Decking-When and when not to.

ben2go

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I am posting this from experiences I have had.I have been boating since I was in my early teens and fishing since I could hold a fishing pole.I used to build pontoons and reupholster many other types of boats.I have roughly 17 years of being on many types of mono hull fishing boats,jon boats.Jon boats float high in the water,that's why there good for shallow water fishing.Because of this they are inherently tippy with weight above the water line.The only way to over come this is to widen the hull or add weight low in the boat to lower the hull in the water.It's to dangerous to weigh down a jon boat to gain stability.

MEASURING A MOD V OR FLAT BOTTOM JON BOAT
Jon boat are measure by length across the TOP and BOTTOM width.People confuse width with beam.Beam is the widest point on a hull.It can be any where on a hull.Back to jon boat measurements.If a boat is stated as being a 1436,it has a length of 14 feet and a bottom width of 36 inches or 3 feet.Some odd ball manufactures measure length and beam.Check the manufactures specs to be sure of the bottom width.

Here are the general guide lines on decking flat bottom jon boats.Usual bottom widths are 32,36,40,42,46 and 48 inches.They do get wider,but we are concerned with the smaller boats.

Under 36 inch bottom is to narrow
36 inch boats are sketchy because of different manufactures.To me they are to tippy to deck at all.Member Russo1o had a low decked boat that was ok for him.
Same rule above goes for 40 inch wide boats.
42 inch bottoms are ok.Be careful with deck height above the bottom,especially on the odd boats that have flat sides.The flare or outward lean of the sides give buoyancy and stability.
46 inch bottoms are good for decking.
48 inch bottoms and wider are perfect for decking.

Mod V decking issues.They are measured the same way as flat bottom jon boats.

I have never seen a mod V under 48 inches across the bottom.I'm sure they are around.Mod Vs are kind of tricky because of the different shapes of the bow from different manufactures.I wouldn't deck any under 48 inches.Mod Vs have a tenancy to become unstable in choppy conditions when they're decked high.Not all but most are.

Semi Vs.These are the boats with a full V in the bow and flaring out to a flat bottom.These are usually measure like jon boats,but manufactures are more prone to use beam width instead of bottom width.These boats are extremely trick to deck,but not impossible.The issue is with the bow.There is less buoyancy in the bow which give less stability in the front.Now here is where things get tricky.Some boats float deeper in the water than others.The deeper the hull is in the water, usually equals some stability.Then you add in the sides of the hull.Flat sides are less stable and sometimes roll over without warning.This has hppened to a couple members of the forum.Flared sides (sides that lean out) are usually more stable than flat sided boats.As I stated,these boats are tricky when considering decks.I have been on quite a few of these boats and never felt stable enough to deck.The one that I did feel good on had a 52 or 56 inch bottom and was decked 6 inches below the gunnel(top rail of the hull).I can not really give specific widths as every manufacture is very different in there hull designs.

Deep Vs...These are usually wide and float deep in the water.They're usually safe to deck.

If you want to know for sure if your boat will be stable when decked, try this at your own risk.Put on your life vest,load your boat,put it in the water,make sure the weight is balanced,then stand on the front bench and walk around on it.If you are having to sway around and use your body to balance,DO NOT DECK YOUR BOAT!

I am no expert on boats.These are my personal opinions and experiences.Others will be different.I posted this so people can share their opinions and experiences to help those that are new to boats or modifying them.If you are in doubt about something seek local professional help.
 

dyeguy1212

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good post... kinda saw it coming with all the people acting like its the board's fault their boat is too narrow...


If your boat is 36 or lower, doesnt mean it cant be decked. The decks just have to be as low as possible. My 1432 (more like a 1430) has low decks, and two people can stand up and fish with no problems what so ever. The extra foot higher a traditional deck would give doesnt really offer much of an advantage.
 

Jim

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dyeguy1212 said:
good post... kinda saw it coming with all the people acting like its the board's fault their boat is too narrow...
:LOL2:

I can feel their pain though because they have the boat already and just want to make it super nice.

With this post comes the disclaimer in the forum rules:

Site Disclaimer: Any modifications to personally owned or other boats, trailers, motors, etc, are the sole responsibility of the owner of that particular item. TinBoats.net accepts no responsibility for personal harm, property damage, or other extenuating circumstances incurred due to a modification or recommendation by a member or members. Members or non-members who make or attempt modifications accept full responsibility for their actions.


Good post ben2go! :beer:
 

russ010

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Great Post Ben2Go!! This one was really needed.... but I can guarantee you this question will be asked 5 more times before the weekend is over.

One thing people need to realize before they deck their boat, is their personal height and weight. The taller and heavier you are, the more you are going to rock the boat. I'm 5-10, 185 and I don't push the boat that much (I have a 1546 now, but I was ok in my 1236 which was decked to the top bench). The guy who owns that boat now is bigger than me, but I'm not sure how much... either way, he doesn't have any problems.... it's a whole different story when someone else is in the boat though

I have seen 32" boats with flat sides that were decked right below the gunnels (I mean 1-2" of clearance).. they both stand and do fine, but they aren't heavy guys and they have adjusted their fishing to that boat... BUT - if it takes on water they are in trouble because it will start to sink (and they've barely made it to shore a few times)
 

Ranchero50

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Thank You.

Another addendum is look at what the boating manufacturers offer in finished boats;
48-50" wide get a low deck
60" get mid decks
72" get flush decks

You can dance a jig on a 72" boat and it won't rock. The 48" you WILL react when your partner casts if you are both standing. Sitting isn't too bad, but is noticable. Personally I would not stand up and fish in a 48" boat.

Jamie
 

russ010

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My boat has a 46" floor, and I know of some 42" floors have an almost flush front deck from the factory. my wife and I both fish standing (and me power setting a hook) and there was no rock.

I think the more width across the top, as well as the floor, has a lot to do with how high you can go and still be stable. But what may be stable to me, may not be stable to someone else - it's all a matter of personal preference.

In my modding - anything 50-60" across the top gets decked no higher than the bench tops... I have a 70" gunwhale and it can be decked all the way up.

I've got a friend who has a 42" floor with a 65" spread across the top, and his is decked all the way up to the top the whole length of the boat. He and his partner are both quite larger than me and there is no problems,

But like it's been mentioned before - these are personal opinions and no one is wrong
 

daniel_loz

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Jamie were you referring to a 48" floor width? My 1448 Monark Jon doesnt react at all like your saying. Granted, it is a very heavy boat, but still I dont see the reaction your claiming. My boat is decked to the top in the front and is soon to be decking similarly in the rear. The 3 or 4 foot of open area in between is getting a flat floor put in.
 

Zum

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Have a 52" floor and the factory deck is 8 inches from the top.
Wish it was higher,like the little part in the bow,2 inches from the top.
I have been seriously thinking of modding it even with the little bow part,that way I could get a nice size livewell in.
 

ober51

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Great post and replies. I think we can make this the ultimate, "Should I deck this boat?" thread and add some pictures to illustrate.
 

cyberflexx

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When I took my 1432 Alumacraft out for the 1st time, I stood up on the middle seat and I felt a little tippy. I am wondering since the deck will be a larger area, and if i stood with my feet from front to back instead of side by side, if it would be more stable for me. I think i am going to go ahead and deck it and just get my sea legs more use to the tipping. I might make the deck a little more shallow than behing the height of the seat too..
 

Zum

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cyberflexx said:
When I took my 1432 Alumacraft out for the 1st time, I stood up on the middle seat and I felt a little tippy. I am wondering since the deck will be a larger area, and if i stood with my feet from front to back instead of side by side, if it would be more stable for me. I think i am going to go ahead and deck it and just get my sea legs more use to the tipping. I might make the deck a little more shallow than behing the height of the seat too..
If your fishing by yourself,it's only going to be alittle problem...
with a partner,it's going to be a pain.
 

bandgeek1263

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cyberflexx said:
When I took my 1432 Alumacraft out for the 1st time, I stood up on the middle seat and I felt a little tippy. I am wondering since the deck will be a larger area, and if i stood with my feet from front to back instead of side by side, if it would be more stable for me. I think i am going to go ahead and deck it and just get my sea legs more use to the tipping. I might make the deck a little more shallow than behing the height of the seat too..

I will probably end up doing that too.
 

pbw

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my 14x38 is pretty stable, been fishing it more this year now. Two people in the boat one on front deck one on the rear and it does great.
 

cyberflexx

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Zum said:
cyberflexx said:
When I took my 1432 Alumacraft out for the 1st time, I stood up on the middle seat and I felt a little tippy. I am wondering since the deck will be a larger area, and if i stood with my feet from front to back instead of side by side, if it would be more stable for me. I think i am going to go ahead and deck it and just get my sea legs more use to the tipping. I might make the deck a little more shallow than behing the height of the seat too..
If your fishing by yourself,it's only going to be alittle problem...
with a partner,it's going to be a pain.


Decked it to the middle seat after my buddy telling me we can change it if it doesnt work, and I am really glad I did it. I have the deck the height of the bench and we wanted to test out the supports that we installed so we threw up some ghetto plywood that wasnt even cut to shape. It worked very well after I got use to the movement of the boat. As long as we told each other we were making a drastic move, we were OK. I say give it a try, if you dont like, re-do it. =D>
 

QMR

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If you had a 42" or less bottom, could an outrigger be made to add stability, while not fast moving and fishing/trolling slow?
Thoughts?
 

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