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Rear Hand Rails to Track Conversion on Fiberglass boat - Walleye Message Central
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  #1  
Old 11-17-2019, 01:25 PM
Kouki7 Kouki7 is offline
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Default Rear Hand Rails to Track Conversion on Fiberglass boat

Has anyone changed out their hand rails and switched them to tracks on the boat? I would like to remove my hand rails on my 620 and put tracks in the place.

Difficulty? Any extra holes? Do you need to put a backing plate on the tracks?
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  #2  
Old 11-17-2019, 02:30 PM
muskyed muskyed is offline
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Have put tracks on both of my last two boats, 20' Skeeter, and 22' Skeeter. On 20'er, I did it myself, and ended up wearing two layers of long sleeve t-shirt, and my arms were still shredded by the fiberglass strands that were like needles. Shouldn't need backer plates, as your glass is plenty thick, but you need to use the bolts and fender washers that come with, and not screws. Only had one hole to cover as we cut the factory hand rail just behind the middle support and plugged it with a stainless plug. That way I had the track and a short piece of grab rail to hang on to when getting in and out of boat while on the trailer. On my latest boat, I had the dealer do it during setup, and ordered the boat without the rail from the factory. Had 6' Traxs installed on that boat and also had a 12" grab rail installed on each side. Grab rail is not only nice for getting in and out while on the trailer, but also nice for tying up at the dock as it's pretty much in the middle and you don't need to tie up in the front and back if the wind is in the wrong direction.
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Old 11-17-2019, 06:23 PM
Mt Warrrior Mt Warrrior is offline
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Like stated, gunnels are pretty thick, I don't use rails but have never used washers when mounting rod holders, is usually very hard getting at some of them under the gunnels, Warriors being the exception because of that nice shelf on the sides.
I'd recommend counter sinking the holes after drilling, to keep from breaking a chunk of flake off, and putting masking tape down before drilling.

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Old 11-17-2019, 06:34 PM
REW REW is offline
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Easy enough to do.
If you need access to the underside of the gunnel, just install an inspection port in the area needing access:

For example:
https://www.westmarine.com/buy/west-...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

These access hatches come in a few different colors and sizes. Cut the hole, do the track installation work, and then install the hatch.

Once the access perimeter is installed in the rough cut hole, the access size is reduced and you have to contend with the back side of the hatch with the protruding screws on the inside of the interior wall of the boat.

Take care
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Old 11-17-2019, 06:56 PM
Tilzbow Tilzbow is offline
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I’d call Ranger if it were me. The channel (3” PVC) for wiring runs under the gunnel in my boat and that area is probably filled with foam, too.

I had Cannon Power Ports rigged on my new 621 yesterday and I saw both the PVC and the foam under the gunnel. The dealer drill about a 1 1/2” hole about 6” under the gunnel about 2’ in from the stern.
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Old 11-17-2019, 07:18 PM
Mt Warrrior Mt Warrrior is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tilzbow View Post
I’d call Ranger if it were me. The channel (3” PVC) for wiring runs under the gunnel in my boat and that area is probably filled with foam, too.



I had Cannon Power Ports rigged on my new 621 yesterday and I saw both the PVC and the foam under the gunnel. The dealer drill about a 1 1/2” hole about 6” under the gunnel about 2’ in from the stern.
Agree 100%, you want to know what you may be drilling into.

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Old 11-17-2019, 08:12 PM
Kouki7 Kouki7 is offline
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Thank you everyone for the responses. I appreciate it, and some things I didn’t think about if I converted are very valid. Now I have to think more about it. My main reason was having my rod holders exactly where I want them, any where along the gunnel.

I’ve ran wires through those tubes so, yea could be a big deal drilling through my wiring harness ha! Might be a dealer job, might be a pass, might be a want for the next boat.
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Old 11-18-2019, 08:31 AM
Tilzbow Tilzbow is offline
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I ordered mine with factory installed 4’ Bert’s tracks. It appears to me that they used only screws vs nuts, washers and bolts but I can’t be sure just by looking at the head. That said, them only using screws would make the most sense because they appear to have been installed late in the process and them using nuts and washers on the inside would cause the same challenge for them we’re discussing. But they could’ve installed prior to putting the cockpit and the hull together.

Ranger might run extruded glass under the gunnels to facilitate screwing options in without backing washers and nuts. If that’s the case you could limit the depth of your drill and simply attach with heavy stainless screws. A quick call could help answer your questions. They’ve been very helpful in my experience.
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Old 11-18-2019, 05:08 PM
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ltrain ltrain is offline
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I know one of the aftermarket guys only uses screws and 3m 5200, says its plenty.

One other thing to consider are mounts that go on the rails that allow you to attach tracks. Then you don't have to remove your rails and your tracks are thus removable.
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Old 11-19-2019, 10:06 AM
erino erino is offline
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Shouldn't be a problem. Ranger boats should have 1/2" of pultrusion (their proprietary version of reinforced fiberglass backer board) under the gunnel fiberglass. Predrill and ream hole through gelcoat and then use 1" long Screws into pultrusion will hold just about anything.



I have drilled many holes through and into that stuff.


You can google ranger pultrusion or watch one of the factory tour videos that will show this as well.
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