Resurrecting GnarTooth

Louisiana Fishing Reports Forums Boating Resurrecting GnarTooth

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  • #1782
    Devin
    Keymaster

    GnarTooth is an old 15′ flat boat I have had most of my life. My father had her built when I was just a kid. He didn’t have a lot of cash to throw at a boat, so he got a low-cost (but effective) solution to get his kids out on the water. I “inherited” GnarTooth and still have her today (and today I turned 30). The boat was built by Thomas Boat Works in Lacombe but I doubt they are still around. Either way, the boat is built like a brick sh*thouse and makes for a good marsh fishing platform. I spent YEARS fishing out of it catching limits of specks and reds. Of course, there is a lot of sentimental value invested into the boat as well.

    This thread is, for all intents and purposes, a build thread chronicling the history of this boat. Hopefully you will get some ideas for your own boat and, of course, I am always looking forward to the feedback from all of you.

    There will be more to follow!

    P.S. The attached pic is from the early 90s.

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    #1802
    Devin
    Keymaster

    The motor that used to be on GnarTooth was an old 1993 Johnson 50 2-stroke. It was loud, stinky and very dependable. It had a good life and it is time a 4-stroke engine gets put on that boat! 4-strokes are the only way to go. They are quiet, clean and burn far less fuel. In fact, look at this performance bulletin to get an idea as to what numbers we are looking at:

    http://yamahaoutboards.com/sites/default/files/bulletins/bulletin_4stroke_midthrustjetport_turbo-pntn2_xpr_h51_f70la_2011-07-20_alm.pdf

    This boat is 1.5′ longer than GnarTooth, which is 15.5′. I have no idea what GnarTooth weighs, but I imagine that once she is built out she will be about the same, probably less.

    I am looking at the Yamaha F70 because of its light weight, that and it is more powerful and has INCREDIBLE fuel consumption numbers. We are looking at 6-9 MPG whereas with the Johnson I was not getting anywhere that much, maybe 4 at the most.

    The F90 simply weighs too much. I don’t think it is too much HP for the boat given the Coast Guard’s hull rating calculator.

    So right now I am keeping an eye out for a great deal on an F70! If it is good enough I will hop on it now, but if not I can wait as I still have more work to do on the boat before a motor can be mounted on it.

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    #1858
    Devin
    Keymaster

    Today I got the fuel tank and installation kit in. I’ll be building the center console around this tank. It is a 19 gallon tank and should give the boat a 130 mile range.

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    #1863
    Devin
    Keymaster

    For years GnarTooth had a wooden deck atop the aluminum latitudinal supports. In 2009 I had an aluminum deck fabricated, but it was never welded in. It was just screwed in and, you guessed it, created a lot of noise any time the boat hit any semblance of a wave. BLAM KABOOM BAM!! lol

    I had come up with a lot of crazy ideas for the deck. Ideas like welding it airtight and filling the empty space with marine grade foam or pool noodles. Then I thought about it some more and realized that what I really wanted was a “simple stupid
     solution. I don’t like pretty boats. I hate them. They are too much maintenance, like needy women. So I had the aluminum deck welded in but there is still space underneath it. Simple is key otherwise the word “boat” will become an acronym that stands for Break Out Another Thousand.

    For this job I enlisted the help of Vito Neal, who is also an avid inshore fisherman and makes a living as a welder. I had him weld in the deck, create big pods to accommodate the four stroke I want (the Yamaha F70 is about 80lbs heavier than the Johnson 50 previously on GnarTooth), and build a neat sight fishing stand to employ on the bow of the boat. He also welded in some holes in the side of the boat that were previously used for a livewell. I do not intend to use live bait in this boat, so I removed the old livewell when I removed the side console. Gotta keep things simple!


    He did one hell of a job. He even reinforced the deck on the bow and made some corrections to the length of the deck so it lined up better with the latitudinal supports. The stand is perfect, being lightweight and strong. It is 4ft high. I don’t really NEED anything higher than that…I am sure he can weld on some legs to make it higher if I want it to. Anyways, the boat is as strong as it will ever be. I am really happy with Vito’s work and he comes highly recommended. 

    Right now he is welding up a center console for GnarTooth. I plan on putting in a 19 gallon tank (ought to give me about 130 miles range…more than this boat will ever need). The trick will be to figure out where the weight needs to go. 

    I did this by taking the boat to a nearby launch in Pearl River and launched the boat deep enough so she would float on her own. I strapped coolers where the respective heavy things inside the boat will go, like the gas tank and motor. I then filled those coolers up with enough water to simulate the respective weight. Wow! Those pods did one hell of a job!! (Vito, if I could kiss you over the Internet I would)

    Just look at the pictures. You can see the scumline of the old waterline for reference. 



    I am very happy with this setup, but there is more work to do before she will be able to fish. Right now I am waiting for the gas tank to come in and the center console to get done so I can rig up the navigation lights, switches, horn, steering, etc. I will be sure to keep y’all posted!

    BTW, you can call/text Vito at 985-768-7620

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    #1896
    Joe
    Participant

    I am in need of a tower and keep up with Vito on FB. I will be giving him a call. The new set up looks great. The pontoons on the rear really picked the boat up! The Flying Tiger Shark mouth tribute gets it done…she’s a killer. Cannot wait for the next installment on this build.

    #1908
    Devin
    Keymaster

    lol thanks Joe. Vito is getting the center console done as I type this. He is good to go!

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    #1988
    Devin
    Keymaster

    Ok, I finally got around to getting that center console done. I dragged my feet on this one. Me and my girlfriend broke up so that took up some of my free time. It is what it is, at least I have more time to fish now. Once I got the measurements Vito got this done right away. It is awesome. Great job bro!!

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    #2084
    Devin
    Keymaster

    I have been working a lot on GnarTooth whenever time permits. So far I have nearly completed the center console. The idea is to have it wired together and ready for Vito to weld it to the deck of the boat. I got a Moeller 19 gallon gas tank to go with it and I am estimating the boats range to be 130 miles, which is way overkill. The center console is BIG and designed to fit around the gas tank, but it’s height and width is also meant to be ergonomical (steering wheel height is good for when sitting down AND standing) and accommodate electronics like VHF, Lowrance, etc.

    Wiring is key guys. I can’t stand fuse blocks and I cannot stand crappy wiring. Everything has been wired using marine grade insulated wire (read: thicker insulation) and adhesive heat shrink terminals, butt connectors, etc. I knew I did not have the time to create the switch panel I wanted, so I had one built to spec by New Wire Marine. http://newwiremarine.com/%5B/url%5D They create custom switch panels that are backlit and have breakers, not fuses. Fuse blocks are ten different shades of worthless. You have to carry spare fuses and we all know those sit somewhere in the boat and rust.

    Anyways, I am pleased with New Wire Marine and the work they did. The switch panel is great and I feel it is better than what I could have done. I paid $344 for a 10 switch panel with breakers. I feel every dollar was worth it. It comes with each power cable labeled and cables for power and ground to battery.

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    #2262
    Devin
    Keymaster

    I am kinda disappointed in myself. For years, ever since I was a young teenager, I have been a moderator on one forum or another. I would never have thought that one day I would have my own forum and not stalk it like I did on others for so many years. Anyways, I keep up but when it comes to this build thread I have skipped a bunch of updates. That’s because every free minute I had went towards building GnarTooth! I am a crazy person when it comes to working on that boat because my happiness is tied directly to my ability to hit the water and go fishing! Sooooo, we went from “here is the center console and a switch panel” to “GnarTooth is done and broken in”. lol

    So since my last update I have spent time ferreting out great deals on equipment like trolling motors, anchors, etc. I ended up adding these items to GnarTooth:

    CMC High Speed Jackplate
    Minn Kota 80lb thrust Co Pilot (not iPilot)
    Minn Kota Quick Release Bracket
    BayStar Hydraulic Steering
    Some $70 steering wheel with a rubber grip and speed knob
    Finger Flex jackplate trim switch (I mounted it straight into the console, I did not use their mounting bracket that goes over the steering helm as it is kinda tchotchke)
    Power Pole Pro Series II 8ft shallow anchor
    Yamaha black painted stainless steel 13.5″ x 16″ 3-blade prop

    I had an old Minn Kota Co-Pilot sitting in the attic. Four years ago I broke the shaft completely in half (yeah, they’re not TRULY indestructible), insurance replaced it and I tossed the dead trolling motor somewhere it wouldn’t be in the way. I dragged it out of the attic and took it to Trolling Motors Unlimited in Chalmette. Ben, the owner, has done work for me before and he is the best in the area. He comes highly recommended!! He replaced the broken shaft and was able to replace the smaller components and make the trolling motor sing.

    I got an excellent deal on eBay for a Power Pole Pro Series II. It’s an 8 ft anchor and I had it shipped to the house. It’s pretty neat to look at new toys on the garage floor! Ha ha ha ha!! I love it!! I removed the spar when installing it to ensure it will have enough clearance when deployed.

    I finished the wiring for the center console, ran throttle cables, fuel line, hydraulic lines and electrical wires. Using a plumbing snake really helped out in this regard. Then I had Vito weld it to the deck. Good job, Vito! I have to pat myself on the back for taking the time to measure out where the steering wheel and throttle would go. Driving GnarTooth is like riding a bike with ape hangers. It’s really comfortable leaning on the binnacle and steering wheel. The jackplate switch is also located on the port side of the steering wheel, just under it, so it is easy to operate the jackplate.

    Now as for the motor….I have spent months waiting for a STUPENDOUS deal on a Yamaha F70 to come through. It never did. It most likely never will. Every morning I wake up I check Craigslist for just about everything from New Jersey to Texas looking for an opportunity to snag a minimally used F70 for half the value due to a divorce or whatever. Well, that’s just unrealistic. Guys, Yamahas keep their value pretty well. If you look at used F70s and F90s they aren’t going for much less than a brand new motor. Realizing this, I made a few calls to different dealers and found the dealer with the best price and motors in stock was Braux and Daigle Marine in Pierre Part. I hauled ass there in my F250 (it’s a two hour drive) , cut them a check, had them load the motor up and then I hauled ass back home. I unloaded the 250lb motor by myself (How you may ask? The answer: very carefully. ) and got to work right away that afternoon.

    This was all on Monday and by Wednesday I had the motor broken in and running tests to figure my new center of gravity, weight distribution, top speed, hole shot, etc. The install was pretty straightforward: bolt the engine to the jackplate, hookup battery cables (pos wire to starter, neg wire to motor casing), throttle cables, steering and fuel line, hookup harness, add crankcase oil, pump fuel, start engine.

    First off, let me give you my impression of the Yamaha F70. The motor is a fuel miser and is incredibly quiet. It is unreal how quiet it is. When it is just idling it is hard to tell it is on. The sound of water rushing around the hull is louder than the motor itself when on step. I don’t have fuel consumption numbers but it is going to be something ridiculous, probably 8 miles to the gallon.

    The pods could be a little bigger. When it comes to pod flotation I don’t think there is something as pods that are too big. While she sits pretty well in the water it still seems like she is kinda stern heavy. This would cause her to porpoise at higher speeds Now, this is without any weight up front (trolling motor batteries, cooler, etc.) so I quickly simulated that weight with a cooler and 5 gallon bucket to fill it with water. Putting about 300 pounds up front solved my problem.

    The boat is not COMPLETELY done. It still needs very basic things like rod holders, trolling motor batteries, etc. But for now the craft is seaworthy and can get me out there. From here on out, the hardest part will be finishing the boat up when I really want to go fishing instead!

    The experience has been a great one and I am proud to say I was able to install a motor myself. Guys, I covered a lot in a short amount of time. If there is anything you have questions about then just shoot here. I know you may have your own install hurdles to overcome and you can learn from my experiences. That’s what this forum is all about.

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    #2269
    Devin
    Keymaster

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    #2693
    john b
    Participant

    Capt. Devin, did you ever get speed and fuel numbers on your boat once you got running properly?

    #2694
    Devin
    Keymaster

    Yes, top speed is 35, cruise is 24. At 24 I get about 10mpg, but that is a rough number.

    In all honesty, the fishing right now is some of the best and anything having to do with the boat has been put on the back burner. lol

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    #5726
    Charles
    Participant

    I hope it’s ok to ask questions on an old post . What is the purpose of the pods on the back ? I have almost the same boat size wise . I’m a big guy I weigh 300 pounds and anything that will make the boat float better is a plus to me .

    #5727
    Devin
    Keymaster

    It’s absolutely fine to bring back old threads as long as the post is relevant.

    The pods are added flotation used to offset the weight of the motor. The F70 on there weighs significantly more than the 2-stroke that used to inhabit the transom. Pods help the boat plane off and funnel more water towards the motor.

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    #5739
    Michael coulter
    Participant

    Devin how about helping a old friend out and help me rewire my boat lol. It is soooo bad. I’m not going to mess with it just yet but it needs to be done. I’ll try and get a picture up. You will be like O.o.

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