Jon Boat Question

Discussion in 'Boat Modification Journal' started by Tubby Catfishin, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. Tubby Catfishin

    Tubby Catfishin New Member

    Messages:
    259
    State:
    Ramseur, North Carolina
    OK guys I recently met a gentleman w/ a Jon Boat that he had done some mild work to and gained himself some extra storage space. He cut in access panels in the back bench seat, and the ( 2 ) boxes that are filled w/ foam on either side of the transom.

    Now my question is how much will this affect the buoyancy of the vessel?
    I've got a 14' Jon and if you've ever owned one you know that storage is a joke and I desperately need some. Is removing the foam a bad idea? Im hoping someone can chime in on this and maybe help me out. Thanks.
     
  2. Wabash River Bear

    Wabash River Bear New Member

    Messages:
    3,019
    State:
    Indiana
    It wont affect the bouyancy (freeboard) at all. Its built into the boat as emergency floatation if it were to swamp or sink, bad idea, if he ever swamps it, it will be.
     

  3. cantstopgrandma

    cantstopgrandma New Member

    Messages:
    955
    State:
    MD
    Exactly.....in fact that foam actually adds weight to the boat, making it sit lower in the water.
     
  4. Arkansascatman777

    Arkansascatman777 New Member

    Messages:
    7,782
    State:
    AR
    I agree with the first two post, without it it will sink to the bottom.
     
  5. baptistpreach

    baptistpreach New Member

    Messages:
    415
    State:
    Oklahoma!
    You can remove the flotation foam. I know they say it adds weight, but mine seems pretty light there's no way all of it could weigh more than 5lbs. You can however add foam yourself and still use your bench seats for storage. You might get some ideas for storage if you look at my mod. Its here http://www.catfish1.com/forums/showthread.php?t=100760

    I've got lots of storage on my boat, but I didn't use any in the benches.
     
  6. Pip

    Pip New Member

    Messages:
    1,670
    State:
    pa
    I might be off here, if so, feel free to correct me on this. Doesn't the floatation foam also play a part in your motor rating for the boat? Seems somewhere I was either told this or read it someplace. have often thought that bench seat area on my SeaArk would make a nice area for a livewell to be built into it. Could do some modification and stick a nice 5'x20"x20" tankliner in there and not really loose any room.

    Like I said, feel free to correct me on this, if I'm way off on my thinking. Would be nice to have that knowledge in advance, incase I decided to get a hair up my butt and start modifying it. LOL.
     
  7. Wabash River Bear

    Wabash River Bear New Member

    Messages:
    3,019
    State:
    Indiana
    The floatation foam built into a boat is only there to keep the boat, rated motor, and max weight limit, from going to the bottom if it were to swamp. Thats it. It dont allow you to add more weight to the boat, dont let you put on an over rated motor, nothing more than safety floatation. If you take it out you risk sending your rig to the bottom rather than just dragging it to shore and pumping it out if you ever swamp it. Plus, I would bet that if you remove it you would void any manufacturers warranty, and boat insurance you have if any.
     
  8. heyop_erator

    heyop_erator New Member

    Messages:
    204
    State:
    Kansas
    Foam is great stuff and with redoing the boat we got a few months ago I wouldn't want a boat with-out the safety factor. I've seen pictures of boats being dragged out of the lake at the owners expense,no thanks,it's just not in my list of things to do either...buy a bigger boat is my advice to you.
     
  9. Tubby Catfishin

    Tubby Catfishin New Member

    Messages:
    259
    State:
    Ramseur, North Carolina
    Thanks for all the help yall. Baptistpreach you turned your jon into a one slick floating device! :smile2: I like what you've done with it. Thanks again.
     
  10. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Flotation foam is required by the coastguard of manufacturers of boats.
    Some portion of the boat has to stay afloat for atleast 16 hours.
    That being the case by removing the foam you accomplish one thing. Voiding the coastguard approval plate. Not against the law but it decreases the value of the boat and the safety of it's occupants.

    As we all saw on the news recently of the football players that flipped the boat in the gulf of Mexico the lone survivor stuck with the boat. The flotation in the hull allowed him to have a boat to hang on to. Without it there would have been no survivors.

    Foam is also used in addition to flotation as a strucural component in some boats.
    Since the builder has to foam the vessel he has the option of utilizing the foam as a sole (floor) support cutting down on framing members to support the floor. Like the Carolina Skiff. The foam is intergral to the structure and stiffness of the vessel.
    There are different densities of foam for such situations. 2,4,6,and 8 pound foams.

    Some boats are foamed in such a way that it will keep a boat floating in the upright position allowing the occupants the oppertunity to stay in the hull and get it bailed out if swamped.

    The biggest thing is survival. Should such an event happen you need all the help you can get from the vessel until help arrives. A swamped or flipped vessel is easier to see from the air then a body.
    Chances are if you are a boater long enough you'll be in a situation of some degree.
    I know I put a bass boat under water once. The only thing that floated was the first two feet of the bow. As bad as it sounds I was lucky. The boat was tied to a dock at the time. There was no damage to the boat and I was fishing out of the boat within an hour and a half even though the motor had been totally submerged.
    Had it not had foam it would have been a major undertaking getting it up off the bottom in 5 feet of water.

    Another sinking story.
    My cousin bought a 17 foot bass boat back in the 80's second hand.
    New to that kind of boat and so was his fishing partner.
    They dumped it in one of the farm ponds here on the farm for some fishing.
    The partner put the plug in or so he thought. He plugged the wrong hole.
    So they were out there fishing and my cousin notices water in the floor. It hit him what had happened and he jumped off the front deck to fire the motor and get it to the bank.
    As soon as his feet hit the floor the boat went under. Straight to the bottom in 20 feet of water. It happened that quick.
    Payed a scuba diver to swim down and tie to the boat and they pulled it out with a tractor.
    A complaint was filed with the coastguard and it was inspected by the coastguard.
    Long story short the factory had to come get the boat, pull it to Georgia, foam it, repair the motor, and tow it back to him at no charge.

    The factory had never put the first drop of foam in the boat.
    No telling how many boats they made weren't foamed.

    Contrary to popular belief foam doesn't make a boat float any differently.
    Foam has weight. By foaming you add weight to the hull.
    Only one way to beat this. Instead of foam used sealed compartments. Air is lighter then foam but air is not coastguard approved.
     
  11. justwannano

    justwannano Active Member

    Messages:
    1,003
    State:
    SE Iowa
    My 14' polar craft had the center seat removed when I bought it. The (they) previous owner put in a wood floor with foam under it. Foam was a good idea but they put the wrong kind in. You need closed cell foam. Otherwise it will soak up water.
    When I replaced the floor boards the 2" foam under it must have weighed 60 pounds each.
    I replaced it with pink foam hardboard.
    The boat still has the original foam under the rear seat and under the front deck.
    I haven't messed with it so I don't know if it is closed celled or not.

    Have a good one
    just
     
  12. Tubby Catfishin

    Tubby Catfishin New Member

    Messages:
    259
    State:
    Ramseur, North Carolina
    Mark you must like typing more than I do.....LOL Thanks for all the help guys. I was curious as to what and how it would change the boat and now I have my full answer. Thanks again guys. I think Ill just leave it be and buy myself a bigger boat when the $$$$$ is right.
     
  13. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Naa, I don't get all excited about typing and feelings running up and down my leg but I'm decent at typing and when it comes to boats one liners are seldom appropriate.
    A half ass explanation belongs somewhere else in another category.

    I like boats. Like messing around with them and like building them.