After struggling with my maxxum 70 52” troller for 7 years, I decided it was time to finally upgrade. One problem after another with that thing (mostly switch and general cheap/wobbly construction issues) and I didn’t want to give up on it after spending $700, but enough was enough. I went with the fortrex 80 w/ a 62” shaft, and it seems to be a better unit. More robust head-to-shaft attachment and I’m hoping the switch is better. It flows through the speeds instead of stopping at each one.
Then I decided it was also time to do lights. I’ve been wanting them since I bought the boat and had the deck made (2015). But that’s a pricey endeavor, to do it at a level I’d be happy with.
My biggest hang up was having complicated wiring etc. I didn’t understand it well enough to do it from scratch myself, so I just never did. A friend has some swamp eye light bars and they work pretty well, so I started looking into them.
Turns out, they make exactly what I’ve been wanting. A solid light with simple wiring I could do. I went with 6 of the new 160’s and they‘ll be run off a generator. All the extenders and wires just plug right into each other. I may add a couple lights for the rear later on.
They walked me right through the order. We added some things I hadn’t thought of, but also dropped some things I didn’t need. Outrigger Outdoors was really easy to deal with.
Another thing I’ve been wanting since we did the deck, is a short rail. I have fallen off the damn boat more times than I’d care to admit, sometimes actually hurting myself. With my deck, you don’t know you’re at the edge until you’re off. I bought some cheap aluminum square tube that I was going to use as a bump stop at the edge. But then I decided to do the lights and that plan went away.
I picked up 42 feet of 1.5” square tube with a 1/8” thick wall ($$$), for the new rail. I got about 12ft more than I needed, in case I want to build some more railing next year.
It will be about 18” high, which is just below my knees, and the lights will hang below the top rail. Probably overkill, but I generally go a little bigger than I think I need.
This is really similar to what we are going to do, except the front will be open for the troller to stow away. This boat was on the outrigger outdoors site, and was almost exactly what I envisioned for mine, so it’s been easy to show welders what I want. Rail will probably get painted black.
this is how the boat sits right now (except with a new troller). Hoping to have the railing welded and lights wired up within a month or so. I’ll post an update when it’s done.