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Lawn chairs on a boat??

Old 09-01-2012, 07:21 AM
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Default Lawn chairs on a boat??

Been getting an old 18 ft Starcraft Holiday aluminum boat ready to use for fishing. has a 100 HP Johnson and IMHO probably is overpowered. factory says no, I say yes.. Boat is VERY light.. Thats why I bought it, towability..
I pulled those incredibly heavy, soggy, back to back seats out and probably ditched 150 pounds between them.
Here's my plan.. I was just going to mount 1 helm seat, [pedestal type] behind the steering wheel, and simply carry a few good, folding aluminum frame lawn chairs instead of installing additional permanently fixed seats.. Boat has a solid, wide flat floor, good carpet. and in my mind would be perfectly safe. The chairs are light, have a wide stance, and I have seen a lot of people in this type chair while riding in boats.. It seems a logical choice for a boat that is strictly for fishing.. Mostly the Finger Lakes here in NY state, and perhaps a half dozen trips a year to Raritan Bay, at times perhaps 1/2-1 mile offshore in good conditions. Never more than 5-6 miles from the ramp, and I also have a 6 HP kicker mounted, w/separate 3 gal fuel tank for added peace of mind. I don't go out in conditions my boat can't handle, and I put her on plane and back off.. I am much more into economy than speed.. I will be going with 1 or 2 guys, never more than 3 total... Do you feel these chairs would be unsafe in a light boat??.. It has substantial freeboard btw, and is solidly built like all the old Starcraft boats were.
Of course I can install 3 pedestal seats, but the lawn chairs seem like a better idea to me,, Cheap, light, can move them around to suit drift conditions while fishing, etc. I would appreciate your thoughts... , btw, no kids on board at any time...bob
Old 09-01-2012, 07:33 AM
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The title of this thread sounds like the beginning of a typical Jeff Foxworthy joke!
Old 09-01-2012, 07:35 AM
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All kidding aside. The chairs would be fine when the boat is not being powered, but the real issue is how are people going to securely sit when it's moving?
Old 09-01-2012, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by kunzman View Post
The title of this thread sounds like the beginning of a typical Jeff Foxworthy joke!
Y'all ain't gonna believe this.
Old 09-01-2012, 09:51 AM
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The main criteria for max HP on small craft is how much weight the transom/stern can support.

I'm pretty sure that lawn chairs on a moving boat will quickly prove to be a bad idea. If you want to be able to clear up deck space try what I did when I rebuilt my deck. I used trolling seats. The bases are nearly flush to the deck. They do have an advisory not to be used over 5mph but I believe that is intended for use in exposed area like the stern or bow fishing positions. I used them for over 14 years without problems.

My installation used nuts and bolts because I replaced a section of the deck. If you don't want to raise your deck, you will need to measure carefully so they are mounted where there is adequate depth for shaft. Heavy wood screws and some 4200/5200 will probably do fine.

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The mounts on the left are under the lounge seat but I could place up to 4 in this area if I wanted to. If I decided I wanted open space during a trip I pulled up the seats and piled them in one spot.
Old 09-01-2012, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Kamper View Post
The main criteria for max HP on small craft is how much weight the transom/stern can support.

I'm pretty sure that lawn chairs on a moving boat will quickly prove to be a bad idea. If you want to be able to clear up deck space try what I did when I rebuilt my deck. I used trolling seats. The bases are nearly flush to the deck. They do have an advisory not to be used over 5mph but I believe that is intended for use in exposed area like the stern or bow fishing positions. I used them for over 14 years without problems.

My installation used nuts and bolts because I replaced a section of the deck. If you don't want to raise your deck, you will need to measure carefully so they are mounted where there is adequate depth for shaft. Heavy wood screws and some 4200/5200 will probably do fine.


The mounts on the left are under the lounge seat but I could place up to 4 in this area if I wanted to. If I decided I wanted open space during a trip I pulled up the seats and piled them in one spot.
I've seen this type of setup from the factory on some tracker boats and it seems like a good way to go. I would not use lawn chairs, hit a big wake, take off fast, etc and someone could fall over. Also when not in use they would be prone to coming out if not secured.As an alternative you could consider beanbags, though they're hard to stow on a small boat.
Old 09-02-2012, 05:06 AM
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I would find something other than lawn chairs. How many times have you seen someone sit down too fast and hard and the dinky chair collapses? Now think about running along and hitting waves/wakes repeatedly with a chair made of thinwalled cheap metal and exposed to high humidity and possibly salt.

I knew a guy (he was a big dude) who was sitting in a portable fighting chair while the boat was running, the frame (aluminum) cracked, he ended up falling backwards and got a nasty concussion from the deal.

The beanbags are much safer, granted they are space eaters, but if you're not using the boat for fishing they could be very convienent for lounging aroud the boat while on the hook.
Old 09-02-2012, 05:14 AM
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BEAN BAGS YES, I said BEAN BAGS, I've used them for people to sit in when we go 20-30 miles off shore and everyone has always loved them....
Old 09-02-2012, 05:24 AM
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My parents tried lawn chairs in their old 19' runabout when I was a kid. Total failure. Just the rocking action of the boat while drifting was enough to cause fatigue failure of the chair frame. Both chairs collapsed with whoever was sitting in them on the first voyage.
Old 09-02-2012, 05:33 AM
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It's O.K. to use lawnchairs on a boat as long as you don't carry passengers that may be interested in a lawsuit if they get hurt!
Old 09-02-2012, 06:17 AM
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My wife rides in one of these all the time when we are cruising. I wouldn't let anyone ride in one going offshore tho.
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Old 09-02-2012, 06:20 AM
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Like this??
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Old 09-02-2012, 07:23 AM
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They just have to be properly secured as pictured below. Of course this economized even further by getting rid of that unwieldy aluminum hull:

Old 09-02-2012, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by kunzman View Post
The title of this thread sounds like the beginning of a typical Jeff Foxworthy joke!
That's funny, I don't care who you are!

Beanbag chairs!!
Old 09-02-2012, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by parrott View Post
My wife rides in one of these all the time when we are cruising. I wouldn't let anyone ride in one going offshore tho.
WOW i love your boat!! you could do a thread on it all by itself.
Old 09-03-2012, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by philgorp View Post
WOW i love your boat!! you could do a thread on it all by itself.

Thanks. I built it this past winter.
Old 09-03-2012, 06:31 AM
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Few things...

Parrot your boat looks awesome!

To the OP, ditch the folding chairs and get some bean bags.
Old 09-03-2012, 07:17 AM
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IMO this is the best portable boat chair available - this chair is made by Garelick and you can get an optional rod gimble if you want to make it into a fighting chair.

The key advantage to these chairs is that they have eight (8) feet on the deck. The disadvantage is that the feet are plastic and the chair will slide around a little in rough seas., To solve this problem you can swap out the plastic feet with rubber ones, found at your local hardware store - the ones used for walking cane tips, and with 8 rubber feet the chair will not slip around. The feet in this picture are the original plastic feet.
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Old 09-03-2012, 03:23 PM
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Lawn chairs are way too light.
I'd lean more towards something beefier like pictured in this sweet rig below:

Old 09-03-2012, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by First Light View Post
IMO this is the best portable boat chair available - this chair is made by Garelick and you can get an optional rod gimble if you want to make it into a fighting chair.

The key advantage to these chairs is that they have eight (8) feet on the deck. The disadvantage is that the feet are plastic and the chair will slide around a little in rough seas., To solve this problem you can swap out the plastic feet with rubber ones, found at your local hardware store - the ones used for walking cane tips, and with 8 rubber feet the chair will not slip around. The feet in this picture are the original plastic feet.
Broke 3 of these before we gave up on portables Get Bean Bags

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