Epilog Challenge VI: I have entered this into the Epilog challenge please vote on it if you like the build. I would use the laser to help me with some really cool projects like laser cut wood objects, led illuminated signs, engraved tile and much much more. As an engineering student I have programmed Epilogs before.

I recently bought a 1985 14' Blue Fin aluminum boat that I thought would convert well into a small fishing boat. My plan is to use the boat to fish for pan fish and walleye. The main objective in my conversion was to create a large, flat, and sturdy deck area in the middle of the boat to stand on and cast from. I also wanted to add storage areas for fishing equipment and boating accessorizes. Last but not least, I wanted to enhance the overall appearance of the boat. A .GIF file above shows the overall process and the steps involved with the process. I am not a professional craftsman by any means, but I do have a good amount of experience with the common tools used in this build. All drawings from SketchUp have been modifications of https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model.html?id=ac... I used the original model and edited it. Thanks to studioberger for sharing there file. .

Time: 30 - 60 hours

Cost: $200 - $450 (Excel file with my cost is attached - approximately $400)

Circular Saw or Table Saw
Jig Saw (aluminum and wood blades)
Drill Bits
Tape measure
Staple Gun
Orbital Sander
Screw Driver
Utility Knife
Microfiber Towel (optional)
Polishing Pads (optional)

8X1-1/4 Exterior Screws w/ bit (1lb)
9X2-1/2 Exterior Screws w/ bit (1lb)
1/2" x 4' x 8' Plywood (x2)
2" x 2" x 8' SPF Furring Strips (x8)
2" x 8" x 8' Fir Larch
3' x 5' American Flag
Ace Hardware 15-oz. Flat Gray Cold Galvanizing Compound Rust-Oleum
Painter's Touch 2X Primer
Ace 15oz International Blue Gloss Rust Stop Machine And Implement Enamel Spay Paint (x2)
Ace 15oz International Red Gloss Rust Stop Machine And Implement Enamel Spay Paint (x2)
Ace 15oz White Gloss Rust Stop Indoor/Outdoor Enamel Spay Paint (x3)
1-1/16" x 48" Brass Hinge (x2)
1-3/8" x 2" Brass Hinge (set of 2) (x2)
Painters Tape
3/8" T-50 Staple 1250 pack
Miscellaneous Fasteners
Exterior Carpet (6' x 15')
Exterior Carpet Adhesive (1 Gallon)
1/16" x 1/16" x 1/16" sq Trowel
Flush Pull Large Black (optional)
Rod Holder Black (optional)
Cup Holder Black (optional)
Sand Paper


Safety Glasses

Painting Mask

Step 1: Design and Planing

First, start out by taking the major measurements of the boat. The major dimensions will be just fine for now. Next, you should figure out the layout you want for your boat. Are you going to stand and cast, or sit? Are you going to troll, drift or anchor? How many people are going to be on board at once? You need to keep the size of the boat in mind when answering these questions. Since I was working with a somewhat narrow 14' boat, I designed the boat to be used by two people that are sitting and/or possibly casting. Since I am going to fish for pan fish and walleye, I planned on dropping an anchor in my fishing locations. I would have liked to add a trolling motor to make it a more versatile boat, but because of weight concerns I did not. If you do add a trolling motor make sure to that the weight of the batteries, mount, and motor will not be a problem. I started will a rough drawing of the side and top view of my boat and modified to it match my ideas. These plans will also help you decided how much lumber and materials you will need. The materials needed will differ from mine depending on your boat size and your design.

I love this idea but I'm not very confident in building the deck. This will be my first time in doing anything like this bymyself... any advice
<p>Nice job. I am curious on how stable the middle of the boat is? I have wanted to do this my 16ft boat but worry about the sides buckling and warping with the seat removed? </p>
<p>Instead of using carpet (which hooks can get stuck in and bait can make smell), use a clear polyurethane on the wood and throw some sand in it before it dries, then top coat over the sand. This will give a high traction surface that can be washed down.</p>
<p>The main reason I use carpet on my boat is for deadening the sound of walking around, banging tackle and poles, etc. I've caught a lot more fish now that I have carpet instead of just wood with traction paint. </p>
Thats really cool idea. The carpet I use is short and a non looped ply. This helps keep hooks from getting stuck.
<p>Outstanding...I'm going to do that to my little boat. THX</p>
<p>I have a 10ft jon boat, do you think I would be able to do something like this to it?</p>
<p>I&rsquo;m going to have to agree with a lot of the guys here about using carpet on a boat! It just doesn't seem like the best of ideas given how water can seep into the storage compartments below and totally soak the material!</p>
<p>Instead of carpet I used truck bed liner paint which is black then painted it with silver paint to keep it cool. It lasted about 3 years before having to repaint it. I was surprised it lasted so long and we used the boat a lot. Got to say yours looks great. If I can't sell mine this year I may try this myself.</p>
<p>I have a 14 ft Aluminum Craft boat from the 80,s this sounds like a really good winter project</p>
<p>How sturdy is the front casting platform? how about the middle section of the boat? if you were to stand and cast how much would the boat wobble?</p>
You would not want to stand up front and cast it would be too tippy. The main deck would be fine most fishing. I have cast from a few times and it is no bad at all if your standing in the middle.
<p>You just gave me a new project. An uncle passed away and left a '60's featherlite 16ft that we were going to sell but now maybe not.</p>
Sorry to hear that. I really enjoyed doing this project and it might be a real cool way to remember you uncle.
<p>I am now officially on the hunt for an old aluminum boat! Great job!</p>
It's a blast to do and use. Good luck finding one and doing this if you choice to.
I made the mistake of using regular plywood when I replaced my center board in my boat. I even sealed it with an an oil based sealer and it rotted. look for a product called MDO. It is made for marine applications.
I did some research before doing this and have read that some people have done this without marine grade wood and have not had a problem over an extended time. I would have love to use marine grade plywood but it is 3 to 4 times more expensive.
<p>Even though IMO you went a little bit overboard with the decorations, this is a really nice looking boat. The layout is nice and I especially like the space in the centre. It's almost a patriotic party boat.</p><p>Carpets, even exterior carpets, are hard to keep clean and mildew free in a fishing boat environment. With the extra deck it will also be hard to get rid of the water that will collect in the bottom unless you add a bilge pump. I think it's also better to make sure to use marine grade plywood. </p>
My next steps are to add a bilge pump and navigation light so I can fish at night. The bilge pump is not necessary for me because I only have it in the water when I am using it.
<p>I did this exact project, no live well, but I did include a 7' 2'' rod storage locker and two swivel fishing chairs on a 12 foot Al boat.</p><p>The boat was so heavy it would no longer come up on plane, increased HP from 9.5 to a 15 HP. Still way too heavy to come up on plane. Then I stripped everything including the Al seats and floatation. We now fly around the lake sitting in very comfortable, cheap, plastic chairs and life jackets. In the very unlikely case that we tip over one of our fishing floats will unreel and mark the sunken boat for retrieval. </p>
I plane out just fine still with one just me or two of us in the boat. I only have a 9.9. The area for the rods extended under to front and rear seat so I can store 8' plus rods.
<p>Very nicely done!</p><p>Did you consider spacing the supports that take the place of the middle bench seat a little further apart? Looks like they might become hazards for tripping when landing a fish.</p><p>Also, why did you not drill holes in those supports and use them as rod holders? Looks like a natural to me.</p><p>Great job! Thanks for sharing!!!</p>
The reason I used that spacing was I use the holes created from drilling out the middle seat. I also thought about making them in to rod holder by either drilling holes or buying rod holders with the foam but they are too close together.
Excellent work. I like your before and after in 1 pic too.
This is so cool and creative great job
<p>Great job!</p>
<p>What a fantastic labor of love. I'm sure you turn some heads and start conversations with that boat. Great job.</p>
I have a 12ft v-hull that I'd like to do something like this too but I'm concerned about it being back heavy when sitting in water, is there a way to make it set higher?
<p>If by set higher you mean float higher out of the water, you would lighten the hull/load. If you are just concerned about the stern, you need to move more weight to the center of the boat. Move fuel and batteries amidships. Sit further forward of the stern and use a tiller extender. You could also build flotation chambers off from the stern that are rigidly attached to the hull that flank the outboard. They do make your boat longer so you have to register it as a longer craft though.</p>
Assume boat, great job!
Very nice work <br>Great pics and instructions

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