October 25, 2023
Catch up on the series:
Part 1: Bass Boat Breakdown
Part 2: Bass Boat Interior Repairs
Part 3: Minn Kota Raptor Install
Part 4: Bass Boat Repower
Part 5: BBT Custom Dash Graph Mounts
Part 6: Electronics Full Repower
Part 7: Minn Kota Ultrex Install
Part 8: 360 Mount and Ethernet Hub
Part 9: Front Graph Install
In Part 10, the final installment of this series, we’ll discuss and illustrate a few final adjustments to make this rig fully updated. The 2007 Ranger Z20 was not originally built to accommodate the accessories applied to this boat, but with a little creativity and a vision built out of necessity, we brought this boat to a fully modern bass-fishing vessel. And it was a fun project for sure!
My hope in this series of stories is to inspire you to take the DIY approach, learn the detailed intricacies inside the belly of your rig, and you’ll find it to be very beneficial to how you troubleshoot and ultimately catch more fish. Don’t be afraid to tackle some upgrades, and don’t overlook the value of YouTube University, many of my questions were answered because someone came before me and figured out how to navigate their way through it and shared their experience.
This was an incredibly rewarding experience and process. I’d highly recommend learning the ropes of boat maintenance and enhancement. Thank you for following along.
Let’s wrap it up!
One of my only complaints about this boat is the latch and locking devices for the storage compartments, mostly because I have man-size hands and fingers. As this boat has aged, the latches do still work, but the lids don’t necessarily just pop up any longer and I need to jam my finger in alongside the lid to get it to open. It’s a pain, so I thought about adding small loops to each lid.
The loops are made from 1-inch webbed strap. To create a clean hole for the bolt, I used a small soldering iron to create a perfect hole.
Here you can see the simple process of melting the holes throught the strap with the iron. Easy.
This was the original plan …
My Boston Terrier was skeptical, and since she can’t talk, I wasn’t sure what her problem was. But I was soon to find out. An issue I should have anticipated. Read on.
Here the deck straps are installed. Basically, I should have known the straps would rip around the bolt, but I went ahead anyways and as expected they promptly ripped right off. My goal was to keep them as low profile as possible so I could remain barefoot on the boat. But, to make this concept work, and since I put new holes in the boat, I had to make an adjustment. Do better than me and think ahead.
My solution was to add a washer. This provided the needed security to keep the strap from ripping around the bolt. And to be honest, it doesn’t bother my feet at all. Turned out pretty good in the end.
The next step was to clean up the cables up front and around the trolling motor. I bought some woven cable wrap from Amazon for only a few bucks, and you can pick the colors you like best. This kinda sorta matched the color scheme on my boat. And I like how it looks.
Here’s the finished view of the wrapped cables. I used electrical tape to secure it.
I did the same thing with the cables that came out of the bow into the graphs. The cable wrap is easy to work with and customize to the length of cables you need to cover.
The next step was to fully update all of the Humminbird units. I take care of all the boats at In-Fish headquarters, and that means I update the units as software updates are made available. This is just part of making sure you get the most out of each graph and transducer.
Here is the cleaned up front deck of my Ranger. Looks good!
Here’s a view of the entire system, wires cleaned up and ready to run.
The graphs turned on during the test when the boat was still in the garage, and they worked on the water too, exactly how I planned for them to work. It’s satisfying to have your gear function at the end of a project like this, sorta indicates you took the correct steps to accomplish each task.
I’ve taken good care of my motor over the years, and a big part of that is keeping fuel additive in the gas tank. Not just for the rare times ethanol gets put in, but just to keep the lines clean and moisture free. Star brite’s Star Tron Enzyme Fuel Treatment is a great choice. I put the stuff in with every other tank of fuel. You should too.
Here is another look of the 2007 Ranger Z20 bass boat before the transformation.
The Minn Kota Raptors are awesome. They work wonders, and I’ll never own another boat without them
Here is the final view of the finished boat. A view I enjoy very much. I spend a great deal of time in this seat and I’m grateful for a boat that works as hard as I do to catch more fish.
Thanks for following along!