I just picked up an '08 1648 jon boat with side console and I want to mod the boat but I'd like some opinions on whether to put full decks in this boat or simply put a floor in it. My initial plan was to spray rhino lining in the bottom for traction and sound proofing, but then when I got in it, I remembered how much I hate the ribs that run across the bottom.
This boat will be used for duck hunting first and fishing second. Because I am using it for duck hunting and I carry so much stuff I really don't want to have decks and have all my stuff "on top" of the boat instead of "in" the boat. The other small issue here is the pup that will be hunting for the first time this year that should be "in" the boat instead of "on" it.
I'm leaning toward just installing floors and putting pedestal seats on the floor of the boat for fishing, but I really do like the idea of the decks for fishing.
I low decked my 1436 jon boat 2 years ago and like it. With my 36" wide boat I wasn't going to raise the deck and make it less stable than it all ready was, your 1648 is probably a lot more stable though.
To deck my boat I used 3/8" plywood and 1x1 pine ribs in between the aluminum ribs, plenty stiff for me (230#). I thought the hardest part was going to be bending the plywood to the front hull's contour... When I walked into Lowes my problems were solved. I spied the stack of 3/8" plywood and the top piece (the one no one takes) was severely warped, but perfectly bent to fit the front hull's contour. The check out guy asked if I wanted a better piece of wood,,,NOPE!
My first boat was a jon boat similar to yours but without a side console. I opted to put a flat floor in. I used 2"x2" firring strips beveled slightly to build up (level) the floor just slightly above the ribs. Then I covered the strips with exterior grade plywood. I beveled the edges of the plywood to fit better against the sides of the boat. Before I assembled the pieces I put on several coats of spar varnish. I put artificial grass on top for sound deadening. I put rubber strips on the bottom of the firring strips also. It worked great! Sorry to say that I traded it in. Should have keep it. With the 15hp Evinrude it ran like a top.
I'd probably opt for just the low deck to cover the ribs but a small raised section with some dry storage is nice to have. Maybe a combination of low deck and raised bow area with a storage compartment would work?
go ahead and floor the boat then you could make a removable deck for the front that could be taken in or out, use 4 "L" brackets to make an upright "slot" for a bulkhead then build a 3'-4' deck to set on top of that, a couple more L brackets to support the floor and you have a modular boat, put a lid in the floor section and you now have a storage compartment.
drill holes for a couple carriage bolts with wing nuts to make it easy in out and to secure everything.
When it is out you only have the L brackets on the hull, you should be able to do it with a single sheet of plywood a couple L brackets and a handful of rivets, use left over wood to make some reinforcements for the floor,3'' wide strips glued and screwed to the underside.
I really think it would work and then you would have the perfect boat for either situation.
Are you planning on a dog ramp? How about camo for hunting with raised sides? The decking is faily simple by getting large sheets of cardboard for the shape and cut the plywood. It can actually just sit an top of the ribs and use strips of truck inner tube on the ribs.
I like the design of the boat. You might even make some removable storage lockers for the hunting supplies.
Just keep in mind the center of gravity with added sides.
When it is out you only have the L brackets on the hull, you should be able to do it with a single sheet of plywood a couple L brackets and a handful of rivets
That's how I have mine installed, remove 4 screws and the deck lifts out,,, easy cheesy for cleaning below deck. Also nice for when I get the carpet soaked with fish goo, remove decks, spray off, let dry and reinstall. I used 3" long 1 x 1 1/2" aluminum angle for the brackets and riveted them to the seat bulkheads.
You guys have helped me decide to go with floors however I'll probably still wind up with a removable deck for the front for those times when I will be fishing instead of hunting.
I haven't figured out yet if I want or need to put a dog ramp in this boat. I used to just pull my old dog in the boat but that wasn't much fun for either of us, plus it would get me really wet. As far as the blind goes, I might do something cheap with some fabric, but I've never needed it before.
I found out today that I need to do something about the sides. I went out to remove the electric trolling motor and as usual the pup followed me so I put him in the boat to help him get used to it for his own safety later on. Big mistake. He half jumped half fell as I was trying to keep him from jumping out of the boat. Needless to say he is now injured with what appears to be a fractured back leg or possibly ligament damage. It's back to the vet tomorrow morning for x-rays to find out for sure the extent of the injuries. Looks like it might be more fishing than hunting this year...
Gotta love taking the pup for his first boat trip...
I tied my lab pup's leash inside the boat, big boat, leash tied short enough so he couldn't get out of the boat. Soon as I'm walking down the dock to park the truck I see something go rocketing by me and jump into the water collar not tight enough... Later that evening I was drifting down the river and hear a SPLASH,,, oh carp, dog's into the 52* water. Every try to haul a black lab out of the water while it's pitch black outside? After the 3rd time of him jumping into the water it got real annoying...
Funny thing, even though he was cold and shivering when I pulled him out of the water, he still wanted to go back for more. Guess it was bred into him.