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Boat project


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I have a plain old aluminum 16' Lund boat, the kind with the three bench seats and 1 little seat in the front. I've carpeted it, but now I am wanting to take it a little further.

Here's what I was thinking. The middle seat I want to cut out, except for about 16" on the sides. On the sides of the boat I would put a bench/platform that goes from the front bench to the back bench. This would leave a nice open center area and make it easier to move around the boat.

My question about this is, how important is that center bench for the boat's rigidity? I don't want to do something that might make it too weak.

The other thing I would like to do is add a small livewell inside the front bench seat. Basically what I was thinking was cut open a door in the bench, install a hinge and place a tank inside the bench. The problem is how to hook it up. The thought of drilling a couple of 1 1/2" holes in my boat doesn't appeal much to me. (I don't think the livewell would be high enough to do a usual overflow exit anyway, it would probably be right at the water line.) Do you think it would be possible to run a water line to the back of the boat and up and over the transom and get it to work? Also, are there 2-way water pumps? I was thinking maybe 1 pump in the tank to recirculate the water and another that can either add water or put water back into the lake so I can freshen the water up if I want to. Does anyone have any plans for a portable type system that does this? Maybe I could adapt it for a permanent install. I've seen plans for a portable livewell, but never one that you can add water to (or pump water out of.)

The third thing I was considering was to put in a small casting platform, maybe a place to sit to control a bow mount trolling motor. This would be from the front bench to the front of the boat, but maybe about 3 inches lower than the bench, then install a taller seat pedestal. The only thing that I'm worried about to do this would be if it would be too tippy to sit that high. It's a pretty stable boat, but I wouldn't suggest standing on the benches. :P If I did this part the livewell would be a little smaller/lower.

The middle seat and the livewell I would like to do for sure. I'm not sure about the platform yet, but I would need to decide if I'm doing that before I started.


Here is a picture I drew of what I am thinking.

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Hey lotsofish,

You might be better off posting this in the boats and motors section a little farther down the main forums page. I myself took out the middle seat in my 14 Lund. It was a bit of a process, but I can find you a link to the explination on what I did.

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Thanks for putting this in the right forum for me. I didn't even realize there was a Boat & Motors forum. \:\)

No worries about the warranty, there isn't one. This boat is older than me! It's a 78 Lund 16' and I'm a 1981 model. grin.gif

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Polarus, I just read about your boat and I like the way you did the road holders. The whole thing looks like it turned out nice and will be even better once you get the platform carpeted and everything.

For mine, I was thinking about removing the whole center part of the middle bench all the way down, not making a center platform. My boat is pretty flat in the middle anyway and that would probably be just extra weight I don't need. I think by adding the side benches (from the front bench, attached to a portion of the middle bench I leave on the sides and then back to the back bench) I will gain some of the structural strength back from removing the middle bench.

The thing I forgot about is that the seats are filled with foam. If I remove the middle bench and cut open a spot in the front bench for the livewell, that would be a lot of foam removed. Does the foam actually help the boat float or is it only in case you get a lot of water inside? Most of the foam is above the waterline already anyway. (I think)

I was planning on leaving the sides open below the new side benches I'm going to add, but maybe I will close them up and relocate the foam I remove into the sides. I'll have to take a closer look at the boat and measure everything out.

After thinking about it more, I've kinda decided not to do the front platform. I think it would be too tippy to sit up so high and I'm probably going to get a transom mounted trolling motor instead of a bow mount because they are about a third of the cost.

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Since you are in Blaine, nice and close, if you wanted to stop by sometime and take a look at how I did my boat you are welcome to do so. I think that by adding in the floor like I did, using the bench bases for support, it really tightened up the boat. Without it, it did flex a pretty good amount. We tested the rigidity by pushing on the sides before we put the floor in and you could get it to flex just pushing on it. I would suggest having some sort of bracing in there, and on a 16, it would likely flex more than my 14 just because the seats are spaced a little farther apart.

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Thanks Polarus. I think I am going to go with the method you did and do the floor in the middle and also add some foam or at least relocate some of the foam I take out from the middle bench below the floor. I was going to just leave the bottoms of the new side benches I am putting in open, but now I think I will close them off and maybe make those side benches into storage areas. I would make the whole center area open like yours, but I need the seating space there for the kids if they are with.

I took a look at the boat last night and I'm pretty sure that I do want to go with the casting platform in the front, from the front bench to the front tiny seat, but I would drop it down about 3-4" below the bench height to lower the center of gravity and make it so it's not tippy. It will need some center support for sure, but I'm not sure how to do that yet. Maybe a 4x4 in the middle cut to fit or some angle iron/aluminum added in somehow.

What did you use to bend the metal from where the bench was to attach the floor to so the bend is straight?

For now (who knows I might change my mind again grin.gif) the built-in livewell is out. Instead I am going to go make a portable livewell so I can bring it with when I need it. Look at this video, this looks cool:

. I would make a couple changes though so you could attach a longer hose to stick over the side of the boat to either fill it or empty out some of the water so it can be "freshened up".
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For bending the metal on the seat, I tried to make a break, but it didn't work worth a darn, so I used an old sheet metal tool, some call them a duck billed vice grip, and slowly formed the edge. I drew a line accross the seat base, and would bend just a bit at a time, the width of the pliers about 15-20 degrees, all the way accross the seat, then back, continuing the bend to get 90 degrees. The metal is light enough that bending it with a simple hand tool is not a problem. Here is a picture of a duck billed vice grip.

Kinda hard to tell, but the bill is about 4" wide x 1" tall or so.


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