77 Smoker-craft Bench Seat Mods

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Bear0214

Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2023
Messages
13
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16
LOCATION
Montana
Hello, I have a 16' 1977 Smokercraft. I would like to remove the bench seats (front, middle, rear) to make more open fishing space.
I was reading some about this and loss of structural rigidity issues. Could I replace the bench seats with hull-to-floor gussets or storage boxes?
I really want to open up the floor to be free to move from front to back without having to step over the seats.
I can TIG weld aluminum and have a tooled up shop to work on the boat this winter. This is my 7th boat I have owned and I am confident in modding boats, just looking for solid feedback on different ideas without buying a different boat! :D

Have any of you removed bench seats on this type of boat? What are my options to open up the floor?

Thanks,

John in Montana
 
I like the idea of boxing in the gunnels. Besides gaining floor space you get the benefit of wide gunnels -- handy for rod holders, cup holders, down riggers, etc etc.

Note -- I'm not a boat designer or engineer.
 
Complete removal is not recomended, often folks just make a cutout from the center mabey 24-30" os so wide as this leaves the structural integrity for supporting the sides. Sounds like you mught have the tools and knowledge to fab some side storage that will also give structure support!
Keep us posted on your designs.....
 
Take a look at the new Lowe 1448M. When I bought mine you could get it with or without the center seat. Mine is without. The front deck/seat and rear seat are full of floatation. Perhaps removing only the center seat of your boat would be a reasonable compromise.
 
Funny... I was BSing with some guys yesterday, texting them saying I got a new girlfriend, they BOTH said the same thing when I sent them the pictures, LOL!

Screenshot_20231124-112429.jpg

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If your rebuilding the floor, consider adding an in the floor fuel tank. Gets it out of the way and your boat will balance out much better. I bought a boat (16' Sylvan) with an infloor tank, 17 gallon, awesome...better balance and low center of gravity.
 
If your rebuilding the floor, consider adding an in the floor fuel tank. Gets it out of the way and your boat will balance out much better. I bought a boat (16' Sylvan) with an infloor tank, 17 gallon, awesome...better balance and low center of gravity.
Hey thanks airshot, I started checking out the options at Westmarine, the Moeller brand seems to be good. Do you have a link to the one you installed? Thanks for your help!
 
Mine was from the factory, first time I had an infloor tank and it is great....out of the way, and the location helps balance the weight in the boat. As long as your rebuilding the floor...why not ??
 
Mine was from the factory, first time I had an infloor tank and it is great....out of the way, and the location helps balance the weight in the boat. As long as your rebuilding the floor...why not ??
Do you know, or does anyone else know, what is the location of the infloor tank, front of boat, mid, or rear? Thanks!
 
Do you know, or does anyone else know, what is the location of the infloor tank, front of boat, mid, or rear? Thanks!
Where ever you want it for best balance. Different tanks for different placement. Mine is about 3/4 back what would be between middle and back seat. Tank in the middle and seat bases on each side of it.
 
Hey Bear, looks like a great boat and a great plan!

I pulled the bench seats all out of my 14’ mirrocraft earlier this year and went full flat floor. Couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. To make up for the seat removal I added angle struts from the top of the gunnels down to the floor frame, and it was really solid. Full build here if you want more details.

Can’t wait to see yours come together! Post lots of pictures!
 
Hey Bear, looks like a great boat and a great plan!

I pulled the bench seats all out of my 14’ mirrocraft earlier this year and went full flat floor. Couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. To make up for the seat removal I added angle struts from the top of the gunnels down to the floor frame, and it was really solid. Full build here if you want more details.

Can’t wait to see yours come together! Post lots of pictures!
My progress has been slow, I did move the boat into my shop and take out the pair of group 27 batteries for the minnkota. I thought, if I just do one thing each day I'll me making progress, and dang it, didn't do squat today. When 2024 becomes a reality my urgency to get to building will increase. Thanks for sharing you build pics, you did a great job. I'll post some pics of my ship soon.
 
Wow, you have a clean slate to build on. I scrolled back up to your concept drawing to refresh my memory. This is going to be a nice layout.

BTW, I run a 2018 Honda BF50. So far it has been reliable & zero issues. My knowledge is pretty limited but I find it easy to do the maintenance schedule.
 
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Wow, you have a clean slate to build on. I scrolled back up to your concept drawing to refresh my memory. This is going to be a nice layout.

BTW, I run a 2018 Honda BF50. So far it has been reliable & zero issues. My knowledge is pretty limited but I find it easy to do the maintenance schedule.
Thanks, I just bought a bunch of solid rivets and sealed hollow rivets, so I just drilled out those floor brackets, now the floor is a smooth. I just called my metal shop here for some 1/8"console and storage/battery box material... $359 for a 4' X 10' sheet of 0.125", probably going to get that in the next few weeks. I think I will model all the console, boxes, and gussets out of cardboard first for a good fit. I'm excited for this build, and this will be my 2nd brand new outboard motor. I don't know what it is, but I F'n love brand new outboards, about 10 years ago I bought a brand new Merc OptiMax 2 stroke150hp with a jet, put it on a 18' Hewescraft River Runner... I loved that boat, I can say, that outboard was **** near as good as sex... 🤣

This is my 7th boat I have owned, and I believe Honda outboards are some of the best in the industry, I love to look in the box and see her laying there waiting for me... LOL! 😍

I'll post more pics as I go... It won't be perfect, but it will be nice... and after all, it's just a F'n boat anyway!

My plan is to get it fixed up and take it from Montana, through Canada, (fishing along the way) to Alaska. I have a good buddy who lives in Soldotna, and will camp on the Kenai, and a bunch of other spots in AK, maybe I'll just move there... who knows! LOL

To be continued...
 
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