Lowe 20' Olympic Jon Boat


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Active member
Feb 4, 2012
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Springville, Central California

Hi all

This is a Lowe 20' Jon Boat that has been sitting since 2000. Fella from Arkansas left to his son and he pulled to California and never used it. It was full of water (must not be any leaks!!) and just a mess. Bought for $400. There was 'stuff' thrown in it ie: 4 plastic red gas tanks; coolers; some 16 rods and reels and some more fishing stuff. A paddle; a Minn Kota trolling motor with controller/top broken and prop broken and more control wires and stuff hanging out. A nasty umbrella and stands and just lots of leaves and dirt. Wow - passed it by once and then my son and I looked again and said 'project boat'.

Finished cleaning today - and decided to take out the console and driving seat. All the wires and cables were laying on the floor. By the way, there is a aluminum floor and carpet in the boat. All the wire and cables laying on top - great trip hazard. Now, everything is out - have a blank canvas. Never saw so many wires - wires everywhere - whenever he added something just ran speaker wire and grabbed on to the nearest hot line!!!! The wires even had wires!!!!!

Thinking of installing a 1/2" plywood floor on 2x4's over the existing floor. This would give us space to run the wires and cables. Going to extend the front deck (5/8" plywood) and add a rear deck too. This will allow room for storage and hatches. Is this ok to do? I figured 2x3"s between the ribs and then 2 full 2/4's in-between for support. Is 1/2" ok or should i go the 5/8"? Help -

The motor is a 1984 Johnson 40 (but the engine id shows it as a J60 or 60 hp with a 40 cowling). Engine has been converted to a jet drive. Motor does not turn with the steering wheel so will be ordering a new steering cable. Motor is not frozen but does not want to start - bought new plugs - next new plug wires and if does not kick will try to find a outboard motor mechanic for assistance. By the way, there is a solar panel attached to the top of the motor too!!!!)

Going to be a fun project - thanx to all of you on this wonderful tinboats.net forum - you have already helped so much and i am sure lots more questions coming. Thanx.

I will post more pictures as we go,


On the trailer....motor, trolling motor....rods ....your killing me...wish I could find something that cheap.

As for the wires what about running a conduit up to the front. That way all your wires are contained and you don't have to add a floor that could rot over time...You could use PVC as conduit.

Just a thought.

Endless possibilities!

Nice find!
This is how it looks now - BLANK CANVAS!!!


looks as if someone cut console and narrowed it down.


I am going to fill all the holes in the consule or deck the top with oak or walnut and remount the wheel.

Gotta a project, ya think?

Any guidance, help, comments, suggestions or badgering would be appreciated.


A big welcome to Tin Boats RRawhide. Those old Lowes are tough as nails. Mine is a '78 but identical to yours and I built it for flats fishing here in Florida. Here it is hanging on the lift out back.

Be happy to answer any questions, here is a link to my build.
Nice find! =D> Your motor probly came with the jet. My jet has a 60 powerhead but has a 40 hp cowling. Jets are rated 30% less than the powerhead.
Thanx guys - -

Jerry, oh to have a place to leave in/out of the water. In California, we live near the Sequoia National Forest about 1000' elevation so we have to trailer everywhere. Hopefully, we can go up to some of the higher lakes. We will have a dual-purpose boat when finished - son Ryan is a duck hunter so will probably be camo'd with no glare finish. Also, will build in a cross-boat long narrow compartment so they can have a place for their shotguns. Guns will probably be in cases but maybe a place for a couple pair of gun racks (like on a quad).

Just got back from Lowes where I bought 4 sheets of plywood and a bunch of 2x4's to get started. REMEMBER EVERYONE - IF YOU ARE A VETERAN - YOU ALWAYS GET A 10% DISCOUNT. HOME DEPOT ALSO DOES THIS. Just take in your military I.D. or a copy of your DD-214. A couple of my vet friends have a copy of their DD-214 in the glove compartment of each of their cars.

So, off to planning - looking forward to getting started. Will take and post photos as we go.

rrawhide said:
REMEMBER EVERYONE - IF YOU ARE A VETERAN - YOU ALWAYS GET A 10% DISCOUNT. HOME DEPOT ALSO DOES THIS. Just take in your military I.D. or a copy of your DD-214. A couple of my vet friends have a copy of their DD-214 in the glove compartment of each of their cars.

Seriously....Wow I need to do that....Thanks for the tip. I will be getting a copy made shortly.
Today we decided to take the boat off the trailer and see what we have underneath!!! Doing this alone is a little nerve wracking but slow is the name of the game.

First of all i hooked boat to barn door and the truck to the trailer. Pulled (slowly) forward about 18 inches to slide boat further back on trailer - then was able to use hi-jack to raise one side - then slide sawhorse under boat. Repeat with other side.

Hooked the front boat eye-ring to a chain and then to tractor loader. Raised boat and pulled trailer out from under. Set boat on saw-horse and breathed a sigh of relief - - - - - more on this later -


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You got a great deal.
I have the Master Lock Interchangeable hitch balls. I change the balls as needed, it's rated for 10,000 pounds.
Looking good so far! As far as the crack goes, a few things come into play. 1) Will you be doing the welding yourself? and 2) Which equipment do you have? I weld some myself and if that was me welding that crack, I'd go with the TIG welder. I find it easier to control the heat and I can make it a cleaner weld. ALso, I hate grinding bad welds, even if it will be painted over :) Can't wait to see the finished product!
Hi all

Need to get some pictures posted but

deck all done
need to cut in hatches or make my own
4 seats came in today from Cabela's
ordered 6x25 hunter green carpeting and 2 gallons of adhesive tonight
ordered Teleflex Quick connect steering assembly tonight
working on the stencils for the hull
planning planning planning

brother in law gave me 4 orange flotation vests and 3 Stern throw cushions today

so just having fun - - - -