View Full Version : Fitting out MY powerboat.

Hal Forsen
12-20-2004, 01:38 PM
Now that you guys have completely hijacked my thread,I'll respond to suggestions and get down to the important stuff. Fitting out MY powerboat.

Bruce, my well thumbed copy of Chapman is about 30 years old. I'm a former Navy Boatswain's mate, Assault boat coxswain and all my life I've done a bit of sailing, surfing, cruising and fishing the Pacific Coast from Washington to Baja.
I have all the boat outfitters catalogs mentioned but I do need to get the product specific catalogs. Donn, I've seen Nigel Calder's book and it looked a little too comprehensive but I should probably have it.
MMD, Thanks; that is a nice job on your outfitting checklist and I will be using it as a starting point for MY boat.
Bill, I have been communicating with Alex Slaunwhite (Skiff Junkie)for a couple years now and have spoke with Dave Carnell also. I have all your skiff photos and every other Simmons Pic I can find in my 'puter and I spend countless hours staring at them and planning. Unfortunatly the Simmons Expo is held at our busiest time of year and it is hard to get away.

I am going to build the 18', mainly because it will fit.
The boat will be used for hook and line fishing in So. Cal. and Baja.
I had intended on using a 40 horse but Mr. Carnell and others have talked me into a 30.
I'll be using Honda (first choice) or Yamaha.
As it stands right now I plan to build a thwart well forward that has a small console atop with a seat in front of the console for my passenger.
A cross between this one http://www.simmonsseaskiff.com/Images/Macfie14.JPG and this http://clcboats.com/images/boats/dory_ph1_s.jpg
It will have a lighted compass,VHF, gps/fishfinder combo and maybe a am/fm or satellite radio for tunes,at least two Aux. power outputs, bilge pump, and a small bait tank.
I plan on putting the batteries under the console to simplify wiring.(BTW thanks to Bob Smalser I now know how marine wiring is properly installed.)
Currently planning on the fuel in the stern with all other weight spread out forward. Running lights on the console sides and and all around light mounted up high with the antenna on a rodrack above the console.
I need advice on steering systems, bilge pumps, fuel systems and batteries etc. I want a smooth helm with little feedback. Fuel wise I'd like to have a minimum 100 miles range.
Any comments questions or advice are greatly appreciated. Thanks for all your help so far.

[ 12-20-2004, 06:55 PM: Message edited by: Hal Forsen ]

12-20-2004, 02:20 PM
I'm sorry, Hal. I guess we (me) got carried away.

Hal Forsen
12-20-2004, 02:27 PM
No sweat. It seems to me the good threads are usually the ones that end up hijacked.

12-20-2004, 03:29 PM
Hal, I've often thought a Simmons would be near perfect boat for trailering down to baja, also for fishing the Southern California coast and islands. Not to mention, they're good looking. Good luck, I'll be interested in following your project.

MMD, I'll be rewiring my skiff soon. I like your wiring diagram, but am having a hard time reading some of the text. Would it be possible to email it to me in .dwg format? (I sit in front of this damn Autocad all day). I would be extremely appreciative.

Oh, and I know exactly what you mean with the difficulties of exporting a drawing as an image and retaining clarity, frustrating.

Eric Krueger

12-20-2004, 03:52 PM
The boat will be used for hook and line fishing in So. Cal. and Baja. Most of the fishing I've done off So. Cal. and Baja, involved throwing iron and live bait at big schools of tuna and such, with 50# and up tackle. The first boat looks like it's much more suited to that kind of fishing, than the second one. I'd make sure that I could get to within at least a half a rod-length of every end and side of the boat. I like the flexibility of the exposed and movable fuel cans, as opposed to building the tankage in.

More to the ability to get around the boat with a big fish on, I wouldn't put anything forward of the helm console, unless it was built into a deck that was compensated by heavy SS rails on the bow. I'd want to be able to get around the console and practically hang off the bow.

If that's the kind of fishing you're talking about, how are you going to get a big Yellowfin or such into the boat? :eek:

Hal Forsen
12-20-2004, 03:56 PM
It took me two years to decide on the Simmons. If we had more room I'd probably build a Calkins Bartender or the Simmons 20' but I am limited on building and storage space and so for me the Simmons 18' IS perfect. Economical to build and run and salty as can be. I can't wait to get started but in the meantime I have lots of decisions to make.
It will be stored on a trailer so I can get by without bottom paint, I think. The longest it would be in the water would probably be a week.
I plan on glassing only the bottom and maybe doing a graphite epoxy topper for beaching in Baja.


12-20-2004, 04:09 PM
Just make sure you don't paint the deck too dark if you're fishing baja. ;) Ouch!

Hal Forsen
12-20-2004, 06:10 PM
Donn, I don't know where or when you last fished in California but it's pretty darn rare that we get tuna around here big enough to warrant 50# string; Not to say that it doesn't happen.
I will be using the boat for the entire fishery, plastics around the rocks for big calico's, bounce ballin' for flatties, slinging iron and baits on patties for tuna and yellowtail,you name it, I like to fish it.
I have given some serious thought to installing a bow rail but I think I am going to have to decide on that after the boat is built. I know the wife would like it for communing with Flipper. My problem is I really don't like the look of shiny chrome or stainless. It looks ok on a f'glass boat but on a wooden boat it just looks wrong to me. Guess I have to get over that though.Tough finding bronze hardware that's appropriate. Ever seen a bronze t top? I know chrome can be removed but the castings usually look like krap without it.
I'll be making cardboard mock ups for everything before construction that's for sure.
Been thinking about using the bait tank as my leaning post. Any thoughts?
BTW I think the Simmons has more then enough secondary stability to support the landing of any fish I'd be keeping.

12-20-2004, 06:26 PM
Need a big boat for big fish, eh?

Caption: "Helen Lerner fishes from a dory in Wedgeport Nova Scotia. Tommy Gifford in the front of the boat lends a hand."


12-20-2004, 07:00 PM
Here I go again on another hijack...

My Uncle and I took out a Grady White 21 in the fall off P-town during Chumming season and brought in an 800lb Giant Blue Fin. Needless to say, the boat got dragged around a bit. The biggest I've been on a boat for was around 1150lbs, but I've only personally fought them in the 500lb range. Still for a skinny 16 year old it was all "the young man and the sea"...

Anyway, Hal I'm sure you will have a great time with her. Just the right stuff in a boat. Build her strong, and have fun,


Hal Forsen
12-20-2004, 07:21 PM
Amen to that.
I always pay attention when somebody named Noah talks about boats.....

12-20-2004, 07:42 PM
Hal..last time was on a long-range trip out of Fisherman's Landing. I caught a 200# on 50#, and I watched a guy get spooled by a 280# on 30#. He tied the 30# rig off to an 80# rig (creating the most expensive terminal tackle known to man, a Cal built Penn 4/0 Senator on a $1200 rod!) and landed the fish. The crew was ready to throw an inflatable overboard to play bobber for this Tuna, but they didn't have to.

A friend and I pulled a 180# Yellow into an 18' aluminum once. It was a very stoutly built boat, and you should have heard it and felt it when that fish throbbed! I suppose you could cut a fish like that off, but that's a bunch of mighty fine fish. You could feed the neighborhood for a weekend!

Hal Forsen
12-20-2004, 08:23 PM
Spectra and two speeds have pretty much eliminated the need for skiff rides on those trips anymore.
A nice ipe fish bat comes in handy.

Peter Page
12-21-2004, 06:51 AM
My 18ft Simmons is fished out of very often and never had a problem with too big a fish yet. Go with the forward concol but be aware that to walk past it you have to hang on or you will be in the water. I like mine having had previsly had tiller steering, that was too wet. Now I can stay dry and only the passenger at the back gets wet.
I run mine with a 25 Johnson.

Bill Perkins
12-21-2004, 09:17 AM
How many gallons of gas are required per 100 miles for that engine ? If you'll routinely carry that much you might increase the seaworthiness of the boat by fitting a permanent tank under a thwart amidships . The center console could straddle this stock tank .Tempos 12 gal tank (32"Lx101/2"Wx12"H) would leave room for other storage beneath the thwart, and the rear of the small boat would be uncluttered. Hopefully you'll be fighting and bringing in some big fish over the stern .

I've made a place for an 18 gal. tempo tank (46"Lx10"Wx12"H) on my boat .I like the idea of having the fuel firmly strapped down amidships ,and as it burns away during the day there'll be little change in the boats trim .Partly the 4 cycle outboard I've chosen is significantly heavier than the engine the designer originally spec 'd ,so it makes sense for me to move weight out of the stern .That may be your case too .I 've admired the Simmons 18 , but the boat looks like it would be sensitive to weight placement .

[ 12-21-2004, 01:29 PM: Message edited by: Bill Perkins ]

Hal Forsen
12-21-2004, 05:54 PM
I may have the batteries under the console and the fuel in the seat just f'ward of it.
I'm thinking of deviating from the plans a tiny bit by shortening the foredeck and instead of going straight across the boat, rounding it and adding a coaming that'll start off a few inches high and tapering down as it flows aft.
I also am pretty sure I want a bowrail but would really rather it be something other than chrome or stainless. Is it possible to make one out of bronze pipe?
These and many more questions to come.


Bill Perkins
12-21-2004, 07:26 PM
I wonder if it could be as simple as a single straight pipe rail set athwartship just forward of the coaming you mentioned ? The two vertical supports would attach to the fordeck with pipe flanges . This rail would just be for leaning against and holding on to when standing forward .Maybe there's no need to stand on the small foredeck . If the flanges were set on the side decks the bar could be set in plane with the forward coaming .I've read of another detail where instead of useing pipe flanges the end of the pipe was brazed to the side of a short( 3 in. ) length of angle .This was then fastened to the side coamings. Either way the look ,in bronze ,could be work boat sheik .Maybe the same pipe could be used for vertical handholds on either side of the center console and for a windshield support , if any.

[ 12-21-2004, 09:15 PM: Message edited by: Bill Perkins ]