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Old 09-03-2020, 01:04 PM
kswalleyer kswalleyer is offline
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 500

Originally Posted by gbin View Post
I understand that some people prefer to have their rod holders out and ready at all times, dismounting them only to cover their boat (if then). My preference is otherwise, to have them stowed except when I actually mean to use them, which certainly isn't all of the time. Plenty of the time I prefer to fish with a single rod held in my hands, and sometimes I won't even be fishing at all but will instead be swimming with my wife, exercising our dog, whatever. Different strokes..., eh?

With respect to how I stow the rod holders, I dislike the idea of simply wrapping them or putting some kind of sock on them and putting them in a compartment where they will bury other things or get buried in turn. Again, different strokes...

But in light of possible concerns that folks here have raised with respect to my idea to clip them to the underside of compartment lids, as I said, I'm reconsidering that idea and planning to get Ranger's advice as part of my reassessment. If I do abandon that idea, I'll probably instead look toward mounting the clips on the inside walls of compartments so that the rod holders can be stowed upright, still easily grabbed when I want them but secure when I don't. Do folks have thoughts to share on that idea, as well? It'll take up at least a bit more useful room in the compartments, obviously, but scarcely more than would wrapping/socking the rod holders and laying them in compartments, as the clips themselves are very low profile.

Whatever I end up doing, please bear in mind that resale considerations are not considerations for me AT ALL. I made an effort to buy what I wanted in a new, high-end boat for my use and enjoyment, in the coming days/weeks/months/years I'm going to modify the boat as I think best for my further use and enjoyment of it, and I see no reason to think that I will ever want to replace or be rid of the boat while I'm alive. I also don't need the money that would come from any such resale (or I wouldn't have bought the boat in the first place). I'm perfectly content to let my heirs worry about what happens to the boat when I'm gone.


If I had to guess, 99% of boats out there have them in a compartment. ..maybe wrapped and maybe in a duffel. why? because its easy, cheap, saves space and is effective. Mine are just loose.

My experience with mods in general is this:

Id get on the water and get some solid fishing time under your belt and reverse engineer into mods. Your boat, skills, experiences, techniques will tell you what you need to do. Until you get out in the wind, waves, other equipment, real time etc, you wont really know what works in real time. its very different on the water than in the garage thinking through scenarios. that boat seems big now but it gets small on the water in real time and that precious space under the floor gets swallowed up quickly......rod holders in a duffel bag takes up way less , precious space than any special mounting would....maybe you have done this and this is where you are in which case I have no other ideas. again this is just my experience.
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Last edited by kswalleyer; 09-03-2020 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 09-03-2020, 04:12 PM
ColoGregS ColoGregS is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 143

As others have mentioned I keep my rod holders loose and keep them in the rod locker.

If screws are not the answer, have you considered rivets through the fiberglass and stopping prior to getting to the foam backing?

I love your outlook on leaving the problem to your heirs. I have told my sons numerous times, that I am sorry about leaving so many issues when I die. However not a single one of the issues, cost them a penny of their hard earned money. And also mentioned to them, if they don't want to deal with the "issues" to give it all away.
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Old 09-04-2020, 07:36 AM
wh500special wh500special is offline
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Southern IL
Posts: 186

I can relate to wanting to have things mounted in specific locations. I tend to operate the same way, but those I live with are ever conspiring to thwart my organizational systems. I would, however, be reluctant to drill into my new boat just because I would be unsure of where I'd want to live with permanent holes. But once I did, I'd consider a few options...

Fiberglass - and composites in general - are really lousy at holding screws and threads. Even really well-consolidated laminates have this weakness. I don't know how Ranger builds the inner skin of these lids, but if they are made like a lot of boat surfaces they aren't going to be the best quality laminate.

Depending on the skin thickness, small sheetmetal screws might work good enough but you will absolutely want to install them with adhesive (not sealant) to hold them in place. This is typical composite construction and is known as installing the fastener "wet." Use 5-minute epoxy from any supplier for this. Pilot the hole first, then drive the screw. Don't use self-drillers or self-tappers.

Blind Rivets (pop rivets) can work well, but they require a solid, quality laminate to set and not crush. A lot of hand-laid and spray-up boat laminates tend to be fairly light on fiber and can crack when the rivet is drawn up tight. I think - not completely sure - that Ranger now uses vacuum resin infusion to make compartment liners and lids. This results in virtually no trapped air and a much more dense laminate. These are substantially better and should resist the compressive force of the rivet.

Beware that it's not uncommon for a rivet that is set into thin composite to not "bite" hard enough to allow it to be drilled out later. They will hold well, but may just spin when you try to drill them out. You can cut the head off in other ways if you need to remove them, but drilling may be difficult.

You can install the rivets wet too, but you need to be mindful of not gunking up your rivet tool.

McMaster Carr has a huge array of blind rivets from which to choose sourced from a variety of suppliers. You can get them in stainless and even with countersinking heads if you need to match the hardware you're installing. Choose a "sealed" rivet with a closed back side if you can. Aluminum rivets probably exert less crushing force when they are being expanded and are probably the best choice.

I like the cedar strip idea, but I would modify it by bonding on a piece of aluminum instead. A thin (0.080") sheet of aluminum can be sanded and bonded with Acrylic/Methacrylate adhesive to the underside of the lid where you can later drill, screw, or rivet to your contentment. Aluminum bonds well, but it needs to be scuffed up first to remove the natural oxide coating. Scotchbrite works well for this. Degrease all surfaces prior sanding and bonding with acetone.

You'll need to clamp the strip into place while the adhesive sets. You can devise clamps for this; can remove the lid, flip it over and use weights; or you can use "fixturing rivets" to hold the strip on. Match drill the strip and the lid, apply adhesive, put it in place, then set rivets. The rivets will capture it so the adhesive can grab properly.

Weight is a concern here and you'll have an obviously modified lid that may or may not be pleasing to your eye when you open the door. These adhesives are very structural but smell really bad. The odor will persist for a long time even after being fully cured. But the bond will be permanent.

A final method that's more common to do in honeycomb panels, but works OK with foam cores too...You can pot the screw location with epoxy to gain better holding power. Basically, this gives you a locally thick spot to drive a screw.

First, drill a small hole either in the location or adjacent to where you want the screw to live. Then stick the bent end of an allen wrench into the hole. Rotate it to crunch up the foam. Remove it, suck out the dust, and repeat. Eventually you'll have a hollow spot behind the skin of the panel. Inject that void with epoxy to fill it completely. Let it set then install whatever fastener you want. The strengthened area will hold a screw, rivet, or whatever much better than the skin alone.

This is easier done in theory than in reality. It is tedious and frustrating. Get in too much of a hurry and you screw up the laminate where the allen wrench is going through. I've done this literally hundreds of times and it works really well and is common practice, but not much fun. I usually clamp a thin piece of steel with a hole in it directly over the hole I'm cleaning out to serve as a bushing. I think there are special tools for this, but we always use allen wrenches since they are cheap and are strong.

There are even special threaded inserts made for this method, but probably not needed to mount rod holders. I am guessing that Ranger uses lightweight foam cores similar to the 2-lb/ft3 floatation foam they inject elsewhere. It's possible they are using some other more dense core material that would not permit this process. There are a lot of "foams" that are now used that help resin flow during the lamination process and these aren't really candidates for hollowing out as a secondary operation as they often have fiber reinforcement or flow channels that fill with sold resin in them.

There are a lot of other options I would suspect including expansion anchors (but I can't find small ones in my searches right now). I'd also bet that 85% of riggers would just use small sheetmetal screws and call it a day.

I'd probably use the rivets first if it was my boat. That is if I didn't use a duffel bag

Good luck,
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Old 09-04-2020, 07:43 AM
Hot Runr Guy Hot Runr Guy is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: West Chicago, IL, USA.
Posts: 15,126

Just use whatever screws you have handy,,,,,

Like this guy.

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Old 09-04-2020, 11:31 AM
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Bobby Winds Bobby Winds is offline
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: WNY
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Originally Posted by Hot Runr Guy View Post
Just use whatever screws you have handy,,,,,

Like this guy.

That looks like a first time boat owner mounting rod holders in a storage compartment for no apparent reason.........LOL
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Old 09-05-2020, 06:22 PM
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gbin gbin is offline
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: upstate NY (but MN in my heart!)
Posts: 874

Originally Posted by wh500special View Post
I can relate to wanting to have things mounted in specific locations. I tend to operate the same way, but those I live with are ever conspiring to thwart my organizational systems. I would, however, be reluctant to drill into my new boat just because I would be unsure of where I'd want to live with permanent holes. But once I did, I'd consider a few options...
Wow, what a great primer on the subject! You gave my education a big boost, and pointed me toward a number of more detailed questions to ask Ranger when I speak with them, too. Thanks a heck of a lot, Steve!

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Old 09-05-2020, 09:13 PM
3M TA3 3M TA3 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Burt Lake
Posts: 2,720

Looks like you won't be accused of having a screw loose.
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Old 09-05-2020, 10:37 PM
Kouki7 Kouki7 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Sioux Falls, SD
Posts: 413

I like drilling holes in my new boat. Itís fun

Iíve mounted 2 Sta-bil Mounts, plus wired in 2 additional graphs and a Point - 1.

before I drill a hole I make sure everything is where I want as once drilled no turning back.

Get good Stainless steel hardware. Drill pilot holes, use a counter sink bit every time to keep from any gel coat cracks. You donít need to do 300ft/lbs of torque on a screw for it to be secure..

Next up will be replacing my rails with track . That will be a lot of holes drilled, marine adhesive injected, counter sinks done and then happiness.

We wonít get into how particular I am in wiring...
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Old 09-10-2020, 06:27 PM
abster71 abster71 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 17
Default mounting

before you go drilling and screwing try some VHB tape from 3M the stuff is super strong or try 3M 5200 used for mounting transducer board to boat without screws if you use the 5200 scuff both surfaces. I would go with the VHB, if for some reason you don't like the placement you try and peal of and relocate, it comes off but it's tough.
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Old 09-11-2020, 01:54 PM
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gbin gbin is offline
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: upstate NY (but MN in my heart!)
Posts: 874

Thanks for more great advice, folks!

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