMC OB motors are TOUGHER, EASIER & CHEAPER to maintain and generally are of BETTER QUALITY than the "modern" boats/motors.
(Several of the hulls are made of FAR better alloy and heavier gauge aluminum than the newer boats and some are made by hand by professional sheet-metal artists.)

I have a 2nd cousin, who is a commercial fisherman, and he has been running a "tin" LA-built commercial "bay shrimp" boat for well over 2 decades W/O significant problems with corrosion or other similar problems. = Thus I do not think that salt/brackish/fresh water is a problem for "tin" boats of quality, though any use is "tough" on the poor quality hulls>.

just my opinions, satx
Resistance to tyrants is obedience to Almighty God.
Thomas Jefferson, 1803

Keith1
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Location: Wyoming

Newbie Questions about v-bottoms

Post by Keith1 » 31 May 2014, 23:56

I have a 14 foot Gregor Baja Special. This is an excellent boat and was produced for tougher than normal conditions. This boat has helped to catch 10 bill fish. [9 marlin and 1 sailfish] It has been my dive boat being used from the northern Sea of Cortez to as far south as Cabo Pulmo and Los Frailes. I have never felt that it was unstable in any way and it's been out in some large seas.

The motor is a 1988 30 HP Evinrude long shaft and the only thing that has been replaced is the impeller several times.

I realize that going to sea is not the question but my point is a proper V bottom is very stable and capable.

Regards. Keith

satx78247
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Location: San Antonio, TX

Newbie Questions about v-bottoms

Post by satx78247 » 01 Jun 2014, 01:59

Keith1,

AGREED 100%.

Btw, I'm soon to start restoration of a 1957-8 HOLMES (of Houston) GULF FISHERMAN 18 (a 3/4" molded mahogany ply hull, designed specifically for game-fishing the Gulf of Mexico.), to be powered by a pair of 1958 Johnson 35HP OBs. = That's THE boat that I wanted badly, when I was a "wet behind the ears kid".
She will be fitted out for cobia, tarpon and catching/tagging BIG sharks, out on the salt and will participate in The Denison, TX to New Orleans, LA Run on the 60th anniversary of the Roy Rogers - Mac McDerby trip.
(Her name will be: Mayan Princess.)

yours, satx
Resistance to tyrants is obedience to Almighty God.
Thomas Jefferson, 1803

jellyghost
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Newbie Questions about v-bottoms

Post by jellyghost » 24 Aug 2018, 20:10

I am revisiting this post 4 years later. I didn't go forward at that time, but I want to soon. The bug has never gone away.
Thank you for these great answers. Now, I don't need to ask all of these questions again!

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DaleH
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Newbie Questions about v-bottoms

Post by DaleH » 24 Aug 2018, 20:55

How do aluminum boats do in brackish water or salt water? I am in KC, but I spend lots of time in the Baltimore/Washington area. I may be moving that direction in a few years. Can an aluminum boat work in both types of water?
If UNprotected, saltwater WILL KILL a tin boat! Brackish ... depends ...

FWIW I have moored my boats on a brackish estuary leading to the salt but I still protect the hull bottom. I protect it by scrubbing with vinegar & copper scubbid pad, rinsing with water, letting it dry well, then zinc chromate prime (the 2-part epoxy formula brush painted on) then 2 coats of special anti-fouling bottom paint MADE for use on tin boats.

As for motors, I’ve yet to flush one in 50+ years of boating in this same area, as I do my own service work and thermostat/water pump replacements are done regularly, i.e., every 2-years on V6 motors, every 3-years on V4 motors and 5 to X years on smaller motors - use dependent - as in ‘may’ extend the service interval by one year on a bigger boat not used too much, I look at engine hours.

At one point my 3 brothers and I ourselves were running 12 to 16 motors each season and I take care of a fleet of about 2 dozen small boats for my boat club. Some tin boat owners don’t paint their hull bottoms and they replace their boats (????) every 6 to 10-years, depending on how much leaking they can put up with, due to electrolysis and salt-induced corrosion.

If you move to that area, I will help you out, plus I also have boating contacts in that area.
#1) 1st tin rebuild, 18' Lund http://forum.tinboats.net/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=36583
#2) 25' Parker refurb from EMPTY hull http://www.classicparker.com/phpBB3/vie ... p?f=15&t=6
#3) 16' V-tin rebuild http://forum.tinboats.net/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=36465
#4 Procraft SV14
#5) 16' Starcraft entirely NEW Transom Skins http://forum.tinboats.net/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=37548

MrGiggles
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Newbie Questions about v-bottoms

Post by MrGiggles » 24 Aug 2018, 22:36

Firstly, I would not got any narrower than 48". I have two 14' tin boats, one 36" and the other 48", the difference in stability is night and day.

The angle measurement of the V is called deadrise. Less deadrise, more stable, rougher ride. More deadrise, the boat will roll more, but ride better.

IMO the perfect do-all boat is a wide 16' deep V tiller. The tiller saves a lot floor space, the ride is tolerable in rough water, and it will be plenty stable.

As for brands, condition is more important than the manufacturer. Alumacraft, Lund, Lowe, Crestliner, and Tracker are some of the bigger brands to look for.

Go on a sea trial if at all possible. Check for flex in the transom, look over the wood if it's visible. Check the floor for soft spots, if the boat has one. Crawl underneath and look for patches, cracks, loose rivets etc. on the hull. Chances are if any of those exist, someone will have smeared some goop over it to stop the leak.

If equipped with power trim, raise the motor and see if it holds position and doesn't drift down.

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