Hobie Float Cat 75 Pontoon Boat

My Lean, Green Fishing Machine

(click on any photo for a larger view)

This group of pages is devoted to my Hobie Float Cat 75 pontoon fishing boat, and the modifications that I made to it.

All of the modifications were done with one ground rule: no drilling into the stock boat. Many of the additions were constructed from 1/2" PVC "tee" fittings, and 1/2" Schedule 200 PVC pipe (thin-walled) from Home Depot. It turns out that the structural aluminum poles of the boat are .875" (7/8") in diameter, and the inside diameter of 1/2" tee fittings is about .840". I used a 7/8" Forstner drill bit to ream out the tee fittings for a slip fit over the aluminum poles. I then cut the fittings in half, length-wise, and used pipe clamps to bind them around the aluminum poles. (The photos will help make sense out of this description.) All the work can be done with a portable power drill and hacksaw, although a small drill press and band saw (the $99 variety) makes it much easier.

Control

Amps

Hours

MPH

Miles

80% Miles

1

7.2

8.5

1.6

13.6

10.9

2

9.3

6.1

2.0

12.2

9.7

3

12.5

4.1

2.4

9.9

7.9

4

15.3

3.2

2.8

8.9

7.1

5

29.8

1.3

3.5

4.6

3.7

Trolling Motor Performance: describes the actual, on-the-water performance of the boat with a Minn-Kota Endura 30 electric trolling motor. Includes an Excel spreadsheet that you can use to recalculate the table for any deep-cycle marine battery. Also includes the secret to trolling in a straight line.

Fish Finder and Transducer Mounting: shows the details for mounting my Eagle Cuda-168 fish finder and its transducer. Also shows how the anchor is stowed and the anchor cleats that I added.

Cargo/Battery Box with Rod Holders: shows how to convert a few cheap items from Kmart/Target into a cargo box (with integrated battery box) plus two extra fishing rod holders (the boat comes with 1 rod holder).

Oar Mounts: these oar mounts allow me to stow the oars out of the water, parallel to the length of the boat, and outside the pontoons, so that they don't interfere with my fishing gear in the storage tray areas of the pontoons.

Trolling Motor Mount: shows how a transom-mount trolling motor was modified for bow mounting, and the mounting bracket that was designed to allow the motor to be mounted on the end of the stock footrest. Also shows how the footrest was reinforced to support the additional weight and loading.

On-the-Water Action Photos: More pictures of the boat on the water.

Weight Budget

The Float Cat 75 is rated for a total load, including the weight of the boat itself, of 350 pounds. The following list shows the weight budget for my boat:

  boat             43
  cargo box         8
  oars              6
  battery          51
  fishing gear     20
  anchor            9
  trolling motor   15
  lunch/water       5
  waders            8
                  ---
                  165
  me              175
                  ===
                  340

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