Bass Boat Basics

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Nov 20, 2020
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A friend's Ex-Son-in-law brought a 1983 Fisher Marine Bass Boat to me to make some "modifications" to....when it arrived, "most" of the parts and pieces were "There" but not mounted where they go.....I need to know where the steering console goes [distance from rear of transom] so that existing steering cable will fit when I am done....Does anyone know where I can locate a schematic drawing to locate this info?....ANY Help would be appreciated....
 

mr 88

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I would look.for any mounting holes that are probably located on the starboard side about the mid length of hull. Have the engine controls ? The cables should end in the same area and also have screw or bolt holes located on the inside of the gunwales. Existing steering cable with engine end placed in the appropriate area and then run along the gunwale should end up slightly forward of the engines control box. Sometimes there is fading on the hull / boat where the items were.
 
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I would look.for any mounting holes that are probably located on the starboard side about the mid length of hull. Have the engine controls ? The cables should end in the same area and also have screw or bolt holes located on the inside of the gunwales. Existing steering cable with engine end placed in the appropriate area and then run along the gunwale should end up slightly forward of the engines control box. Sometimes there is fading on the hull / boat where the items were.
Oh this thing has Plenty of "Holes", but nothing seems to "fit" any of them....and the two that DO fit, "I" think are too far forward...sadly, the steering cable is over 50 miles away from me....
 

mr 88

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Someone has to make the 50 mile run for the steering cable , your going to need it one way or another. I have many customers that commute that far everyday in a car , heck I drive almost 35 miles to get to my dock and I do that pretty much twice a weekend for 5 months.
 

Mark ofs

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Know that commute well...53miles each way for 5yrs till covid hit.....
 

Texasmark

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Get the cable and then build your console to fit, or build the console and order a new cable to fit. Having a cable too long is almost as bad as too short. On the exact distance OEMs use, it's what fits their layout. The idea is to get the operator up forward of the transom to aid in getting the bow down when at low speeds or during the "hole shot". I have added several over the years and my criteria was the cross seat location in determining the location. With pedestals, you can put it wherever you want.
 
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Get the cable and then build your console to fit, or build the console and order a new cable to fit. Having a cable too long is almost as bad as too short. On the exact distance OEMs use, it's what fits their layout. The idea is to get the operator up forward of the transom to aid in getting the bow down when at low speeds or during the "hole shot". I have added several over the years and my criteria was the cross seat location in determining the location. With pedestals, you can put it wherever you want.
I viewed numerous photos and images of "similar" boats...[this one was brought to me with all identifying decals, etc. removed....]....all had the consol about "mid-way" of the length....located 2 matching holes and stuck it there...fingers crossed...
 

Texasmark

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I viewed numerous photos and images of "similar" boats...[this one was brought to me with all identifying decals, etc. removed....]....all had the consol about "mid-way" of the length....located 2 matching holes and stuck it there...fingers crossed...
My Crestliner is mid way and works great....not too far aft causing excessive bow height for slow speeds, and not too far forward causing too much weight for faster, bow lifting requirements.
 

TyeeMan

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Do some searching on the interlink and see if you can find a picture of that make and model boat. Might help you a little bit.
I agree with the others, having the steering cable will better help you locate where the helm should be located. And you are going to need it at some point anyway.
 

skuhleman

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May 26, 2011
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I found if you find the hull ID. It will help you determine year and make. From there measure length and beam and you should be able to narrow down the model. Then you can Google the model number and see what you can find.
 

gm280

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Since boats, in general, are usually built basically the same, why not locate a similar type boat and get you measurements and ideas from that boat. I mean aluminum or fiberglass, they all have to work in the exact same fashion and placements. And usually, unless you have a center type console boat, the drivers console is on the Starboard side (right side when sitting in it to drive it). So figure your setup with those ideas and pick the placement and then get the steering length cable you need for that setup. Otherwise, what you presently have could have come out of a boat much shorter or even way longer then your setup. Control cables can easily be shortened, but can't be lengthened very easily. That usually takes newer longer ones. You can't loop a steering cable to make it shorter...that will never ever work! The electrical wires for the engine can easily be looped without any issues, and usually are. JMHO
 

Scott Danforth

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being a 1983 anything, much less a disassembled cluster of a project, check the transom, stringers and deck for rot and the flotation foam for water saturation. I would do this prior to even worrying about where to put anything because there is a reason the boat was torn apart and then passed on to someone else.

most boats in the 80's were figured out on the shop floor with chalk on the prototype and tested. consoles would have been moved often. once completed, then documentation was a Polaroid of the chalk marks on the floor.

agreed, make the 100 mile round trip. I do that every day for work. been driving between 35 miles and 75 miles one way to work for over 30 years. Heck, I drove 3300 miles over 3.5 days simply to pick up my tool box, engine hoist and some parts.
 
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being a 1983 anything, much less a disassembled cluster of a project, check the transom, stringers and deck for rot and the flotation foam for water saturation. I would do this prior to even worrying about where to put anything because there is a reason the boat was torn apart and then passed on to someone else.

most boats in the 80's were figured out on the shop floor with chalk on the prototype and tested. consoles would have been moved often. once completed, then documentation was a Polaroid of the chalk marks on the floor.

agreed, make the 100 mile round trip. I do that every day for work. been driving between 35 miles and 75 miles one way to work for over 30 years. Heck, I drove 3300 miles over 3.5 days simply to pick up my tool box, engine hoist and some parts.
foam and "most" boards were gone when it got to me....bare aluminum hull..{I put foam sheeting in between the ribs, in the floor and up both sides, before I fastened .090 aluminum in the floor, then .040 up each side...then fabbing "storage" areas out of that same .090....there are to be 11 storage compartments...} ..I have "visually" inspected the transom, {looks fine to me}.....but plans are to skin over, inside and out of the transom with at least 1/4" aluminum plate....So far, I have installed nearly 500 3/16 rivets in this joker....and I haven't gotten to the driver's seat or rear deck area YET...
 

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jbcurt00

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....I have "visually" inspected the transom, {looks fine to me}.....but plans are to skin over, inside and out of the transom with at least 1/4" aluminum plate...
Doing as much as you are, to not do the transom seems short sighted.....

If its sound, why add the 1/2in of AL?
 
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Doing as much as you are, to not do the transom seems short sighted.....

If its sound, why add the 1/2in of AL?
well....through the engine mounting holes, the transom wood "looks" ok.....but the "factory installed" aluminum seems a little thin [to Me]....we would rather have it overkill than have "issues" later on....Besides, I don't see an "easy" way to replace that wood....thus, the added alumynum....
 
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Well, Boys and Girls, I told a fib earlier.....there's Not 11 Storage compartments.....there are going to be 12...{I forgot about the Live Well}....Ooooops...Just more fun with fabrication....Yay ME...
 

gm280

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I have to say, you did some impressive work on your hull. Nice, clean and since it can't rot, it will be there forever. There is absolutely nothing wrong with redesigning a boat to suit your needs and wants. I mean it is your boat after all. Thumbs Up for sure...
 

jbcurt00

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well....through the engine mounting holes, the transom wood "looks" ok.....but the "factory installed" aluminum seems a little thin [to Me]....we would rather have it overkill than have "issues" later on....Besides, I don't see an "easy" way to replace that wood....thus, the added alumynum....
Overkill often puts additional stress on other areas not designed to take the added stress. And gives the impression of a band-aid 'repair'.

No pix, so no idea how easy or hard it'd be to replace transom wood on a Fiaher Marine tinny.

If its got a foreward facing skin on the transom ply already, those types of factory builds typically hide the worst corrosion damage to the aluminum and masks compromised ply transoms......

Although a typical point of water intrusion, motor mount thru holes only give you a <5% 'view' of the transom...

Again, a lot of time and expense to get to this point, short sighted to leave transom.

BTW: @gm280 Its not his boat, its someone else's, who I'm guessing has no idea about boat rehab work and is dependent on his rebuilder (the OP) to build out a safe/reliable rig. Not quite there, IMO.

Any other 37yr old original plywood show any damage? 1 of the very few to be 37yrs old and not need transom work. Small handful over 1000s of rebuilds. Much younger boats have needed it w no visible evidence of how bad it was until it was pulled, plywood and/or aluminum hull skins.

Good luck w the rest of your project.
 
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