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  • Jon Boat Mods...

    I'm would like to cut the benches out of my 16 ft jon boat and I have a few questions.

    First: is this even a good idea? Will I need to add some ribs?

    Second: What kind on floor would you go with...I have seen several types like metal, marine plywood and some kind of composite material.

    Any hints from guys who have done this would be great!

  • #2
    Do not remove the bench seats without consulting a boatbuilder first. You will have to add bracing for sure. I did it on a 16' boat before and had a lot of welds crack after the conversion even with added ribs. There are plenty of builders out there to advise you.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the info...

      How about adding a hatch and digging out the foam? I want to maximize my space....

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      • #4
        Yep, the benches are very important structural members in a Jon. Can't take them out. No level of "bracing" will replace the bench.

        For storage, it would be possible to put compartments into the benches. But what you need to remember is that when you remove the foam, you are removing the flotation mandated by the USCG. If your boat is inspected for use on navigable waterways, you may fail due to inadequate flotation if you've hollowed out all your seats.

        This is something you need to have a face-to-face with a boatbuilder to work out.
        Winter is Coming...

        Go GeocacheAlaska!

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        • #5
          Both Comps and the Boat Shop in Fairbanks talked to me about it when I wanted to do it to my last boat. Both said ribs had to be added. Solid flooring will add a lot of stability as well. Boat Shop would do it in house and Comps will send you out to do it. I think you can make up the flotation loss by putting in a floor with foam under it. I was told that the CG regs make it mandatory for the manufacturers and dealers to maintain the seats and flotation for boats under 18' (?), but owners can do what they want. Your insurance company might not pay out though. I would ask them before doing it. In the end I got a new boat instead of doing it to my other boat, but that was for another reason. I think I would have done it if I kept the boat. As far as it not being safe, my new boat does not have the benches (all open deck) and both boats are 18í. The new boat is a foot wider and has 1.5í more freeboard, but I canít see how that would increase the structural integrality. I am not an engineer, but my guess is that the extra ribs and solid flooring does the trick. Ask lots of questions to the boat builders and your insurance company before doing it is my advice.

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