BowFishing Country banner

1 - 20 of 482 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,829 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Alright guys, here she is, the second generation of 'MotherShips'.

For those not in the loop, the first 'MotherShip' was a 2000 model year 1872 SeaArk I tore down and rebuilt from the hull up. It was my first 'real' build, and despite not knowing jack about boat building, she turned out pretty good for a garage build. After several years I decided to sell the original and begin a newer version, mainly because I wanted a 'beefed up' model, able to more appropriately handle the waters of Lake Erie, and the constant impacts I was experiencing since switching to a kicker motor.

Since the original, Ive learned a LOT more about what specific needs I have out of a boat, the unique forces applied to a bowfishing rig, and how to better reinforce a hull to deal with those forces. This version WILL be heavily armored, but will also be heavier overall-hopefully I can find a balance between the two!

This build wont be a fast one; due to some serious health issues in the family, time and money are harder to come by this time around, but Ill post any updates that Im able to. Again, my main reason for posting the pics is for others to learn from, and for any advice yall wanna give me-Ive never claimed to be an expert fabricator, and I always welcome any input I can get.

Before I start posting pics, let me say a huge THANKS to Dallas Scott, who is letting me use his shop yet again-neither of these builds would have happened without him. I cant thank the guy enough; he's been beyond generous and patient, surrendering his shop for days at a time while I work some mojo. I also have to thank my GF, who is also being very patient while Im away from home for days and days...and NOT giving me a hard time about it!

This began several months ago, when Lou purchased the entire original MotherShip from me. I originally wanted to sell just the hull, but Lou convinced me to let go of everything but my trailer. It was hard watching her go, but I know Lou would keep her on the water.



A few weeks later I drove down to Monicello AR to pick up my new project-in hindsight I wish I woulda just had it delivered! I spent 30hrs on the road, and somehow stayed up for the entire time. But I did get a tour of SeaArk's factory, which made the drive worth it! SeaArks general operations manager personally gave me a one hour tour, and had even given me his personal cell number-he told me if nobody was there to load my boat, (I got there on Saturday AM) to give him a call and he would come down himself. THATS service!



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,829 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Here she is in her original form-if you've ever doubted these are one of the toughest production hulls out there, try gutting one! Its no small task I promise you that.







One of the first things I did was cut out the rear bench. For anyone doing this to ANY boat, I recommend welding in some kind of bracing to keep the original factory specs between gunnels. Since visiting the factory, I learned the boats are built in giant wooden jigs, and without proper bracing the gunnels could expand beyond the settings originally set in those jigs. If the gunnels 'flex' out beyond what the original jig was set for, it induces stress on the factory ribs, which may cause cracked welds down the road.



Lotta seat-lotta foam! This thing was pretty damn heavy actually.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,829 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Front deck-now ya see it....



Now ya dont...





Im actually getting ahead of myself here-before cutting out the front deck I decided I needed to 'shave' one of the factory ribs down, so it was even with the rest of the ribs in the back of the boat. I did this because I wanted the edge of my front deck to rest on top of this rib, and to give myself a few more inches of floor space.

Heres where the rib sat in relation to the other ribs in the rear-notice its a few inches higher.



Chop chop....I placed the T-bar across so you can see its now pretty much level.



After pondering how to bring strength back to this rib, I decided to trim some off the edges, flip it over, and weld it INSIDE of the rib. This way its still maintaining its stiffness. And every guy knows its important to maintain stiffness!

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,829 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I also decided to 'cap' the rib with 1/8" metal to add additional strength and to give myself a nice flat surface. Overall this is prolly the strongest rib in the boat!



Nice and level.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,829 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Overall, when this build is done its gonna look a LOT like the first version-that design has proven itself over the years, and for the most part I see no need to change the basic layout. The main differences in THIS build are gonna be in the 'foundation'-the small details that make the hull stiffer and more resistant to impacts.

Not saying there wont be a change or two thrown in for good measure...

The top transom braces make a return appearance-but this time I went with angle instead of 2x4 tubing. In this build Im trying to save weight where I can, because its gonna be added elsewhere.....trust me...




 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,829 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Since the rear bench was removed, I decided from past experience the very last rib needs some extra muscle. The further back the ribs are, the more weight they have to support when getting the boat on plane-in other words they have to be stiffer. Normally the rear bench seat would provide this stiffness, but since mine is gone I placed braces on either side. (This was later updated....but here's what I had originally came up with.



I also decided to put in a 2" drain again, this time its fabbed from 1/4" pipe with a 1/4" plate surrounding it. In hindsight (already having hindsight) I shoulda made it a 1" plug, as I decided to have a seperate kockpit drain system, with dual 2" plugs. Kinda makes no sense to have a big 'main' drain plug since I dont anticipate having much large fish parts below deck. Still not sure if I wanna cut it out though....





Not the best pic-its since been polished up and doesnt look quite so rough...

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,829 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
You are a brave man it would be hard to start chopping on a brand new hull.
Nah...I was salivating at the thought of it...lol. Actually I did hesitate for a good bit with chopping down that rib-wasnt sure if I would be able to maintain the integrity of it afterwards. It turned out OK in the end.

The way I look at it, its all just metal-aluminum at that. Pretty much anything I do to it CAN be repaired. Maybe not by me, maybe with a lot of money, but 9/10 times, it can be fixed. I just try and REALLY REALLY think about what Im doing before I actually make a cut.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,829 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I decided to try and make this deck design a tad lighter as well. It will have 3 main supports of 2x4 tubing, with 1x3" angle running inbetween for support. The front 2 legs proved an aggravating lesson in geometry...lol.





I ended up with a fairly good fit though.





 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,829 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Another area of improvement-even though Ive never seen it personally, Ive heard of some people pulling the front ring through the hull. With the heavy loads we throw in our boats I figured it couldnt hurt to reinforce it.

Before-just drilled through an 1/8" hull....



I bent and welded another piece of 1/8" behind it, making it wide enough to distribute the load across the nose better.



If THIS pulls through I think I have something more serious to worry about!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,829 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Heres where I decided to just go OFF!

Heres the meat and potatoes of the build-protection. When the build is done Im just gonna sell my trailer I think and drag my boat to the lake-it should have plenty of padding :)

A little cushion for the pushin'! Since switching to the kicker I have realized (duh) that I cant stop fast enough to avoid big rocks, boulders, shoreline, etc etc. And since Im not giving up the kicker anytime soon, I decided to make the hull as 'dent proof' as possible. 3/16" thick T-bars on tap, with a little sumptin on the outside later....



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,700 Posts
You went to Seark and they wouldn't sell you a boat that didn't have a rear seat and a front deck?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,087 Posts
This thing is gonna be sick! Can't wait to watch it all come together!!! :pop::pop::pop:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,829 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
You went to Seark and they wouldn't sell you a boat that didn't have a rear seat and a front deck?
Nope. I tried though-they said every boat that goes out of their shop must be the same as the last. They do not build custom hulls period. If they left out seats on mine, they would have to do that for the next guy etc etc, plus it wouldn't adhere to their Coast Guard rating. I can see where they are coming from.

What I didn't like is the price was the same for a BARE hull as a painted one-figger that one out for me.

Thanks guys-I have more pics to load up, but it's dinner time!

So....

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,086 Posts
Lookin good. Here's a question for you since seaark carries a lifetime warranty to the original owner if it can't be fixed will they still replace your hull.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,700 Posts
So, since you're starting with a bare hull will you center the main motor or offset it and leave more room for the kicker?

offset kicker.jpg
 
1 - 20 of 482 Posts
Top