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Discussion Starter #1
I just thought some of you would be interested in my new project. I am building a 14'x 74" Aluminum hull. This will be what we call a Mini Airboat, They have a smaller motor than the larger boats, not as loud and use less gas, only about a gallon per hour.

I will be using a MillerMatic 211 Mig welder with a Spoolmate 100 spool gun.

The hull bottom will be .125(1/8") and the sides will be .090 as well as the transom and front deck.

The boat will be powered with a 50 HP air cooled Army Surplus engine. This is pretty much a copy of my current boat that I have been using since 2008 with very little problems. I log many hours on the river so reliability is very important.

So far I just have some jigs made to form the stringers and have them bent and welded. I ordered my sheet goods and they will be in on Monday so the real work will start then.
I've built many of these boats through the years but this will be my first one from scratch. I am building this boat for my uncle.

Looks like I'll have to dig up my photobucket account and upload some photos to use here. I'll put them up asap and I'll add to this as I get things done.




 

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Please post pictures of the build. I enjoy other people build stuff I could never dream of building. Good luck with the build.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I will update as I have time to get here. I got my sheet materials in today. Unfortunately I am in the middle of building a walk-in closet for the wife and she watches my time pretty close. I have a few more days on the closet but I still sneak out to the garage and do as much as possible while the drywall mud is drying.


 

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Cool project....I do have a question.
How does one go about getting capacity plates and such for a home built powered craft? How do they determine the HP rating?

I built a few utility trailers over the years from scratch but that registration process was fairly simple.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You need to have a Certificate of Origin, to get this you must supply receipts for the materials you used. You can make a list of materials if you used on hand materials but receipts are easier. They don't want people trying to register a boat that has had the registration lost. All the forms are listed on the PA boat commission site but so far I have not seen the Certificate of origin form. I'm just going to go down to Harrisburg and take all my stuff along, measurements, receipts, photos. and do it all at once. I'll be able to answer the question about the Certificate once I go through it.

After you have this the boat commission will assign a serial number to the boat. You can then fill out all the forms for the capacity plate. HP ratings and capacity plates have changed recently, all of this is suggested but I'm sure they have a formula and won't allow you to go overboard with it. I would just look at a boat spec online that is similar to your boat as far as size and use those numbers. Again as I go through this I will post how I did it and what forms I use since this is a PA based board.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I got all my pieces cut today for the sides and put the bottom sheet on the table to make the cuts. I was concerned about what the material would do when making the bends so I made a paper boat. I know folks like photos so here is my paper boat.

I'll start putting the pieces together tomorrow.



This hull would make a great hull for a 25 and up jet also with little changes. A tunnel and stronger transom built for the motor and it would be a river runner. the boat will be 14 ft long and have a beam of 74" with a 5 ft bottom. This boat has 20 inch sides.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I got some assembly done today. I put the front pieces on and got the bottom all pieced on. I like to do the bottom of these in two pieces because it adds a little strength and with my design it puts a little "step" right where the boat should run when on plane. This point is a little over 4 feet from the back of the boat. I'm not really sure if the little step works but it sure can't hurt it.

I will just tack everything then go back and finish once I have the hull formed. I did weld the bottom completely where it would be hard to get at once the sides are on. I have to work smart because I don't get around very well. I've had 8 knee surgeries and I'm still not fixed. I should get the rest of the front on and the sides tomorrow. I already have the pieces cut so all I have to do is put them on. In these photos I hadn't got the second piece on the bottom, I was going to quit there for the day but decided to go back out.



 

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Discussion Starter #11
Work is slow for me because I don't get around very well. I've had eight knee surgeries so it's hard for me to do some things and I have to work around them. Getting on my knees is impossible.

I got some more done and it's looking a little bit more like a boat. The stringers are just laying in there to keep them out of the way. It's not easy getting around this thing in my small garage but welding aluminum outside is not going to work.

The hull will be mostly flat with a very small arch at the transom, this make a very good planing hull but is not for the rookie boater. With no chines it will slide out easier in a turn. This is a good design for these low HP boats though. My boat only needs 3" of water to float, good for the river when drift fishing.

I'll be working on the transom next. After the transom is done I will take it off the trailer and sit it on the floor to get the stringers in. After the stringers are in the angle will go in the top of the gunnels to hold the shape. When that is done it will go back on the trailer to finish the welds that were tacked.

More Pics:




 

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Discussion Starter #13
I went over to the Juniata River this morning and did a little fishing. I put my boat in at Amity Hall and it was as low as I've ever gone up through. I went up to Green Valley Campground then fished down. I did ok but nothing spectacular. I did idle around a lot and saw a bunch of nice fish.

I came home and did some more work on the boat, I got the transom in. This boat looks much bigger than mine but it is only eight inches longer but it does have higher gunnels. I'll have to wait until Monday to go get the angle for the top of the gunnels. I still have to cut an arch in the transom at the top. I'm doing this so I can keep the motor as low as possible.

More pics.





 

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Discussion Starter #14
I had to look back to see what the last update was and eek, it don't look like I got much done today and I worked at it pretty steady. I made and installed the backwash tray on the transom some corner bracing and braced the bow. I did do a lot of figuring for the bow platform and a few other things coming up.

Just one photo today.

 

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Discussion Starter #17
I got more done today, I got the angle done on the edges and got the framing done for the front deck. If I have a good day tomorrow I may get all the parts on it then it's just a matter of getting all the welds done. At this point everything is just tacked together.



 

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Discussion Starter #18
I got all the parts cut and on today, next is finish welding the edges then it's time for a leak test. The next step will be the engine stand, cage and seat rigging. It will be made in one piece so it can be unbolted and lifted out of the boat as unit.




 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks, we're really not sure about paint, he would like to keep the aluminum look with just a polished look but that will take a lot of work to polish out and keep up so we're not really sure about painting or not painting. Otherwise it will look pretty much like my boat with some fancyness added.
 
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