This article goes through a number of home brewed solutions to common problems with installing equipment on a boat.  There can be quite a disassembly project to get at simple things.  The emphasis here is to share some of the ways I made my boat more accessible for service, preventing the need for service, building in safety, and other customizations.

The Bow

When I decided to run some additional wiring to the bow, it became a major undertaking.  It required removing the trolling motor, then the bow cover.  I thought if I had to do this on the water or out in the field with minimal tools, it would be a nightmare especially when fending off mosquitoes.

Over the years the bow cover area had a lot of flex to it.  It was poorly braced against the floor which had no underside bracing in the bow area.  There was motor noise and clunking when engaging the motor because of the movement.   I  had trouble with the trolling motor bolts getting loose because the bolt heads would sink into the wood. 

I added an aluminum bracing structure to firm up the area in the bow.  This helped to reduce the flex from the trolling motor.   There is also an aluminum plate underneath the trolling motor cover.  The addition of the aluminum plate below the wood bow cover reduces bolt creep into the old wood cover eliminating the needs to maintain bolt tightness .  This also helped to reduce motor noise into the boat because the mount stays tight.

I split the bow cover into two pieces.  The removal of the right bow panel allows me access to the wiring side without without having to remove the trolling motor from the left bow cover.  (The trolling motor was removed for service in this picture)


While in here I might as well label all the wiring for sanity and for future troubleshooting.


Trolling Motor Transducer Saver

If the Transducer Shield was around $40.00, I would have saved myself some time and bought it.  But instead, I dug through my box of aluminum scrap and came up with this alternative.  It is not glamorous but after testing the mount it is very solid.  No worries here.