Deck modification to my Triton 1650 SC

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Well-known member
Sep 15, 2011
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South Carolina (redneck riviera)
Well, after debating it a lot, I finally decided to go ahead and modify my boat. It's gotten to the point that I'm either ready to modify it to MY mission needs, or get rid of the thing.

As I said before, the issue is that there's 350 pounds in fuel and batteries located in the stern, then another 204 pounds for the engine, for a total of about 550 pounds, and that's without the weight of a driver or passenger. Put 2 people at the rear bench seat, and that's 850 pounds, all at the stern!



So, if I try to trim it up to run faster, or to run across a shallow area, the boat wants to porpoise like crazy. Having to run with the engine trimmed down all the way is costing me some MPH, and probably some MPG, as well.

So, after hauling the boat out yesterday to give it the quarterly inspection, I backed it into the shop, and broke out some tools. The plan was to TRY to carefully remove the entire front platform, so I could re-use it, and not have to do a lot of painting. So, I carefully drilled out rivets, and cut a few welds.

Well, as my luck would have it, any time I try to do something the right way, it takes a dump on my head. Turns out that the little locker in the front platform was tied into the hull, being welded together, and all the foam around that locker prevented me from being able to have any kind of room to flex anything. I then tried cutting around the perimeter, no luck.

So, in final desperation, I said 'screw it' and chopped the front platform into pieces, systematically removing it piece by piece, as much as I hated to do it. Once I had all that removed, I removed the foam, some of which was waterlogged.


After that beating, I decided to call it a day and I'll resume tomorrow. The next plan is to cover the ribs where I've removed the front platform with a sheet of aluminum, where the fuel tanks and batteries will sit.


Then I'll have to make a framework for the new front platform to attach to.

Also, I've always hated that double-level bow on the Triton, it's a trip hazard, especially at night, out there gigging. So, my intent is to build the framework up so that when the plate for the front platform is attached, it will all be one level, and it will cover the batteries and the fuel tanks. I'll also have to re-locate the filler neck/cap, and vent fitting for the permanently-mounted tank. As the other tank is portable, and I'll also have batteries in this compartment, I need to leave an access hatch at the rear of this platform that's large enough to slide the tank, or the batteries out.

As the trolling motor plug is at the front of the boat, and the batteries are currently in the stern, I can shorten up the leads for the trolling motor battery once I move it to the bow. But, for my cranking battery, I'll have to make a new set of leads with ring terminals, to go all the way back to the engine.

Also, I'll need to extend my fuel lines, to go back to my selector valve in the engine well:

(It's a 4-way valve, 'off' 'port tank' 'starboard tank' and if you notice, on the last position, I have a male QC fitting for an auxiliary fuel tank)

And since this platform will have to be fabricated from a new piece of aluminum, now I either have to find someone who can paint the realtree pattern to match the piece I removed, or I'm going to have to re-paint the entire inside of the boat.

So, right now, the boat is a little hacked up, and I really hate that the front platform couldn't be re-used....but once I get this done, it will be a LOT better, I should be able to trim up more without porpoising, and, I'm removing the trip hazard of the bi-level front deck.

Also, I've always hated this stupid rod/gun box:


It's like they put it there as an afterthought, when they realized they forgot to make a spot in the boat for dry storage. The box is conveniently placed so that the passenger in the boat has their knees jammed against the back corner of the box....what a stupid design!

I like it better with the box gone:


What do you guys think?

My thought is that once I get the fuel tanks out from under the rear bench seat, I'll either try to modify this box so it can be stored under the seat, or I'll fabricate a new one, so I can keep life jackets, hip waders, cast net, Q-beam, survival gear, etc, stored in there.

Right now, I'm storing most of it in the rod box. I kept my hip waders in the compartment up front, which is not waterproof by any means, as the pole mount swivel plate for the bow seat, drains right into this compartment....what chooch thought of this brilliant idea? I bet they went to college for 8 years to figure that one out, educated idiots....but I digress.

One other idiotic design is the glove box in the bow. Shortly after getting the boat, I learned this is not a good place to keep a cell phone, or anything else you want to keep dry. What good is this POS?!
So, I had modified the glove box to fit my danforth anchor by cutting the back out of it:



That's the BEST purpose for this thing! Every boat should have an anchor well built into the bow. The Triton had no such provision. Of course, now that I'm building the platform up to the level of the top of this front deck area, this glovebox will be covered, so, I'll have to cut a new anchor well and make a hatch somewhere else on the bow.

I also took some video of my progress today, I'll eventually post it on youtube. meanwhile, I'll continue to get pictures as I move along.

Oh, here's one more photo, of my zinc anode, clearly showing the backer plate and bonding wire:

The outer 2 bolts (1/4") are the ones that go through the transom. The larger 2 bolts secure the zinc to the backer plate.

Yeah, I know my aerator intake screen is mangled....probably from where the prop wash threw an oyster or clam shell into it. Notice the bottom paint is chipped pretty good along the transom, too...again, this is from doing maintenance dredging of my channel, going in and out of the channel, I often use reverse, as this actually lifts the back end of the boat. 100_5005.JPG (I'm thinking that once the weight is moved forward in the boat, I may not have to use reverse, as the transom is going to be much lighter.)

The aeration created causes the agitated silt to stay suspended longer, where the tide can carry it out.
(If you look closely, you can see my 'range markers'...the white and black spiral striped poles. Keeping 'on range' by staying lined up with the poles, keeps me in the deepest part of the channel, which has a controlling width of about 6 feet, and a controlling depth of about 2 feet at MLW)

Using reverse, though, pieces of shells and sand do a number on the back of the boat, as the prop wash slings them around.


Hey, what else am I supposed to do? Sit on a mudflat at low tide and hold my breath till I'm blue in the face, hoping that the Corps of Engineers is going to come dredge my channel? This channel, over 1000 feet in length, services over 6 million dollars in property interests (as the channel is accessible from 5 different pieces of real estate) We pay all kinds of property taxes, yet, our property values go down because we don't have water at low tide.

Well, between myself and my neighbor, we keep it cleared out by running back and forth through there. That's the thing with a channel, you either use it, or you lose it. Since silt forms at a rate of 6 inches per year, if you don't use the channel, it will fill in eventually. The areas of this very same creek that do not have regular boat traffic, are 3 feet shallower than the parts with boat traffic.
Got a little more done this afternoon, but now I've reached a stopping point, now I need to round up some materials to keep going.

First thing I did was to remove the fuel tanks from under the rear bench seat.....

When I removed the permanently-mounted tank, I about tossed my cookies. Apparently, there was buildup of anaerobic bacteria or some other funk under the tank, in the form of a thick sludge....


Folks, this smells even worse than it looks

I can't even begin to describe how bad it stunk. I had to GTF out of the shop for a few minutes, to avoid gagging. And I just washed out the boat with a pressure washer, Dawn detergent and bleach, just a couple of days ago!

Anyhow, then, I pulled out the batteries

With that done, I placed the fuel tanks and batteries in the bow, to see how it all laid out....

First thing I did was to make sure the front corners of the fuel tanks were not higher than where I intend to put the platform. I used a straight edge, and checked clearance. Good to go.

Next step, figuring out the cross members. Using a 2 inch wide straight edge to simulate a piece of 2x2x 1/8" aluminum angle, I checked clearance of the fuel tanks, deciding where to place the cross members.....

Then, I made some measurements, for the width of the cross members, as well as the spacing and positioning of each cross member.


Then I made my measurements for the piece of aluminum sheet that will be used for the top of the platform, making it wide enough to fit under the lip of each gunwale.


Having done all that, I went back and measured for the piece I will need to cover the ribs, as well as adding a few structural members to bear the weight of the fuel tanks and batteries. I think I will put some 1 & 1/2" extruded styrofoam panels in between all the ribs, under this piece of aluminum sheet, to try and make up for some of the lost foam.

Also, I'm got some billets of styrofoam used for floating docks, I'll use that to fill any voids that I can...

With the fuel tanks removed, I started looking at the empty space under the bench seat, and doing some brainstorming about how to utilize the rod/gun box.....

Turns out the box is about 13 inches tall, which gives it enough clearance to fit under the seat.

But as for the width....

The box is 53 inches long, and the space under the seat is 33. ****. :x

Well, that's what a saw is for. I'll simply modify the box by cutting 20 inches off the box and the lid. Then, weld a new end plate onto it, to make it water tight. Since the one end is already open....I'll chop that end off.


And the depth of the box is about 13 inches at its maximum point (as it is angled for the gunwale of the boat) which will allow it to fit nicely under the seat, yet, being narrow enough that the entire thing can be slid out to be able to open it up and remove gear.

So, with my game plan in mind, I'll get some materials tomorrow, and continue to the next step, fabricating the framework, installing the floor and the foam, installing the platform, re-routing some wires and hoses, etc.

More to come tomorrow......
1munford said:
looking good, do you go through allot of water pumps?

Not as bad as you would think, all things considered. That's the other beauty of using reverse, it doesn't seem to clog the water pump (or chew up props) as badly as trying to go out in forward, because, when you're going forward, it tends to make the stern squat lower in the water, which makes the foot dig into the mud. The pluff mud isn't too bad, it's the sand and shells that eat everything up.

In reverse, particularly in a narrow channel like mine, you're actually pulling water from behind the boat, and stacking it up under the transom, which creates the lift. When I get my trim and throttle just right, I can raise the entire transom out of the water, with the bow dropping down a lot. I actually have to trim the motor all the way down to compensate for the lift at the stern! With this method, I can just about go through the same stretches of water that my jetboat will cross.

That said, I change my water pump impeller and housing, at least once a year, whether I think it needs it or not. Also, I have a water pressure gauge mounted at the console, so I can immediately see if there's a problem with the cooling system, without having to look back at the indicator stream. Also, I took out the restrictive plastic fitting for the indicator, bored out the hole a little bit, and I have the hose going straight out, so that sand, etc can flow through, instead of clogging.
Today, I made the dreaded drive to Myrtle Beach (God I hate the traffic on these roads, they shouldn't call it a 'bypass' they should call it for what it is....a mental midget demolition derby) to get some aluminum sheet, and some aluminum angle. The metal supplier had the angle, but not enough aluminum sheet. What a let-down. I did get the angle, but I have to wait until Monday or possibly Tuesday for the .090" sheet.

Also, I picked up some 1 & 1/2" polystyrene foamboard, to use under the floor where the fuel tanks and batteries will I'm trying to make up for removing all that foam, any way I can.

With my limited materials on hand, here's what I accomplished today........


First thing I worked on was cutting some of the 1.5" foam board into pieces that fit nicely between the ribs in the boat.


Then, I cut all the cross members for the platform


I still have to run some stringers along the outside edges, to give a place to rivet the top plate. I'll probably also run a stringer down the middle, just for some added strength.

OK, now it's starting to take some shape.

This is a piece of thin ga. galvanized sheet, not aluminum. I set it across the cross members, to give an idea of what it will look like with the aluminum.


Also, I pulled and re-routed the wires for the fuel gauge sending unit

Turns out I had more than enough, I won't have to splice anything, which is good news.

Since the trolling motor battery will be up front, near the plug, I also pulled those wires.
Also, the plug has to be re-located, because its current position is under the platform I'm building.

I had the thought of possibly using the #8AWG wires to make my extended leads to run from the cranking battery to the engine. Unfortunately, the factory wires on the motor are AWG 6. Bummer. :(

I also have to extend the fuel lines, to go back to the engine. Here along the gunwale, there is a double gutter. The upper slot is where the 8 AWG wires were routed, and covered with a strip of rubber trim.


I'm thinking I can run one hose, along each side of the boat, in the lower slot. The slot is only big enough for one hose, so, that's why I'm thinking of running a hose on each side, so that it is mostly fitted into this channel/slot, as I want everything to look clean.

And finally, I modified the rod/gun box...or, at least, I got a good jump on it.



I already formed the drip edge, but I still have to weld the end plate into the end of the box, and make a new inside lip for the outer drip edge to fit over.

But, doing a test fit, it slides under my bench seat nicely


Even better, it turns out that the drop left over from the cut, will also serve a purpose, with a little modification, such as cutting it a little shorter, welding an end plate, and modifying the drip edge/inside lip:

Check this out....


FINALLY, something to fill this dead space between the front of the live well and the back of the platform! Once this is modified, it will either become an anchor well (I've decided against cutting an anchor hatch into my platform) or possibly a dry box.

Man!! This is working out great!
I've opened up the deck space, moved the weight forward, and now I'm going to have all the storage room I could ever hope for.

It just sucks that I had to hack up the factory platform, but, I had my doubts about it working out to begin with.

Anyhow, I'll work on adding in some stringers for the platform, and doing a little work on the framework for the floor, by adding a few stringers. Then, I'll be at a stopping point. But the good news is I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Once I get my plate, I'll see about getting it painted and textured to match the factory stuff (I know a guy with a Line-X business, I can take him a sample of what came out of the boat) Then I'll get the floor and the platform plates riveted in place, drill my cut-outs for the fuel filler neck, and a deck plate to access the starboard tank. Then a little bit of wiring, hoses....and I'm ready to roll!
I always enjoy Your posts, as You always seem to get funtion in there ahead of but not forgetting apppearance. Plus the attitude of trial and error isn't a bad thing. Looking forward to more on this post, keep up the good work =D> =D>
Thanks guys!

Trial and error is always a gamble, sometimes it works the way you anticipate, sometimes it doesn't (kinda like my attempt to save the front deck and re-use much for that plan LOL)

Like I said, I've reached a stopping point, since I don't have any aluminum plate to do the floor and the platform. Still, yesterday, I did a little more work, because, when I get my materials, it's gonna be a-holes and elbows, I need to get this thing done, it's taking up space in my shop, and the shop is in total disarray right now, it looks like a bomb went off in there.

Anyhow, back to the project......The platform is going to be attached to the cross members. But, along the sides, at the gunwales, it also needs a framework, to keep the areas of the plate in between the cross members from buckling.

So, I went ahead and cut all the pieces I need to go between the cross members, for each side. Also, I cut some pieces to go in the center, between the cross members, as a center stringer. Might also cut 2 more sets, so there will be a total of 3 stringers running fore to aft, a stringer down each gunwale, and then a total of 4 cross members. All this framework is being made from 2x2x 1/8" angle.

Then, I messed with the floor structure a little bit, placing the battery boxes and the fuel tanks exactly where they will be when it's done. Then, I went through my scrap bin and found some short pieces of 2" x 4" and some 2x3" x 1/8 rectangular aluminum tube. I placed them in the floor, where the will support the weight of both fuel tanks at the forward and rear ends.

Also, I have a length of some 2" x 1/8" square aluminum tube, I have to run a piece across the very back, where it meets the front edge of the factory's deck. This cross stringer will act as a rib to support the weight of my battery boxes, and to give a good anchoring point to rivet the back edge of the floor against, with a little overlap onto the factory floor.

One other thing I need to do is to use some of that square tube, to make an outer perimeter framework to rivet the floor down to, running a piece along each side, and one across the front. That way, the entire floor will be enclosed, except for the gutters that will run under the slabs of foam, for proper drainage and airflow to keep it from being water-logged.

Also, since the slope of the bow is pretty significant, once I have the floor installed, I'm going to see what I can do to fabricate some type of sloped framework for the fuel tanks to sit on, which will raise the back end up a little bit and level them out. Got plenty of vertical clearance in the back end, and actually, raising the back end of the tanks, will lower the front corners a bit.

Since the factory didn't use ANY flotation foam in the forward-most part of the boat, up in the prow area, my plan is to use some industrial-strength plastic bags, and double-bag as much of the remnants that I can, from what I pulled out of the platform area, and place these bags into the prow area. Foam is foam, whether it's in little pieces, or large billets. And since it's way up in the prow, and bagged up, this foam won't be water logged. If it were the stern area, yeah, I'd be dead set against using small chunks of foam, as they would be prone to being water logged, because that area is continuously exposed to water.

I got the idea of putting it in bags, because, when I pulled the foam out of the front platform area, I noticed that the 'blocks' of foam were contained in plastic bags, tied off, with the knots being right under where each black plastic grommet is located in the platform. So, the factory puts the bags in the platform, they pour the 2 part foam into the bag, tie it off, stuff it through the hole, and cap it with a grommet.

I don't see much difference in my idea of using the remnants for the prow area.

And finally, that short drop left over from the rod box....I went ahead and cut it down to length, so it will fit in that dead space between the platform and the live well. Gotta weld the end plates into both this box, and the one that goes under the bench seat. I'm going to see if I can get lucky and re-use some of that hacked-up aluminum from the platform....maybe I'll get lucky, but I don't know, because I had to make several saw cuts in different places across that platform to get it up.

I haven't taken any more pictures, because I haven't really done much, except for prep-work, getting those stringers cut. But when I start putting it all together, I'll have some pictures to show the progress. Hopefully by next weekend I can have it done.
What an interesting project and your blow by blow of what is going on it great, nice job.
Worked on getting the subframe built for the floor, cutting the aluminum sheet to size, and getting a few rivets in place.

The first thing I did was to take the grinder with the SS wire wheel, and clean all the surfaces that had to be welded for the sub frame.

While I was at it, I went ahead and removed the factory coating where I have to weld for the cross members that will be used for the platform. That factory coating is some tenacious stuff!


Here's the framework of the sub-floor, along with a few additional rectangular tube pieces to act as cross bracing to support the weight of the fuel tanks, and give a little more material thickness where the fasteners will be located to mount the tank hold down straps.


I found that while the ribs are made of 2" material, for the stringers along the sides, 1 1/2" angle worked better than 2" material. I used a straight edge to check by placing it on the tops of the factory ribs, and seeing how it laid across the 1 1/2" angle. I welded the angle with the top flange turned toward the outside, with the bottom edge kicked in tight against the gunwale. While it didn't allow for a continuous tight fit, it makes contact in enough places that I was able to weld it.

Also, I had to go back and re-cut my foam board, to make up for the sub-frame, and the additional stringers I placed for the tank supports.


After doing all that, I pulled the foam boards up one last time, and cleaned all the chunks of foam, shards of metal, and grinding dust out of the sub-floor area. Also, I noticed that some of the factory foam had run under the ribs, along the gutters, so, I made sure to dig all that out as well, so water and debris can freely flow through the gutters now, instead of clogging and the foam in the gutter being waterlogged like it was.

Once I had that done, I proceeded to cut and fit the sheet of aluminum for the floor.


After several test fits and minor adjustments, I was satisfied with the fit, so, I proceeded to install a few rivets.


Those went easy. But when I drilled for the next beam, I noticed there was a gap between the sheet and the rib. I'll have to figure out a way to put some more weight (besides my narrow a$$) on that sheet to make it bend and draw down closer to the rib, so I can rivet it.

By this time, it was 9:30, so, I decided to call it a day.

So, as far as the floor goes, it's pretty much done, all I have left to do is shoot all those rivets, and then caulk along the edges with some RTV ultra black, or maybe 5200.

Once that's done, then I can go ahead and weld all the cross members for the upper framework, then install the top plate of .090" for the platform, and do some riveting and caulking there.

Then run a couple of fuel lines and new AWG 6 wires from the motor to the battery, install the tanks, with hold-downs, with the filler neck for the left tank, and a deck plate for access to the starboard tank.

A little paint, and then it'll be time to put it back in the water! I can hardly wait.
Looking good PSG, so is this gonna be a crab/oyster boat? I was just wondering what you do with your boats....looks like you have one hell of a run to get out of your place.
bigwave said:
Looking good PSG, so is this gonna be a crab/oyster boat? I was just wondering what you do with your boats....looks like you have one hell of a run to get out of your place.

I'll mostly use it for fishing, but it will also see some use next winter for commercial oyster harvesting and maybe a little bit of commercial crabbing. With the increased deck space it's going to have, I'm sure whatever I'm doing in that boat, is going to be a lot easier now.

Yeah, it's a helluva run getting in and out of my channel at low tide....but nothing like it was 10 years ago, when the channel was impassible below mid-tide. Thanks to my determination, as well as several props and water pumps, I've got water. As long as it makes an average low tide, I can get in and out at dead low.

But, when it makes more than a -0.5 ft tide, like on the back side of the full moon, or a strong west wind, the channel only holds about a foot and a half at low tide. Still deep enough to pole out, but when it gets that low, the channel is too narrow for the boat to make it through, the sides of the boat get stuck on the edges of the 'ditch'.

Just last week, I went out one day on a falling tide and got a handful of oysters, came back in at dead low, got stuck about halfway in....threw out the anchor, left the boat there, and walked back to the hill. LOL
Went back out and got it with the kayak an hour later when the tide came in a little bit. That's the first time in a while I've had to leave it sitting. But it made a really low tide that day, like - 0.9 ft (nearly a foot below normal)
We get our low tides here but that is crazy. I watched your video of you clearing the channel, what a pita. Too bad you cant get the corps of engineers to get that thing dredged for you. Maybe contact your local politician and see if there is a safety reason to have that thing dredge. But then again they might just say that your destroying the enviorment.....double edge sword...... [-X
bigwave said:
We get our low tides here but that is crazy. I watched your video of you clearing the channel, what a pita. Too bad you cant get the corps of engineers to get that thing dredged for you. Maybe contact your local politician and see if there is a safety reason to have that thing dredge. But then again they might just say that your destroying the enviorment.....double edge sword...... [-X

Basically, unless there's an interest in commerce, such as a port for commercial fishing vessels, or a shipping channel that is marked by the Coast Guard, the Corps Of Engineers ain't worried about johnboats sitting on mud at low tide.

years ago, they could just come in with a dragline or a side-caster dredge, and dredge anywhere. Now, they have to have designated spoils areas, as well as all kinds of surveys and permitting (read, pocket-lining, bribes, payoffs, and kickbacks) And then of course the cost for a dredge to come in and set up, do the job, and tear back down. (side casters don't have to do any setup, they just dig it up and kick it off to the side, but those are generally used in shallow inlets, like Oregon Inlet in the NC OBX, they wouldn't allow them to be used in the marsh, again, gotta have a spoil area for the mud....never mind that if you pumped it onto a beach, within a week, it would be white sand.)

For what it would cost to have it done, you're better off to just grind your way through it, and replace the prop and water pump on a regular basis.

I know in some states like FL, doing this would be a serious no-no, you're not even allowed to power-load at some of the ramps, due to tearing up aquatic bottom. Here in SC, it's a little more relaxed. They;d still rip you a new one if you actually came in with a dredge without the proper permits, but they can't say much about someone trying to get in or out of their channel, churning up the bottom.

I try not to do it too much from about April to November, as oxygen levels are lower in warm water, and there are a lot of small baitfish in the creek that time of the year, churning bottom kills too much stuff. But in the winter when there's nothing here, I've got no qualms about lettin' 'er eat bottom to keep it cleared out.
I like the way you think. Save the fry so you can catch them later. Your right about florida, hell you have to get the EPA involved just to prupose dredging. You get to pay for the evaluation too. I used to build pools, and when someone wanted us to pull out some mangroves to drop a pool in their yard we would politely decline. Now I see why you built your jetboat. Keep up the good work.
bigwave said:
I like the way you think. Save the fry so you can catch them later.

Absolutely. The baitfish most commonly in the creek from spring to fall are juvenile spots, and mullet. Both of which are important food sources for larger fish. Like I said, I avoid purposefully blowing out the channel during warmer months, but still, in the summer, when I go in or out, there's always a few baitfish, etc, that get hit with the prop. On a falling tide, right outside the mouth of my creek is a very productive place to fish for flounder, as they lay in wait to snap up any injured or dead baitfish being swept out of my creek.

One other benefit of the sediment being kicked up in my creek is that is acts like miracle-grow to the oyster beds in my creek. If you've seen any of my videos, you can see those massive beds along the banks of my channel. It wasn't like that several years ago. And, as anyone knows, oyster beds are important habitat, as well as filtering water, which improves water quality.

Also, structure for fish. I've caught legal size flounder in cast nets off my dock. During the late summer, I can cast net good sized shrimp off the dock, too. Hell, a couple of years ago, I came in one day at low tide with my jet ski, and saw a large hump of water being pushed up by a fish moving ahead of me. As it moved out of my path, it hit shallow water along the side, and that's when I saw its back come out of the water, and realized what it was. A spotted seatrout, about 2 feet long! And that's not an exaggeration. I jumped off the jet ski onto the bank, and actually had my hands on that sucker, but he slipped out of my grip before I could get a good grasp on him.

Your right about florida, hell you have to get the EPA involved just to prupose dredging. You get to pay for the evaluation too. I used to build pools, and when someone wanted us to pull out some mangroves to drop a pool in their yard we would politely decline. Now I see why you built your jetboat. Keep up the good work.

Exactly. The creeks ain't gettin' any deeper, that's for sure.

In fact, over the last 20 years, since Hurricane Hugo, efforts in beach renourishment (does anyone else think this is a colossal waste of taxpayer money?) have caused dramatic increases of sedimentation in the inlets and estuaries, as each nor'easter moves sand south along the beach, until it finds an inlet to flow into.

But instead of dredging the sand out of the inlet to put back on the beach, they dredge it up from a mile or so offshore. BTW, this is also why we don't have any mole crabs (sand fleas) left on our beaches. They need fine sand to live in. Fine sand occurs naturally along the beach, as it is broken down. The sand pumped from offshore has not had a chance to break down into finer sand. Thus, the mole crabs cannot sustain in this type of substrate. And this is why we don't have any good surf fishing like we should. Because sand fleas are a food source for LOTS of fish, like red drum, whiting, pompano, sheepshead, flounder and weakfish. Take away a main staple of their diet, and guess what? No good fishing.

Everything has unintended consequences. Sometimes good, and sometimes bad. Usually, though if it involves any government in action (or inaction, depending on how you look at it), it's never good.
Over the last couple of days, I've made some serious progress on the modifications.

As mentioned earlier, I got the subframe for the floor built, and cut the sheet of .090 for that. Got it all riveted down and caulked.


After getting the floor installed, the next step was to put all the cross members and stringers together for the platform. had them all cut to length, coped, fitted, and marked for where they went, so, putting it together went real quick.

Putting in the rear cross member.

Once I had all that done, I decided that the back end needed to be closed off, but still leaving an opening large enough to get my fuel tanks or batteries out. Also, in closing this end off, I was able to add 2 vertical struts at the edges of the opening, made from 1 1/2 x 3/16" angle. While I welded them to the cross members, I made a clip for each side to attach to the floor with a couple of rivets.


Once it's all done, each side will get a panel, which will only leave the center open. I think it needs to stay open, or if I do install a hatch, it needs to be ventilated, because there is a portable fuel tank under here, along with 2 batteries.

After getting the framework taken care of, I proceeded to install the tank hold down mounts for the tanks. Initially, I was going to use battery boxes, but decided to just use the battery trays that were mounted in the stern.

And FINALLY, the most important part....the sheet of .090" for the platform.

After a good half hour of layout work, double and triple checking my measurements, I went ahead and sheared it to size, using the circular saw with a Diablo demo demon blade.

Also, I left it 2 inches long in the rear. Why? Glad you asked. Watch this.....




A nice, smooth radius 90 degree bend, thanks to my scrap metal brake. Not too bad for some left over I-beam, some angle and heavy flat bar, a couple of motor grader blades, and a 20 ton air/hydraulic jack, huh? How about that for southern engineering?


Almost a perfect fit, got to clip the back edges to run flush with the gunwale.

And before we enter a 10 page discussion about foam.....



Anywhere there wasn't a fuel tank or a battery, I added foam. A combination of billet foam used for floating docks, and 1.5 inch styrofoam board.

(Note the shortened trolling motor leads with the new soldered ends and heat shrink)
And speaking of the trolling motor, I re-located the plug....


Next, after clipping the back corners to fit the gunwale, I installed the platform.....

Look at this nice fit....


Exactly how I hoped it would turn out. When I welded the stringers and cross members, I used a piece of .090" to space everything off the bottom edge of the gunwale, for a good tight fit.

Also, in order to be able to access my portable tank for filling, without removing the tank, I installed a 6" diameter hatch plate.

after getting that done (and burning up a fairly new Ridgid drill in the process....freaking POS! :x ) I used my DEWALT cordless drill to drill holes for all my rivets, and began the tedious process of installing the rivets.

(I find that placing a deadblow hammer to rest the bottom handle against, allows me to squeeze with both hands, which reduces the potential for inflaming my tendonitis or aggravating the arthritis in my shoulders...getting older really sucks)

Well, here she is, with the platform installed.....



OK, now all that's left to do is to run the AWG 6 wires for the engine, then run my fuel hoses, and install the filler neck for the permanent tank, and I'm ready to try it out.

Oh, I still need to weld the end plates into my 2 modified boxes, but that's minor, and it ain't stopping the boat from being used.

I'll paint this platform to match the rest of the boat soon, but for now, I'll just be glad to get it water-ready again.

Paint is minor.

This undertaking here was major.

But it's definitely nearing completion. The worst is definitely over.

Can't wait to see how it runs.
Im interested to see what you think of the aluminum. Thats stuff is going to make a lot of noise walking around on it. best of luck.
You have done a great job on your boat and you will love the alumimum deck extention.You deck extention looks just like mine and i coated mine with Skid no more and it looks very good.As far as noise the skid no more cuts that back alot not saying it was nosiy without it.You are one of the smart ones not useing wood in your boat,there is no way i would waist my time and money tricking out a boat like these useing wood #-o
phxbuckeye said:
Im interested to see what you think of the aluminum. Thats stuff is going to make a lot of noise walking around on it. best of luck.

Maybe. But then again, it's an aluminum hull quiet can you make it? That's one of the reasons I went with .090" instead of .062" aluminum, the added rigidity should eliminate some of the flex and rattle. So should all those stingers and cross members. I could have gone with .125" (1/8") but that would have been even more weight, and really, not necessary, with all the bracing.

And at 160 pounds, I'm pretty stealthy on my feet, I don't tend to bang and stomp around a lot in a boat.

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