Ok I've sat on my hands long enough :p This seems like an odd post even for foo, and even for me, but seeing as how the mods have let it stand I'll jump in because nobody else has.
I don't own one per se, but many years ago when I first started boating I used one quite a bit for cod jigging near the Atlantic ocean (belonged to my father). I'm anticipating you are going to ask about handling characteristics? If yes I can help because I also used mostly wooden ones thereafter due to better stability on rough water.
Also size was about 5.5 metres (18 feet) with a 50 HP Johnson outboard. We didn't refer to it so much as a boat (because to me a boat is bigger) but in French we call them "Chaloupe Aluminium" -- I don't know if there is an English equivalent -- just Bing it in images and tell me if that's what you had in mind as far as boat goes.
Anyway here I go on and on and on...I'll let you respond instead of continuing to "assume"...
We didn't refer to it so much as a boat (because to me a boat is bigger)
Can't get much smaller than a boat. "Aluminum dinghy" doesn't sound quite right.
<ot> Quick detour to dictionary tells me that "bateau" can translate both "boat" and "ship", which explains much. If you want to be hair-splittingly technical, a ship has a deck and a boat doesn't. But it you're thinking about your hair you're not paying enough attention to handling the boat. Of any size.
Obligatory Q: What are the two happiest days in a boat owner's life? </ot>
Ok here's the best way I can think of translating the word "Chaloupe" even though it's not its actual definition: "Sacre bleu Jacques, vous êtes foo, you aren't taking that thing out of rough ocean waters are you?! You know that's only good for lakes and rivers". Chaloupe is more concise :)
Or someone might say ohhhhh that's a cute boat (chaloupe). But if a whale breeches the water in front of something cute you will be able to inform search and rescue that Jonah has been found.
Sounds like fun Tony. Of course I have no way of knowing what your boat restoration skills are like, or your level of expertise in boating in general but here is something that popped into my mind right away when I read above:
...however I do plan to install a deck?
The first thing I would take into consideration here is the type of water it will be used on. If you intend on crusin' calm inland waters you can probably get away with more flexibility in installing a deck. What is important, in that case, is the depth of the hull rather than the length. And even at 16 feet different manufacturers have produced models of varying hull depth. If you lay down a platform to even off the walking surface (install a deck) you are going to change the centre of gravity. The new centre of gravity will shift higher potentially causing the boat to become more unstable. Also, there is more surface area to enclose aft rather than forward (V tapered forward) and that too will shift the C-of-G rearward but in most cases the trim tab on the motor foot can compensate for that. The type of material chosen to accomplish it will also be a factor. Wood, though less expensive, will be among the more heavier material -- especially when it becomes water-logged (and it will). The increased weight will thus thrust the C-of-G even a bit higher. These factors become especially apparent while in turns, and especially in abrupt sharp turns like when trying to avoid sea critters that wander into your path unexpectedly due to their curosity, or in the case of sharks because of their hunger pangs.
Another consideration is seating. Most, if not all of those older model aluminum boats have factory installed bench seating to keep the C-of-G low. If you become tempted to install lazy-boy type seating on your new deck it too will affect the C-of-G in ways you wouldn't want it to.
That's what pops to mind for now but I might think of other things if this thread stirs up debate. More than anything though -- have fun with it! Ahhhhh discussing this is making me homesick for the ocean :(
I think for the most part I have taken into account most of your recommendations. From what I have researched, my boat type is a "Deep V" type hull... and do not plan to make the bottom deck very high at all... It will essentially lay below, or just even with, what I refer to as the "low ribs" the shorter ribs that run up the side... I would venture to say that the height, if I can get away with it will be no higher than 3"-4" from the center line.
I also only plan on running the deck to the rear bench, and leaving the stern/aft portion of the boat as is to accommodate my gas tank. I did remove the center bench, which I am hoping the deck would compensate for the overall weight missing between the two benches. With the trolling motor and outboard on the rear, I will put the battery up front and wire along the gun wale.
[disclaimer] This is my wish list... not what may really happen!
She is only going to see local inland lakes, and rivers around the Boise area.. Snake river, Lake Lowell....(if anyone cares)...which are fairly calm and steady...
No ocean waves for this baby.
I have a few rivets to replace, and plan on putting a coat of GluvIt all around the seams to increase overall watertight integrity...(ahhh Navy terms... gotta love em.)
At this moment, I got her flipped over and am wire brushing the crud off the bottom and giving it a nice bath...came across some gouges that concern me, but nothing penetrating the hull at this point.
Am hoping to get some AB Marine grade plywood to replace the rotted out transom wood...put a nice shine on that and call it good...
If I have time... will hit the boat with a few coats of primer and paint and get my "design" skills to work...
This is my new hobby... never had anything this before that consumed so much of my mental capacity... With 4 kids in the house, I need something to pass the time since I dont get out much any more!
Sounds like you already have things well thought out :)
What I brought up are extremes and of course they also become compounded with speed -- something you won't have to worry about with a 7.5 HP :)
Speaking of...I didn't look up the motor you mentioned but I'm imagining it to be one where you have to remove the cab and wrap a loose cord around the flywheel and rip it to start it? Helps to have a floater attached to the cord (not like I've ever heaved one overboard myself -- ya right).
But that's the nice thing about the more simple times of long ago. Technology was less complicated so the average user could work on their own equipment to maintain it for long-life expectancy. These days it's becoming increasingly more difficult to work on anything ourselves without specialized tools or a degree from star fleet command. And also for lower end technology manufacturers make it difficult to get repair parts, presumably to help them with their "built in obsolescence". Sort of like with cars and the starter/bendix combo -- older cars typically had them mounted on the inside of a fender separate from the starter. When the day inevitably arrived of the dreaded "clicking" on turning the key you could get out and whack the bendix casing with a rock while someone is turning the key and away you go. These days, if I'm right, I think it's integrated into the starter and the whole unit has to be replaced :(
Doh! To the above I referred to the bendix, when in fact I meant the solenoid. I think bendix might have been a brand name of solenoids. I was just relaxing (semi-meditating) and a voice started screaming at me "it's a solenoid you dummy" :)
The deck concept is something I'd lose. This from someone who has submarined both a catamaran sailboat and a powered aluminum pontoon boat. The fun factor diminishes rapidly when the bow goes under and the propulsion keeps pushing it further.
Center of Gravity is important as SevenCubed mentioned. I'd think about replacing the center bench. There's a reason they aren't built with a deck, but with benches. CG stays consistent when everyone is sitting.
Both my submarine experiences were the result of too many people moving from one location to another while under power, it doesn't take much. I'd also pitch the older main motor. Rebuilding might seem good, until you're way out and nobody is around, and the motor won't fire. Or, the motor won't fire, you're drifting to the surf line and starting to consider how soon the "abandon boat" order goes out.
I've never "lost" a boat, but I've had some interesting times. Less interesting is probably better.
It sounds like a potentially fun project, or a money and time pit. Avoid the trap of making a lengthy teardown/rebuild and never finishing, or worse, finishing and finding it doesn't really suit you after all that. I get seasick at the drop of a hat, but I have an affinity for old aluminum "canned ham" trailers and the Lessons Learned overlap.
Start with the 90/10 rule. Put a little good where it will do the most to make it 90% usable with <10% of the cost, then TAKE IT OUT AND USE IT a few times. If you're happy with the basic setup and how it handles etc, you can plunge ahead with the restore. You'll have insight into how you want to rebuild/reconfigure, if the deck idea is right and how this will affect handling, storage needs etc. Or you might decide to flip it and get something different, before all that work.
Fixing bad rivets/making lakeworthy is good at this stage and will help resale. Etching hull to bare metal for 5-stage finish process, too much and will not help resale.
The transom wood made my toes curl, that is the thing that makes this type of project snowball. Start replacing that, find the spars and ribs it attaches to are bad as well, take it further apart, and next thing you know, the hull skin is leaning against the wall and you're held up waiting for special fasteners and marine grade wood, and time, and more money... which is FINE once you've tried the boat and love it enough.
For the maiden test voyage, if the wood is watertight but I'm not sure I can turn left without the motor turning right and continuing away, I'd screw a sturdy if ugly temporary board across the back to attach to, before trying to replace "just one" part of the boat.
OTOH, perhaps what you really want is a distraction from family matters. Not a good way to live, but if so, a strip and total rebuild of something nobody's sure they'll like when it's done will work a treat.
@bluntforce I can see your point, kind of...however this boat is going to be a pure fishing, family fun type of boat... not racing anyone for sure, nor would I get close to the point of putting the nose in the water and pushing her down. My buddy and I do a lot of bow fishing for carp on local lakes and water ways, so I am familiar with standing on a raised platform/deck.
After some further thought, I think I will replace the center bench for mainly functional reasons for my children... figured they would need somewhere to sit!
@AutomanEmpire I agree... I tend to get carried away with my "wish list" and other fun features... I need to take it back a bit and keep on the pace I am at now... replacing the rivets, cleaning her up, sealing the seams and getting some test runs on the water.
The transom was not a huge task as I have already removed the wood that was there...simply some nuts and bolts, removed two braces in the splash well and it came right now... it was rotten so it needed to come out.
The boat is structurally sound and solid... some gouges long the bottom, but other than that she is good to go.
I will take your advice and just throw some plywood on there for the test runs and see how she does.
I acquired this boat knowing what I was up for, and look forward to the restoration project... to me, this is fun.
Not something I want to flip or trade out... something to pass down to the kids... so I do plan to put some hard work and labor into it and make it fun.
Not escaping family matters... hopefully creating family fun and memories in the future.
I agree with the suggestion to ditch the motor(s). I had a similar one to your Evinrude and parts were difficult to find and expensive, and advanced repairs were impossible so I ditched it. So, a newer engine should be lighter and have more commonly available parts.
And I have an aluminum boat too, about the same age as yours. I use it about twice a year and haven't put a cent of money or hour of labor into it since I bought it close to 20 years ago. Of course, other boats are very different matter.
Oh yeah, I did put some electrical tape on a spot where a rivet popped out. The tape is still there, 2 years later.
Oh - are you replacing the floatation that was provided by the styrofoam that is usually under the benches? You might want to think about that along with center of gravity issues etc.