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2018 Tracker Targa V-18 WT setup


codybuehler

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7 minutes ago, Pitch55 said:

 

10-4 - I was afraid of that (trying to avoid pulling up the deck if I can) - haha - but very much appreciate the info!!  :)

Its really not that bad. Little more security too.

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  • 6 months later...

Hey Guys - hope the 2021 season is treating everyone great and all is going well.  I know this is the kicker thread but I also know there are us Tracker guys in here so it is your brains I want to pick for ideas.

 

Off and on I've encountered having water in the hull after running the livewells - and all the forums all say the same thing - loose fitting on the intake hose or the drain hose etc etc. which makes sense as I have seen lots of complaints about tracker's quality on the inner workings (wiring / hoses / etc.).   Anyway - we went on a vacation last week - boat tied up to the dock - had some waves (inland lake) - maybe 1 footers at most rocking the boat all night - minimal rain.  Down to the dock in the AM to get her ready to fish and flip the bilge pump on (no auto bilge for god knows what reason) just in case there is some rain water - and the bilge runs for 5mins - and I open the floor compartment - FULL of water.   so that was my WTF moment - wasn't using the livewells - didn't rain that hard (barely any at all) - not wavy enough to splash over the back and even so - very small wiring hole to allow splashing water in - not enough to put 100 gallons of water in the hull overnight.

 

I have it home and here was my troubleshooting process once on the trailer in the driveway:  Hook up garden hose to each of the livewell intakes - put the pumps on pull water into the wells with the drain plugs in - fill the wells - let them sit for 10 watch for any water in the back of the hull - nada.  Pull the drain plugs and watch for any water leaking into the hull vs. out of the drains - nada.  So I put the main boat plug in - and fill the bottom of the hull with water and let the boat sit on the trailer for 20mins just to make sure it's not a hull issue.  Not a drop of water in the driveway.  So now I'm stumped - my next idea is to put the boat in the water on a calm day/bay and open those back discs in the splash pan to look inside to see if there is anything leaking (transom bolts / etc.) because I cannot figure out where this water is coming from.......any thoughts / ideas / guesses are welcome fellow Tracker guys!  :)

 

Thanks in advance!

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Loose rivet may be higher than what you were able to fill in the driveway but lower than your water line. I had a rivet that was in line with a bunk that didn’t leak on the trailer due to weight. Also could be a drain line. Cork all drains and live wells from outside and put in water. Might tell something different.


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Loose rivet may be higher than what you were able to fill in the driveway but lower than your water line. I had a rivet that was in line with a bunk that didn’t leak on the trailer due to weight. Also could be a drain line. Cork all drains and live wells from outside and put in water. Might tell something different.


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No rivets in these boats. All welded.

I get water in mine also. I can almost for sure say it comes form the access handholes in the motor well. No water in my bilge unless I get some waves in there. Plug up the self bailing holes in the back and fill that up a bit. Wouldn’t go over the gas fill or the boot that the wires some through, but I bet it’s coming in there.
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No rivets in these boats. All welded.

I get water in mine also. I can almost for sure say it comes form the access handholes in the motor well. No water in my bilge unless I get some waves in there. Plug up the self bailing holes in the back and fill that up a bit. Wouldn’t go over the gas fill or the boot that the wires some through, but I bet it’s coming in there.

Ugg, with the welded could be a crack somewhere? Wouldn’t think splash well would get much from sitting stagnant at dock. Leaks you can’t locate suck no doubt.


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Ugg, with the welded could be a crack somewhere? Wouldn’t think splash well would get much from sitting stagnant at dock. Leaks you can’t locate suck no doubt.


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No doubt, could be a crack somewhere. If you can find it I would fully trust tracker to fix it. You won’t see the boat for a few months, but it would come back fixed. I had the leaf springs in my trailer fail. All 4 stretched an inch or 2 because the heat treat wasn’t right. This let both axles hit the keel and make a good mark on it. Dealer took it and inspected. Tracker requested it back so off it went to Missouri. 3 months later I had it back with no dents, new hull paint and 4 new leaf springs. $0 besides the gas to take it back and forth from the dealer.

Sadly it doesn’t take much chop to get water in that splash well through the drains. Full tank of gas, 2 guys and fishing gear along with 1-2’ waves and it has water in and out all day long. I try to run the bilge pump when I think about it when I’m on the water and it always pumps for 30 seconds to a minute over around 3 hours. 5 minutes of runtime overnight is excessive. That would be about 70 gallons of water with an 800GPH bilge pump. That’s a lot of rain and a lot of seepage through those access holes.


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As always - thanks for the insight guys.  Cody funny you mention the splash pan/motor well as my 11yr old asked exactly that - if the water could be coming in through those access ports / black circular hatches - they fit so snugly it just seems so unlikely that the water we are pumping out while fishing could be coming in there, but your description above is to a tee the exact same as what I'm seeing - 2-3 hours of trolling on the big lake and as you say - turn on the bilge for 30s or so just to clear the bottom out when i think of it and/or before blasting off to move to a new spot to shed some weight.   I'm going to fill that splash pan just below the gas-cap as you suggested tonight and will report back to the group what I find, I'll also be putting the hose on any / all drain holes and through-hull ports to see if any of those could be the culprits as well because as you say - leaving the boat overnight bucking for 12-18 hours in 18" waves shouldn't almost sink the boat.

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I have had water in my Targa but not all the time and it is so inconsistent I have not been able to determine any reason at all. Most of the time it stays perfectly dry. I ended up switching out the bilge pump for one with an automatic float and now I can just turn the switch on and leave it and it will pump out whenever necessary.


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Hey Brad - my auto-bilge is also delivered and being prepped for installation.  If anyone is reading this and saw Cody's theory above, just let it be known that he is 100% correct about the maintenance covers being the issue.  At this point I am not sure if both are leaking or if it is more one than the other - I will be testing this but see this video I've uploaded where I've filled up the splash-pan / motor-well with water and you can immediately see water pouring steady like a faucet out the main hull drain plug.  I am going to test which maintenance hatch is leaking the most / worst to try and seal, but recognize I can't just caulk it permanently as we may need access at some point for maintenance - but for now with those with Targa's having a leak and you're not sure why - give this a gander:   

 

 

 

 

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Full disclosure - you can see a bit of pollen on the hull showing the water line very close to the drain hole of the well / pan - this is largely due to fishing with a large gas tank in the stern, combined with:  switching Group 27 batteries for the trolling motor with Group 31s which are bigger,  I've added the kicker motor on the port side, as well as adding a group 27 deep cycle / hybrid battery as well for the electrical system (now running a house / crank battery dual circuit vs. just the 1 battery that came stock) - so significant weight added to the stern, so definitely contributes to the fact that the stern sits lower in the water, but is NOT an excuse for Targa making leaky maintenance hatches that almost resulted in teh sinking of my boat while sitting at the dock while on vacation.   Would welcome any thoughts on how we / I approach Tracker on this.  Again - thanks in advance for any insights / ideas folks.

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Full disclosure - you can see a bit of pollen on the hull showing the water line very close to the drain hole of the well / pan - this is largely due to fishing with a large gas tank in the stern, combined with:  switching Group 27 batteries for the trolling motor with Group 31s which are bigger,  I've added the kicker motor on the port side, as well as adding a group 27 deep cycle / hybrid battery as well for the electrical system (now running a house / crank battery dual circuit vs. just the 1 battery that came stock) - so significant weight added to the stern, so definitely contributes to the fact that the stern sits lower in the water, but is NOT an excuse for Targa making leaky maintenance hatches that almost resulted in teh sinking of my boat while sitting at the dock while on vacation.   Would welcome any thoughts on how we / I approach Tracker on this.  Again - thanks in advance for any insights / ideas folks.


That is a pile of added in weight. But the redundancy the awesome.

Why did you go with the 31’s over the stock 27’s? Do you get to places you can’t recharge your batteries? I could go almost 2 fishing days (15-16 hours) on the 27’s it came with after 2 seasons of fishing before they would get low enough to be an issue. Water that close to the drains it would have been in there a lot with just a small riffle on the water.
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Hey Brad - my auto-bilge is also delivered and being prepped for installation.  If anyone is reading this and saw Cody's theory above, just let it be known that he is 100% correct about the maintenance covers being the issue.  At this point I am not sure if both are leaking or if it is more one than the other - I will be testing this but see this video I've uploaded where I've filled up the splash-pan / motor-well with water and you can immediately see water pouring steady like a faucet out the main hull drain plug.  I am going to test which maintenance hatch is leaking the most / worst to try and seal, but recognize I can't just caulk it permanently as we may need access at some point for maintenance - but for now with those with Targa's having a leak and you're not sure why - give this a gander:   
 
 
 
 


Before you buy another hatch, try taking it off with all those little screws and sealing around the cover where it touched the aluminum with 3M 4200 sealant (Home depot carries it normally!). You could do 5200 but 4200 would be enough. Both are rated for submersion, but 42 is removable. Try Vaseline on the actual cover that twists off. I haven’t checked for a gasket on mine, but I’m assuming it has a small o-ring in that lid. If Vaseline is good enough to seal and lubricate the o-rings on my fish hawk probe, it’s good enough for a handhole cover from China! Haha
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5 hours ago, codybuehler said:

 


That is a pile of added in weight. But the redundancy the awesome.

Why did you go with the 31’s over the stock 27’s? Do you get to places you can’t recharge your batteries? I could go almost 2 fishing days (15-16 hours) on the 27’s it came with after 2 seasons of fishing before they would get low enough to be an issue. Water that close to the drains it would have been in there a lot with just a small riffle on the water.

 

 

My first season with the big boat I was still trying to use it like my smaller boat that I used for trolling - and only used the electric.  Pulling that big ship at 1.7mph I was running out of juice in like 2.5 hours on the big lake so I thought maybe upgrade the batteries a bit (expensive lesson vs. doing that AND getting a kicker).  Now this season I've barely used the electric so when those G31s die I will get 27s again as well and maybe will do that next season anyway - and roll those 31s into our camp solar system.  I really like the Dakota Lithium system - less than half the weight and double the power (so they say) - but the price was a bit much to swallow - $1600+ for the 24V circuit and then you'd need a new on-board charger as well.

 

The redundancy and security of having the two batteries (house / crank) has already paid off - i'll include some pics - was a bit of a job wiring it but I love wiring and that kinda thing - but put in the isolator switch and an ACR unit (charging relay) so the big engines charge both batteries all the time - and if one ever dies on the water - switch goes to "combine" and jumps the ignition batt and we get rolling.

 

Really tight space for us to work but you'll see my fun I had going from factory diagram / specs - to my version - to the finished / wired product installed.  Annoying that I have to pull it all out every fall to store the boat (no heated garage) - but it is what it is.

87c805b3b2fef37dd9629e24013aaef6.jpg

184904719_783202825924772_5126689579539770453_n.jpg

131424579_2629681757329171_6417030871445934584_n.jpg

Edited by Pitch55
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My first season with the big boat I was still trying to use it like my smaller boat that I used for trolling - and only used the electric.  Pulling that big ship at 1.7mph I was running out of juice in like 2.5 hours on the big lake so I thought maybe upgrade the batteries a bit (expensive lesson vs. doing that AND getting a kicker).  Now this season I've barely used the electric so when those G31s die I will get 27s again as well and maybe will do that next season anyway - and roll those 31s into our camp solar system.  I really like the Dakota Lithium system - less than half the weight and double the power (so they say) - but the price was a bit much to swallow - $1600+ for the 24V circuit and then you'd need a new on-board charger as well.
 
The redundancy and security of having the two batteries (house / crank) has already paid off - i'll include some pics - was a bit of a job wiring it but I love wiring and that kinda thing - but put in the isolator switch and an ACR unit (charging relay) so the big engines charge both batteries all the time - and if one ever dies on the water - switch goes to "combine" and jumps the ignition batt and we get rolling.
 
Really tight space for us to work but you'll see my fun I had going from factory diagram / specs - to my version - to the finished / wired product installed.  Annoying that I have to pull it all out every fall to store the boat (no heated garage) - but it is what it is.
87c805b3b2fef37dd9629e24013aaef6.thumb.jpg.f15ba21703979cd37a44ade30742b6f6.jpg
184904719_783202825924772_5126689579539770453_n.thumb.jpg.4e36ffe31a92f2c239c00c7b454efadb.jpg
131424579_2629681757329171_6417030871445934584_n.thumb.jpg.34686ad0f1d0cc79b21e70217016964a.jpg


The Dakota Litiums are good in theory. But! I just put those in 2 weeks ago. (Watch for discounts. They have codes) I got my pair of 100Ah lithium’s for $1450. You are correct with a new charger also. Noco genius makes a 10amp x 2 channel. The one tracker has in there is only a 5 amp x 2 so it is a big upgrade for recharge time!

Now the negative. Ran them in a 24V lineup series for maybe 8 hours and my trolling motor stopped working. Acted like the breaker popped open. Left the water on day 1 of a 3 day Lake O trip and checked them with a meter. 1 battery read 13.5volts, the other read 0.18volts. No bueno. Called customer service and got a voicemail so I left a message. Never got a call back. Sent an email to support and it was a day later I got a response. Meanwhile I ran to Advance auto and bought 2 new 27 series deepcycles to toss in and get the next 2 days back and not have to head 4 hours home to get the deep cycles I took out to put in Lithium. $240 I won’t see again except for those 2 new batteries I had to buy up in Pulaski.

Turns out it was the Battery Monitor System built into the lithium batteries had tripped for whatever reason. To reset it you have to either a/ hook it onto a not-smart charger (ie not a Noco that is onboard the boat) or b/ flash the terminals with another 12volt source. I knew the battery had this BMS to balance the cells and protect against whatever it protects against, but it could cause issues being too smart of a circuit.

I will say for the 8 hours they worked right it was a constant voltage at my trolling motor with no issues. Maybe it was in my head, but it did seem zippier. The one battery that didn’t fault was probably still around 90% capacity after 6 hours. I believe it would go 2 days at 4.5-5 speed on my Terrova. I’m putting the lithium back in this weekend and carrying a 12 volt spare source or jumper cables to flash the battery if it does it again.

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Before you buy another hatch, try taking it off with all those little screws and sealing around the cover where it touched the aluminum with 3M 4200 sealant (Home depot carries it normally!). You could do 5200 but 4200 would be enough. Both are rated for submersion, but 42 is removable. Try Vaseline on the actual cover that twists off. I haven’t checked for a gasket on mine, but I’m assuming it has a small o-ring in that lid. If Vaseline is good enough to seal and lubricate the o-rings on my fish hawk probe, it’s good enough for a handhole cover from China! Haha



So I stand a bit corrected here. Tracker riveted the covers on, not screwed. To reseal these you’ll be drilling rivets and re-riveting or screwing the covers.

I also noted one of the drain holes has a loose insert. I’m sure that’s letting water in mine as well. I’m sure a few smacks in a rubber pallet will tighten it right up.
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1 hour ago, codybuehler said:

 

 


So I stand a bit corrected here. Tracker riveted the covers on, not screwed. To reseal these you’ll be drilling rivets and re-riveting or screwing the covers.

I also noted one of the drain holes has a loose insert. I’m sure that’s letting water in mine as well. I’m sure a few smacks in a rubber pallet will tighten it right up.

 

 

 

Part of me wants to caulk the crap out of those hatches and let the dealer figure it out whenever the boat has to go in but with my luck they'll break it and i'll have to pay to replace - haha!  Going to try the vaseline on the inside threads for sure to see if that slows/stops it - going to also try a very thin bead of glue or something around the outside of the rivetted disc to hopefully get a bit better seal there as well but i think in practice - i'll have plugs in both those splash-pan holes when out fishing - and pop one out when driving to/from spots or the dock to allow it to drain.  At least this is easy to test over and over again in the driveway even though very annoying lol

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Cody, I went with lithium as well. Ionics. Found out how to wake one up easily with the Noco if you need it. One issue I found for my cranking battery 135 amphr is it over charges from my kicker while trolling. Had to take my charging system off the 8hp. So I have 2 for electric trolling motor in 24v and my cranking battery doing everything else. Took out 140 lbs. crazy.


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Cody, I went with lithium as well. Ionics. Found out how to wake one up easily with the Noco if you need it. One issue I found for my cranking battery 135 amphr is it over charges from my kicker while trolling. Had to take my charging system off the 8hp. So I have 2 for electric trolling motor in 24v and my cranking battery doing everything else. Took out 140 lbs. crazy.


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Please share the easier way to wake it up. I was going to disconnect the jumper between the negative and positive then flash it. But just thinking about it makes me annoyed!
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Part of me wants to caulk the crap out of those hatches and let the dealer figure it out whenever the boat has to go in but with my luck they'll break it and i'll have to pay to replace - haha!  Going to try the vaseline on the inside threads for sure to see if that slows/stops it - going to also try a very thin bead of glue or something around the outside of the rivetted disc to hopefully get a bit better seal there as well but i think in practice - i'll have plugs in both those splash-pan holes when out fishing - and pop one out when driving to/from spots or the dock to allow it to drain.  At least this is easy to test over and over again in the driveway even though very annoying lol


Eh, drill and rivet! Haha! Gives you a reason to buy a new cheap tool and learn a new skill.


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4 hours ago, codybuehler said:

 


The Dakota Litiums are good in theory. But! I just put those in 2 weeks ago. (Watch for discounts. They have codes) I got my pair of 100Ah lithium’s for $1450. You are correct with a new charger also. Noco genius makes a 10amp x 2 channel. The one tracker has in there is only a 5 amp x 2 so it is a big upgrade for recharge time!

Now the negative. Ran them in a 24V lineup series for maybe 8 hours and my trolling motor stopped working. Acted like the breaker popped open. Left the water on day 1 of a 3 day Lake O trip and checked them with a meter. 1 battery read 13.5volts, the other read 0.18volts. No bueno. Called customer service and got a voicemail so I left a message. Never got a call back. Sent an email to support and it was a day later I got a response. Meanwhile I ran to Advance auto and bought 2 new 27 series deepcycles to toss in and get the next 2 days back and not have to head 4 hours home to get the deep cycles I took out to put in Lithium. $240 I won’t see again except for those 2 new batteries I had to buy up in Pulaski.

Turns out it was the Battery Monitor System built into the lithium batteries had tripped for whatever reason. To reset it you have to either a/ hook it onto a not-smart charger (ie not a Noco that is onboard the boat) or b/ flash the terminals with another 12volt source. I knew the battery had this BMS to balance the cells and protect against whatever it protects against, but it could cause issues being too smart of a circuit.

I will say for the 8 hours they worked right it was a constant voltage at my trolling motor with no issues. Maybe it was in my head, but it did seem zippier. The one battery that didn’t fault was probably still around 90% capacity after 6 hours. I believe it would go 2 days at 4.5-5 speed on my Terrova. I’m putting the lithium back in this weekend and carrying a 12 volt spare source or jumper cables to flash the battery if it does it again.
 

 

 

Will be interested to hear if there was any reason it tripped, and if voyages 3,4,5 are all good without incident!  Fingers crossed!

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Will be interested to hear if there was any reason it tripped, and if voyages 3,4,5 are all good without incident!  Fingers crossed!


The only thing I could figure was that battery wasn’t quite as charged as the other one and the balance was off somehow. Tech support was pretty generic. I’m not an electrician by trade but work with it everyday I’m at work. And it’s DC. 2 wires. Simple enough! Haha
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Please share the easier way to wake it up. I was going to disconnect the jumper between the negative and positive then flash it. But just thinking about it makes me annoyed!

I’m with ya. So take the jumpers from a charged 12v and put on your dead one. Wait about a minute, the charger should then be putting a charge on it. Once it does take the jumpers off.


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On 7/24/2021 at 6:41 AM, codybuehler said:

 


Before you buy another hatch, try taking it off with all those little screws and sealing around the cover where it touched the aluminum with 3M 4200 sealant (Home depot carries it normally!). You could do 5200 but 4200 would be enough. Both are rated for submersion, but 42 is removable. Try Vaseline on the actual cover that twists off. I haven’t checked for a gasket on mine, but I’m assuming it has a small o-ring in that lid. If Vaseline is good enough to seal and lubricate the o-rings on my fish hawk probe, it’s good enough for a handhole cover from China! Haha

 

 

Okay - new development - as we were cleaning / prepping the hatches and their edges for sealant as we decided to put a bead of sealant around the outer edge of all hatches and including the fuel cap mount/bracket.  As we are cleaning it I'm showing my son how to do it thoroughly and suddenly he says - "hey dad - this black casing around the fuel cap - I can almost fit my pinky finger under it...." - so after I get over my WTF moment - and under closer inspection - he was right - a good 1/4" gap between that housing and the metal of the splash pan.  So before we go ahead and put all kinds of sealant all over the maintenance hatches - we did a pretty thick bead all around this fuel cap housing - as you can see in the photo - the size is significant - and this seems very appropriate to the amount of water that seemed to be coming into the hull vs. a bit of water sneaking in around the maintenance hatches (which seem pretty good and tight).  So that's the update with photos - going to let the sealant cure overnight and will see if it needs a 2nd coat to make sure any potential edge is sealed up, but will then do another water test like the video above and give updates - maybe something to check on your boats as well if you have a similar fuel cap housing in your splash pan.

 

Water-Leak-Fuel-Cap-Mount-Zoomed-Out.JPG

Water-Leak-Fuel-Cap-Mount-Zoomed-In.JPG

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On 7/24/2021 at 3:08 PM, Frogger said:

Cody, I went with lithium as well. Ionics. Found out how to wake one up easily with the Noco if you need it. One issue I found for my cranking battery 135 amphr is it over charges from my kicker while trolling. Had to take my charging system off the 8hp. So I have 2 for electric trolling motor in 24v and my cranking battery doing everything else. Took out 140 lbs. crazy.


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140lbs!!!  That is my goal - over the next season or two is get down as much stern weight as I can!!!

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On 7/25/2021 at 10:15 PM, Pitch55 said:

 

Okay - new development - as we were cleaning / prepping the hatches and their edges for sealant as we decided to put a bead of sealant around the outer edge of all hatches and including the fuel cap mount/bracket.  As we are cleaning it I'm showing my son how to do it thoroughly and suddenly he says - "hey dad - this black casing around the fuel cap - I can almost fit my pinky finger under it...." - so after I get over my WTF moment - and under closer inspection - he was right - a good 1/4" gap between that housing and the metal of the splash pan.  So before we go ahead and put all kinds of sealant all over the maintenance hatches - we did a pretty thick bead all around this fuel cap housing - as you can see in the photo - the size is significant - and this seems very appropriate to the amount of water that seemed to be coming into the hull vs. a bit of water sneaking in around the maintenance hatches (which seem pretty good and tight).  So that's the update with photos - going to let the sealant cure overnight and will see if it needs a 2nd coat to make sure any potential edge is sealed up, but will then do another water test like the video above and give updates - maybe something to check on your boats as well if you have a similar fuel cap housing in your splash pan.

 

Water-Leak-Fuel-Cap-Mount-Zoomed-Out.JPG

Water-Leak-Fuel-Cap-Mount-Zoomed-In.JPG

 

So the update on the leaky splash pan / motor well is that once I put a significant bead of submersible Goop to beasically seal this huge gap around the fuel-cap housing, I did the same test as I did in the video above - filled the pan/well with 4" of water, and we got ZERO water going into the hull.   I've seen on other models of Trackers as well as other makes of boats, typically this housing (black) is welded aluminum, not a cheap piece of nylon/plastic drilled into the hull which is why this probably isn't seen alot, but anyone who may be suspicious of their maintenance hatches leaking, maybe give this a look in their boat to make sure they don't have a 3/8" gap letting water free-flow into their hull if waves are coming into that area of the boat.   Mystery solved!!  :)

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