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anyone done modifications to aluminum john boats?

Question:
I have picked up a car topper john boat (again) made of aluminum, and am considering removing the bench seats that support the shape of the boat. What I hope to do is to put in some kind of aluminum frame along the original rivet holes of the seat to retain the shape of the boat, and rather than the bench seats, install a pair of swivel seats. Anyone ever done this, or have suggestions on materials and how-to info that they would care to share?


Answer:
-The seats may well enclose the foam floatation material for the boat also. You would not want to remove it. Forming metal for stringers is possible, but not with average home tools. FWTW: I put swivel seats in a narrow (48") 14 foot v hull boat a couple of years ago. Since I'm tall and wanted extra leg room I mounted the seats on spacers to raise the seat height 2 inches. The added height of seats plus the spacers caused the boat to be VERY tippy.

-On my 14 Valco, I have a Valco made seat clamp on the rear, that I mounted the swivel seat to. Seat and clamp add about 4" height. the Valco is a spring clamp attachment to the wood seat. This makes it nice to be able to slide to different positions on the rear seat. When I am driving I can slide the seat over so the tiller arm is not directly behind me and When anchored fishing I can have the seat in the middle to both balance the boat and if fishing 2 rods I can reach the rod on either side easily. The front seat I just attached a swivel mount (West Marine ~$14) and the seat to that. I also used 2" PVC and hose clamped that to the supports that run from the seat to the gunnel as rod holders. Work better than the commercial mounts I tried. I don't note the boat being tippier with the seats.

-There was an article about this sort of thing in Bass and Walleye Boats a few months back. They put in a flat floor etc.


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