14 ft alum flat bottom boat, need advice on engine match.

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By markinthemills - 5/8/2009 2:01:02 AM
OK Fellas, I need some help, I have what I believe to be a very old boat, seems to still be in good condition with the exception of one minor leak. I have'nt found any markings on the boat that would identify brand, or weight restrictions. It measures 14 ft long and 38 inches wide in the bottom of the boat, is this the correct way to measure the width? It measures 48 in the middle rib and 58 at the top. My biggest question is what size ob engine do I need to power this thing? If I were hunting lakes I would feel more comfortable going with a smaller engine but I hunt on the Tombigbee river most often. When flooded this river can produce stout currents and some boiling waters, but I still wanna hunt. What engine do you think it would take to push 3 guys wieghing in arond 250-300 lbs and gear, upstream about 5 miles, (Yeah, we grow big here.) Is it even safe? Also, about that leak, I'm thinking Bondo fiberglass resin will fix it just fine but anyone with some experience with this sort of thing might have a better idea so I'll be more than glad to accept some advice on this issue as well.



By phowler - 5/8/2009 6:40:04 AM
That is a short narrow boat, how high are the sides and transom, I would guess it is a short transom with low sides. 3 guys of that weight plus gear would overload that boat in my opinion, making it unsafe.

There should be a plate of some kind, generally in the transom area, that should give you some information on weight and HP limits.

As for the leak; is it a welded or riveted hull? If it were me I would have the leak fixed by welding, although your idea would probably work.

As for motor, are you wanting a standard outboard or are you thinking about a mud motor of some kind? On a boat that small I would think a 25HP outboard would be the max, maybe not even that big.

Your best bet to answer all your questions would be to take it to an aluminum boat dealer in your area, someone who knows flat bottom boats. They should be able to help you get it set up safely.

By lakeduckhunter - 5/8/2009 8:27:13 AM
I can tell you that I had a 14x36 jon boat with full floatation and it was rated for 625 pounds and a 20 hp motor.  If your boat has floatation in it then it should hold a 20 easily or even a 25 if you don't put a lot of other weight in the boat. 
By BlackLab227 - 5/8/2009 8:31:35 AM
You are suggesting trying to put 750-900 lbs. of passengers in a 14'x38" aluminum boat.  Add a motor, fuel, decoys, guns, and accessories and you're looking at ~1200 lbs. loaded.  Then you're suggesting going for a ride in a swift, flooded river.  Persumably in the dark.  And the boat leaks.  There is no doubt in my mind, not one single shred of doubt, that you will sink eventually.  Please don't do this.

You're heading in the right direction, though.  I would suggest looking for a boat that can carry ~1500 lbs., boat-motor-gear.  This will give you plenty of wiggle room for dogs, blinds, and all the other minutae that winds up in a duck boat.  Flooded rivers are no joke and you'll need plenty of motor to get around and away from all the junk that winds up in the river, like trees, refrigerators, cattle, etc.  Definitely go with the maximum allowable horsepower.

By SW Duck Hunter - 5/8/2009 9:13:16 AM
My requirements are about the same (me and two buddies, dog, decoys, blind, etc..) and I'm not even considering anything under 16'. Never sacrifice safety to save money. Not trying to scold just looking out for a fellow hunter. Try to find a similar boat and find out what the capacities are on it for comparison.
By Tbone - 5/8/2009 11:59:54 AM
I have a 14 ft wooden boat for duck hunting. 2 men, a dog and a dozen deks is all it will hold safely. 15 HP motor that takes high water with no problems. With one man and a dog it will actually go faster than I feel comfortable with.

No batteries, and only one small gas tank.

By SouthGA - 5/8/2009 1:00:15 PM
I have a 14 ft jon boat that we use for both freshwater fishing on a large river and duck hunting. I have an Evinrude 30 hp motor. Now this boat has a small console and steering wheel and live well which takes up some room and weight capacity, However I would never hunt more than 2 people and a dog. Also I think my weight maximum is 725lbs.
By woodsman695 - 5/8/2009 3:46:54 PM
Straight up, your going to be searched for by rescue personell with that set up.  If you want a motor, no more than a 9.9 or 15hp max.  Be smart when you get on flooded rivers and creeks.  The three of yall will get wet, and may never be able to enjoy each others company.

Sorry to dampen your ideas, but before you try this, talk to the lone young man in western KY that lost his three friends and dog due to the same thing this past duck season.  And it was on KY Lake with 4-5ft rollers!

By ducker - 5/8/2009 3:59:13 PM
I have a 14ft. long,70 inch beam(width across the widest part of the gunwales) heavy duty john boat with very high sides and the biggest motor that it's rated for is a 25HP.
I have a 25 on it and at top speed it scares me.
With dekes, dog and 2 buddies(2 of mine make 1 of yours) it is extremely tight.
Lay your boat on the ground, throw in your gear, invite your buddies over for a beer and all 3 of you climb in and sit down.You'll probably have your answer right there.
You need a bigger boat.
By Mason Dixon's Friend - 5/10/2009 1:07:48 AM
I agree. You're going to get wet. Or die. And, more importantly, not have fun doing it because you will be so cramped.
By franklin870 - 5/10/2009 3:46:00 PM
I have a 14X36 Alumacraft that is 2 years old the ID tag states 660lbs. max with a hp rating at 15hp. I have a 15 hp on it and it will fly. As far as leak, clean area good down to bare metal and apply a good marine epoxy. let dry and shoot a little primer over it.
By gooseslayer123 - 5/15/2009 8:13:07 AM
if i were you i would just invest in a new boat because 3 guys, of any weight, in a boat like that is crampped i have a 16 foot boat and its a pain to get three people in there...especially with gear
By kreutter - 7/3/2009 8:38:29 PM
I have a 14' 37" bottom with top with 59"beam from fisher marine battau bass 20" side height its rated at 18hp I  run a 15hp on it , but only 2 hunters ,2 doz. duck decoys and 12 geese decoys and a dog and it drafts about 6" of water and the 15hp will plain off with no problem. but big water AKA rough water and currents  demand respect .A semi V will handle bigger waves then a john boat but current has less efect on a flat bottom as for as tracking as a john will slide over it  This boat is rated at 725lbs weight capasity that I own.
By heavyhauler2255 - 7/6/2009 7:38:58 PM
Twin 250 Mercs.  Get where you're goin.
By Amish Amy - 7/8/2009 7:57:12 AM
The one thing I can suggest with that much stuff in a small boat is paid up life insurance.  I agree withte others seriously thats too small for what you are planning to do with it and put in it. I have a 16 foot v bottom and with 25 hp Johnson on it, a little too much motor for the boat except when I have it loaded up.  If I had to get another motor for it i would get a 15 or 20 max.   Be safe   
By duckman91 - 7/8/2009 8:16:59 AM
Not to make light of the situation or questions, but a certain quote from Jaws comes to mind: "I think we're gonna need a bigger boat." 
By smokin' joe - 7/8/2009 11:28:56 PM
My huntign buddy has a similar boat its a 1983 duracraft. Its 14 ft. not sure on width and has a 25 yamamama yeah its fast but with 2 teenagers, dogs and gear its freakin tight. If yall 3 boys get into that thing with or without gear. I want pics!!!! But for real This dose not sound safe to me. Get aleast a 16 ft boat with a 25-35 and youll be better off!
By puddy - 7/10/2009 7:11:03 PM
I say do it, if you want to illegally overload a boat and attempt a swift current with a motor about to die from exhaustion then go ahead. But as always be prepared to pay a decent fine. But to answer your question that tag  on your transom gives you the best advice anyone could give you.
By mjwendorf - 7/11/2009 9:43:43 AM
Dont do it.  If you cant get a bigger boat I would make a couple of trips to where you are hunting.  Take one guy out with some gear and come back and get your other friend and the rest of your gear.  May take longer but you will make it. 
By Artlow - 8/23/2013 11:09:55 AM
I have a very similar in size 14 foot aluminum boat.  It also leaks a little, and I only have a 4 hp on the back of it (it was given to me until I find a bigger motor) and that pushes me, my brother, a crab trap, and some fishing gear fine.  I live in Savannah where we have 8 foot tides, and when the water is moving at max speed, I can get it going to around ten mph against it.  By no means is it flying, but it does great for what I need.