I was wondering if I could get a bit of feedback, or a few questions I have answered about building a small ( 4' x 11') flat bottom boat. If I make no seats in the boat, will just the epoxy coating and the 'but joints' with cloth be strong enough? From a structural stand point, not having a midship thwart and a bow piece (breast hook, foredeck or thwart) the sides of the boat will likely flop around a good bit. It would be possible to have a small thwart at each end of the boat with reinforced sheer clamp and maybe a topside stringer, to provide the open layout you desire. Location: maine A 4 foot wide boat as described would have quite a wide bottom, and it's strength (to resist transverse flexing) would be achieved by having a reasonable amount of rocker or making the seats full boxes for flotation and a set of transverse beams. In your case, wanting to have a clear open area, you can't just modify an existing plan without help from someone knowledgable. PAR will, I'm sure, provide you with a good set of plans or modify to suit, but by all means maske sure the bottom is rigid enough and that the connection to the sides is well braced.
In the future, I may purchase plans and modify them to suit my own design, but for this first project, I think I'm going to just go with this basic design and consider purchasing plans in the future for something a bit more complex, even though I have questions about this 'simple' design!
One of the goals of this little project is to just keep it as simple and cheap as possible for now. In the attached picture, there is the rough outline and dimensions, as well as the proposed 'skeleton' of the boat made from 2x2s.
I would be putting cloth and epoxy on the outside and inside of all seams, but should the entire boat surface be coated as well, or just the seams? Again, the boat will be used for shallow, calm water, and will have rub strips along the underside for added stability and for protection from rocks etc.
Location: Alliston, Ontario, Canada At the very least put a bit of curvature in the bottom as it will help stiffen it and prevent oil-canning.
A bit of a curve will do the same thing for the sides: they do not have to come all the way in to a point at the bow. It is actually easier to do it this way than the way you have sketched: ply bends easily and it will save you have to make joints that are strong enough and waterproof.
Use seats as frames, and hide flotation in them Three cavities, both bow and stern shelves and the center thwart (seat). Location: Ontario Hey, It's been awhile, and I thought I'd update this thread with what I ended up doing. First, thank you to everyone who gave their advice and input in this thread, it was much appreciated, and much needed. I decided not to put seats in it, because I want the space for carrying things I have in it, but I included a 2x2 across the top and bottom near the middle of the boat. I have more pictures I could show, but it seems that I'm at my size limit here with the 3 pics I've already posted in this thread. Anyways, I wanted to come back to say thanks, and also to show you guys what I ended up doing. When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals.
You could make one from your own design and it would perform to some expectations, but you could also get a set of plans (I have low cost plans for just the boat you describe) that will optimize the shapes, keep it simple to build and answer your questions about how thick things need to be, plus where to precisely put them. I've spent a bit of time reading the forum and looking at other 'jon boat' plans on the net, and I've modified my initial design. Does this plan look stable enough now, or are the few 'extra' transverse beams that I've now included overkill since it will be epoxied?
The entire underside would be epoxied of course, but does the entire inside need it as well, or just the seams? Curvature can make the ply act as if it was twice as thick, without the weight and cost, and it will go faster and smoother. If you make the front plate (pram transom) slope a bit the boat won't come to an abrupt stop when you run into a wave form a bigger boat (see PDRacer again).
Well, I realized that my square design that I had initially come up with wasn't going to cut it, so I took the advice to make some curves in it. I used a lot of epoxy on the bottom, more than I should have, but it was my inexperience at 'fiberglassing' that caused me to use so much. I plan to put narrow 'runners' on the bottom of the boat for extra stability and protection from rocks etc. I know it dries very hard, but I want to know if the way I'm picturing doing it will be ok. An added benefit would be better performance from the little outboard and improved maneuverability as a result of the shapes employed in the design.


Most ply boats have a stiffening member along the top (sheer) of the side planks which is called a gunnel. You may find that it will be fairly easy to twist it without any bulkheads to give it rigidity so a couple of knees from side to bottom might be in order to help with this. One inch of ice in 3 days !!!It wasreal windy most of the day and I spent more time in the EskimoQuick Fish 3.The two holes in the shelter provided some steady action for perch and bluegills.
4 hp is just on the border of enough to get you planning if the boat is light enough but I bet not so internal framing is not so necessary.
The death lull kicked in around1230 and fishing picked back up again at 3pm.I landed the usual residents of the lake-- a few trout, afew nice crappies, perch and gills.
Plenty ofpanfish with a few perch hitting the 9-inch mark and a crappie thatwas almost 10 inches.I caught trout sporadically throughout the day, ending with 9. Teddy told me the lake is completed covered and the ice might be about 1 inch orso.Teddy has patrolled and lived next toAntietam Lakealmostall his life and he knows the lake. There isplenty of rainfall predicted for that area.Most of the fish sitting in the estuary should be entering the river as I type this. Anglers tend to give you space, the scenery is beautiful and the Osprey's always put on a show. Wednesday was spent in the upper fly zone and wasslow in the morning but pretty consistent in the afternoon.
Ialso landed a smallmouth bass, a few small brown trout, afew small rainbows (steelhead smolts ?), a fallfishand a baby AtlanticSalmon. The Mohawk egg pattern accounted for many smaller fish and the salmon sized Light Spruce fly produced a few hookups. Last years--One Day Trip-- hot fly,Olive bugger with White marabou tail and redcrystal flash also received plenty of attention and did account for 2 fish.
The guyI was fishing withused plenty of flies with smaller bucktail flies doing most of the damage. He didhook-up with a few fish while usingmy Death Stonefly, landing one nice Coho.I can tell you this---the next few weeks will provide some serious action. There are fish in the system at this moment and with the water release at 1800 CFS and the rain. The pool we were fishing was loaded with suckers and chubs and I did see a few trout and a couple of nice sized smallmouth bass.
Any questions as to what to tie, just shoot me an email or use the Contact 2Bonthewater page. All that cold water coming from a quarry and the creek itself in that area is near lifeless. The bridge is now being painted a Hunter Green color.Most of the creeks in the OleyValley are really low. Even with the rain, the creeks remain very low.A I have a trip scheduled to the Salmon River planned inlate September thanks to Jack. Without Jack's kindness and awesomeness, I would not be going salmon fishing.A I have startedtyingflies for the upcoming salmon trip. Zoe competed in a National Beauty pageant and won honorable mention in the beauty competition (FYI -- Zoe wears no make-up, fake hairor fake teethand she competes in the natural division--she is my little girl and I would never DRESS HER UP like all those crazy folks you see on TV). We dressed as fishermen, answered a question about each other and then Zoe did some fly casting on stage.
Zoe was crowned Little Queen when she won the Pennsylvania state pageant back in 2006 while competing in a Sunburst pageant. There are plenty of out of the way smaller streams that are teeming with Smallmouths, Carp and a variety of Panfish. Perkiomen Creek -- air temp 89 degrees, checked the temperature at two spots, temps were 70 and 69 degrees -- Taken between 415-425 pmA Manatawny Creek -- air temp was 88 degrees, checked the temperature at three spots, temps were 76 degrees at Red Covered Bridge, 74 degrees above TIKI bar and 76 degrees below the Rt.
This heatwave has made most ofthe local trout streams too warm to fishfor the catch and release angler. Maiden Creek below Ontelaunee Lake should provide anglers with some fishthat are willing to bite. You can find Carp, Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bassand a wide assortment of panfish to keep you busy. Take some cold water with you !!!Your best way to keep the water cool is to freeze a bottle or two of water the night before you head out.
As the day heats up, the water bottles will slowly melt, leaving you with nice cold waterto drink throughout the day. I fished for 30-minutes on Manatawny and landed 2 wild browns on a tan caddis dry fly in the area where the water temp was 68 degrees.


Temperature wise, if it is 90 degrees outside, pretty sure most, if not all of the local trout waters will be at 70 degrees or higher. We don't wantto kill the trout.The trout that survive through the summer will offerus great fishing in the fall. I have not made a trip to the Schuylkill River as of yet, but I'd bet the house that the smallie action should be pretty darn good. You can also takeyour watercraft outbefore Epler atCross Keys Road or at Muhlenburg Township park which is below the PFBC Epler Access.
There is little room to fish, unless you don't mind walking the shoreline that is covered with all types of vegetation, including Poison Ivy.
Pleny of fish to be caught in this body of water, that is if you can get to them.A Manatawny Creek fished OK.
This stretch used to provide some very nice smallmouth action, but the last few trips here have been poor. Switched to a spent spinner pattern and hooked up twice--snapped one off and landed a nice stocker brown.
The water is up from recent rains inthe valley, but the stream was clear and in perfect condition.
The Schuylkill River and a few tribs shouldprovide any cat or carp angler with a few bites each nite. Channel catfish prefer dead baits andsmaller live bait, while the Flatheads prefer larger live bait.
Carp will eatsmaller live bait including minnows andcrayfish along with the standard fare of homemade MUSH bait or whole kernel corn.The bottom line is--It doesn't really matter what bait you areusing. But, by now it was pitch black and it was raining pretty good and thelightning made it look like the 4th of July came early.I managed to land 2 fish on my emerger pattern androll 2 other trout.
Started out at the mouth of Sacony Creek but there was some serious bridge work going on, so I left after a few casts. Caught some nice bluegills, onebrown trout, pumpkinseeds, green sunfish, agolden shiner and I almost hooked into a very nice largemouth bass.
Kids and water mean plenty of noise,lots of splashing and lots offun.Normally, 750pm is about the timethe sulphurs start popping off. I saw some Iso's and huge stoneflies coming off and flying around.I caught a trophy Bluegill, no kidding check out the picture, almost 9 inches.
I left my headlamp in the truck so I had to walkout before it got too dark and miss the potential spinner fall. I then drove to another stretch of the crick and hooked up a few times fishing a brown spent spinner. I lost them at the bank.A Fish the mornings with a brown or white spent spinner and you might get a few takes on the surface.
My favorite is a "John's Spring Creek Pupa" tied in size 18 and 20 (Trout Flies of The East--page 93). I caught two brookies on a CDC sulphur dry fly and the rest of the fish were caught with nymphs. What an amazing fish, especially on a 2 wt bamboo fly rod with a fly reel that is dated to the 1930's or 1940's. What a specimen.He looked like a submarine swimming in the water !!My first impression of the leviathan is that it was a wild fish. Tonights fishing provided a mixed bag of fish, a few smallwild brown trout, along with a few stocker browns, stockerrainbows and the brook trout. I topped it all off with a visit to Ted's house to show off the bamboo fly rod and talk shop. It was about 40 degrees and raining.I didroll a larger fish on a midge, but aside from that, it was a very slow night.
Cast down and across and hop the flies upoff the bottom with quick upward lifts of the fly rod.The fish would really strike hard. I still have not figured out whyone day I will catch all browns, one day I will catch all rainbows and some days, you will catch a little of everything.



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