1968 Larson build up

Discussion in 'Boat Modification Journal' started by DWMeyer98, Jul 11, 2008.

  1. DWMeyer98

    DWMeyer98 New Member

    Messages:
    40
    State:
    Missouri
    I just purchased a 1968 Larson Runabout with a 60 HP Evinrude and a trailor for $1000. It is not the ideal Cat boat, but it is large (18 Ft.) very stable, and the price was right. The previous owner had the engine a 1981 Evinrude 60 HP, overhauled and redid the floors. Everything else, while in good working order, is a blank slate for me now. I like projects and I like the chance to be creative.

    In the future I plan on adding a livewell, and bait tank, a fishfinder, GPS, a radio and six side-mount and six stern-mount rodholders. I also want to add some organized storage some interior lighting, a new pumping system for the bilge and livewells and add some traction to the floor without having to add carpet.

    It will be a while before I try to make the boat pretty, but I am going to start improving it's fishability when I receive it this week. I am hoping that it will almost be like fishing a small pontoon boat since it has the space to get up and move around. I have some isssues with my lower back so the days of me spending an entire night sitting on a jonboat seat are probably behind me.
    boat.jpg

    boat2.jpg

    boat3.jpg

    Take a look and please share any ideas that you might have for me.
     
  2. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    Nice looking rig, and as you say, the price was right. LOL Not to rain on your parade but in an effort to generate a response from you and the otherw who will read this thread, I have a question about your seating arrangements. While looking at the pedestals similar to yours at BassPro, they all had a sticker on the pedestal warning the occupant to NOT set in the seat when the boat was underway. What is your general line of thoughts in this area? Do the pedestals break at in opportune times?
     

  3. DWMeyer98

    DWMeyer98 New Member

    Messages:
    40
    State:
    Missouri
    Lawrence,

    That is a very good question. I had not yet considered the issue of them tipping over on me.

    It is probably going to work itself out because I was considering putting two fixed seats side by side behind the console. I wanted the type that have the storage areas under them. I was thinking that that would be a decent place to store the battery, first aid kit, etc. Convincing my wife that investing money into fancier seats may have been a problem, but now I have a legitimate safety concern to use as leverage.

    I'm glad that I posted the photos, you may have saved me some real trouble out on the water.

    Thank you
     
  4. gofish98

    gofish98 New Member

    Messages:
    116
    State:
    Lafayette Indiana
    hey david
    take her out for an all night fishing trip , ten or twelve hours in those seats and she'll be ready for some better seats!!!!! I've had the $39 Wise seats from walmart , after a couple years you feel like yer seat'n on the seat base . don.t scrimp on the seats , spend the money for good ones ($100 or more) . those all nighters will be a lot more fun , and a lot easer on your own seat cushion !!!:smile2::smile2:
    vince
     
  5. DWMeyer98

    DWMeyer98 New Member

    Messages:
    40
    State:
    Missouri
    My boat has arrived and seems to be just as promised. It is larger than I expected it to be. The seating area is roughly 12 x 6 and with the proper set up should be ideal for night fishing. The engine seems to run as it should and the lighting works, but needs to be wired to a switch.

    This week I plan on installing some lighting, some sort of rod storage, a second battery, developing a permanent instalation for my portable fishfinder, installing a new sump pump, and starting on a livewell system. First I need to rewire the trailor lighting though . :(

    The boat is larger than I had imagined. I am mostly pleased with this fact, but its draft does concern me. I am going to have to be especially mindful of water depth for the first few trips until I get a feel for its requirments.

    Hopefully there will be more to come in the next few days.
     

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  6. brother hilljack

    brother hilljack New Member

    Messages:
    7,305
    State:
    Shelbyville, TN
    Looks like the beginning of a good cattin boat, congrats and keep us posted.
     
  7. DWMeyer98

    DWMeyer98 New Member

    Messages:
    40
    State:
    Missouri
    Today was a productive day. I rewired the bow and stern lights so that they were on a switch instead of spliced off of the battery terminals. I also installed a light in the center of the console along with staggering two automotive fog lamps in the seating area. The fog lamps are on swivel bases and I mounted them verticaly so that they could be turned to where the light is most needed. Everything is controlled by illuminated LED switches now as well. I got my old trolling motor mounted on the back, but it is small (20 lb thrust)and has very little clearance. It is going to be mainly for emergency purposes. It may save some rowing if it ever comes down to that. I found an old cooler to be my candidate for a livewell and will start the aeration system on it later this week. Today I managed to mount the transducer as well. I just have to mount the fishfinder somewhere now.

    Tommorow I am going to do some cleanup and organize the wiring a little bit more. It looks like a rat's nest at the moment. I still need to rewire the trailer too. The boat has a built in horn and spotlight that I need to check for functionality. If they work I will add them to the to-do list. I plan on adding a second battery for the accessories and adding rod holders a few at a time in the coming weeks. I plan on installing a radio whenever I find a cheap used one that I don't have to worry about ruining.

    At the request of my wife and my friends, I am exploring the idea of building a fixture to hold a tiki torch and possibly a small Coleman grill. I can live without such luxuries, but a happy wife will make fishing a lot more pleasent.

    The lights kind of make the photos blurry but they still give you an idea of what I have done.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. SUNDROP

    SUNDROP New Member

    Messages:
    395
    State:
    Washington
    I did an old boat like that for my first one. I made good use of all of that dead space up front. I made rails with aluminum channel and built a rolling caddy that I could load and roll in and back like a drawer in the center of the bow. I had a catch made out of a padlock hinge I could fold up and lock with a pin to hold my cart forward. I kept my safety gear, extra rope, vests and stuff on the cart. Beside that I had another caddy that carried 2 deep cycle batteries with an onboard charger that I could roll back as needed to recharge and they ran my lights, radio, pumps etc. on the passenger side.I had those batteries also wired to a marine quality cig lighter mounted in the rear for my livewell power. I used a 140qt cooler across the back with a "Keep Alive" livewell kit in it as a livewell for big cats. I had the same pedestal seats you have but put them on "H" frame 2x4 so they could be moved/removed as needed and they give you enough room between the boards to set a snack/bait cooler or tackle box right under you. I had my 12gal tank and start battery under the rear as well as a fire extinguisher in front and in back. I had enough room to keep a 5 gal bucket that held my rear anchor and could be used for other stuff as needed. When I needed seating for more than 2 I had to leave the big livewell out or strap it on the bow and access it through the center window/hatch. I had to go slow to keep it up there. If i used the boat just for fun, tubing etc. I had a bus seat I put in back where the livewell usually sat. With just 2 fishing you have room for a baitwell if you use a 10-15 gal drum, or a Rubbermaid container to build it or buy a 14-20 gal prefab job. I made a mount with angle iron and put a 45lb thrust hand control troller on the back with a tiller extension but found I could lock the troller straight and use the drag/rudder of the big motor to steer enough for drift fishing.. I added another battery in back in the well right by the motor for it.
    Think it all out, and don't spend alot on things you can't/won't keep because you won't recover the money with this type of boat. I stripped all the fishing stuff from mine and even used the motor on my next boat. Sold the trailer for $250 and gave the hull away.... If it runs good, floats right and pulls good on a sturdy trailer it was worth the price! Enjoy!!
     
  9. DWMeyer98

    DWMeyer98 New Member

    Messages:
    40
    State:
    Missouri
    Thanks Sundrop,

    You are correct. I think that half of the fun is knowing that it is basiclly a boat with no real monetary value. The only value it has is what you make of it. It is kind of fun trying to get the most bang for the buck by using things that I already own or bargain hunting and not having to worry about messing up a nice new boat.
     
  10. Little Mac

    Little Mac Active Member

    Messages:
    1,828
    State:
    NW Arkansa
    Go check out walmart for LED lights back in the towing section, they have red and yellow. I put 2 reds in mine and one yellow under the console, it lights it up just fine when I need to retie a hook or unhook a fish, plus the bugs dont bug me. They run about 7-11 bucks a piece but use very little juice. I love old boats, mines a 67 skibarge made from kenner. Own it and dont have payments best way to go in my opinion. Good job on a good find. I think you will enjoy it once you make it the way you like it. Thier right on those wally world seats, the get pretty hard after a few hours sittin in em, I plan on buying some better seats in the future, but for now they will do. enjoy your boat. Mac
     
  11. SUNDROP

    SUNDROP New Member

    Messages:
    395
    State:
    Washington
    I will add that if you really want to get agressive and build an all out fishing machine you can cut out the bow and the dash and convert it to a center console. I helped a buddy do one and it turned out well...
     
  12. DWMeyer98

    DWMeyer98 New Member

    Messages:
    40
    State:
    Missouri
    The thought of cutting out the bow had crossed my mind. There is a lot of usable space up there. That may be a project for someday down the road.
     
  13. Little Mac

    Little Mac Active Member

    Messages:
    1,828
    State:
    NW Arkansa
    If you fish in the winter time, your gonna miss that bow and windshield I gareentee you. Wish I had a windshield on mine. plus look at all that storage under there. keeps crap out from under your feet. Just another view to look at. :wink: Mac