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Labguy32

Track Mounting Question

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I have a ‘98 Smokercraft Ultima am thinking about mounting tracks on the gunnels.  These tracks would be for dipsy rod holders and possibly downriggers.  I have read many threads on this and it seems like everyone uses backing plates when mounting them.  However, I don’t have access to underneath the gunnel to attach the backing plates.  How else can I mount the tracks?
 

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

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good video from traxtech on youtube about riveting them on. would think just depends how thick your gunnel material is.

 

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I had watched that video and was thinking that was the way to go.  There is carpet on the top of the gunnels and did not know if this way would still work.

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If it isn't full of foam I would think toggle bolts would work.

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That is the problem I am having is it is full of foam.  I guess I would have to drill a small hole to see if the foam occupies the entire space.   

 

NymphO - Where are you suggesting putting the fender washers?

 

Thanks for all the responses.   

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Instead of backing plates, use giant washers. I know you said you can't do backing plates due to access, can you at least get a few bolts through with washers ? Send a pic of your gunnels

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other than tearing the foam out the way I have mine mounted is with ss screws. but i've only used riggers for 2 weeks once with 3' booms with 12# weights. i've been running 3 0f the large lite bite slide divers on each side with cannon ratcheting rod holders.

 

when I mounted mine I put 2 holders in the down position and lifted myself up and bounced around just to make sure they were going to hold. I weigh 250# and couldn't pull them loose. if you can get to any of the backs of the holes use ss bolts with large fender washers for backing. 

 

if you use ss screws drill your holes so the screws are tight going in. but not so tight the screw twists in two.

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I tend to be reluctant to offer specific advice on mounting trolling gear as every boat is a bit different in construction especially aluminum ones- some gunnels are just aluminum sheet with little structural support.  It is important to know you have solid support and I’ll share an actual situation of what consequences of improper mounting can be.

 Years ago I was trolling towards the Genny from I bay off VanLare when a boat came running up headed towards the river.  I could see downrigger weights attached and swinging off the back in wild arcs.  As the boat passed, the two downriggers, weights and the board they were mounted to somersaulted up in the air in slow motion before splashing down.  The boat shut down and the 2 guys went to the back of the boat to look behind.  After sitting there a few minutes they shook their heads and left.  Gave us a good laugh.  Moral of the story- use metal, wood backer or fender washers.  Stainless steel fasteners with lock nuts or lock washers. Take your time do it right, do it once.

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This is the only pic i have right now.  It appears there are nuts in the bottom of these rubber bushings.  I will take more pics later on to show the entire side walls.  This is how the old dowriggers were mounted to the gunnel ( previous owner mounted them).  It appears there is a hollow spot ( 6") from the top of the gunnel to the foam layer.  There is probably another 4" or so from the foam to the storage locker.  There is no access to hollow portion between top of the gunnel and the foam.

 

I don't want to be that guy that loses everything overboard!  That's i am asking the pros on here on what to do.

 

Thanks again for the responses.

IMG_0896.JPG

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Those appear to be well nuts. Im not a big fan of them because you really can never see whats going on and trusting they wont pull through.

Can you hole drill out for a small access port to get fender washers in? Thats what I have to do for backer plates for my riggers and fender washers for the outside row of bolts for my tracks. Totally different setup in a glass boat, but you get the idea. Can hardle even notice screw in hatch covers. Dont have a great photo but this may help

IMG_0106.JPG


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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I’d cut the foam out carefully if you could. Being careful of any wires cables they might of run through the gunnel. If you can get get at least big washers underneath on your bolts event better. I know someone suggested toggle bolts which may work would hate to see you drill big holes for something like that. I’d take ur time though and do it right. Not that you have to swing off them but they do take some stress on the sides. Good luck.


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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Thanks again for all the responses.  I am thinking this is a job for a professional to do.  I don’t think this is a DIY project for me.

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Cut an access hole and put a plate over it or one of those round marine access covers.  You need to do a plate or at least the largest fender washers you can use.  You have no idea how much stress is on rod holders when you run dipseys or snag something with a rigger.  I know a guy who ran just a 3 rod horizontal holder with boards and one dipsey mounted to a track with just lag screws.  First big 20lb king ripped the whole darn thing into the lake along with the holder and 3 rods.  

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12 hours ago, Labguy32 said:

Thanks again for all the responses.  I am thinking this is a job for a professional to do.  I don’t think this is a DIY project for me.

 

Its a DIY - we can walk you through it with more pictures.  You are going to pay through the nose if you take it somewhere.  


For aluminium, you can probably go with a rectangular access hole and then just patch it with a new piece of metal, a little bit of 3m 4200, and some machine screws.  

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I just mounted my 24" tracks with standard ss screws. then I put 2 of the holders down then lifted my 250#'s and bounced around. and i've been using then with the cannon ratcheting holders using 3 dipsy style divers on each side for the last 8 yrs on erie. i've caught lots of 8# to 10# eyes and numerous steelhead and they are as tight as the day I installed them. but a metal boat wouldnt hold like my glass boat. I wouldnt mount them without backing plates on a metal boat.

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I definitely appreciate all your help with this.  So here is a pic of inside wall of the boat.   There is about 10" or so from the top of the storage locker to the gunnel.  So, if I am understanding the posts, you would remove the leather portion and cut out the metal backing.   Then just replace the backing with sheet screws.   Is this correct?

 

Thanks again!

IMG_0343.JPG

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I would suggest gaining access by taking off things like speaker, locker door, upholstery and perhaps even seat.  Use care as you will put back on once you have gained access.  Don’t give up on this as a DIY job as it is not technical just time consuming.  Just slipping speaker out should tell you something about access.  You are going in the right direction by realizing that using wellnuts to secure a downrigger is “risky”.  

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22 hours ago, CK3080 said:

Those appear to be well nuts. Im not a big fan of them because you really can never see whats going on and trusting they wont pull through.

Can you hole drill out for a small access port to get fender washers in? Thats what I have to do for backer plates for my riggers and fender washers for the outside row of bolts for my tracks. Totally different setup in a glass boat, but you get the idea. Can hardle even notice screw in hatch covers. Dont have a great photo but this may help

IMG_0106.JPG
I'm looking for track that will fit Coors Light too...Any recommendations :-P

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

 

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when i mounted tracks on my starcraft it has rod lockers similar to yours. the inside of mine were just a real thin plastic. i carefully cut some hand size rectangles out of the top in 3 places. that gave me access to put the backing plates and nuts on my Cisco tracks.when done was able to just tape the cutouts back in with typar house wrap tape.unless laying on the floor looking up in its unnoticeable and tracks are on there to stay.

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Ok.  Wish me luck!  Going to work on it this weekend.  Will post along the way.

 

again, thanks so much for all your advice!

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When I rigged my boat I had to enlist my 10 year old. His arms were short enough, and hands were small enough he could reach rite to his shoulder and hold the fender washers and start the nuts. 😄😄. Sometimes you have to get creative. 

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i jb welded the lock nuts to the underside of the mounting plates also so could just hold the whole thing in there without worrying about dropping the nuts. they didnt like the shock of cordless impact driver but stayed put when tightening with hand tools.

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