Madwave

Runabout to Cuddy Cabin conversation

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 Hi there guys, few months ago I was able to land a good deal on a 2010 500 Discovery Brooker boat. Overall I’ve always loved runabouts given their versatility and thought my family would loved it as much as I would but they don’t go fishing as much as I do or they like to stay in enclosed waters besides my dog 😂 so I’m at the point of thinking of a cuddy cabin conversation. Now before anyone suggest selling the boat and getting a cuddy/half cabin I know it doesnt involve all the hassle but the reason why I want this conversation is because I love this boat and I can’t literally point out anything that’s wrong with it. All my other boats were around 4-4.5 metre in size and wasn’t able to handle swell at all, given their draft and hull wasn’t deep and/or boat wasn’t stable enough. I’d like to know if such conversation is possible or if it does exist I know people whose done Center console conversations on cuddy/half cabins and runabouts but didn’t see a runabout to cuddy cabin conversation.

 

ps: Did see fiberglass runabouts converted into cuddy/half cabin but for this topic my boat is a 5m aluminium.

 

Boat pics:

https://imgur.com/oaxGVyl
 

https://imgur.com/RlouJHN

 

https://imgur.com/x1s15ld
 

 

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Have you considered a wavebreaker or slightly larger? Interesting concept tho.

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Hi mate, actually not a bad idea... can I installthem on aluminium boats? Also can I move the steering up by cutting the dash out so I can have some space to sleep aswell.

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Yep, can defs do an ally wave breaker. Just need to size and shape to your suited height. Metal fab shop should be fine for the task

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Question-how much more will the family really come out? And is it worth losing fishing space for an extra trip or two a year. By the time you whack a cabin on a 5m boat youve made it harder and more expensive to tow, slower and less fuel efficient on the water and a complete pain to fish from. If your primary use is fishing you will regret anything that takes away deck space

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It already has a bimini and clears - I am at a bit of a loss as to how much more protection you would need, other than side clears.

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Thanks @Busy-livinI’m calling few fabrication shops to book few appointments. @PaddyT My family comes to catch bait fish/squidding once every few weeks or so and I’m more of a guy who goes out for trolling pretty much once a fortnight and even if the weather is bad I’ll try to find somewhere protected to fish. Space isn’t my main issue as I want something that’s convenient for me for my liking. So I don’t mind loosing a bit of space as long as I don’t get wet, take water in from bow and feel safe I also rather a cozy area to relax, sleep continue my fishing the next day if possible. @kingfishbig the bimini probably had better days but these days it just tends to be a pain in the ass, last time I had it on we were about to crash the boat to the south heads because it came off and half the canopy fell over the steering blocking everything there and the other top piece which had rocket launchers fell on my wife’s girlfriend’s head 😂. It wasn’t a good situation to be in and tbh after seeing that happen I wouldn’t have that when I’m offshore as all sorts of things can go wrong and don’t want to add any risks. Someone at work pointed out a hardtop fabrication, taking out my benchseat from the back to make it adequate and to get a tent at the back to sleep in the whole area. Seems like a good idea but I’d like to get your opinions aswell. Hopefully I was able to explain myself and my needs so you guys can think about the whole scenario and point me in the right direction.

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A few years ago I saw a 5m quinnie çonverted to a cuddy cab.  It looked really good and had a chat with owner.  He had a mate whose fibreglass boat was written off in an accident and cut cuddy off and àttached it to his boat.  It was a near perfect width and was a very unique boat.  Quintrex used to build quite a few boats with fibreglass tops including the Lazeabout which I used to have. They also made a cuddy ìn the latre 70s however I found them to be a bit nose heavy as the hulls weren't as full up front in those days. Ron 

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@campr I think having a bit of weight at the front on new ally boats would compensate weight distribution and make it handle rough conditions better, as @PaddyT stated the boat might burn a little more and might not be able to turn sharper etc but it’ll definitely have pros over its cons unless it has effects on the structural integrity. I have a 75 litre fuel tank at the front and it makes a difference compared to having it at the back. Also I need to ask what would you rather over your old lazeabout that had a fiberglass top? or what could make it better?

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The old Lazzeabout was very popular being very roomy for a 4.5m as it was same hull as 5m juust made shorter.  Having fibreglass decks allowed smoother lines and styling.  Only sold as I needed a softer riding rig due to a bad back.  I moved up to 5.6m with Millenium hull which is great.  Ron 

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I Am no expert but I’ve seen a few cuddy conversions here in NZ. It seems to be quite tricky to get the balance right on the conversions I’ve seen. Front heavy, vs back heavy vs centre point etc...I used to run around in an open boat with canopy, clears etc...but ended up buying a Quintrex cuddy for the protection And certainly don’t regret getting it..perfectly balanced for the rough shit we sometimes get over here on the east coast. Worth checking out tho if u love your hull,  it it will change once it’s converted. Hope this helps. Tight lines!

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Posted (edited)

Bite the bullet and see if you can find a decent Haines 16c or Carribean Crestcuter. I have had both boats. Great for everything.

Cheers.

Edited by Rebel

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In my opinion, depending on your budget, I’d be selling your current boat and buying a cuddly cabin similar to a Seafarer V-Sea (5 meter) or a Cruise Craft Explorer (5 meter)

Just my opinion, and yes there are other cuddly cabs about, but these would be my choice.

Good luck with your decision making

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Hi there guys sorry for the late reply as I was still doing a bit of research. To cut down the costs and have the most fishing space possible I’ll be going with an hardtop instead of cuddy/half cabin. I’ve spoken to someone on this form who has a fabrication business and I’ll be getting him to have a look at my boat this weekend, I want himto draw some sketches and deal with all the rocket science for me so it’ll add value and be unique and hopefully the hull doesn’t change as much fingers crossed given its hardtop and I want it to be mainly made out of glass but yea @Swivelfish. @Rebel @shakey55 Nah I’m the type of guy that doesn’t like to take the bullet with this type of stuff, yes budget could be a problem when it comes to buying and selling but down the track I know I didn’t buy anyone’s headache. I rather keep something thats mine and look after it well. Btw the other reason why I don’t want to sell and buy one is because my missus wants a kid so I bought my boat thinking it’s my last chance to fly under her radar hahahah.

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Posted (edited)

You’re taking a big unnecessary risk. Such a major change will have a major impact on performance and handling, Maybe completely wreck the boat and make it worth less than what it’s worth now. Look at the number of ribs in your boat, it’s engineered to support a certain amount of weight.throw and additional 80kgs on the bow don’t be surprised if you crack the hull in swell. Also if it does capsize there is the chance it won’t float.

sell it and buy a new cuddy cabin there are heaps on the market now.

Edited by flatheadluke
Typo
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Luke raises some excellent points here, those Brooker hulls are 3mm bottoms and 2mm sides from memory- adding a whole lump of weight up front could be actually pretty dangerous- honestly be very careful with adding a hardtop or cuddy. HArdtops-even center console t tops need a lot of very careful thought put into bracing /placement before you can be sure you arent going to damage the hull down the track- mate looked at the cost of custom hardtop for his 20 ft Trophy last year and it went north of 10K very quickly. 

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That’s why I’m looking to get that checked out, have a professional opinion and get someone to do a proper job. I believe its 3mm all around then again I’m happy to move my 75ltr fuel tank under the floor and compansate that with that weight. Btw this isnt to crush or break the waves and swell it’s simply to have protection. I dont want to sound like a smartass but I need solutions rather then a no. If its the hull and side thickness if its the boat size or the ribs or anything else that matters I want that done. Nobody moves out of their house simply because of a different design idea or a broken tap or while they need to upgrade their wires. Everything can be worked around I know there are different aspects and stuff that matter in regards to this but as I stated my situation earlier it is what it is. I can’t buy another boat and I don’t want to. If anyone has any other opinions or ways for some protection while I’m trolling I’d love to hear that. Today I met with someone at traffic who had a larger perspex glass on his boat and he suggested me the same thing please guys I need opinions and solutions.

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Well buying another boat is a solution. If you really want to keep the boat then why not just get a more substantial bimini with front and side clears? You can hang it off a rocket launcher. It would provide more protection from the elements than what you have now. A hard top or cabin on that boat is really overkill and as others have pointed out quite risky.  

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It’s like you’re asking us for advice on how to use an angle grinder to trim your fingernails and you’re not interested in discussing nail clippers

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Today I’ve called few windscreen shops after having a discussion with a reputable shop who does ally fabrications. Btw I’d like to point out that this process takes time and labour which ends up being expensive, but can be done with the right materials, experience and ppl now as far as I’ve been told to get this done the bow needs to be cut from the top, sanded down with new welding done around. After dashboard raised higher with lightweight materials and side frames the aluminium sheet goes on top and joins the frame and sides so this is actually something possible but out of my budget. As @PaddyT said it is expensice maybe not as bad as a fiberglass fabrication but still. Trying to put a cuddy/half cabin does involve more if not more weight on the structure and effects the balance of the boat @flatheadluke. For now I’ll be getting a new custom made windscreen thats 2m x 1-1.2m with 2 curved windscreens and a middle door to access my anchor. But once these hard times are over and I save up more I’ll be trimming my toenails with a grinder 😂.

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watch Jaws-it will give you the right answer-"we need a bigger boat" ! split windscreen sounds like a reasonable compromise for what you need-look im a center console kind of guy and hate windscreens/cuddys etc etc on anything smaller than about 7M so take my advice with a pinch of salt. I will point out that once your better half is busy with bub that will end her trips out with you but wait 4 or so years and youve got a first mate ready to go.

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6 hours ago, Madwave said:

Today I’ve called few windscreen shops after having a discussion with a reputable shop who does ally fabrications. Btw I’d like to point out that this process takes time and labour which ends up being expensive, but can be done with the right materials, experience and ppl now as far as I’ve been told to get this done the bow needs to be cut from the top, sanded down with new welding done around. After dashboard raised higher with lightweight materials and side frames the aluminium sheet goes on top and joins the frame and sides so this is actually something possible but out of my budget. As @PaddyT said it is expensice maybe not as bad as a fiberglass fabrication but still. Trying to put a cuddy/half cabin does involve more if not more weight on the structure and effects the balance of the boat @flatheadluke. For now I’ll be getting a new custom made windscreen thats 2m x 1-1.2m with 2 curved windscreens and a middle door to access my anchor. But once these hard times are over and I save up more I’ll be trimming my toenails with a grinder 😂.

I don't see what's wrong with the windscreen you have now. It appears to have a middle door already. Why not just put clears on top and a more substantial bimini with side clears?

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On 7/8/2020 at 7:04 PM, kingfishbig said:

I don't see what's wrong with the windscreen you have now. It appears to have a middle door already. Why not just put clears on top and a more substantial bimini with side clears?

I usually go offshore and need some sort of protection so I don’t get wet. It’s an hassle to set up the bimini with clears etc and they won’t last as long as a hardtop or a big windscreen which I’m getting for only 3k.

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