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I am documenting the process of restoring my 1993 Hewes Bonefisher 16 originally owned by Cpt. Jared Raskob’s father of Silver Kings TV. 
      I picked this boat up in South Carolina last summer with out any knowledge of the boat’s history. Coincidentally I stumbled on a hewes bonefisher post on Instagram and recognized the font of the registration numbers along with a custom walk board on the trailer. “That’s my boat!”  I knew it. Turns out it has seen more fish and sites down in the Florida keys with Cpt. Jared and his father at the helm than I could ever claim.  
      I knew when I purchased the boat that one day I would want to update it and get it looking it’s best again, even better than new. The 1993 Hewes Bonefisher lappy had a solid 2006 Yamaha 90 2 stroke on the back and I ran it the rest of that summer no issues pushing 40-43 WOT. After a full service and carb rebuild, seals, thermostat, water pump, plugs it was running strong. No Jack plate but I did upgrade to Bennett’s electric trim tabs which work great. The hull is structurally in great shape but has been used for all the right reasons and it shows, faded Gelcoat, old patch jobs from holes drilled for different applications, stress cracks in the corners you get the idea. 

   Finally after searching for a proper reason to de rig my favorite boat to personally restore it I found it. A 2018 Mercury Pro XS 115.. it’s slightly used with under 100 hours, paid cash from a local on FB marketplace and no dealer install fees, back orders or taxes to deal with I knew I could make that work by selling (maybe regretfully) the Yamaha 90 2 smoke. 

      Once I had the bonefisher down to it’s “Bare Bones” stage with everything de-rigged it was time to get into the glass work of re coring the console and going around the transom and hull with fiberglass repairs. The console which used to look like a shotgun target is now completely filled and ready for new control/gauge cut outs and fresh awlcraft 2000 topcoat.

     All the fun and necessary tedious prep work is beginning on the hull itself using all awlgrip systems.  I have removed the front half of the bow cap to allow access to the fuel tank. I figure since I’m knowingly adding weight to the transom with the new Pro XS that I will have a larger capacity fuel tank made and will build a shelf for 2 trolling motor batteries in the forward compartment to balance it all out. Fuel tank is drawn up and I am getting it cut and welded this week and should have the hull flipped over for fairing and paint while it’s an empty shell ASAP.
    I will use this thread as a time line of the progress for the “Bare Bones” build. Hope this helps anyone who wants to tackle a similar task get started and is fun to follow along as I get into it!  

 

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Recent pics of the progress so far. The console in it’s current state sits in Awlgrip AwlQuick primer. Next will be 545 epoxy primer before topcoat. A few transom repairs and holes to fill. The front locker needs to be finished and fiberglass tank tray up fitted for the bigger tank. A lot more than meets the eye will go into this project however I will be as detailed as I can and look forward to any feed back, tips and tricks along the way.  

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Nice boat! Should be a blast with a 115. 

You shouldn't have any problems with the boat being unbalanced with the extra weight if you forego a jackplate and mount straight on transom. My 18 doesn't squat as much as some of the others bc of this despite having max hp. 

Im definitely interested in what you come up with for a shelf in the front compartment. I need to do one for my 18 as-well. Have fun with the build!

 

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On 11/10/2020 at 1:57 AM, Toeknee217 said:

Nice boat! Should be a blast with a 115. 

You shouldn't have any problems with the boat being unbalanced with the extra weight if you forego a jackplate and mount straight on transom. My 18 doesn't squat as much as some of the others bc of this despite having max hp. 

Im definitely interested in what you come up with for a shelf in the front compartment. I need to do one for my 18 as-well. Have fun with the build!

 

So the jack plate helps prevent the stern from squatting? What set back are you running on your 18? Thanks! 

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On 11/10/2020 at 10:21 AM, lurem said:

Another idea would be to make it a side mount console instead of a center mount since you have the console removed. Might give you a little more room? 

What other ideas are you thinking about?

Great project!

That’s definitely an option to side mount the console. I feel like the console is small enough to walk around when centered and looks balanced but offset would be cool too 🤔 I’ll check out what it looks like before making the call. 
 My other idea that I’m debating now is since I’m having a new tank made anyway, is to re design it to fit under the floor between the stringers. That would allow a lower center of gravity and free up a ton of room in the forward hatch. My friends’s 16 red fisher has its tank placed under the deck. I wonder why the bonefisher has its tank all the way up front?

I don’t have enough specs to go off of to determine how it will effect the ride. Adding 2 batteries up front counters the 90lb difference in motor weight. However, the tank placement/capacity is crucial to balance and if I only knew for certain it would improve the ride I would go ahead and take the next step to cut the floor and have a tank made to fit there. 

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I completely removed the fiberglass tray the tank was sitting in and leveled out the floor with the grinder. I set the old tank off the ground and moved it as far forward as possible until the aluminum corners hit the hull sides. This gives me a reference as to how much longer for-aft I can make the new tank with keeping the same profile shape. The old one is 13in long for-aft and there is clearance to make the new one 16in. 3in doesn’t seem like much but over the full 42 1/4in width by 16in depth it will give me a little over a cubic foot more volume equaling about 8 gallons more fuel capacity. ( all this depending on trashing the idea of putting it under the floor lol) 

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27 minutes ago, 93bonefisher said:

So the jack plate helps prevent the stern from squatting? What set back are you running on your 18? Thanks! 

No I mean the opposite. The jackplate moves the heavy four stroke's weight even further back making it squat more. The jackplate would be useful to run a little shallower but would increase draft. I actually did this same tank job and have it posted here if you'd like to reference. I did not go with a larger tank because I wanted to be able to access the drain in the front compartment incase it ever got clogged. 

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Oh I see I misread that about the jack plate. Hmm I do love the idea of having the control to react to different conditions and water depth by using a jack plate. 

As for the tank job, I’d love to see what you did. To allow access to the drain up front I will raise the tank by making risers out of G10 and glass them to the floor then have L brackets welded to the tank that can be screwed into the risers. Tank will be secure without needing that tray and out of any standing water without blocking the drain. 

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There's about 114 LB difference between your old motor and the new one.  The earlier post mentioning a jack plate was advising against adding one because, a jack plate moves the weight of the motor further back, thereby causing additional stern squat.  I like the idea of the fuel tank under the cockpit floor, forward of the console, but would only install it there if I planned to mount two trolling motor batteries where the fuel tank used to be in the forward compartment.  Best advice I've heard when setting up a skiff, with a heavier 4-stroke outboard, is to make weight balance and center of gravity a priority.  On the other hand, I also think that too much weight (like fuel tank AND batteries) in the forward hatch can reduce performance and cause the boat to ride nose-heavy.  All that drag with so much of the hull in contact with the water, is not fuel efficient either.  It's a fine line, and a balancing act (haha) to get it just right.

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1 minute ago, geeviam said:

There's about 114 LB difference between your old motor and the new one.  The earlier post mentioning a jack plate was advising against adding one because, a jack plate moves the weight of the motor further back, thereby causing additional stern squat.  I like the idea of the fuel tank under the cockpit floor, forward of the console, but would only install it there if I planned to mount two trolling motor batteries where the fuel tank used to be in the forward compartment.  Best advice I've heard when setting up a skiff, with a heavier 4-stroke outboard, is to make weight balance and center of gravity a priority.  On the other hand, I also think that too much weight (like fuel tank AND batteries) in the forward hatch can reduce performance and cause the boat to ride nose-heavy.  All that drag with so much of the hull in contact with the water, is not fuel efficient either.  It's a fine line, and a balancing act (haha) to get it just right.

Your right about it being a fine line. I don’t want to over do it with too much weight up front. Also I don’t want to sink the stern with the pro xs lol. Any thoughts on why hewes put the red fisher tank under the floor forward of the console but the bonefisher tank up front ?  

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2 hours ago, 93bonefisher said:

When you had your new tank made did they use the same fittings off the old tank or did you find new ones? From your post of the new tank the fittings look the same ?

If Im understanding your question correctly the new tank fittings are all new. All the fittings are welded except the pickup fitting is a screw on.  They copied the fittings and their locations. Your tank manufacturer should be able to do so.  I THINK most boat fuel tanks use the same sizes and angled fittings. All I did differently was the angled brackets so I could bolt the tank down 

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I had to take a break from the tank project and wanted to make other progress so I am focusing on repairing and glassing up the under gunnel rod holders. The carpet originally covering the foam has been long gone and all the top pieces were cracked and de laminated. 
I re made the pieces out of foam and will glue them up and glass back over.

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  • 4 months later...

@Rangerdriver2510 When the tank is out you can see clear under the deck and see the stringers. Everything is dry and solid so no need to go any further. The front part of the cap was all I needed to pull to get the tank out. What kind of shape is your sons boat in? Any plans for restoration or run it as is? 

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My sons boat has been fished no doubt but everything works and so far has been very dependable. We do not plan to restore it. In about 18 months we plan to sell it and buy him a new one. He plans to try the redfish tour once his college is done and he starts a career job. 

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