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My 1985 PolarKraft 1440 Jon Boat Mod

29035 Views 79 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  sloue
This build thread is off one of my fishing forums, so if the timeline seems off, that is why. I just wanted to share my cool build with my ranger buddies

Finally posting pics of the jon boat i got. Its not pretty, but its NICE. its a 14' 46" (wider than most) Polar Craft Flat Bottom Jon boAt on a 16' Cox Breakaway (it can hinge to load off of hilly ramps). TTHe trailer has new tires and wheels on it. sorry for the night time pics, maybe i can get some daytime pics today.

It has a welded spot on the front on the bottom. looks like a big puddle of weld. im going to have a 5" x 5" square cut out of it there and replace. Me and the fiance took it out last Sat. and it leaked right there out of a TINY pin hole. we just took bubble gumj and plugged it (We didnt have anything else and i wasnt about to load it back up and call it quits for the day). we fished for three hours without a drop of water coming in right there. i have to say i bought a NICE boat. It doesnt have any problems with it anywhere else ! its a good heavy duty thick guage aluminum jon boat!

when im finished with it it wont evel look like the same boat! im going to paint it with black epoxy primer and then coat it in flat black paint (tractor supply has some for like $30 for a gallon). ill prep it right and spray it at my body man's paint booth. then im putting a floor board in it with tan carpet, a small front deck with storage in it. Im removing the middle bench and replacing it with a tall swivel stand with a cushioned foldable seat on it. Mounting my fishfinder on it, and puttinf rod holders on the side for when i travel down the raod with it, keeps them organized on the sides. I have a 50lbs thriust minn kota for it.

on to the pics, like i said it aint purdee, but is nice:

Bear with me, this project will be slow:
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Took the boat and trailer over to my Papa's house yesterday about 12:00. i need to work on the boat trailer some. Evidentally, someone had jacknifed it somewhere down the line (its a 75' model trailer, in great shape though) and the tongue was bent at about a 15 degree angle. i finally notives it when i could see one fender really good and not the other! The trailer is a Cox trailer that can hinge to make it easier to offload. so the tounge was easily removable. we took it and put it on a 20 ton press, no luch with that tubing! so we took a portaband saw and cut three sides of it and straightened it outthen welded the 1/4' gap it left! We also fixed my saftey chains bu putting new clips on them and grinding them off the trailer cause someone had ******* engineered them. they WERE welded on the top right behind the ball goes; however only one chain was, the other one was bolted on to that. so we welded them on eacch side of the tongue. we also fixed the latch that holds the trailer from hinging up. its was all wrong as well. didnt get many pics bc we were so busy...but heres what i all i have left with the trailer is to put some runners on the bottom and some guides on the side. then sand and paint trailer.

Here's Papa welding on safety chains:

heres the trailer, you can see the shitty runners is has now, heck even one is crroked! they're coming off SOON!

Heres the revised saftey chain holder for the hinging part. its there incase the latch gives.

heres what was done:

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seems like the consensus is it does look cool on jon boats, but it may increase drag, causing you to go slower. If you using a trolling motor, you probably don't need to worry about it. it helps protect the bottom of a boat that sees a lot of contact with rocks and such in shallow rivers and lakes. imo, it seems a little too expensive to do it. but hey, go for it, would be a rare boat out on a lake.

I was talking to my boss and he told me to use this, you can jsut roll it on and it goes on nice and smooth! May have a guy spray it on for me though for free. 40 dollars a gallon:


I'm gonna get it in Marsh Green and paint my boat and trailer with it! its 39.99 for it at Cabelas, but if you look on can, its says "Parker Coatings Inc", so I went to their site and its 32.99 there!
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ok, got the spot grinded on and paint removed around it for welding today! There is also a lip on the front of the boat that was tore up so we cut that off and we're going to put a piece of aluminm angle there. We also removed two anchor tie downs because im going with new ones!

My buddy doing some grinding:

Removing tiedowns:

The spot in floor gining me so much trouble

It gets an aluminum plate welded to it today to strengen it as well as seat that area off.

then maybe i can start on some sanding and priming!
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Feb 21 UPDATE:

I went this morning to work on boat some more. Started sanding at 10:30 am and didnt stop until 5:30 pm! I sanded the entire outside of the boat by hand with 150 grit sandpaper. Going today to sand the inside of the boat. Still undecided if i want to spot prime just where bare aluminum is, or just prime the entire thing :?: :? Also you can see where fishfinders have been mounted over the is a 2 1/2" by 2" rectange on the back with about 15 screw holes in it! I am going to have an aluminum plate welded to the back of that spot, then going to fill them in with marine epoxy. I also rebucked all the rivets up front with a sledgehammer on one side and hitting them with a regular hammer. I hope this helps some, but now have to decide if i want to have them welded or just use that marine epoxy around them as well. So many decisions! Also, you can see where i grinded off the sticker, they were really on there and even sticer remover wouldnt remove them---the grinder did! On to the pics, cant really tell its been sanded, but it has and now my arms are about to fall off.


^^one of the leaky rivets. You can tell its been hit and banged on before where its so depressed into the aluminum! What would ya'll guys do in this situation?
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picked up my stickers yesterday! Check out the new name for the boat!

Picked up boat stickers today:

They turned out great along with boat numbers
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Jeff, I took your advice and got me a sheet of aluminum for $44 at local salvage yard! Its huge, its a 4'x6' (guesstimate) roadsign! man i was excited to get this!

No i didnt steal it, i ought it at local salvage

Ill cover this in boat carpet ehn i get it and it will look awesome! I just have to get existing rivets out of it, clean it good, measure and cut and place in boat now!
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Picked up some more things for boat!

Bass Pro had these for 19.95 a piece!! I got two of them! I wanted the ahrd plastic ones with padding or just the hard plastic ones but couldnt find any, so I got these, whci have lots of padding!
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UPDATE: 2/3/10

Got some more sanding done last night! Almost done with that crap! We also went ahead and cut out the middle bench to make even more room in the boat; I'm going to put a fixed pedistal in place of the bench with a swivel seat on it. I use AutoCad everyday, so at work today, im going to draw out my floor template with measurements i took last night and then transfer the template to some thin plastic sheets that we use for templates for granite. That way I can just trace it onto my sign and cut it out!

I'm a little ticked because when i was cutting out the becnh, we placed an old blanket down in the bottom so i wouldnt get bottom of boat dirty from my boots. Well, unknowing to me, the blanket had oil on it and got a little on the floor of boat. So now i have to sand that part again and make sure i clean it extremely well where the oil was!
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Me and my buddy got the support system for the metal floor im putting in. The boat ribs are not flat which poses problems when putting a flat floor So I bought some 1x1 aluminum angle and ran it side to side capped on the ribs. It was still giving in the middle some (more than I liked) so i also put som vertical angle in to support the middle . The flooring system is very stout now! I am using a 3/16"-1/4" thick roadsing i bought at the local salvage yard for my floor. It is being covered in gray marine carpet i bought at Lowes. My friend there got me a deal on a remnant he had that was 8'-9 3/4" x 6' for $20!!! that is enought to do my middle floor, and back bench! I still need to buy about 10 more feet I think. on to the pics:

here you can see the vertical support in the floor, this made it VERY stout.

Also, where the floor butts up to the face of the back bench, there was no support, so i riveted some angle there to support there

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Saturday, me and the future father-in-law worked on the boat some more. We got a big step done! We got the floor and sides cut to size! That metal roadsign i bought now makes a nice floorboard! I have to cover it in boat carpet now that i have in my building. Also the sides that you see will be covered in boat carpet. The sign wasnt quite long enough, so we butted a trimming from the sign when we cut it up the the end we needed extedned and then put another peice under is and pop riveted it all together. Its VERY storong and will never rot!

i wanted to go with all metal floor, but i think im just gonna go ahead and make my front casting deck out of 3/4" plywood. I have to have a piece anyways to go on the back bench so that i can mount my swivel seat to it. Pretty much the whole inside of the boat will be carpeted except for the area behind the back bench. It sjust about ready for paint. I have to go this week to get some 1x1 alum. angle to frame the front deck.

^^^here you can see where we riveted it together

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Going today to buy some 1 1/2 x 1 1/2" alum. angle to frame out my front casting deck. you can see in the above pic where the floor and sides stop towards the front. That is where the face of the casting deck will start. The whole inside of the boat will be carpeted.
I love your boats' name :D. Is the new floor sealed so crap can't get under or did /are you have a system to clean fish guts/blood from under your new floor? I skimmed through your posts, so forgive me if you answered this already. Looking good so far, keep it [right side ;)] up.
Looking good Dixie. Love the name and the boat 8)
alwaysFlOoReD said:
I love your boats' name :D. Is the new floor sealed so crap can't get under or did /are you have a system to clean fish guts/blood from under your new floor? I skimmed through your posts, so forgive me if you answered this already. Looking good so far, keep it [right side ;)] up.
Nah, i wont have a livewell or a cleaning system for it. The only thing this boat is going to be used for is bass fishing. Nothing will get under the floor because none of the floor will be exposed. By the time i get my casting deck in up front and fis the area behind the back bench, nothing can get inder my metal floor. Not to mention the whole inside in going to be carpet. I dont fish for food or eating, i just fish for the sport. Im a catch and release bass fisherman.

thanks on the name, it just came to me one day and i loved it
i have that exact smae boat well before u modified it
Red said:
i have that exact smae boat well before u modified it
LOL. I love it. picked the boat and trailer up for $600!! ill be riding the water in style when this thing is done. i cant wait till its all painted with my cool decals and all carpeted inside with swivel seats
Yes it looks like it will be alot of to fish out of...
i like to just go out and fish all day in mine man bring me a cooler full of dew and some food i love it
Update 4/12/10:

Yesterday, the future father-in-law and I got some more work done on the boat. We framed out the front casting deck/storage area using 1x1 aluminum angle. It turned out real nice and is VERY strong. We used 3/16" x 1/2" grip aluminum rivets to hold it all together. As you can see, there is plent of bracing. Also had the front seat pedestal i got from Sara's daddy sandbalsed by neighbor. I primed it with etching primer and painted it with Krylon Fusion Satin Black (LOVE THIS PAINT) I have to go this week and pick up a full sheet of 3/4" plywood to cap it off now and also to cap off the back bench. Everything that you see in wood and metal is going to have gray carpet on it. Im also going to carpet the inside under the casting deck in the storage area so that when things are in there, they aren't banging on metal.

To do this now:

-mount plywood for casting deck (all plywood will fiberglassed for waterproofing)
-mount plywood on back bench so i can securely mount a swivel seat
-carpet entire inside of boat (excluding the area behind back bench)
-install both seats
-wire up fishfinder and running lights
-have front of boat reinforced with 1 1/4" aluminum tubing (you can see where we had to cut the old reinforcing off because it was ragged.)
-paint boat
paint trailer

so as you can see, we've made alot of progress, but still have alot to do

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