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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

Finally getting around to posting the current state of this boat that I purchased from Bob who built this boat from scratch who did a bang up job making this thing. If you're interested you can find his build here.

Luckily I was able to get a new Tohatsu mfs60 without much wait and put on a Bob's machine kickback jack since I'll be running in shallow water for fishing and hunting. Went with that engine because it's one of the lightest out there for 60hp. The jackplate was chosen because at low speeds it can kick up/back to protect the lower unit.

After looking over the wiring in detail I decided to rip it all out and start fresh with marine wire and a different combine a battery setup for the house and starter battery. I'm sure the initial setup worked just fine but I couldn't understand it and I noticed some wires that were grounded to the hull.

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After putting on the jackplate I realized I wanted to opt for a blinker switch instead of the panel switch so I wouldn't have to take my hands off the throttle or wheel.

Here's the steps to install the blinker, I'm sure most of you know how to do this but I found some other guides that helped me out and figured I'd do the same. You'll need a large monkey wrench, WD-40, crimpers, phillips head screwdriver, blue lock tight (or red if you never want to remove it again), pliers, drill, and a cold beer.

First you have to remove the steering wheel which is easier said than done. You have to loosen the large nut on top and pull the wheel off. Since the wheel is compression fitted under the nut it won't come off without a fight. Depending on how long it's been on it will not come off but if you put some WD-40 on it and give some time it will come off eventually.
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Once off you'll need to remove the alignment key and the three screws at the base.



Next a drill a hole to slide the jackplate wiring to connect to the switch.

Pull the wires through the hole and connect to the switch and test to make sure you connected it correctly. Slide the blinker style switch on and apply some blue lock tight to the screws to keep them secure, found this out the hard way and had to remove the wheel again. Don't be like me it's a pain to remove the wheel.

All you need to do need now is just put the alignment key back in, wheel on and then tighten it all back down. Drink your beer and relax.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Here's setup I made for the wiring. Since the original wires looked to be automotive grade and weren't labeled I had a hard time understanding what was going on and just wanted to start fresh.

Made the panel out of HDPE since it's easy to cut, cheap, strong and doesn't carry a current. To combine the house and starting batteries I went with the Blue Sea mini combination switch and ACR using maxi fuses as breakers between the ACR and battery. From the house battery to trolling motor connection I'm using a blue sea 50amp breaker.

The initial layout planning:
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The final setup mounted on the boat:
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The back side of the panel
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Used 2 gauge wire from the starter to the motor and back to busbar and then to the batteries. The wire to the ACR is 4 gauge. All of this is probably overkill but I'd rather play it safe and pay a bit more for wire than have any issues down the line.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
For those interested here's the basic wiring diagram for the boat, it's messy but does a decent job of showing what I did.
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Here are a few other odds and ends that I've done as well.

Installed V marine redfish engraved transom plate which is probably overkill but it looks cool and couldn't hurt either.
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Shaw wing medium cavitation plate, still working on the prop situation but it keeps the boat on a plan at a lower speed. Right now I'm using a standard tohatsu 17" prop but hitting about 34 at 5200 rpm. Ordered a cheap solas 15" prop to see how that works and then I'll go from there. Any advice is obviously welcome since this is the first real boat I've owned.
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Went ahead and installed three pop up cleats since I take a few trips a year that require me to tie off for a few days. The pop up cleats are great because they keep from snagging fly lines and they're pretty easy to install just wish that they were cheaper. Started this build and bought this boat to save money vs a Sabine skiff and well... I don't think I've saved any money here. That said I've learned a ton and don't have any regrets.
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And the most recent addition is a Simrad go9 mounted on a balzout mount. Although I love sight fishing around where I am there isn't too much you can do without a decent drive. So a fish finder is very nice to have, connected it to the engine via NMEA 2000 with the help of this thread. It works great and has really good engine info to the point that the manual rpm gauge is just redundant.
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks man, this community has taught me so many things it's about time I start contributing. This project has been fun and a great learning experience that I'm going to keep learning as it progresses.
 

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Nice job. For a novice, you're doing things the right way and boats aren't cheap no matter how you turn. Now go enjoy it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Good Job! I definitely see the need to clean up the wiring. It was completed a couple days before i had to drag it 500 miles on a trip haha. Glad you're liking it.
Thank man! It's a great boat and I'm enjoying every minute of it.

Looking forward to seeing your new build I'm sure it's going to run like a bat out of hell and shallow as all get.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Here are a few other things I ended up doing this past month.

1st was to change the trolling motor plug. Although it worked fine I had a gift card that let me get an upgraded plug without having to spend a dime. Went with a Marinco 70a plug since it was a bit more heavy duty. I tend to have the mind set of buy once cry once and figured I only want to replace this one time.

Since the plug it was replacing was a good bit smaller I had to use a router to expand the existing hole. After you have to slide the new plug in and thread on the mounting nut (the black circle in the picture) on the back.
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Let me just say it was a pain to install just because of the lack of access, I had to remove everything upfront to fit inside and thread on the backside of the plug through the deck. Thank god I'm not a big guy because there's no way I could have fit in the front storage locker if I was unless I was pratically a gymnast.

Here's the final product compared to the old plug, as you can tell it's a lot more heavy duty.
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The other thing I noticed is that there was an odd short when I disconnected the battery and my wrench touched the metal hull... You can see where this is going I'm sure. There's an issue with a wire grounding itself to the hull.

So I disconnected all the positive and negative wires to test one by one which was causing the problem. It was driving me crazy because I couldn't track down any frayed wires or bad connections until I go to the gas gauge. That was causing the short but there wasn't an issue with the wiring. Turns out that the metal backing that secures it to the dash carries a current due to the way it's constructed. Hopefully the picture below will illustrate better.

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The black arrow points to how the same metal bolt that is used for the ground is also used to mount the gauge to the dash. Since the boat is also metal it functionally grounds it to the boat. In most cases it probably wouldn't matter because the negative wire would be a better conductor preventing much voltage getting absorbed by the hull.

Since the battery are mounted up front by the gas tank the last thing I wanted to have happen is any sparks from the battery or grounding busbar completing a circuit when anything metal touch it and the hull.

So I replaced that gas gauge with one that has a plastic mounting nut on the back and matches my tach. I think it was only about $25 or so but was cheap insurance against electrolysis and potential fire hazards. Here's the gauge if your interested.

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks everyone for the complements.

The new prop just came in, hopefully it'll work a bit better than the old one. The prop I've been running since breaking in the engine was 11x17 and WOT is about 34mph at 5300 rpm. It's looking like I was a bit over propped since I had to really play with the jackplate and trim to get the rpms up. With this cheap solas 11x15 hopefully I'll get back some rpms and a better feel for what this boat needs.
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Went ahead and replaced the gas cap and vent as well, they worked fine in that there wasn't any fuel starvation issues but it would spit up a decent bit during fueling. I also just didn't like the way the looked so I went with a rather large perko fuel fill to cover the prior hole.

Here's the prior vent a fill combo and the new fuel fill.
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You can see why I had to search to find a large enough fuel fill by looking at the hole leftover.
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The new vent required me to drill a hole in the side of the boat which is something I hate to do but at least with some marine sealant and it's location there shouldn't be any issues. You can see roughly where the waterline is in the picture. Feel free to ignore the messy background I really need to clean up my garage.

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