recently, I took home the above 2015 Alumacraft MV1546DD hull to pair with an '06 Yamaha 25 2-stroke I scored off craigslist. I've been looking for one of these motors for a LONG time now, and I finally found a near new one, for a quite fair price, short shaft, pull start, & electric start too was a bonus! So naturally, I get this boat home & proceeded to drill lots of holes in it! 6 for cleats, 7 for nav/anchor lighting, 1 for bilge, & 2 for the motor. Here's the current look before any real mods begin. I just did the bare bones minimum that I wouldn't wanna be on the water without:
below shows the bow cleat & nav light, there's 3/4" wood glued to the underside of this "duck bill" (or whatever you call the nose being flat like that), i assume this is to make your life easier mounting a trolling motor. it kinda ruined my plans for thru-bolting the nav light, but only because i bought bolts for .080 thicnkess lol. I did luck out buying long enough bolts for the cleat. this bow cleat & the 2 stern cleats are through bolted with stainless bolts, the largest stainless washers that can work with the distance between the 2 bolts, and nyloc washers. just like my last build, the plastic cleat itself is the weakest point, i cannot STAND a boat with a loose cleat & these ain't goin nowhere:
I completely copied the Alumacraft 16 waterfowler sitting on the dealer lot when I chose my anchor light & bilge exit placements. unoriginal? sure, i kept telling my self it was for the resale value, lol. I was going to stick bilge tube over the transom & call it done, but i'd need to drill several small holes to properly secure the hose that way, so i figured why not just drill one big one...anyways, if you do opt for "thru-transom" bilge exit on this hull, WATCH OUT! i hit the crossmember at the top of the transom when I drilled it (an aluminum 2x3" i think, i didn't actually measure it, but if you need height measured, i can do that 4 ya). I was 1/8" too high with my hole, it stopped me dead in my tracks with my cordless drill & paddlebit. luckly, i was able to round out the bottom of my hole with a round bit & make up the difference & still manage to cover the not-so-round hole with the thru-hull fitting, so noone who doesn't read this thread or remove the fitting would ever know! also, the attwood brand thru hull, it's too short! so i drilled my hole then had 2 uh-ohs! thankfully the local boat store stocks a slightly longer thru-hull, whew! I went with black silicone instead of 5200. i only did this for color & cost, no other reason both are adequate for the job. you can get black 5200, but noone around here stocks it in caulk tube size, and black silicone is everywhere for about 1/2 the price of 5200. I will be painting the white fitting tan (eventually). also regarding the transom. There's no wood in it. it's hollow except for the structural framing within it, which I know to be for sure at least rectangle tubing at the top, and more at the bottom with a drain hole, between there appears to be just inner & outer hull skin & air. . i don't ever forsee having to re-do this transom in my lifetime. it's beefed up for holding a heavy 4-stroke 25hp motor. i suspect this boat would hang a 40-60hp 2 stroke without blinking (try at your own risk):
on the above picture, you can see how I ran my nav light wire from under the rear deck, to the bow of the boat. i used extra leftover bilge hose as conduit for a cleaner look than the light wires just going down ziptied. I drilled a 1/2" hole (slightly larger) in the underside of the side tube (the top rail) to fish the wire through, the end of that tube dumps into the opening under the bow, alumacraft was nice for leaving it open like that. then once my wires were run, I stuck a 3/4" rubber plug in the outside of the tubing to cover the hole, mostly cosmetic, but it does help prevent water from splashing through the hole to the underside of my anchor light pole base too.
as far as pondering before drilling, i definitely spent the longest on these rear cleats. i decided this was was best for my intended use, it maximized the area to step on, allowed me to get to the underside bolts (barely), & made it possible for both sides to be symmetrical without having the stern line competing with the anchor light pole at night time, they're mounted to the rearmost & outermost point on the flat part of the corner gussets:
the factory rear deck hatch conceals the 6 gallon attwood gas tank, and the battery, with my switches on the battery box top. i had a proper on/off/on switch laying around for the nav/anchor lights, but i opted for separate circuits entirely since I didn't want to splice the 2 circuits together. it's easier to troubleshoot on separate circuits anyway. i oriented the switches to the placement of the systems they control (left=bilge, center=nav light, right=anchor light). this under-deck area is quite large, & locates the battery & gas tank forward enough from the transom to aide wait distribution & prevent porpoising (at least with the weight of my 2 stroke motor and 2 average size people sitting on the rear bench, with the motor on the lowest trim pin, I haven't upped the trim just yet):
below, you can see that I pop riveted the anchor light mounts to match the spacing of the factory rivets. I had to either [A]find (or make) a perfectly sized washer to fit inside the underside of the pole clips for the rivet to bite on, or I could just clamp it kinda tight on the plastic pole holders with the pop rivet gun & then break off the rivet head & be careful when removing the pole light not to rip it loose. I opted for since the mounts were like $4, I can always redo that quite easily if necessary:
the only other thing i did was cut the blue/purple yamaha stripe off the factory sticker on the sides of the cowling, last time i did this was on a 90hp, & it was a separate sticker, but i liked the outcome so i took the razor knife to my 25 since all was one sticker, & i hate when people "debadge" their motor, lol. so the floor, the deck & the "duck bill" are waaaaay too slippery. i have almost gone down several times knowing they're slick. it's fun fooling around with my dog, letting off & flooring it, but that's getting old & I can't image them covered with ice wearing waders if i can't keep my footing during summer. oceangrip, hydroturf, seadek, or something is in the near future. also possibly a custom fab gun-box, and tempress slam hatch or 3...i need some type of storage.