July 13, 2009
Me, my mom, and my daughters out on Hicks Lake
I recently got a good deal on little 11' fishing boat, which came with a little 3.3HP motor. I've always wanted a tiny boat - just something I can take out on a local lake and troll around on. When I found this on craigslist, I figured it would be perfect. Shortly after I picked it up, I threw it onto my little flat bed trailer, strapped it down with my ratcheting tie-downs, and drove out to the lake. Unfortunately, I didn't give much thought to how much tension the sides of the boat could take as I tied it down, and about a block away from the lake, the tie-down going from port to starboard (that's left-to-right for you non-boat people) collapsed the side of the boat. The break looked like a shark had taken a bite out of the boat... so I re-did the tie-downs (only tying down the front and back), drove the boat back home. After a bit of jig-saw action, a sheet of aluminum, some nuts and bolts, and some roofing tar, I got it patched up. As you can see in the photo, even with the boat full, the patch is well above the water line.
Anyhow, I never pictured myself to be a fishing kind of guy, chiefly because I can't catch fish (I lack both the patience and the know-how), but also because I've always associated fishing with game fishing, which makes no sense to me. It's similar to my inability to understand people who hunt for trophies. I don't get putting a deer head on a wall. I just want to catch food. I want to go to a lake and bring home dinner for the family, and know that it was done with little more than a fishing pole and a worm.
I enjoy sitting out on the boat, but I think it's a little large for a personal fishing vessel. This one is big enough for my entire family, but I have a larger motor boat (currently not running well, but I'll get that squared away) for family outings. I'd like a tiny boat - something just big enough for me and my fishing gear - something like a mouseboat, only a little larger and with a place to stick a motor.
So... my plan is to sell this 11' boat and use the money to buy the materials necessary to build a smaller boat. I should be able to build a mouseboat for under $30, provided I find some cheap glue, sealant, and paint. Hopefully this little project doesn't leave me too wet.