Decking-When and when not to.

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Great site, they got a forum for everything. LOL

Anyways I'm looking to buy a Jon or V in the 12 to 14ft range. My plan is to deck it obviously. I have no desire to put any gas motor on it, I want it for big ponds. (Gas Motors not welcome) I would prefer the Jon for more flat space but I'm concerned with the stability. In that size range what style should i go with, Jon or V? whats gonna be more stable, or is it solely based on bottom width??

Super necro post but if you're pond jumping I would go with whatever boat is the easiest to carry.
Would 1/2" plywood work for decking horizontal surfaces and 1/4" plywood for vertical surfaces work? I am going to be doing framing out of aluminum or 1x3s & 1x2s Trying to keep the weight down.
Hello, new here, and I just purchased a Tracker 1036. I've read through the whole thread but a lot of the pictures are removed due to age. Has anybody here decked their 1036? Can you share pictures please? I'm still searching and it's a big site so i'd appreciate any help. Thanks!

I'm mainly looking for pictures of the deck framing, materials used, how it was attached, etc, but any pics would help.
Jim said:
dyeguy1212 said:
good post... kinda saw it coming with all the people acting like its the board's fault their boat is too narrow...

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

This also leads to people removing the center seat when they shouldn't. Lots of people already have a boat that they want to open up and deck even though the boat isn't a good candidate for doing so. Some boats are designed to be open and are manufactured that way. Some boats use the center seat as structure to keep the sides from flexing. As Ranchero said, look at what the manufacturers are doing. Boats designed to be open (at least in the case of jon boats) have much heavier ribs that go higher up the sides. Boats with center seats tend to have smaller ribs, using the seat as part of the structural design.

I once had a 14' runabout from which the PO had removed both bench seats. The boat was wide open from transom to the hood in front - about 9'-10' with no interior support and no ribs at all. The gunwale was about 1-1/2" extruded aluminum in a kind of modified "D" shape. The gunwale had cracked on both sides at the point where the front hood was attached. In this case, the two bench seats were what held the boat together across its beam. I never did a leak test but I'm convinced it would have folded up like a suitcase.

The point is that sometimes the boat we want isn't the boat we have, and the boat we have isn't suited to the modifications we intend to make. There are exceptions of course and clever ways to find a compromise like Buford made on his boat but sometimes it just isn't going to happen. We know the expression "making a silk purse out of a sow's ear", well my runabout was such a project. In fact I had intended to name it "Silk Purse" but realized at a point I was just chucking a lot of money into a sow's ear. It's hard to admit it sometimes when you want a thing to be something it isn't.
I am planning on removing the middle seat in my new purchase and laying a lower deck, basically just a floor in the middle section. Structurally what are yalls thoughts as far as having enough support across the middle if I do that?


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I'm no nautical engineer by any means but I have decked a few boats. The biggest factors to consider when doing decking is #1: Don't compromise the integrity of the structure if it can be avoided. In other words don't start ripping out structural components like bench seats, etc., without considering how you will compensate for that removal. Study the structure BEFORE reaching for the saw, grinder or whatever you'll use for metal removal. I'd make a suggestion that you try to incorporate the structure such as a bench seat for example instead of removing it. #2: When trying to figure out placement of the deck study the design of the hull, stare at it for a while. What you want to consider is the CG (center of gravity). This will determine where the weight is displaced in or sometimes on the hull (flush decks). Almost every time you start placing weight in your hull you affect the design. Too much weight up front affects the boats ability to plane and also the ride quality. Same thing goes for the back. The flatter the bottom the more stability. With a modified V or boats with a coast guard front on them the better the ride but they tend to pitch more than the flat bottom ones. If you're a big guy or gal you bring more weight to the equation. When you stand on a deck your weight is above the CG of the hull and contributes to its tipping characteristics. You wouldn't try to put a deck on a canoe for example, you know that it's not wide enough for the weight above the gunnels, same thing with the bigger boats. Just a suggestion here. If you'd like to make a deck addition to your boat place a plank on it where you like the deck and try it out. If it seems kind of tippy maybe put a milk crate in it on the floor and see if that's better. If you fish with a partner you can also place some old tires in it to duplicate the extra weight of them and not have to worry about them falling over and possibly damaging your hull while you figure things out. There is no single answer to what works with a single hull for everyone, you have to experiment a little. This is my personal experience and what has worked for me.
ober51 said:
Great post and replies. I think we can make this the ultimate, "Should I deck this boat?" thread and add some pictures to illustrate.

I had decked a 12’ V hull and took it out once to the river. I looked great but it was tipsy in the water with 2 of us. I sold that boat and bought a bass tracker V16 which was very stable. It’s gone and now I. have a 14’ 1050’s era Alumacraft. My plan is to restore it to original and use removable swivel seats to front and middle seats. I have looked at the rebuilds and they look top heavy. Might add compressed rubber between ribs to reduce noise, but that’s it. Am I making the right decision?
Nice post thank you for sharing your experience with us...
Great post and Info for those who wanted to buy or manufactured a boat. Can you share some tips about boat speed? I have a boat but the engine of the boat released a cloud of smoke when I try to increase its speed fishing in umm al quwain. I changed my boat engine two times but it does not work for me. it was just a waste of money and time for me.

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