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New Guy with River Hawk B60 (Read 3714 times)
Bassboy 1
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New Guy with River Hawk B60
Jul 2nd, 2012 at 10:27pm
 
New fella here.  Recently purchased a River Hawk B60, so I figured it was time to jump into this site.

Little about myself.
I'm about an hour North of Atlanta, Ga.  I fish for a variety of things.  In the heat of the summer, my attention is directed mostly towards river stripers.  I enjoy bass fishing the smaller (~10 acre) lakes up in the N. Ga. mountains.  During the spring and fall, I will sometimes chase the schooling spotted bass in the larger reservoirs (Allatoona, Carters, etc.).  Whenever I get the chance (not often), I absolutely love chasing inshore saltwater fish (redfish, seatrout, flounder, etc.).  If nothing else is going on, I don't mind pulling out the light tackle, and catching panfish and trout. 

I'm not exactly new to boats, but I am new to fiberglass microskiffs.  Quite frankly, I don't really believe in fiberglass as a boat material.  One of my few trades is aluminum fabrication (a majority of which is on marine applications), and as a result, my regard of fiberglass boats isn't that high.  Here are pictures of a couple bits of my work, just to show what I do.
Fab.
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Finish.
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Fab.
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Finish
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Despite my tendency towards aluminum boats, in May, I purchased a 1997 River Hawk B-60 with '97 Honda 15 four stroke.  We've all got to be rebellious at some point in life. Roll Eyes
Anyway, after a couple years of being boatless, due to a business venture, and spending a period of time across the country, I decided to buy the Riverhawk, as it actually should fit my needs relatively well.  BUT, it does need some things.

On to the boat itself.  Here are a few pictures.
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Now, it has had the transom rebuilt.  While I'm not crazy about the fact that it is made of wood, it did seem to be of somewhat decent design.  There is a little more meat on the transom than the original, and it does have the knee braces tying the transom to the hull and side pods, so I wasn't too hesitant.
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The boat does need a little fiberglass repair.  It is missing a couple chunks of gelcoat in places.  Nothing a little marinetex shouldn't fix, so no big deal there.
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Rod holders came mounted into the flimsy fiberglass.  Can't say I approve on the mounting method.  There are toggle bolts behind that crap.  One more thing to fix, but no big deal.
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Trolling motor bracket - functional, but steel has no place in a boat, and could have been done a bit cleaner.
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Motor came with a Macs River runner, which is pretty handy for what I do in the summers.
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Bassboy 1
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Cartersville, Ga
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Re: New Guy with River Hawk B60
Reply #1 - Jul 2nd, 2012 at 10:45pm
 
Live shad is critical for the striper fishing I do.  Therefore, I needed to put my bait tank in the boat.  For the short term, a ratchet strap and 2 pieces of conduit would suffice.
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Thus far, it has worked, but I have a feeling that this boat is about to get cut up and modified a bit.

First problem:  Trailer.  When I bought this boat, there were 3 B60s that I considered, but two of them had trailers that didn't really fit the boat.  This one did, which coupled with the Honda outboard, was the biggest selling point.  The problem is, while the trailer fits the boat, it isn't setup correctly. 
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That cross bunk has got to go.  The 5' bunks are about to be changed for a set of 10' bunks.  This boat should be a piece of cake to load, even in river current, but that crossbunk kills it.  That is going to be project #1.

The gelcoat dings in the glass, pictured in the previous post are also a relatively high priority.  I'm thinking Marinetex on those, but am open to suggestions.  The cosmetic condition of the boat is quite unattractive, but frankly, that isn't a concern at the moment - the inside of the boat is what one does for himself, the outside is for the sake of other people. 

Beyond that, I'm still debating what else to do.  The battery needs to move aft for one.  Even flying solo, I don't think a bit more aft weight is hurting me, and when the motor is removed for the small ponds, I'll definitely need the weight aft, as I'll stand in the bow. 
That center box has also got to go.  It is about worthless as far as storage goes, and takes up far too much space.  Furthermore, I need the weight of the bait tank to come aft a bit, as the boat is nose heavy with the tank and a fishing buddy.

I'm planning on putting a foot control motor on the bow.  I also want to put one of my recessed pedal trays in the bow.  I do know that I have some waterlogged foam under the bow, deck, so I'll be doing some cutting to solve that problem.

My one hiccup is that I really have no desire to do any real fiberglass work.  It looks like I'm going to have to at some point, but I'm going to do as much of the work as possible out of aluminum (wouldn't be a 'real' boat, otherwise Grin).

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« Last Edit: Jul 2nd, 2012 at 10:46pm by Bassboy 1 »  

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fishingdave
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Re: New Guy with River Hawk B60
Reply #2 - Jul 3rd, 2012 at 8:43am
 
Hey Bassboy, when I saw the picture of the bait tank I knew for sure I met you at the Soup. I have been lurking on this forum getting ideas for what skiff to buy. Problem is, it has confused me. See you out on the lake.

Dave
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Bassboy 1
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Re: New Guy with River Hawk B60
Reply #3 - Jul 3rd, 2012 at 11:09am
 
Dave, you're more than welcome out on my boat if you want to see how the B60 works for you.

Dawson
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Bassboy 1
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Re: New Guy with River Hawk B60
Reply #4 - Aug 6th, 2012 at 6:25pm
 
Been a bit of time since I've updated this post.  Fortunately, or not, I've been very busy, so I haven't gotten as much done as I've wanted.

First thing I did was fix that trailer.  Those short bunks and the worthless cross bunk have been eliminated, replaced with a set of 10' bunks.  While I was at it, I flipped the axle to lower the trailer height.

Next, whomever rebuilt the transom designed it well - knee braces tie into both a strong section of hull and to the seat boxes - but executed poorly.  I developed a bit of de-lamination between the two layers of plywood.  I cut a slit in the top of the transom, and fixed that issue.  But, I wanted to go ahead and make the transom a little cleaner and more durable for the number of things that get mounted to it, so I cut this out of a scrap of sheet, and bent up a new transom cap.

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Then bolted everything back on.  I decided to reuse all of the existing bolt holes instead of drilling new ones, so the bolt holes aren't quite spaced as evenly as I'd have liked, but it seemed to be better than swiss cheesing the transom with new bolt holes.

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Bassboy 1
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Cartersville, Ga
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Re: New Guy with River Hawk B60
Reply #5 - Aug 6th, 2012 at 6:59pm
 
For me, an effective fishing boat has to have a foot controlled trolling motor.  I don't do very well with hand controlled units, and hate to have to take the clamp on unit off to drive down the road.  Therefore, I bought a used Minn Kota Maxxum 55 from a customer, and set about making a mount for it.

First step was to take off the unattractive existing mount.  After having walked into the thing a couple times, it had to go.  Then, the fiberglass bow cover had to go. 
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Then, another scrap of sheet, and we have a clone of the fiberglass bow mount...
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...almost.
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Ah, that's better.
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Now, we are back to where we started, though with a suitable material.  Next is to bend up and weld on a wedge to hold the motor level. 
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Unfortunately, I was in too much of a hurry (was trying to get the boat setup for a vacation), so the welds aren't the greatest.  Not going to fall off, by any stretch of the imagination, but not what I prefer. 
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And the motor is mounted.
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Uh, this isn't going to work.
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Now that's better.
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I do make and sell these pedal trays, and a couple years back, got a bad batch back from the powder coaters.  This is the last one I had left, and had been bouncing around the shop since then, getting more beat up.  No point letting it go to waste, I'll put it in this boat.

It does appear that the bow deck will be removed at some point.  I've absolutely hated the seat box/bench seat arrangement up there - makes moving around the boat very tough.  But, more importantly now that I've cut a hole in the deck, I've seen that there is a bit of rot underneath the deck, so it does need a rebuild.  Probably going to put it off to the winter, but it needs to happen.
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Bassboy 1
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Re: New Guy with River Hawk B60
Reply #6 - Aug 6th, 2012 at 7:23pm
 
Next, and the final thing for this round, is I had to get the battery in the stern.  The boat came with a 6 gallon fuel tank, which for a 15hp four stroke, provides a much longer than necessary range, which isn't a problem, except I need the space.

Thus, I got a 3 gallon one on clearance from Academy.  It fits underneath the rear bench seat, and I wanted the battery right behind it, for weight reasons, however I really wanted some sort of bulkhead between them, for fire safety reasons.  At the same time, I didn't want to restrict the flow of bilgewater either.

This is what I came up with.
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Of course, the seat pods in that boat aren't straight and square, so I had to scribe the sides of the bulkhead to fit them, so they are somewhat lacking in the parallel department.

Now, with it mounted, you can see that it provides a bulkhead separating the fuel and electricity, supports the battery weight on the floor of the boat, and still allows water to drain underneath. 

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Grommet on the left is for the onboard charger wires, and the right is for the fuel line.  There is a quick disconnect on the fuel tank, so I can still easily get the tank out for refueling.

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Fuel tank and onboard charger.  This is a 6 amp Minn Kota charger that a customer bartered for some shop labor.
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This is where the boat sits at this point.  There will be a lid over the battery, but I ran out of time, so for the trip, I strapped a lid from a battery box over the battery.

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SuperDave4x4
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Luling, Louisiana
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Re: New Guy with River Hawk B60
Reply #7 - Aug 6th, 2012 at 9:29pm
 
Great welds!!! I'm from Macon and used to fish the North Ga. creeks a fair amount.

Keep rolling the pics out!
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