I still believe the Yamaha SUV 1200 is the best PWC platform for the type of fishing I like to do. Primarily I fish in the Chesapeake Bay, coastal Virginia and North Carolina, and offshore 25-60 miles when I can. The SUV was produced from 1998-2004, they are the only four person PWC’s made by Yamaha. One of the reasons I like them so much is because they are huge and have over 115 gallons of storage. Two aft wing compartments can store items up to six feet long and a forward trunk is roomy as well. When it comes to open water fishing from a jet ski, bigger is better and size equals stability and comfort of ride. I am not out there trying to do tricks and jumps (though it is fun, I have another ski for that) when I am fishing I am using it to safely get from point A to point B and back.
I am not going to get overly technical with this post. I primarily want to demonstrate what can be done with a little imagination, some planning and a great fabricator. The best thing about custom fabrication is that you can create what suits you best. My 2001 SUV was the first PWC that Albert Martin of Martin’s Custom Structures rigged up three years ago. He has since done at least ten others. I could not have done this without his expertise and craftsmanship. www.martinscustomstructures.com
All of the metal is 6063 anodized schedule 40, 1.25 inch pipe. The welding rod is marine grade and the technique is TIG. The pictures are of work in progress so some of the welds are not complete. I will have several improvements on JSB Model 2. The forward area will have a three part removable canvas/Strata glass windshield. Considering that I fish all year including the winter, this will make those 30 mile trips down the coast in 30 degree weather more tolerable.
Another significant improvement is the addition of an external 12 gallon fuel tank. At the flip of a switch I will be able to transfer the gas directly into the main tank. In the past I would carry two six gallon containers and pour it in at sea – no more! This will now give me a range of 100-120 miles on a total of 40 gallons. If I am staying close by I will be able to easily remove the tank and leave it at home.
I am also upping the size of my cooler from 36 to 100 quarts and positioning it differently for easier access and of course more and bigger fish!
I am using another Lowrance HDS-5 GPS/sounder. I am familiar with it and like the way it performs. This time I installed a battery selector switch along with the additional gel deep cycle battery, now I can run off of the PWC battery or the gel. I have added a switch/fuse panel for my electronics and navigation lights. As an added safety precaution I have put in a bilge pump. I do not know why Yamaha did not put one in this model originally.
There are plenty of things to do still. After Albert finishes all of the pipe work I am taking my JSB M-2 to a shop to have it professionally “wrapped” with graphics that I still have not decided on. I figure if I am going custom, I should go all the way.
Part Two, will be the completed project and a breakdown of my cost. I expect that with everything done I will still spend less than buying a new PWC and have the Ultimate Jet Ski Fishing Machine!
Here is my attempt at a pictorial on the rigging process so far;
To Be Continued…