Rigging Your Boat for Performance and Safety

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Here in the Midwest, April signifies many things, with many revolving around the concept of warmer temperatures. April signals the end of the boat show season, meaning that you may have a new boat sitting in your garage, or soon, or maybe you held off on purchasing a new boat and want to make some improvements to your existing rig.

Here are four items that not only increase your boat’s performance and curb appeal, but also make boating safer.

In Driver’s Ed, we all learned how to keep both of our hands on the steering wheel at the 10 and 2 positions, right? Well, the same idea can and should apply to driving a boat, especially when it has a motor that exceeds the 90-hp mark. To be able to achieve this you’ll need to install a blinker trim lever by your steering wheel and a T-H Marine HOT FOOT pedal on the floor of your boat underneath your console.

This will allow you to adjust the trim of your motor just like you are flipping on the blinker in your car, and once you put your motor in gear, you can give it gas via the HOT FOOT pedal. By keeping both hands on the wheel you’ll be able to make quick turns to avoid debris in the water. And when boating in rough water you have complete control over what your boat does.  Keeping your trolling motor secure when making a long run across the lake is important, not just because if it gets damaged you won’t be able to fish effectively, but it also keeps you focused on driving and not worrying about it bouncing around. For long runs, I’ll secure my Minn Kota Fortrex with the Velcro strap, but for short runs, it takes time to bend over to strap and unstrap it.

This is why the Troll Tamer is an ideal install on your boat. You can use your foot to depress the lever and the trolling motor is free to deploy. Then, when you are ready to move, just pull the trolling motor out of the water like you would regardless of situation, and bring it toward the deck and the stainless steel stabilizer locks into the base mounted on the deck of your boat. Now your trolling motor is securely stowed for any run you make to a new fishing spot.

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Doing tasks such as backing your trailer in or rigging rods come second nature to any die-hard fisherman. These tasks can be executed with ease during daylight hours. But even the seasoned pro has difficulty backing in a trailer at a poorly lit boat ramp and tying a Palomar knot with minimal lighting is next to impossible. This is why adding additional lighting to your boat and trailer will not only make tasks easier during the early morning or late night hours, but with properly placed lighting you’ll be able to see what you are doing, thus helping to eliminate accidents.

The addition of LED lights to an angler’s boat, truck, and trailer has become quite popular over the last few years. So depending on what you are looking for and how much you want to spend, any angler can add some light to their life. The T-H Marine LED lighting kits are affordable, easy to install and come in a several colors. The Trailer light kit excels at helping to illuminate boat ramps during the early-morning hours and I like to take the kit and put an LED strip where the gunwale and deck meet. This way, my deck is lit, eliminating the chances of me tripping over something.

As you get that itch to pull the boat out of the garage for the first fishing trip of the year, you might want to take another day or two and look at some of the items above and add them to you boat, making your fishing season a safer one on the water.

     Glenn Walker has been fishing Minnesota and Mississippi River tournaments for more than 10 years, spreading his passion and knowledge of the sport via articles and videos. For more information, check out glennwalkerfishing.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/glennwalkerfishing.