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Hello, I have been a long time reader of posts on the forum, but this is my first post. I have done a lot of research, but can’t find the exact setup I am looking for. I apologize for the long winded post, but I am looking for the best recommendation for my set up. My in-laws have a lake house in the Henderson Harbor area and I have historically concentrated on bass fishing from a kayak or small aluminum boats. I recently purchased a mint condition 98 Sea Ray 180 Bowrider I/O to use as a family fun boat and do some fishing as well. I am well aware of the limitations of an 18ft boat on the lake and the boat will likely handle conditions that I would not feel comfortable in. I am looking to rig the boat to multi species troll. Unless anyone has better ideas, I don’t think i will be able to mount downriggers on it to be able to get deep enough for lake trout or salmon when the thermocline is deep. The gunnels of the boat are only two inches wide at the top or a little over, this would mean the underside is much less since the fiberglass is fairly thick on this boat. The width doesn’t seem to allow me to mount any tracking. There is a small section that is a about 3 1/4 wide and 3 inches long where could mount a Scotty flush mount base on either side. I was hoping to mount a flush mount rod holder in either side which would have allowed for a downrigger with a gimbal mount, but I don’t have the room for it. The other spot I have a Scotty round rail mount is on a small section of rail on the engine cover. I would also like the set up to look nice and when removed not affect the recreation usage of the boat. I would like to be able to troll with 2-4 rods. What recommendations could any you provide as far as diver options to get the deepest for my set up. I could be wrong, but I am not sure if the Scotty rod holders are strong enough to handle the large Dipsy Divers. I have a few Fish Seekers I bought last year on a whim and was looking at Torpedo weights as well. Thank you for any input in advance.

 

 

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The area just behind the hand grip where the gunnel gets a bit wider may be your only choice. The options below would allow you to remove the fishing equipment easily and return back to a family boat in just a few minutes.

 

One option would be to install flush mount rod holders in the wide area and then use a gimbal mount downrigger base in the holder.

 

Flush mount rod holder

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Downrigger base will fit in rod holder

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The next option would be to use a 90 degree straight rod holder, and mount a board across the back something like this one.

 

90 degree ,"flat" rod holder

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Devise a board that fits into the rod holders, high enough to clear the motor cover.

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Third option would be fabricating your own custom shaped mounting plates to fit that wider area. Perhaps a 6 inch section of track could be cut and shaped to fit there. you could add a riser mount in the track with a board across to hold riggers and rod holders.

 

6 inch track

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Downrigger riser fits in track

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I hope this gives you a few ideas. Good luck!

 

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JD gave you some good input and ideas and some of it will depend on whether you have access underneath to reinforce things (e.g. aluminum plate). Given the multiple use for the boat the board on back idea may be worth serious consideration as it could be taken on and off. May be able to use the rear cleats as additional supports to help secure it (e.g. U bolts or something?). The gimbal approach also requires a very secure fastening below to prevent flexing of the fiberglass.

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Thanks for the input, I was thinking about calling the manufacturer of the smaller tracks and seeing how big the mounting hole spacing is. I like the board option and that may work if I could mount the small tracks. I was browsing and someone makes a 4.5 inch one I think.

 

I was going to do the 30 degree flush mount rod holders with the gimbal mounts, but I haven’t found any that fit the space. The dimensions of all the ones I have found are too big for it and with the fiberglass thickness I won’t have any room for a backing plate. I may need to looked at 90 degree ones and see if there mounts take up much less space.

 

What is everyone’s thoughts on the flush mount Scotty bases in the picture? I would be mounting them the larger area behind the handles. I was thinking of buying some

Torpedo weights since I suspect they wouldn’t pull as hard as a dipsy and work with the Scotty holders?

 

 

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I live on a lake in NE Pa and had the perfect fishing boat, equipped just right, with two riggers and all the rod holders needed .  Then my bride and daughter turned up their noses at my "FISHING" boat and wanted a plush skiing, tubing,zoom around the lake boat.  I sold my boat and bought an 18 ft Monterrey.  I have the luxury of having one of my closest friends being a machinist and he fabricated around 15" pedestals that we secured to the swim platform and mounted the riggers outside of the confines of the boat.  Runabouts like mine have two back corner seats and this gave quick access to the riggers.  I know that Cannon offers these pedestals at reasonable prices.  I was able to mount flush mount Cannon rod holders on the gunnel and now I have a boat that satisfies everyone.  My fishing equipment is not taking up any cruising space in the boat, and everyone is happy as long as I clean up the blood and guts following a fishing trip.  Good Luck

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On 1/24/2021 at 7:41 PM, Matt ching said:
Hank on here (L&M) helped me out. We had the tracks modified. Set up works well for me.


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Also it’s all removable so when it’s family time nothing is in the way. Huge plus.


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Salmon Catcher- like the set up, but may be too permanent for my needs. What are you using on your outdrive to slow your trolling speed? I have a 3.0 merc, I am guessing I would need a troll plate or bags to slow me down?

Matt Ching- would you have close up pictures of those custom bases? That might be what I am looking for.


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Have standard prop on alpha one outdrive , no need for pusher motor, 3.0 merc is slow enough

Good to know, thanks! That will save me from buying a different prop or bags to drag.


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No fuss no mess no extra holes - everything just lifts out when I want a rec boat

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Edited by Sk8man
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above Nice clean fit 4 downriggers.

I sell well over 100 charters per season. Downriggers are not as productive on Lake Ontario as it used to be due to water clarity improvement.  Lately Using more divers and planer boards.

Every move I make setting up rods times 100 makes big difference. Simply avoiding to deal with pushing motor is big help. Im not a young chap any longer. Smile

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The downriggers slip out and I have 6 Cannon rod holders mounted on tracks to gimbals which I replace the front two of the downriggers normally seldom run four riggers

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Edited by Sk8man
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  • 2 weeks later...
The downriggers slip out and I have 6 Cannon rod holders mounted on tracks to gimbals which I replace the front two of the downriggers normally seldom run four riggers
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That’s a nice Whaler and the kind of set up I was hoping to do until i started measuring. Unfortunately my gunnels aren’t wide enough to install any flush mount gimbal rod holders that I have found and still have the ability to put a backing plate on the bottom. It’s looking like I may have to mount some track on the outside of my swim platform in order to install any heavy duty rod holders or a down rigger. So far the only mounts I have found that fit my gunnel are the flush mount Scotty’s.


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