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codybuehler

2018 Tracker Targa V-18 WT setup

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I just purchased my first ever brand new boat. I bought it pretty much stock with the Mercury 150 fourstroke. The dealer put brakes on both axles because of the requirements on trailers in PA to make it legal.

 

This will be a living thread as I get more and more figured out and put together.

 

Eventually I will get my Furuno, fishhawk, radio, canon riggers, gps and kicker all installed.

 

First day home: I knew the kicker would be the toughest part. We ended up having to remove the port side u-bolt, rear side panels and rear deck. The thin metal piece the floor screws to on the transom was in the way, so we dremeled two small squares into it (still can reattach the floor) and will have to trim the deck around the kicker’s bracket. 5 hours later, it was on. It’s painful drilling a hole in a brand new boat for the kicker.

 

It will be way easier running transducer wires with the rear deck out of the way. Also, taking the side panels off allows complete access to under the gunwale to through bolt small tracks for the riggers. You could mount the rigger brackets directly, but I want to be able to take the mounts off if I feel the need.

 

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Also, the dealer mentioned a small gadget called VesselView that hooks onto the computer in your outboard and Bluetooth’s info to an app on your phone. It shows alarms/faults if you get any, temps, fuel usage, rpms, engine hours, maintenance schedules and speed. I didn’t get to try it out yet but thought it was a great idea for tracking every little thing on a brand new motor.


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Day 2 updates:
Managed to get the downrigger base tracks in. Ran the transducers for the Furuno and Fishhawk. The hardest part was peeling back the carpet where the kicker bracket sits inside and cutting the wood deck thinner to be able to fit under and still look clean. Hopefully this whole thread helps someone else in the future. I couldn’t find much on how to do all this, so I had to semi wing it. So far it’s been a success.

Next time I get around it will be how to mount the electronics in small real estate around the dash. I have to put some thought and planning into it.

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On 9/30/2018 at 7:11 PM, codybuehler said:

Day 2 updates:
Managed to get the downrigger base tracks in. Ran the transducers for the Furuno and Fishhawk. The hardest part was peeling back the carpet where the kicker bracket sits inside and cutting the wood deck thiner to be able to fit under and still look clean. Hopefully this whole thread helps someone else in the future. I couldn’t find much on how to do all this, so I had to semi wing it. So far it’s been a success.

Next time I get around it will be how to mount the electronics in small real estate around the dash. I have to put some thought and planning into it.

IMG_5767.JPGIMG_5769.JPGIMG_5770.JPGIMG_5773.JPG56002771495__5CE6B444-BC7A-4B05-A95C-1B3F3F703E77.JPG


Went through this same process a few years back. Opted to take a 2x2 piece of pressure treated wood (painted it black)

Set it in the on top of the transom in the throat of the motor bracket mount. This raised the motor 1.5" and did not have to cut the carpet or the deck. Had no effect on operation of the motor.

 

Also to save spaced at the helm I mounted the fish hawk at the back of the boat on a bracket in the versa track. 

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Went through this same process a few years back. Opted to take a 2x2 piece of pressure treated wood (painted it black)
Set it in the on top of the transom in the throat of the motor bracket mount. This raised the motor 1.5" and did not have to cut the carpet or the deck. Had no effect on operation of the motor.
 
Also to save spaced at the helm I mounted the fish hawk at the back of the boat on a bracket in the versa track. 


Great idea with the spacer to lift the kicker.

I thought about that with the fishhawk also. You spend most of the time looking backwards anyway.

Thanks for the ideas!

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Nice boat and some great ideas on the mechanical end of adaptation of things necessary for equipment. For what you pay for a virgin boat you would think the boat manufacturer's would have these ideas incorporated into their build. Of course the bass guys don't need these incorperations, but the walleye tour guys do.?? Nice job and congrats to your purchase!!!

Edited by pap

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I just bought a helix 9 mega SI, and I'm trying to remove the rear deck so I can get access to remove the old one and install the helix. But man is this thing giving me fits. Was it a pain in the ass for you, or reletivally simple?

Sent from my LGL164VL using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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I just bought a helix 9 mega SI, and I'm trying to remove the rear deck so I can get access to remove the old one and install the helix. But man is this thing giving me fits. Was it a pain in the ass for you, or reletivally simple?

Sent from my LGL164VL using Lake Ontario United mobile app



It was a pain. 7 or 8 screws on each of the little side panels, then a pile of screws in the main deck. You have to reach under from the cranking battery hatch and unbolt the ski pylon base. As for a guess on the screws in the main deck I’d say 15 or so. When we got it all loose, we moved some of the foam out from one side and slid the deck over to lift out the other side. You can’t pick it straight out.

Also, take off the foam gaskets where the hatch lids touch. I ended up putting a small tear in one because I didn’t get them moved out of the way.

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It was a pain. 7 or 8 screws on each of the little side panels, then a pile of screws in the main deck. You have to reach under from the cranking battery hatch and unbolt the ski pylon base. As for a guess on the screws in the main deck I’d say 15 or so. When we got it all loose, we moved some of the foam out from one side and slid the deck over to lift out the other side. You can’t pick it straight out.

Also, take off the foam gaskets where the hatch lids touch. I ended up putting a small tear in one because I didn’t get them moved out of the way.
Ohh, so the foam must be what's getting me. Also 3 of the screws on the main deck were in basically sideways and stripped. Had to drill them out. Still gotta remove the shanks once I actually get the deck off.

Thanks. I was starting to fear for the safety of that rear platform with how aggravated I was getting. You might of saved it!

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Ohh, so the foam must be what's getting me. Also 3 of the screws on the main deck were in basically sideways and stripped. Had to drill them out. Still gotta remove the shanks once I actually get the deck off.

Thanks. I was starting to fear for the safety of that rear platform with how aggravated I was getting. You might of saved it!

Sent from my LGL164VL using Lake Ontario United mobile app


I lost 2 screws on the takeoff and 1 on the rebuild from snapping/stripping. Having a second person really made getting it in and out a lot easier than it would have been alone!

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I did not take them out. Just 2 screws ? Or do I have to pull off the side panels

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Pull off the side panels that have the little round lights, then behind them is an L bracket bit of aluminum that is screwed down for bottom support of the side back side panels. You can’t slide it around unless you have those off and some of the foam blocks moved out. They don’t make it easy!

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Just purchased a used TargaV18 Combo and will be installing FishHawk and Electric Riggers. Planned on having to take off side panels to run wiring. With you experience, should that be enough to make the job easier.


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Just purchased a used TargaV18 Combo and will be installing FishHawk and Electric Riggers. Planned on having to take off side panels to run wiring. With you experience, should that be enough to make the job easier.


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Electric riggers will be pretty simple with just the side panels off.

The fishhawk will be a hair trickier if you want to run the transducer cable with all the other ones since you will have to run it under the floor in the back. Still do-able, just will take a bit of finesse to fish it through. It is still going to be way easier fishing it through under the floor than taking the rear deck out and putting it in.

Congratulations on the new boat!

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After a single time out, I really didn’t like using cannon tracks and a pedestal. I bought cannon base plates and made aluminum backing plates to mount the bases to. The pedestals were super wobbly and didn’t seem like they would hold up long term. I haven’t fished yet with the new setup, but just the feel pulling on them is way more stable.


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Put as big of a backer plate as you can fit under the gunwale (length & width) as you can to distribute the flex from the downrigger.

We pulled the cleat so the backer plate took up the whole section from the transom to just before the rod locker. Re-installed cleat of course with longer stainless hardware. We used ¾" Marine ply. Choice of material is up to you but just make sure its strong.

 

If you plan to fish heavy weights or bounce bottom at all I wouldn't do it any other way as the metal on top of that gunwale is not too thick.

 

As mentioned above if you raise the downrigger it will create more leverage and flex on the gunwale. We had ours raised but we also had Big Jons on that boat so the booms also helped with the flex.

 

Edited by rookie fisherman
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Posted (edited)

Hey Cody - reviving an "old" thread - was actually looking online for what kind of mounting plates guys used for their kicker as I'm running into that same issue my 2018 V18 Combo - where that gap from the top of the transom into the 'throat' of the clamp on the motor - i was looking at a plate like the one attached but I see in one of the comments above inserting a block of wood painted black seemed to do the trick.  So sounds like pulling up this floor/deck at the stern is going to be a bit of a pain in the ass - trying to print this thread out and sum up the tips / tricks (which I hugely appreciate) as I think I have to do the same to get access for the transom bolts (rookie guy me thought I could use lag screws vs. bolts).

 

Any other thoughts since doing it would be very much appreciated folks!!  I am dreading popping up the floor on this still relatively new beauty!!  lol

 

The plate below in the photo is the one plate I was looking at - and this one is the other:  https://www.rnrd.com/marine-products/kicker-plates/.  Essentially I would have to bolt the plate as well as do the transom bolts through the stern as well I think so I'm still pulling a floor up  :(

 

 

panther-plate.jpg

Edited by Pitch55

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On 10/2/2018 at 4:54 AM, Rookie Fisherman said:


Went through this same process a few years back. Opted to take a 2x2 piece of pressure treated wood (painted it black)

Set it in the on top of the transom in the throat of the motor bracket mount. This raised the motor 1.5" and did not have to cut the carpet or the deck. Had no effect on operation of the motor.

 

Also to save spaced at the helm I mounted the fish hawk at the back of the boat on a bracket in the versa track. 

 

Hey Rookie Fisherman - I'm trying to use a plate that essentially does what you did with the block of wood - did you still not have to pull the flooring up to get access to the inside of the transom for the bolts on the kicker itself - or are you just using the clamps?  Any info would be very much appreciated!!  :)

 

 

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1 hour ago, Pitch55 said:

 

Hey Rookie Fisherman - I'm trying to use a plate that essentially does what you did with the block of wood - did you still not have to pull the flooring up to get access to the inside of the transom for the bolts on the kicker itself - or are you just using the clamps?  Any info would be very much appreciated!!  :)

 

 

On mine I was able to access the ares for the bolts through the rear storage compartment door, yours may be different.

I also had to relocate the u-bolt for the tie down strap as it was right where the motor hung.

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20 minutes ago, Rookie Fisherman said:

On mine I was able to access the ares for the bolts through the rear storage compartment door, yours may be different.

I also had to relocate the u-bolt for the tie down strap as it was right where the motor hung.

 

10-4 - will look to see what access I have for sure - woke up to fresh 1" of snow and 50mph winds this AM  :(   Boat is sleeping until the weekend I guess.  I am hoping those black round discs in the splash pan near the big motor will give me enough access to get the nylock nuts and a socket wrench back there but I shall find out soon I'm sure.  REALLY not wanting to pull up the floor if I can avoid it.

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Hello.  If it's OK,  I guess I'll join the party here.  :thinking:   New 2020 Targa Combo.  Will be adding a kicker soon.   Weather has been cold and wet, so not extremely excited about tearing things apart quite yet.  Have yet to purchase the kicker.  Bought a Suzuki 9.9 four stroke  with controls/electric tilt about 2 years ago for my old boat.  Good solid motor, but tends to surge here and there at trolling speeds.  Runs around $2800 delivered.  (It took about a day to rig the whole thing up.)   I've read that Tohatsu makes the smaller Mercs, with a 9.9 Tohatsu w/controls, trim and tilt running about $2900 delivered.  Tracker dealer near me quoted $4500 with a 9.9 Merc./controlls installed.   Hmmmmmm.  What to do?   I see Cody is running a tiller model.  What about you Rookie Fisherman?  I like the remote as we fish in Canada quite a lot, and when I hear "Snag!",  I can quickly kick it in reverse and be on my way back to retrieve a lure.  Just wondering how difficult it is to run the shifter cables, etc. up to the helm.  Thought about the itrolls, troll master, etc. to save the pain of running the cables.  Keep coming back to wanting the controls next to me.  Any thoughts?

IMG_3768.JPG

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3 minutes ago, Steelydanh said:

Hello.  If it's OK,  I guess I'll join the party here.  :thinking:   New 2020 Targa Combo.  Will be adding a kicker soon.   Weather has been cold and wet, so not extremely excited about tearing things apart quite yet.  Have yet to purchase the kicker.  Bought a Suzuki 9.9 four stroke  with controls/electric tilt about 2 years ago for my old boat.  Good solid motor, but tends to surge here and there at trolling speeds.  Runs around $2800 delivered.  (It took about a day to rig the whole thing up.)   I've read that Tohatsu makes the smaller Mercs, with a 9.9 Tohatsu w/controls, trim and tilt running about $2900 delivered.  Tracker dealer near me quoted $4500 with a 9.9 Merc./controlls installed.   Hmmmmmm.  What to do?   I see Cody is running a tiller model.  What about you Rookie Fisherman?  I like the remote as we fish in Canada quite a lot, and when I hear "Snag!",  I can quickly kick it in reverse and be on my way back to retrieve a lure.  Just wondering how difficult it is to run the shifter cables, etc. up to the helm.  Thought about the itrolls, troll master, etc. to save the pain of running the cables.  Keep coming back to wanting the controls next to me.  Any thoughts?

IMG_3768.JPG

 

Hey SteelyDan - I went with a Tiller model as well - I found the driver's seat and the main engine controls area a bit busy and I didn't want to add in a 2nd set - so I'm going with a 9.9 Evinrude kicker - 4 stroke with the e-trim/e-start/etc.  I'm going to link the 2 motors with a bar so i can steer with the wheel - but have my first mate (my 10yr old) bump the throttle when needed.  Keep me posted on your adventures on the 2020 version - still loving my 2018 with only one season on it so far!

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OK.  Will do.  Unfortunately, my first mate(s) seem to be well past their prime!    Before I got the new Suzuki, I would usually have to wake them up before I'd be able to bump the throttle or shift gears!  

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