Pros and Cons to restoring/customizing 1991 Johnsen 14'10"

Discussion in 'Boat Yard Basics' started by Carivera, Mar 19, 2017 at 10:58 PM.

  1. Carivera

    Carivera Active Member

    I am torn and need some guidance. I currently have a 1991 Johnsen 14'10" and while I like the boat, I would like to modernize it much like a Native SUV by Ankona. I have decent woodworking skills and fiberglass skills, but have not tackled a project this big. Should I try to take it on, or fish what I have and save up for a Native SUV or something comparable. Does anyone have any insight or past experiences, good, bad or indifferent? Thank you in advance.
  2. yobata

    yobata I Love!

    I re-built a 1967 Johnsen 14'. It took a while and that means not as much fishing, but I'm super happy with the results! Good luck
    Carivera likes this.

  3. DuckNut

    DuckNut Brandon, FL

    As a laymen you will be paying retail for all of your materials and that cost will be high. If you buy a couple gallons of epoxy you will in essence double the cost of your boat and that is before any other expenditures for the re-do. And somewhere you need to include the hours for your labor.

    With that being said and you now a little more aware that you will spend more money in rehabbing the ol' girl than you could ever sell it for - there is so much personal satisfaction in rebuilding your skiff. If you plan and design correctly to what fits your needs and build it properly you will get many years of life out of it and still be thousands of dollars ahead of buying a newer one.

    My personal opinion is that you like the hull and it is nearly the identical hull to the Native so all you are really doing is putting a different cap on it. I say go and breathe new life into her and make it the way you want it.
    Carivera, yobata and State fish rob like this.
  4. WhiteDog70810

    WhiteDog70810 Mostly Harmless

    Based on you description, this boat has no serious structural issues and I assume it has a two or three thwart layout. Correct me if I am wrong.

    First question; in your heart of hearts, will you be happy with this boat set up like you imagine it. If you can't absolutely say "yes" without hesitation or doubt, don't risk wasting good fishing time and messing up a good boat. Save up for a boat that fits your needs and fish this one in the meantime.

    If the answer is "yes" or if the boat has any serious problems that you haven't mentioned, you have more skills than most of us had before our first rebuild/build, so jump on in. As stated, you will not increase the value of your boat, so don't think of a rebuild as an investment. Understand that you are only doing this for the fun of it.

    Attempt to keep the rebuild simple and incremental. When the fish are biting, it sucks to have an otherwise good boat turn into a perpetual project because you gutted it in an initial fit of enthusiasm. Break the rebuild into bite-size chunks if possible and always have the goal of getting back on the water ASAP. If necessary, repair big ticket structural items like a rotten transom/rotten stringers/cracked chines first, then get back on the water. Add/repair the sole after that if you want/need to. Later, add a front deck. Eventually add a rear deck. Get to superficial issues like paint and gel coat repairs when you get to them.

    I've seen guys gut small Johnson skiffs and extend them to 16'. That is too much down time IMO unless you have another boat to use in the meantime. If you want a 16' boat, just buy one.

    Carivera likes this.
  5. DuckNut

    DuckNut Brandon, FL

    Forget WhiteDog...hop to it! :)

    WD has valid points that I was too lazy to type.
  6. Dadvocate

    Dadvocate If it ain't broke tweak it a little....

    If it is on your bucket list go for it. Fishes one or two people nicely. Adding front and rear decks make these boats fun to fish off. My only complaint is doesn't haul all my camping gear in one trip.:(
    Carivera likes this.
  7. Jared T.

    Jared T. I Love!

    I am one of the guys who added 1.5' to the back of the boat, sponsons. Was it a lot of work? YES. Was it worth it? I don't know. It better be. Am I happy I did it? Yes, i believe this boat will perform awesome. I got the hull for free and it is my first rebuild. The boat was in much worse shape than originally thought and I have had to go around and patch a bunch of stupid mistakes made by previous owner which has extended build time. I think the biggest question you need to ask yourself is, do you have enough time or will you make enough time? These things are very time consuming. Half way through I contemplated going to put a down payment on a boat build and cutting my loses with it.
    Carivera likes this.
  8. Carivera

    Carivera Active Member

    Nothing is wrong with the hull and it wasn't on my bucket list, but after watching youtube videos and seeing the rebuilds on here I think it is now. I think I am going to start next winter. I don't think i'll be extending it though.
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