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  • Intex Mariner 4 modifications and Tips

    Hello all, I have noticed a few threads about the Intex Mariner 4.
    For those of us that are Poor or just starting out, I feel its a Good boat for the Money.
    Now I have currently 2 seasons in with my Mariner and I have made a few modifications to it so that I could better enjoy my "pool toy".
    I thought that I might share these on here so that other Mariner 4 owners could see what I did and why I did it.

    So here is some of my wisdom from experience.
    As far as material problems they have only been with the Inflatable keel.
    It looks like the seam on my keel ,when factory pressed,, thinned the material, I have had 2 pin holes at the front and back of the keel in the exact same spot on both ends.
    I believe this was a manufacturing issue on mine.
    They were a easy patch though. I am however considering reinforcing the keel seam. That maybe one area you might want to watch. Other then that the Boat is pretty tough, I have even hit a couple of floating logs on the Ohio River with it and they did no damage, and I can say I'm actually pretty impressed with the strength of the material for this price range. It really is a tough little boat for the money.

    (Mods)
    One of the first things I did was modify my Mariner with a Hard wood custom floor and custom Motor mount.
    The slat roll up floor that comes with the boat is Ok, But it's NO where near as good as a Hard floor.
    The Best you can do with the original floor is stand up but you won't be walking around with ANY ease, especially if your a bigger guy.

    For my custom Hard floor I just took plywood and treated it with a acetone and resin mix, and Made a 4 piece custom Hard floor. I then painted it with a good water proof paint.
    The difference in the Boat was Like Night and Day !!! It's way more rigid and you can literally walk around in the boat with No problems at all. It also added to the overall stability and rigidness of the craft.
    As far as walking around in the boat, I'd say its now pretty darn close to the stability of a small bass boat.
    When I say that, I mean you can do jumping jacks in the boat and even stand on the tube and it wont flip.

    The Custom Floor also allowed me to Make a Custom Motor Mount.
    The Motor Mount is Bolted to the custom hard Floor of the boat and it also keep pressure off of the rear tube.
    This way the motor is pushing on the floor and not the rear tube.

    Now building a custom motor mount depends on how much of a engine you want to use.
    The original factory motor mount works great with a trolling motor and even Ok with a 3 hp, however a 3 hp will push on the factory mount pretty good and you have to accelerate slowly or the torque pushes the motor somewhat down into the water.
    I wanted to use my 6 hp Johnson on the Mariner so that's why I built the custom motor mount.

    Doing a custom floor also lets you really install Bass seats too, and you can even put in pole holders if you want.

    I use different setups depending on where and how long I'm out fishing.
    If I'm just going out for the evening then I will just use the Factory motor mount and the trolling motor.
    Half a day, I take a 3 hp outboard and the 3 gallon tank, and if I'm out for a whole day then I take the 6hp and the 6 gallon tank and trolling motor.
    That's also one of the great things about the custom motor mount, I just put the custom floor in backwards and then I have 2 motor mounts on both ends of the boat, one for the 6 hp and one for the trolling motor.

    Also I have a Fish finder/GPS on the boat too. You can mount the transducer on the Bottom rubber handle via zip ties.
    It works Great,,,and Stays in position,,,it even folds up in the boat when your done so you you don't have to keep putting the transducer on each trip.
    I mounted the Fish finder on the top of a tackle box so when I unroll the boat I just set my tackle box down and plug the transducer in.

    If you like to night fish Like I do, I also Highly recommend a fish finder with GPS.
    There have been Many a Night where I was in some Major fog, and I was able to drive back to the boat ramp with pretty much No visibility. I just followed the trail that I had plotted via GPS mapping and I'm safely back at shore.

    I can also say this, I'm a Old Flathead catfish junkie ! and there is Nothing like being on a small inflatable while hooked into a 60+pd Freshwater Freight Train ! Its very much kind of like deep see fishing ! and I have had some Major battles that I will Never forget.


    So , to wrap this up,
    If you want to do something to make your mariner 4 better, By all means make a full custom floor.
    You will Not believe the difference. Its like having a whole different Boat !
    Second, keep a eye on the keel seams, and maybe reinforce them.
    Third, if you want to go with a engine bigger then a 3 hp, you have to make a custom motor mount.
    Yes there are videos on YouTube of people using bigger motors on the original factory mount but it will bend very quickly.

    Also I would suggest throwing a small hydrofoil on your outboard. It made a Big difference in the tracking of the boat, and if you stick with the original factory motor mount, it will keep a 3hp from pushing down into the water and you'll even gain a little speed,, because,,, it will raise the rear end of the boat and keep the front down when accelerating.

    The beauty of this little boat, is that you can get it without spending a lot of money, and in no time flat your on the water.
    Then If you want to spend a little time, you can you also improve your mariner to the point where if feels like a different boat.

    Plus I Love the fact that I can have a 11 foot boat, Trolling Motor and 6 Hp outboard in the back of my Chevy Metro and still get 40 MPG !
    AND,, Yes,,,,,, I have Won quit a few beers on that Bet ! HAHAHA

    Anyhow, I leave you all with a couple of pictures, Sincerely Desode
    Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    Re: Intex Mariner 4 modifications and Tips

    Desode,
    Very nice! I have a Sevylor 360 myself and have done a lot of modifications on it, but it is good to see the level of work you have done on yours as well.

    I'm curious as to how your floor boards fit together. I just have my 2 held in by the tubes with nothing attaching them to each other.

    I really like what you have done with some of your aluminum tubing. Some of the boards associated with the motor mount seem like they might be a bit rough on the edges though, particularly in the 2nd photo. I did round all my boards to limit abrasion.

    Very nice job. I agree, making a solid floor makes a world of difference

    Enjoy!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Intex Mariner 4 modifications and Tips

      Thanks Copperfox,, The first two pictures are from during the building of the floor, It was not finished all the way in those 2 pictures yet.
      I also made sure to round all them very well so that there are no sharp edges.
      The floor has four strips that are bolted together, I then sanded them after they were attached so that there is no way to catch your foot on them.
      To keep the floor together I used tee nuts and scored and pressed them into the bottom of the board so they are flush and smooth.
      The Floor goes together from front to back since I leave the connecting strips bolted to one board each, so it pops right together in order, then I just put 4 bolts in each board and use a power drill with a socket to tighten them.
      It goes together just about as quick as the roll out slat floor.

      If you look closely in picture 4 you'll notice I also made a frame bar (white) that goes clear around the outer edge of the floor for further support, However it was not really needed, once the tubes are inflated the floor was plenty stable without that floor bar/frame.
      I had considered running a 9.9 on it, and that was one of the reasons I built the extra frame bar.
      With the 6 hp I get about 8-10 mph depending on chop and weight in the boat, and I would say that is pretty much the max for the hull speed of the craft.

      Desode

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Intex Mariner 4 modifications and Tips

        Hi Desode,

        Thanks for sharing your set up. Very nice! I registered to iBoats.com, just to be able to write you

        I've just bought myself Mariner 4. I do not have place to keep a full brown bass boat (I'm a bass guy). I am also short in cash. After spending lots of time on the web, I picked up a Mariner 4.

        I got myself a Minn Kota 55lb trust trolling motor. I spent a bit more money and got the one with Digital Maximizer.

        This past Sunday, I took it out to Delta California. 70AmpH battery lasted about 4 hours. On the way home, I picked up a second battery. I had a hard time with the wind out there. If I drift with the wind, it was too fast. If I got against the wind, I'm too busy trying to control the boat and left me with no time to fish I'm considering an anchor, but I am not sure.

        After reading your post, I started to think about adding custom floor. It must weigh more than the roll up one, correct? How much more would you say it adds to the boat?

        The idea of adding gas motor with two motor mount sounds very inviting. However, I am not sure if I have skills and tools to do the pipe work you have done. Could you share how it is made? (ie. materials, how to bend the pipes etc..)

        And what do you do to carry the boat to the water? I had my daughter Sunday so she helped me carry it to the water from the car. Ideal one is like one of those they make for dinghy which you mount two wheels on the transom. They can push the boat into the water and once on the water, they can easily flip the wheels up and go. I've spend lots of time thinking about possible design based on PVC + iron rod set up I've seen on the web for Kayak, but I haven't been able to come up with a design that can be easily put on and take it down from on the boat.

        Thanks!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Intex Mariner 4 modifications and Tips

          Originally posted by Loop_Dad View Post
          Hi Desode,

          Thanks for sharing your set up. Very nice! I registered to iBoats.com, just to be able to write you

          I've just bought myself Mariner 4. I do not have place to keep a full brown bass boat (I'm a bass guy). I am also short in cash. After spending lots of time on the web, I picked up a Mariner 4.

          I got myself a Minn Kota 55lb trust trolling motor. I spent a bit more money and got the one with Digital Maximizer.

          This past Sunday, I took it out to Delta California. 70AmpH battery lasted about 4 hours. On the way home, I picked up a second battery. I had a hard time with the wind out there. If I drift with the wind, it was too fast. If I got against the wind, I'm too busy trying to control the boat and left me with no time to fish I'm considering an anchor, but I am not sure.

          After reading your post, I started to think about adding custom floor. It must weigh more than the roll up one, correct? How much more would you say it adds to the boat?

          The idea of adding gas motor with two motor mount sounds very inviting. However, I am not sure if I have skills and tools to do the pipe work you have done. Could you share how it is made? (ie. materials, how to bend the pipes etc..)

          And what do you do to carry the boat to the water? I had my daughter Sunday so she helped me carry it to the water from the car. Ideal one is like one of those they make for dinghy which you mount two wheels on the transom. They can push the boat into the water and once on the water, they can easily flip the wheels up and go. I've spend lots of time thinking about possible design based on PVC + iron rod set up I've seen on the web for Kayak, but I haven't been able to come up with a design that can be easily put on and take it down from on the boat.

          Thanks!
          Hi Loop Dad, Welcome to Iboats.com and the Mariner 4 Club ! (hahaha)

          If my memory serves me right,, I believe the Pipe I used for the motor mount is 3/4 Electrical conduit, I had a friend that was really good at using a pipe bender, and then we wielded it together.

          The floor weight does help with the wind, plus I usually have the boat loaded up pretty well.
          I would say the floor is probably a total of 50-60 pds.

          I some times use a anchor if its really windy. You actually want two anchors if you want to stay really well positioned.
          If you use one, the wind will still blow you around where the one anchor is set.
          Two small anchors, one in the front and one in the back is what you want.

          As for controlling the boat with the trolling motor while fishing,, It was hard until I put in a swivel bass seat in and figured a couple of things out.
          Having the seat helped a lot and enabled me to spin to the left, so I can use my left hand on the motor and cast with my right .
          Another tip is when trolling the shore, don't troll forward.
          Its difficult to troll the shoreline from spot to spot when the trolling motor is in the rear of the boat, because your pushing instead of pulling.
          This makes the front end wander.
          You will notice that most boats have the trolling motor in the front, and it pulls the craft forward instead of pushing it, and this is the reason.
          What I do is drive the boat (pushing) to the area of shoreline that I want to fish and then I use reverse on the Trolling motor to pull the boat forward when I'm working the shoreline and since the Mariner 4 is shaped the same way at both ends so you can do this with no problem.
          This way you will have way more control when trolling and working a section.
          Even if you only have 1 speed in reverse that's still plenty of speed to just work shoreline.
          So try doing it that way and you will notice a Huge change in your ability to steer and fish.
          Remember Pull instead of push.

          As far as building goes,, If you don't have a lot of tools or wood working skills , or no friends that do,, like I was blessed with,, I would suggest trying a simple setup so that you can get more enjoyment out of your boat.

          You could get a thin piece of marine plywood for say just the rear section by the trolling motor and put it down on top of the slat floor.
          The Slat floor gives you a outline of how big to make it shape wise, and since the slats are close together it will strenghen a thin sheet of plywood or maybe even some kind of Textured Plastic Sheet.
          Just keep this in mind, The very ends of the floor section have a slight angle to them, so I'd start a little bit from the back with the plywood if you just wanted to do a one piece section for you and a seat.
          Something simple like this would let you set a little swivel fold out stool on that section or even put a swivel bass seat on it.

          As for putting the boat into the water, I mostly just use boat ramps.
          I back my car down and then unroll the boat by the edge of the water (say a foot away).
          Once its set up and ready to go, I then push it into the water.
          Just remember when you push it in,,,to keep it centered/balanced on the keel, because there is that thick rubber rock guard that runs down the keel.
          Its a tough piece of rubber and it won't hurt it at all when pushing it on concrete or rocks into the water. Just keep it balanced on that keel and your good to go.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Intex Mariner 4 modifications and Tips

            Thanks Desode for your detailed reply Hope other Mariner 4 owners join this thread and share their work.

            Yeah, unfortunately the beefed up motor mount is a bit over my ability. I'll do from something simpler.

            I might do the back section only hard floor, so that I can have swivel seat and extra space for me to store battery underneath. I brought a folding outdoor chair the last time. It didn't work well. It was just too big. If I set it to fish side ways, I had no place to put my feet in the boat. So I switched to a cooler box. This was better actually, since it was narrower. I was setting my cooler box to the opposite side of the side I was fishing. I had enough leg room with this.

            I'll try the pulling instead of pushing the next time.

            Where I fish, there are many other boaters using the ramps. So I cannot set things up 1 foot from the water. I would feel very bad when several folks are waiting. I had to come up with a solution for this, otherwise I can only go out fishing when my daughter feels like it.

            Thanks!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Intex Mariner 4 modifications and Tips

              Loop Dad,
              As far as an inexpensive seat, for a soft inflatable boat, there's a thread for a hard floor for the Sevylor 360 in which I show my solution for building a seat on a home-built floor, that requires little tool expertise. Just make sure you fasten it down. I didn't at first and as I say there, found myself unexpectedly swimming! Good luck!
              Dave

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Intex Mariner 4 modifications and Tips

                Hi, Dave.

                I'll read up your Sevylor 360 thread. Little tool expertise is good!

                Thanks!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Intex Mariner 4 modifications and Tips

                  Originally posted by Desode View Post
                  Hi Loop Dad, Welcome to Iboats.com and the Mariner 4 Club ! (hahaha)

                  If my memory serves me right,, I believe the Pipe I used for the motor mount is 3/4 Electrical conduit, I had a friend that was really good at using a pipe bender, and then we wielded it together.

                  The floor weight does help with the wind, plus I usually have the boat loaded up pretty well.
                  I would say the floor is probably a total of 50-60 pds.

                  I some times use a anchor if its really windy. You actually want two anchors if you want to stay really well positioned.
                  If you use one, the wind will still blow you around where the one anchor is set.
                  Two small anchors, one in the front and one in the back is what you want.

                  As for controlling the boat with the trolling motor while fishing,, It was hard until I put in a swivel bass seat in and figured a couple of things out.
                  Having the seat helped a lot and enabled me to spin to the left, so I can use my left hand on the motor and cast with my right .
                  Another tip is when trolling the shore, don't troll forward.
                  Its difficult to troll the shoreline from spot to spot when the trolling motor is in the rear of the boat, because your pushing instead of pulling.
                  This makes the front end wander.
                  You will notice that most boats have the trolling motor in the front, and it pulls the craft forward instead of pushing it, and this is the reason.
                  What I do is drive the boat (pushing) to the area of shoreline that I want to fish and then I use reverse on the Trolling motor to pull the boat forward when I'm working the shoreline and since the Mariner 4 is shaped the same way at both ends so you can do this with no problem.
                  This way you will have way more control when trolling and working a section.
                  Even if you only have 1 speed in reverse that's still plenty of speed to just work shoreline.
                  So try doing it that way and you will notice a Huge change in your ability to steer and fish.
                  Remember Pull instead of push.

                  As far as building goes,, If you don't have a lot of tools or wood working skills , or no friends that do,, like I was blessed with,, I would suggest trying a simple setup so that you can get more enjoyment out of your boat.

                  You could get a thin piece of marine plywood for say just the rear section by the trolling motor and put it down on top of the slat floor.
                  The Slat floor gives you a outline of how big to make it shape wise, and since the slats are close together it will strenghen a thin sheet of plywood or maybe even some kind of Textured Plastic Sheet.
                  Just keep this in mind, The very ends of the floor section have a slight angle to them, so I'd start a little bit from the back with the plywood if you just wanted to do a one piece section for you and a seat.
                  Something simple like this would let you set a little swivel fold out stool on that section or even put a swivel bass seat on it.

                  As for putting the boat into the water, I mostly just use boat ramps.
                  I back my car down and then unroll the boat by the edge of the water (say a foot away).
                  Once its set up and ready to go, I then push it into the water.
                  Just remember when you push it in,,,to keep it centered/balanced on the keel, because there is that thick rubber rock guard that runs down the keel.
                  Its a tough piece of rubber and it won't hurt it at all when pushing it on concrete or rocks into the water. Just keep it balanced on that keel and your good to go.
                  Desode,

                  I'm planning on tackling the hard floor (full length) this weekend. I have circular saw and drill, so I should be okay for just creating the floor. I've got a few questions for you.

                  1. What thickness of plywood should I get? And what kind? (Do they have more than one kind? Sorry of newb question here...)

                  2. When you cut out the wood, did you just cut out exactly the same shape as the roll up floor's thin plastic sheet shape, or smaller? I've noticed the hard fake wood pieces are about 1/2 inch shorter than plastic sheet in the mid section of the boat, while they are about 1 1/2 inch shorter at the end section of the boat.

                  3. Where you attach your end piece which needs to be angled, did you shave off the attaching wood to be like triangle shape? I'm thinking that might be tricky for me and maybe substitute with steel joint plates which I can bend.

                  Thanks.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Intex Mariner 4 modifications and Tips

                    Alright, I started working on it the last weekend. I am still working on it. With limited skills, tools and the space, it is not easy but I am dreaming of the day I am fully standing up on the boat and flipping for bass. That's my drive there

                    I ended up getting 0.59 inch plywood. It was about $37 at Home Depot. It feels just about right. 3/4 was way too heavy for my taste. The total weight compared to the original roll up floor is about 18-19 lbs extra, which is better than I expected.

                    I cut the wood to the size of the hard roll up pieces. After I cut all four pieces, somehow the two center pieces were too long, so I trimmed one inch each. Then I put them in the boat again....Noooo, they were too short! My mistake was when I tried out the first time, I didn't fully inflate the boat. With angled floor, somehow that screwed me up. I attached the cut 1 inch strips back to the boards with screws. It looked very ugly and worried this might cause some damage.

                    However, when I put the pipe insulation materials around the boards, everything became too tight and too long. I was able to remove the 1 inch strip of ugly wood. Whew. I also needed to trim the boards to make them narrower by 3/4 inch.

                    I'm getting there, but I am still at a loss of how to attach the angled end pieces to center pieces. I cut the piece of wood to join, just like Desode has on his picture. I am thinking of shaving off from the bottom of the connecting piece a bit at a time to achieve the angle. This might be very time consuming thing, I don't know. All I have to do is sanding attachment for my hand drill. If anyone has better idea, I appreciate it. BTW I only have a hand drill and circular saw.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Intex Mariner 4 modifications and Tips

                      I just bought a Mariner 4, I live up in West Yellowstone Montana, it's the perfect boat for up here! I'm going to be adding a hardwood floor to mine soon, I'll share pics of how I did it. All you really need to do it properly, is a jigsaw with a decent blade, a palm sander and a little patience. When you get the proper templet drawn on the plywood with a sharpie, remember, you can always take more off, but you can't put more back on, take your time. And when you get the floor to fit snug, not to snug, you're gonna want to sand it down smooth, no rough edges or spliters. I will likely seal it with a deck stain, something like superdeck will work well because it has linseed oil, and tongue oil in it. After the deck stain dries, I'll hit it with 3-4 coats of low gloss or matte finish polyurethane. I'm not going to stop at just the floor though, I'm actually going to build custom fit wood benches in the boat to fit it perfect, so I'll have storage space underneath them. I bought some canoe seats that will stap down nicely to the benches after I finish them. I'll probably carpet the top of the benches with marine grade carpet to finish it off nice. Having that much storage will allow me to run two batteries in battery boxes with charge meters for long days on the lake. I have a Minn Kota Endura 45, I think anything more than that is just overkill, extra drain on the battery. I would say that having at least a 100amp battery is key, if you plan on trolling a lot, that will give you at least 4 hours of time on the water, 5-6 without wind at low speeds. The center bench seat will have a built in hidden cooler with a small seat pad on it. Each bench seat with internal trolling pole holder mounts, depending who's sitting in the boat, they will have the option of clicking in a holder should they need it.

                      I'm going to mount a gps/depth finder on the boat at some point, I will be beefing up the motor mount, recessing a few click lights in the bench seat walls, adding a regulation lights, anchors on the front and the back that will store nicely under the seat, rope cleats for the anchor rope, etc. I think there is more than enough room in this boat to add everything I mentioned without the clutter. If you really would like to learn about utilizing space for a boat like this you should watch a few youtube video's on how how kayakers outfit their rigs, they have limited space, probably half the room as we have with a M4, and they seemingly add all the bells and whistles easily. I'm a total perfectionist and like the challenge of turning a small raft into the ultimate fishing boat. I have a ford explorer with a roof rack right now and live 15 minutes - 20 minutes from several of my favorite fishing holes, I'm lucky in that respect, transport is easy. I do plan on getting a small trailer at some point, you can find really decent priced trailers at Harbo Freight online. One other idea I had that might help make things slick is to line the underside of the floor with pvc pipes that will lay in the grooves of the original boat floor, if one were so inclined, you could also use those pipes for running electrical wires, easy to seal the tubes with pvc end caps, and you can drill holes in them and seal them up nice. You can find battery powered night lights for small watercraft online, Ebay is good. Just always assume anything you add to your boat will probably get wet, and if you're going to go to the trouble of making mods to your boat, don't buy crap, buy decent stuff and take your time so it will stand up to time. I'll post some pictures up when I put the floor and bench seats in.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Intex Mariner 4 modifications and Tips

                        It took me two weeks to do the hardwood floor project. The design is the exact copy cat of Desode's pic. To be honest, I do not want to do this again. I rather spend time fishing.

                        However, the difference was, like Desode said, Night and Day. I am very happy with the result! My daughter and I went to a lake this weekend. She now wants to be standing on it all the time when she fishes.

                        The hardwood floor of the rear section is very nice that battery is so stable. I was planning on mounting two batteries in the mid section of the boat and run an extension cable to the trolling motor. But now I think I just move the battery I use to the rear. (Remember I am tired of doing project at this point .)

                        Only adjustments I am planning on doing to the floor is, maybe making the holes for the bolt a bit bigger, so it will be a bit easier to assemble. And the pipe form thingy might need to be glued better.

                        I also added a couple of hooks shaped like '?' (don't know what you call them) to the transom. This idea came from deadkity. This also worked very well to keep the anchor outside of the boat. The deadkitty said his anchor is above the water or barely touching. Mine was always touching, so the next outting, I will need to experiment a bit to set everything higher.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Intex Mariner 4 modifications and Tips

                          Hey Gents,

                          I have been looking at and considering buying the Mariner 4 and based on your comments and modifications, that's the direction I will now go. I too, cannot afford at this time my "dream" boat and most of the lakes near me have motor size restrictions. so it seems that this is the right way to go

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Intex Mariner 4 modifications and Tips

                            Welcome to the forum, thunder7869 and Darren_Farmageddon (a bit late ).

                            I would love to hear about others' projects and ideas.

                            For me, I was originally planning on add foldable chairs, but I decided not to, because I like having open floor for fishing while I stand. I'll just keep using my cooler box when I need to sit down.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Sign up today
                              Re: Intex Mariner 4 modifications and Tips

                              I would like to see pic of your finished seat work... sounda interesting. I am actually going to be purchasing a mariner 4 with in the next week and joined this forum to find out if this boat is worth it....

                              Originally posted by Darren_Farmageddon View Post
                              I just bought a Mariner 4, I live up in West Yellowstone Montana, it's the perfect boat for up here! I'm going to be adding a hardwood floor to mine soon, I'll share pics of how I did it. All you really need to do it properly, is a jigsaw with a decent blade, a palm sander and a little patience. When you get the proper templet drawn on the plywood with a sharpie, remember, you can always take more off, but you can't put more back on, take your time. And when you get the floor to fit snug, not to snug, you're gonna want to sand it down smooth, no rough edges or spliters. I will likely seal it with a deck stain, something like superdeck will work well because it has linseed oil, and tongue oil in it. After the deck stain dries, I'll hit it with 3-4 coats of low gloss or matte finish polyurethane. I'm not going to stop at just the floor though, I'm actually going to build custom fit wood benches in the boat to fit it perfect, so I'll have storage space underneath them. I bought some canoe seats that will stap down nicely to the benches after I finish them. I'll probably carpet the top of the benches with marine grade carpet to finish it off nice. Having that much storage will allow me to run two batteries in battery boxes with charge meters for long days on the lake. I have a Minn Kota Endura 45, I think anything more than that is just overkill, extra drain on the battery. I would say that having at least a 100amp battery is key, if you plan on trolling a lot, that will give you at least 4 hours of time on the water, 5-6 without wind at low speeds. The center bench seat will have a built in hidden cooler with a small seat pad on it. Each bench seat with internal trolling pole holder mounts, depending who's sitting in the boat, they will have the option of clicking in a holder should they need it.

                              I'm going to mount a gps/depth finder on the boat at some point, I will be beefing up the motor mount, recessing a few click lights in the bench seat walls, adding a regulation lights, anchors on the front and the back that will store nicely under the seat, rope cleats for the anchor rope, etc. I think there is more than enough room in this boat to add everything I mentioned without the clutter. If you really would like to learn about utilizing space for a boat like this you should watch a few youtube video's on how how kayakers outfit their rigs, they have limited space, probably half the room as we have with a M4, and they seemingly add all the bells and whistles easily. I'm a total perfectionist and like the challenge of turning a small raft into the ultimate fishing boat. I have a ford explorer with a roof rack right now and live 15 minutes - 20 minutes from several of my favorite fishing holes, I'm lucky in that respect, transport is easy. I do plan on getting a small trailer at some point, you can find really decent priced trailers at Harbo Freight online. One other idea I had that might help make things slick is to line the underside of the floor with pvc pipes that will lay in the grooves of the original boat floor, if one were so inclined, you could also use those pipes for running electrical wires, easy to seal the tubes with pvc end caps, and you can drill holes in them and seal them up nice. You can find battery powered night lights for small watercraft online, Ebay is good. Just always assume anything you add to your boat will probably get wet, and if you're going to go to the trouble of making mods to your boat, don't buy crap, buy decent stuff and take your time so it will stand up to time. I'll post some pictures up when I put the floor and bench seats in.

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