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Outdated To Updated Part 2: Bass Boat Interior Repairs

The second installment of turning an older boat into a fully modern fishing rig. In this piece we handle a number of overlooked repairs.

Outdated To Updated Part 2: Bass Boat Interior Repairs

In Part 2 of overhauling an older bass boat to a fully modern rig, Thomas Allen implements a few interior repairs that have been long overdue.

In Part 2 of Outdated to Updated, I’ll walk you through a few interior repairs that have been needed for some time. To be honest, I’ve neglected several of these to the point that they’ve created more problems. Take it from me, it’s easier to fix one problem early than several later on.

Catch up on the series:

Part 1: Bass Boat Breakdown

Gen 2 humminbird transducer

This was the existing transducer mounted at the base of the transom, and it functioned perfectly. It fed a Humminbird G2N Helix 10 at the dash, and since I was upgrading the units to Humminbird G4N Helix 10s equipped with Mega technology, I needed to upgrade the transducer to a Mega enabled version.


New humminbird transducer

Here’s the new transducer. It features a slightly different shape, but the threaded bushings were placed in relation to the old transducers so a swap like I was about to make was a piece of cake.

new humminbird transducer rigging

In the photo above you can see the rigging components. I didn’t want to remove the existing bracket on the back of the boat for obvious reasons—removing screws and putting new ones in stresses the fiberglass. What was there worked, and you know what they say about not fixing something that ain’t broke. Fortunately, the brackets haven’t changed so it was a simple swippy-swap.

humminbird transducer rigged and ready to install

Here’s the new transducer rigged with the same bracket as the previous. Easy.


rigging humminbird transducer on transom

Swapping the transducers was as very simple upgrade that paid out lots of data at the dash. It was an easy no-brainer that took minutes.

new humminbird Transducer rigged on transom

In the photo above, you can see the completed upgrade.




Humminbird new mega transducer installed

Here’s a mild mistake, one that could become much bigger if I don’t constantly pay attention to the jackplate position. The TH Marine Atlas Hydraulic Jack Plate does touch the transducer when it’s extended down to nearly the bottom of its motion. So, I have to stop at the “No. 2” setting. The good news is if the jack plate does go too far down and hits the transducer, it won’t break it, it’ll simply reposition the transducer, which I can fix. But I may have been smarter to put the transducer in a new spot.

Transducer wire and wire snake

Next, the process of running the new Humminbird Mega Side Imaging transducer wire was easily handled with an inexpensive wire snake. This is a simple tool that is worth its weight in gold. Saved me a bunch of cusswords …

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I keep rolls of electrical tape handy just for running wires on a wire snake through the gunnels. Here the wire is taped to the wire snake and ready to run.

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running wires

Having two sets of hands throughout this process was critical. Tommy’s long arms came in very handy when we ran wires. Here he is beneath the driver’s console as we fished the new Mega transducer through the boat. That project got done easily, and not all boat upgrades go easy … Trust me.

boat console

So, the console broke from the gunnel after hitting big waves over and over again. I also encouraged the problem by using the console as a support to pull myself from the driver’s seat. The last time I was in big water I could feel it flexing and hear it cracking with each big wave. In the above picture, you can see how the console is drooping compared to the gunnel. These two lines should be flush. It had to be fixed.

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Here’s a picture of the side of the console newly attached to the gunnel. I used thick bolts and wide washers to fully secure it and not worry about it breaking again. I had to keep this bolt close the arm hole so I could get a wrench in behind the wall. A hex-head bolt was important as it added even pressure and didn’t dig into the thin-walled fiberglass.

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Here is the second bolt I added, towards the front of the boat and on the opposite side of the arm hole that reaches into the gunnel.

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On the opposite side of the driver’s side console, there were a couple cheap screws holding the console on, near the step up onto the front deck. I added a few new wider screws to better secure the console. This all worked like a charm and it’s as solid as its ever been.

finished repaired console

Here is the fully repaired and finished driver’s console. It was an easier job than I thought it would be, so easy that I was mad at myself for letting it go for so long.

bass boat glovebox

Oh, this problem made me say a lot of bad words. Every time I hit a big wave—or any wave for that matter—the glove box fell open. I tried to tape it shut, that looked terrible, I couldn’t find the right size pin that would actually stay in the hinge section.

bass boat glove box open

Here is the glove box open, and the arrow is pointing at where the bolt would eventually go, but on the underside. I had to keep the door closed to insert the bolt, which took an extra set of hands—just like every other part to this project.

bass boat glove box hinge bolt

This is a view underneath with the hinge bolt installed, and it’ll never come out. I’m very happy with the new functionality, too. Because it’s a nut and a bolt, I tightened it a bit and firmed up the swing open. Easy.

Repaired storage lid carpet

This was a simple repair too, and I should have taken care of it sooner. The carpet is in decent shape across the boat, but it was coming up on the port-side rod locker. It was a headache to try and close the lid every time, and it took a few minutes to re-glue it and secure it correctly to the lid. Piece of cake.

bad drain plug

I’ve had this boat for almost 10 years, and I’ve never even considered changing the drain plug. And the O-ring and rotten silicone was junk. So, I took it out and replaced it.

prepared drain plug hole

I prepared the area with a brillo pad so the new marine-grade silicone would fully adhere to the fiberglass.

installing drain plug

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I know it doesn’t always look super great, but I used a bunch of silicone to fully waterproof the connetion.

installed drain plus

Here is the finished job—new drain plug installed. Again, easy and fast. And it kept the interior of the boat totally dry.

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The next project was to fix existing holes on the back deck. I installed the Minn Kota heading sensor when I put the original Ultrex on the boat, and I was replaced it with a new heading sensor to go along with the new Ultrex we’ll be installing down the line in this series. The hole on the left was for an older unit that I never used; I left it there out of convenience. Once I found the TH Marine Screw Down Deck Plates, I knew where I would be using them.

Gluing plates

Use plenty of silicone. I had no intentions of ever pulling this plate off, so I glued the heck out of it!

installed plate and heading sensor

Here’s the finished back-deck project. Easy and clean.

transom plug open

This was a bigger problem than I realized early on, and frankly I ignored it. The plugs were old, rotten, and they just fell apart. The result was lots of water ending up in the bottom of the boat. This problem combined with the old crappy drain plug was allowing too much water into the point where it was affecting overall boat performance. Another simple problem that was neglected.

New transom plug

Here is the new plug installed. It was super easy and cheap, and it took a minute to fix it. Yes, a simple problem, but a bunch of simple problems stack up and it’s sometimes easier to just forget about it. I’ll not make that overall mistake again.

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