An aluminum "bass boat" owner, I mean. Or at least I will be. When I get it done. Or something.
With my lack of fishing time and no real end to too much work in sight, I decided that another bass boat will have to wait. So I bought a 15' Lowe Jon boat the other day from a neighbor and friend. I knew the first and previous owner too. The boat really has very little use and looks good except for the fact that it's been setting for 7 or 8 years with that many years worth of leaves and acorns in it also.
In the last week I've found time to clean it out; I've unbolted and unriveted a bunch of stuff as these guys were catfishermen. Anchors, a junk Humminbird, weird cleats, rollers, and both seats are gone. I began to build a deck today- half of the boat will be a flippin' platform because I'm too old to stand in the bottom of a boat, below the water line.
The motor is a 15 hp Evinrude, which were pretty decent in the day ('97 or '98 I think). The gas line had been unhooked but he couldn't remember if the fuel had been ran out. The gas left in the tank looked like a science project gone wrong and smelled even worse. Apparently it had been run out however because the durn thing started on the SIXTH pull (it has a starter but the button is stuck). Sounded great. So, plugs, water pump, lower unit fluid, clean out what's left of a massive mouse nest (they didn't chew thru anything important), and fix that starter button. New fuel line and primer bulb. Then find a deal on a 25. Or not- I'm not planning on keeping this thing forever, or spending tons on it. Except..
I had some 3/4" plywood. Not enough, so I bought another sheet today. Jayzus. What a stupid world we live in.
And by the way, I priced doing everything in ALUMINUM. Holy mother.
Anyway, I bought a new trolling motor. A new battery. I'll still need a cranking battery. I ordered side loading bunks (it'll make life easier), two new tires & wheels (they look great, but they've been setting for a long time, and I know how THAT story goes), a jack stand (no way will I have a trailer without one), and a new Garmin 93sv will be here in a couple of days. I'll need to paint the deck and flooring. I'll need carpet and glue. I'll build in some storage. I need some sort of rod tie downs (I don't think Rod Buckles will work here!) and trailer tie downs. I'll put in a cooler for a livewell in case I decide to go for a mess of crappie or bream (I did this a few times last year and it was so, so good).
I already have a trolling motor tray that I'll recess just like the REAL bass boats. I also have a bilge pump and an automatic switch that will be perfect. The boat has running lights that I'll re-engineer, and I'll probably do some interior lighting in case I decide to venture forth after the sun goes down. Obviously there will be some wiring to rig up. Oh yeah- I'll need to rewire the trailer plug for my Chevy... And while I'm on the trailer and giving it new shoes to stand on, I'll do the bearings too (bought Bearing Buddies yesterday).
So there you go. Why? you might ask. Here's an older guy who's owned and been sponsored in bass boats up to and including 21'. A Jon boat?
Well, it's mostly due to time constraints. You see, there's this deal called "IBass Gold" and it has a weird rule (the VERTS rule?) that says you have to fish public waters. No farm ponds. And while I have a kayak (love my kayak!) and a regular 15' Jon boat (old and NARROW), I want the comfort of a big platform to fish from. So because of this UB "IBass Gold" I've had to fall back and punt. It'll work, because I don't need fancy. I've never seen a boat catch a bass yet. Watch and see what I can do out of my little aluminum "bass boat".
If I can get the titles and the basic stuff done I may put this thing on the water later this week. Maybe. It of course won't be finished, but like most of my life it'll be a work-in-progress. We'll see. It's freakin' April, and I can SMELL 'em. And they are BIG.