Hey everyone, there has been plenty discussions on converting a bucket boat into a self-bailer over the past few weeks. Well I recently purchased a 13’ Hyside that was converted into a self-bailer, from “The Boat People” in Cali. I was skeptical at first because there is not a lot of info on significance both financially and physically on the conversion.
Well when I got the boat I was very happy, it’s a very stout Hyside with 20” tubes and the floor is nice and firm. The only thing that worried when I first got it put together was that the floor was very tight against side tubes which may make it bail really really slow! Here’s what it looks like:
Well I was able to take the take a few laps on the Lake Fork last weekend and at the first of four mellow class IV rapids, (Surprise) the boat was completely filled with water as the crew and I were practically swimming inside the boat. To my surprise the boat bailed fairly quickly and was empty within about 45 seconds!
On another note, The boat tracked like a Bushman. I would think this has to do with trapping a small amount of water between the old bucket floor and the new Jack’s floor(along same idea of an Aire floor). The Bucket floor had holes punched in the side much like a SB with a non-lace in floor.(THE ORGINAL FLOOR WAS NEVER REMOVED). The new floor is attached to the bucket floor with a lacing strip running down the middle of each floor. With the lacing strip and the thwarts the floor doesn’t float up at all, I Haven’t tried to float it without the thwarts because I haven’t built my frame yet. Here are a few pics of the floor set up.
Finishing up, the Floor is generally Perfect, it fits like a glove, its from JPW, and its nice and firm. Molly Dog is one happy girl sitting high and dry.
Hope this helps anyone considering doing the conversion, let me know if you have any questions.