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  1. #1
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    Default Jon boat console location?

    I have an alumacraft 1436 jonboat with tiller steer and im changing it over to remote steer/throttle/shift. What i want to know is, does it make a difference where the console is located on the boat? As far as driveability does it matter where i put the steering console and where i sit to drive the boat?

  2. #2
    Lieutenant Commander arks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jon boat console location?

    Absolutely. A small boat is sensitive to weight, so when adding equipment (like a console) it's important to distribute it evenly as possible.
    When modifying my jonboat I mounted the console using slotted angle. It allowed me to adjust the whole assembly F-R until it felt right. I also mounted a trolling motor and my second battery forward, and keep the anchor and extra gas tank up there. They compensate for my weight behind the console.
    You need to experiment a little to figure out the best placement for your console.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Jon boat console location?

    Does anyone know if they make a double console Jon boat???
    Thanks,
    Al

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Jon boat console location?

    Quote Originally Posted by arks View Post
    Absolutely. A small boat is sensitive to weight, so when adding equipment (like a console) it's important to distribute it evenly as possible.
    When modifying my jonboat I mounted the console using slotted angle. It allowed me to adjust the whole assembly F-R until it felt right. I also mounted a trolling motor and my second battery forward, and keep the anchor and extra gas tank up there. They compensate for my weight behind the console.
    You need to experiment a little to figure out the best placement for your console.
    Id love to set my boat up like yours, i know your boat is 48" wide across the bottom and probably much more stable than my 14/36. Has anyone ever seen a narrower boat like mine set up with a center console like that? Im sure i can build a center console to fit my boat that would allow room on either side to move from front to back but on a boat the size of mine would it be more trouble to do it than its worth?

  5. #5
    Vice Admiral 5150abf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jon boat console location?

    I have had a small jon like that and can't imagine trying to get around a console, to be functional it would have to be almost as wide as the boat adn ot leave alot of room to get around it.

    The fab guy in me would love the challenge but I just don't know and also once you do it it is done so if it doesn't work you are in a real spot.

    I would start drawing it to scale, if you can't make it work on paper you probably can't build it either.
    GO IRISH!!!!

  6. #6
    Moderator Bondo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jon boat console location?

    but on a boat the size of mine would it be more trouble to do it than its worth?
    Ayuh,... Just remember, every pound of Stuff you build into your boat,...
    Is a pound of Stuff you Can't put in the boat after you've added all the other tonnage...

    You've got a Tiny boat, don't be Overloaded, before you even launch...
    Any Grease is Better,..... Than No Grease at All.......

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Jon boat console location?

    Unless you just want a project, it would be much easier and maybe cheaper to buy a boat like you want.
    Lots of boats on Craigslist this time of year.

  8. #8
    Petty Officer 1st Class perchin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jon boat console location?

    wow..... I wouldn't event attempt that.... if you want some good info on jon-boat modifications go to www.tinboats.net

    The guys there will probably tell ya the same thing though... I wouldn't put anything but a tiller in a boat smaller than 48" across the bottom. Just MHO
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Jon boat console location?

    What do you want/need a console for? Are you looking for more comfort or more visibility or both?

    Tiller steer will give you the greatest mobility/maneuverability in the boat by far. You will lose some of your maneuverability in tight quarters by going to a console.

    If space is at a premium, consider a side console. If visibility is a premium, then consider center console.

    Think outside the box - rather than building a boxy console, consider building a mast (pole) instead to mount all of the controls, steering wheel, etc. on - you will lose very little valuable floor space and the system will still be functional (I have seen barge tugs with the entire cabin mounted on a pedestal six feet above the deck so that they wouldn't lose valuable cargo space and have maximum visibility).

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Jon boat console location?

    For a 14' boat:
    No dual console--total waste of space on the passenger side.
    Center console would have to be just a post-type rig, to be driven standing up (look at how go-devils are rigged). This would be desirable for a waterman or duck hunter but probably not for a typical recreational operator.
    If you must have a console, a small side mount is what you want, in front of a bench seat all the way across. You will usually not sit directly behind the wheel (unless you have a passenger for balance), but to the center of the boat--it's small enough that you can reach everything. This is how a 13' whaler is rigged and operates. I'd also suggest a low console and skip the windshield.
    I have to say, though, Ark's rig looks pretty good, and surprised it goes in a 14.
    I'd recommend the same for a boat up to 16. A narrow aisle on both sides of a center does little good.
    In fact, we rigged a 19' with a double seat center console shoved all the way to the side, so we have a large side aisle, both for passing and for hauling lumber, etc. Works well even though the boat, at rest, is listing some.
    A man of constant boat tinkering.

  11. #11
    Lieutenant Commander arks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jon boat console location?

    Bond-o's right- my boat's rated for 4 people but with the extra weight of the console, troller, battery, anchor etc I'll only run it with 3 maximum- and no fattys allowed!

    Quote Originally Posted by Home Cookin' View Post
    For a 14' boat:
    If you must have a console, a small side mount is what you want, in front of a bench seat all the way across. You will usually not sit directly behind the wheel (unless you have a passenger for balance), but to the center of the boat--it's small enough that you can reach everything. This is how a 13' whaler is rigged and operates. I'd also suggest a low console and skip the windshield.
    I have to say, though, Ark's rig looks pretty good, and surprised it goes in a 14.
    I'd recommend the same for a boat up to 16. A narrow aisle on both sides of a center does little good.
    Yup, I tried to put the console in the middle but it didn't allow adequate room on either side. I solved the problem by offsetting the console as far as I could to starboard and still be on the flat part of the hull. I compensated by putting a big (group 31) battery on the port side just forward of the center seat. You can see the top of the black box in the shot below.
    HC's also correct that sitting directly behind the offset console can upset the L-R balance. I usually sit on the L edge of the seat or stand when running on plane. And I like the windshield, especially when caught in a shower- that rain HURTS!
    And before anyone flames me, YES it's perfectly safe to stand on this boat.

    I guess technically my rig is a side console..... here's a shot that shows it:
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Jon boat console location?

    The only reason id want a console is because i honestly cant steer a boat from the tiller. Ive tried, and cant get it in my head to turn the motor in the opposite direction of where i want to go. To me it is one of the hardest things ive ever tried to learn. I really wish i could get the hang of it, but ive damn near killed myself twice this summer trying to learn how to steer that way. Ill probably have to go to a bigger boat with a console just to be able to have a steering wheel in front of me and still be able to fish off of it. The 14/36 i have has plenty of room to fish off of as long as i dont have to add a console to steer from, i just wish the tiller steering was a little more forgiving to a novice.

  13. #13
    Lieutenant Commander 26aftcab454's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jon boat console location?

    what about STICK STEERING and a small side/off center console?
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  14. #14
    Lieutenant Commander arks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jon boat console location?

    Ok then IMO you should consider mrdancers idea- think outside the box!
    I think you might find a simple stick steering setup would help you a lot. Don't need a console to do that!
    Check this out:
    http://www.ezyglide.com/
    EDIT: DAM 26, you beat me to it!
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Jon boat console location?

    The stick steer looks like a pretty simple solution, could it be mounted in front of you to push left and right instead of forward and back? I'd like to hear from some of you that use stick steer to hear some pros and cons on that type setup. Ive thought about mounting a steering helm on a flat plate mounted to a piece of round bar extending into the boat about 16", so it wouldnt take up too much room, and ive looked around for some ideas, but havent come up with anything yet.

  16. #16
    Lieutenant Commander arks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jon boat console location?

    Quote Originally Posted by S-31 View Post
    The stick steer looks like a pretty simple solution, could it be mounted in front of you to push left and right instead of forward and back?
    I suppose, but all the stick-steer boats I've run steer by pushing F-R and the motion is instinctive with very little thought required.
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  17. #17
    Lieutenant Commander 26aftcab454's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jon boat console location?

    mount the stick steering on the side( back & forth)-you will not gain anything going side to side.
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Jon boat console location?

    I saw that the steering cable has to come in from the port side on the stick steer setup. Can the stick be mounted on the starboard side to be able to steer with the right hand?

  19. #19
    Master Chief Petty Officer royal0014's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jon boat console location?

    Quote Originally Posted by S-31 View Post
    The only reason id want a console is because i honestly cant steer a boat from the tiller. Ive tried, and cant get it in my head to turn the motor in the opposite direction of where i want to go. To me it is one of the hardest things ive ever tried to learn. I really wish i could get the hang of it, but ive damn near killed myself twice this summer trying to learn how to steer that way.
    Hate to say it, but if you can't wrap your head around a tiller,a push/pull stick steer is just begging for trouble............

    Modifiying a small john is also asking for trouble, and could lead to liability issues. Trade up to something you are more comfortable with, before you hurt yourself or someone else.


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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Jon boat console location?

    Quote Originally Posted by royal0014 View Post
    Hate to say it, but if you can't wrap your head around a tiller,a push/pull stick steer is just begging for trouble............

    Modifiying a small john is also asking for trouble, and could lead to liability issues. Trade up to something you are more comfortable with, before you hurt yourself or someone else.


    <<)))(((>>
    So true--stick steer--is to me the best set/up for you--BUT it is something to get used to.

  21. #21
    Petty Officer 1st Class perchin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jon boat console location?

    Quote Originally Posted by S-31 View Post
    The only reason id want a console is because i honestly cant steer a boat from the tiller. Ive tried, and cant get it in my head to turn the motor in the opposite direction of where i want to go. To me it is one of the hardest things ive ever tried to learn. I really wish i could get the hang of it, but ive damn near killed myself twice this summer trying to learn how to steer that way. i just wish the tiller steering was a little more forgiving to a novice.

    And how do you manage to get the boat into the lake???
    If you can't figure out a tiller, what's to say you'll be any better off using a stick steer??? Maybe let someone take you out and show you the proper use of your boat, before you kill someone eh?
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  22. #22
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    Default Re: Jon boat console location?

    if your motivation to install a console is to avoid learnnig boating skills, sell the 14 and get a golf cart. Seriously.

    boat steering is backwards until you realize you steer from the rear. A car sends the "bow" left or right; a boat sends the stern. You push the motor the direction you want the stern to go.
    Practice, alone, a lot.
    Make minor corrections, especially if you go the wrong way. Pushing hard over can be dangerous in a small boat. Start your turn slowly (slight push) to see if you are going the right way.
    Approach docks and other objects in neutral, coasting so slowly you don't have to use reverse as a brake. Your motor will thank you. Ratehr than try to run a slow idle in gear, coast and bump in and out of gear as needed. Practice this first against a soft object and then a pole, where you can approach with each wind/current direction. And when you can, it's usually easier to approach heading upwind/upcurrent.
    There's a lot of awkward movement tiller steering into a dock. Don't get rattled.
    A man of constant boat tinkering.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Jon boat console location?

    Thanks for everyones input. Being safe on the water is first and foremost when im asking about the different steering setups everyone has. I absolutely don't want anyone getting hurt. I've worked as a school bus mechanic for the last 16 years and safety is the ONLY thing on my mind when i'm doing my job, and of course it carries over into everything i do on my time as well. That being said, finding an easier way to steer my boat would make it much safer for me and anyone else that happens to be on the water, so, thanks everyone for all the ideas and constructive criticism. Im looking into the different types of steering setups yall are talking about and hopefully i can come up with something that will work for me.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Jon boat console location?

    Practice with what you have. Go slow. Zigzag all the way across the lake and back at idle. Youll get it.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Jon boat console location?

    can you tell me where you got that console sir, ?? i love that outfit and im getting ready to modify a jet boat, im thinking of doing a center console

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