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1988 sportsman 17' - my first boat - trolling motor help

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  • 1988 sportsman 17' - my first boat - trolling motor help

    Just got home with it and cannot explain my excitement. Anyone have any experience with a bow mount troller on this boat? With the layout of the bow, I am not sure the beast approach. It appears there are no access panels to get to the empty spaces or even under the live well?

    Any ideas?

    Thanks in advance. . . . I hope to be soon helping out around here once I learn a few things.

  • #2
    Re: 1988 sportsman 17' - my first boat - trolling motor help

    You have the same boat as I do. What exactly are your questions/concerns? Post any pics that you have. Rest assured, as long as the hull is in decent shape, the rest of the boat is easily modified if needed.
    Geeco
    1988 Blue Fin Sportsman 1700
    1988 Force 85 hp
    Restoration Thread http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=383916

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: 1988 sportsman 17' - my first boat - trolling motor help

      cons_dad,

      So you noticed the complete lack of access below the bow area, too! What a wonderful lack of planning on the part of Blue Fin!

      I was curious as to what was in this area of the boat myself so I cut a square access hole in the vertical wood panel just above the boat floor (forward of where the casting chair mount is located). What I found was a completely carpeted storage area, ready and waiting to be used! There wasn't even floatation foam put in place there so it makes no sense why Blue Fin completely sealed this area off.

      You could accomplish the same access by installing a new deck hatch on the horizontal surface but then you have to remove the foam cushions to get to it. I opted for the vertical face to avoid having to remove cushions. I lined the square access hole I cut with aluminum trim to clean up the edge.

      I encountered another problem that forced the need for access to below the front deck area. It was caused by the thru-hull fitting for the live well drain getting sheared off by years of launching the boat. The knuckleheads at the factory did not anticipate the location of the right bunk on the Escort trailer and installed the fitting in line with the bunk and below the water line. Unbeknownst to me, everytime the boat was launched the fitting would ram into the forward part of the bunk and then skid up and over the entire length of the bunk. It took over 15 years for the fitting to finally fracture but when it finally blew out I was out on the lake. Getting the boat on plane and bilge pump working overtime got the boat emptied while we quickly made our way back to the ramp. A rag shoved into the hole sealed it off temporarily but that required a jump into the water. Fortunately, it wasn't winter at the time!

      To be able to install a new hull fitting, I installed 2 round (approx. 8") deck access hatches on the deck between the live well hatch and starboard hull to allow both of my arms to reach down below to grab the fitting. I was worried about weakening the overall strength of the deck by installing too large a single hatch because I have seen some weakening of the deck around the lip of the live well, so I opted for two smaller hatches.

      I probably should have installed the new hull fitting higher up on the hull to avoid the bunk but after all the trouble I had already gone through, I didn't want to drill into the aluminum. It took over 15 years for the first hull fitting to fail and I don't use the boat but 10 hours a year on average anyway so I am in good shape when and if it ever blows out again.

      Force Fan
      Austin, TX
      1988 Blue Fin 1700 Sportsman
      85 hp Force

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: 1988 sportsman 17' - my first boat - trolling motor help

        Thank you for the responses. Both are helpful. here are a few pics of my bow area as requested.Click image for larger version

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        • #5
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          Re: 1988 sportsman 17' - my first boat - trolling motor help

          That's interesting in why they closed off the forward section. It seems like such a waste of space. When I redid mine, I made that whole front part into storage. i can fit an anchor and 5-6 life jackets up there.

          I have also seen a configuration where a person put 2 jumpseats, facing forward in front of each console. They then basically removed the bow storage and left it as standing room for fishing. They might have put a pedestal base up there, I can't remember for sure. They had some storage under each jump seat.
          Geeco
          1988 Blue Fin Sportsman 1700
          1988 Force 85 hp
          Restoration Thread http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=383916

          Comment

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