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It’s only money….it’s only money

1347 Views 8 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  SoDakSlayer
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.

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Got some work done on the railing today.
Since we are both short on time-off, we tried to measure the boat at my house a few weeks ago and have the welder tack it at his house, but the angles were a little off in the front when he brought it back to confirm.
So, I got some time today and took the boat over to his little shop to get everything tacked up. He will take the railings to his big shop this week and get it all welded.
Even though it’s not done, I got to see the general shape. Im pretty happy with how it’s coming along.
Ill post some pics when its done.

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Got it back from the welder tonight. Now i just have to paint it, get a couple power strips and get it all mounted. Really happy with how it turned out. I told the welder from the beginning that I wanted it overbuilt and I feel like he delivered.

I only have 6 lights at the moment, but the railing has room for two more per side. I think ill end up with 4 per side, as shown.

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All done, ready to roll. My entire body is sore. Being in a space too small to even roll over, and trying to run all those wires, really sucked.

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Super clean man! Next project suggestion is to do like 3-5" catwalks to hide the green rope lights from blasting into your eyes lol

Looks good man!
Funny you say that. That’s my next project. Although i did buy a dimmer for the green lights (gets here today).
Maybe next year I’ll paint the rail and do the catwalks. I mainly want them to make it easier to get around the batteries, and lessen the chance of someone stepping on the wiring, with the barrel being so large.
I put the batteries there to keep weight off the front end and even it out.
took her out for the first real night trip and everything worked perfectly. No gaps in the light and it was a nice, consistent amount of light all over.
I could see fish almost all the way to the back of the boat. I considered getting two more lights up front (I left spaces in the railing), and two more off the back deck, but I don’t think I need them. Really happy with the 6 lights so far.

My buddy (first pic) has been using my backup strike eagle the first few times I took him out. He’s addicted now and just picked up a muzzy vice v2 bow.

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