Hull Design Consideration for 14' Utility Boats

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InSaneFisherMan

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You feel secure sitting that high above the bench seats? I do like that setup versus a full casting deck
Yes, I did remove seat and foam to put a good solid brace underneath the aluminum seat. Refoamed bench seat and pedistal seat is solid.

I don't move around a lot when fishing, so the smaller/lower deck works great for me
 

airshot

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I too am conservative regarding conditions.

I mounted a trolling motor on the bow and wondered how easily I could move forward from the bench seat to deploy the motor. I suppose go slow, go low, and step purposefully is the key
At my age, I always move with caution in a smaller boat!! I downsized from a 22' down to a 16' so yes it feels more tippy than the big boat, but I never feel like I am in danger, just a bit more carefull !! Actually having an extra person or two makes the boat feel more stable from the extra weight. Now....my little 12' jon with just me in her....whoweee that one feels tippy !!
 

thill

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I had a 14' with round chines that rolled a little, but not too bad, especially when loaded with batteries, fuel and especially another person. Ran through heavy seas amazingly well. Had a front platform with seat that was decent, except when in rollers. When rollers were present, I would just stand. Much easier to stay balanced that way.

I currently have a 16' with hard chines that is very stable, empty or full. Hits pretty hard in chop or waves.

I recently got a super-light 12' with round chines that rolls a bit. It's nothing too bad, just noticeable after getting used to the 16'. I have not tried it with much gear or equipment yet, but balanced weight always helps small boats.

Size and weight are the biggest factors, but hard chines and reverse chines definitely help when it comes to stability. They just tend to ride hard in a chop.
 

mattNYtrout

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I had a 14' with round chines that rolled a little, but not too bad, especially when loaded with batteries, fuel and especially another person. Ran through heavy seas amazingly well. Had a front platform with seat that was decent, except when in rollers. When rollers were present, I would just stand. Much easier to stay balanced that way.

I currently have a 16' with hard chines that is very stable, empty or full. Hits pretty hard in chop or waves.

I recently got a super-light 12' with round chines that rolls a bit. It's nothing too bad, just noticeable after getting used to the 16'. I have not tried it with much gear or equipment yet, but balanced weight always helps small boats.

Size and weight are the biggest factors, but hard chines and reverse chines definitely help when it comes to stability. They just tend to ride hard in a chop.
What hull do you have now, the 16' that is?

That's a good point concerning the tradeoff in ride "softness" and static stability when it come to chine shape. I've been eyeing the Polar Kraft Dakota 14' because of the hard chines in addition to the Lund SSV14. At this point as others have made clear, I need to experience the abilities of my mirrocraft before buying a new hull; my preconceived notion of this hull being a tippy, unforgiving hull is not right. I need to be afraid to test launch it lol.
 

FuzzyGrub

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I would at least try out the Mirrorcraft and see how it does. Stay relatively close to shore and don't go out on weather predicted for North/South winds. Get use to the boat before venturing out in the rougher stuff.

A good many years ago, got caught mid-way up Owasco, and a stiff southern wind started. We were in a 14' tinny, semi-vee style, but don't recall the brand/model. It was a slow, wet, cold ride back to the ramp. Side to side stability wasn't the issue, it was just every 4th/5th wave, part of which joined us. Recommend a good bilge pump, regardless of what hull you decide on.
 

thill

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What hull do you have now, the 16' that is?

That's a good point concerning the tradeoff in ride "softness" and static stability when it come to chine shape. I've been eyeing the Polar Kraft Dakota 14' because of the hard chines in addition to the Lund SSV14. At this point as others have made clear, I need to experience the abilities of my mirrocraft before buying a new hull; my preconceived notion of this hull being a tippy, unforgiving hull is not right. I need to be afraid to test launch it lol.
I currently run a 16' Princecraft "Starfish" which I have modified. Was a simple, short transom, 3-bunk jon boat. Added a front and rear platform, and last year I raised the transom to 20" using square stock Schedule 40. Moved from a 35 HP to a 50, and it's a different boat. Not pretty, but I really love this boat. She gets a surprising number of compliments for being beat up and old

Message_1627603203364.jpg
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Resized_20220902_193152 (1).jpeg
 

thill

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I have to agree with everyone else... On a nice day, take the boat to the lake and run some gas through the engine. Stay in the middle of the boat, don't try to do anything fancy, just run her. The more you run her the more comfortable you will get. A 14 footer with a 64" beam shouldn't be too bad, round chines or not. You are over thinking it. If you can ride in a kayak, this thing will be a battleship by comparison.

Just take the boat out and run her. You will probably soon forget about your worries. If not, take some good videos of her running on the lake. Good pictures and videos SELL. People will pay a lot more for something water-ready that they don't have to worry about.
 

BigBand

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I had a 14' with round chines that rolled a little, but not too bad, especially when loaded with batteries, fuel and especially another person. Ran through heavy seas amazingly well. Had a front platform with seat that was decent, except when in rollers. When rollers were present, I would just stand. Much easier to stay balanced that way.

I currently have a 16' with hard chines that is very stable, empty or full. Hits pretty hard in chop or waves.

I recently got a super-light 12' with round chines that rolls a bit. It's nothing too bad, just noticeable after getting used to the 16'. I have not tried it with much gear or equipment yet, but balanced weight always helps small boats.

Size and weight are the biggest factors, but hard chines and reverse chines definitely help when it comes to stability. They just tend to ride hard in a chop.
Width is also a biggie. The wider boat will tend to be more stable.
 

FuzzyGrub

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A good many years ago, got caught mid-way up Owasco, and a stiff southern wind started. We were in a 14' tinny, semi-vee style, but don't recall the brand/model. It was a slow, wet, cold ride back to the ramp. Side to side stability wasn't the issue, it was just every 4th/5th wave, part of which joined us. Recommend a good bilge pump, regardless of what hull you decide on.
It must of been the early 90's. Did get a nice trout fishing for smallies.
LittleJoe2.jpg
 
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RaisedByWolves

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What do you mean by the water "sticks" to the soft round chines at the stern?
The stability of a hull moving across the water is due to it being “stuck” to the surface via the relationship of the surface of the water and movement of the hull. If you look around the boating world you will find many kinds of hulls that try to defeat this effect, ie stepped hulls and hydros.

With a soft transition at the hull/transom the water stays stuck to the curve of this transition and rises behind the boat closer to the transom than it would if there were a hard square edge.

You can witness this effect with your kitchen sink and a rounded object placed in the stream of water. The water will stick to the rounded surface rather than continuing to fall straight down.

Clear as mud?
 

Buster

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Just similar experience: I have my dad's old 14' Lund C-14 Fisherman from 1966. 55" beam, 49" width at transom. 15" transom height rising to 22" amidships and 27 at the bow. 10HP 4 stroke (originally rated for 25hp, which is stupid in my opinion--although a kids we skied behind it with a 25hp Johnson from the 50s.) I have known this boat its entire life. It isn't "tippy" but it does lean noticeably if the weight isn't well distributed. I haven't built a deck because I have the same concerns as you. As a first step I bolted a 9" pedestal and seat to the front bench for my fishing buddy to use. You don't feel insecure there, but the few degrees of lean when the other occupants shift is noticeable and takes a bit to get used to. I can stand in it (on the hull bottom) without worry, but I plop my butt back down if a wake is moving my way. There is no way I'd feel comfortable standing on a deck at the height of the bench seats in any wave action. The biggest worry is hitting a fresh wake while back-trolling--it'll take on quarts of water per wave. It'll fish 3 grown men, though it's tight with all the gear.
I've put in a temp plywood floor at about 2.5" above the hull bottom and that doesn't noticeably affect stability when standing.
 

RaisedByWolves

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I've put in a temp plywood floor at about 2.5" above the hull bottom and that doesn't noticeably affect stability when standing.
My floor varies from 8” at the stern to over 12” near the bow and the only issues we have is my wife will someday fall out when I change direction with the trolling motor.

She insists on standing sometimes and there just is not enough room for her to stumble much before making contact to the hull with her foot.

I tell her about this but whatever, she can swim.

These floor heights may at first sound like it would make the hull unstable when not moving, but due to the shape of the hull you really can only go so far to one side when standing.

Underway I’m sure the section of hull where her seat is mounted is completely out of the water with her seat being 2-2.5’ above the waters surface. May even be 3’ come to think of it.
 

mattNYtrout

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I currently run a 16' Princecraft "Starfish" which I have modified. Was a simple, short transom, 3-bunk jon boat. Added a front and rear platform, and last year I raised the transom to 20" using square stock Schedule 40. Moved from a 35 HP to a 50, and it's a different boat. Not pretty, but I really love this boat. She gets a surprising number of compliments for being beat up and old

View attachment 113414
View attachment 113415
View attachment 113416

Sweet looking rig! Thanks for the photos
 

mattNYtrout

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I have to agree with everyone else... On a nice day, take the boat to the lake and run some gas through the engine. Stay in the middle of the boat, don't try to do anything fancy, just run her. The more you run her the more comfortable you will get. A 14 footer with a 64" beam shouldn't be too bad, round chines or not. You are over thinking it. If you can ride in a kayak, this thing will be a battleship by comparison.

Just take the boat out and run her. You will probably soon forget about your worries. If not, take some good videos of her running on the lake. Good pictures and videos SELL. People will pay a lot more for something water-ready that they don't have to worry about.
Over thinking is my favorite pass time lol. In all seriousness your right! I did launch my boat once and she felt solid. I was dlowly putting down a channel towards the lake when the engine stopped idling, so I turned around. I replaced the carburetor, which did the trick. This past summer I focused on kayak fishing, but hopefully this Spring I can manage a proper sea trial.
 

mattNYtrout

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My floor varies from 8” at the stern to over 12” near the bow and the only issues we have is my wife will someday fall out when I change direction with the trolling motor.

She insists on standing sometimes and there just is not enough room for her to stumble much before making contact to the hull with her foot.

I tell her about this but whatever, she can swim.

These floor heights may at first sound like it would make the hull unstable when not moving, but due to the shape of the hull you really can only go so far to one side when standing.

Underway I’m sure the section of hull where her seat is mounted is completely out of the water with her seat being 2-2.5’ above the waters surface. May even be 3’ come to think of it.
It must of been the early 90's. Did get a nice trout fishing for smallies.
View attachment 113419
Great pic!!!
 

mattNYtrout

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The stability of a hull moving across the water is due to it being “stuck” to the surface via the relationship of the surface of the water and movement of the hull. If you look around the boating world you will find many kinds of hulls that try to defeat this effect, ie stepped hulls and hydros.

With a soft transition at the hull/transom the water stays stuck to the curve of this transition and rises behind the boat closer to the transom than it would if there were a hard square edge.

You can witness this effect with your kitchen sink and a rounded object placed in the stream of water. The water will stick to the rounded surface rather than continuing to fall straight down.

Clear as mud?
Ahhh ok, appreciate the explanation
 

mattNYtrout

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Just similar experience: I have my dad's old 14' Lund C-14 Fisherman from 1966. 55" beam, 49" width at transom. 15" transom height rising to 22" amidships and 27 at the bow. 10HP 4 stroke (originally rated for 25hp, which is stupid in my opinion--although a kids we skied behind it with a 25hp Johnson from the 50s.) I have known this boat its entire life. It isn't "tippy" but it does lean noticeably if the weight isn't well distributed. I haven't built a deck because I have the same concerns as you. As a first step I bolted a 9" pedestal and seat to the front bench for my fishing buddy to use. You don't feel insecure there, but the few degrees of lean when the other occupants shift is noticeable and takes a bit to get used to. I can stand in it (on the hull bottom) without worry, but I plop my butt back down if a wake is moving my way. There is no way I'd feel comfortable standing on a deck at the height of the bench seats in any wave action. The biggest worry is hitting a fresh wake while back-trolling--it'll take on quarts of water per wave. It'll fish 3 grown men, though it's tight with all the gear.
I've put in a temp plywood floor at about 2.5" above the hull bottom and that doesn't noticeably affect stability when standing.
Thanks for sharing your experience- good insight! Sounds like the Lund C-14 is similar to the mirror craft.

My plan is to treat the boat like a kayak by staying seated especially if there's some roughness coming my way, like you stated. Additionally, going to keep centered and limit how much my weight moves from the centerline. Your post is encouraging me to invest in a bilge pump.
 
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