Boat Makeover

Boat Makeover: DIY jackplate and anchors install

In this gallery, we'll demonstrate step-by-step how to install an Atlas hydraulic jackplate and Minn Kota Talons onto a 2007 Ranger Z20. The process, however, will be the same for any brand of bass boat. The key to getting this task accomplished by yourself is having the right tools, the right space and the right experience. Without any of those factors, you could damage your rig or hurt yourself. Be smart. With all those factors, it's an easy two-hour job.
Photo: Thomas Allen - In this gallery, we'll demonstrate step-by-step how to install an Atlas hydraulic jackplate and Minn Kota Talons onto a 2007 Ranger Z20. The process, however, will be the same for any brand of bass boat. The key to getting this task accomplished by yourself is having the right tools, the right space and the right experience. Without any of those factors, you could damage your rig or hurt yourself. Be smart. With all those factors, it's an easy two-hour job.
Once you've removed the motor cowling, there are three threaded bushings on top of the fly wheel. That's where you'll attach a device that will provide a place to hook onto a cherry picker. That will lift the motor free from the transom so you can replace the jackplate.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Once you've removed the motor cowling, there are three threaded bushings on top of the fly wheel. That's where you'll attach a device that will provide a place to hook onto a cherry picker. That will lift the motor free from the transom so you can replace the jackplate.
In the splashwell of this boat is a round disk that needs removed so you can access the bottom bolts that are holding the jackplate to the boat's transom. This is to help you locate them, do not remove these bolts before you remove the motor from the existing jackplate. This plastic disk serves as an access point to get a wrench on the bolt.
Photo: Thomas Allen - In the splashwell of this boat is a round disk that needs removed so you can access the bottom bolts that are holding the jackplate to the boat's transom. This is to help you locate them, do not remove these bolts before you remove the motor from the existing jackplate. This plastic disk serves as an access point to get a wrench on the bolt.
Here is one of the bottom bolts inside your boat. There are two that are easily accessed from that round port in the splashwell.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Here is one of the bottom bolts inside your boat. There are two that are easily accessed from that round port in the splashwell.
These two small plastic disks cover the upper bolts that attach the jackplate to the transom. Again, do not remove these bolts until the motor is detached from the existing jackplate.
Photo: Thomas Allen - These two small plastic disks cover the upper bolts that attach the jackplate to the transom. Again, do not remove these bolts until the motor is detached from the existing jackplate.
Here's a look a the bolt access from the smaller disks.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Here's a look a the bolt access from the smaller disks.
Literally, as we began to loosen the first bolt, it got a little wet, and we had to back into the shop as far as we could. Getting soaking wet wasn't in our plans.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Literally, as we began to loosen the first bolt, it got a little wet, and we had to back into the shop as far as we could. Getting soaking wet wasn't in our plans.
Again, having access to the right facility is critical to getting this job done right. If it weren't for my good friend Paul, this task would have been impossible. He's got all the right tools, the right shop and like me, he loves a DIY project like this.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Again, having access to the right facility is critical to getting this job done right. If it weren't for my good friend Paul, this task would have been impossible. He's got all the right tools, the right shop and like me, he loves a DIY project like this.
And any job like this is flat incomplete without greasy pizza loaded with meat. Just looking at this picture makes me want the exact same thing again. Like right now.
Photo: Thomas Allen - And any job like this is flat incomplete without greasy pizza loaded with meat. Just looking at this picture makes me want the exact same thing again. Like right now.
Paul is a mechanic at heart, and loves working on machinery. It's a primary focus to his career, but it's also something he enjoys in his spare time. So this project was one he wanted in on, not only for the experience, but to see it through and make improvements to a bass boat. Thankfully he has a cherry picker that is built to lift motors of all types and many other ultra-heavy items. Without this tool, you simply can't do this job.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Paul is a mechanic at heart, and loves working on machinery. It's a primary focus to his career, but it's also something he enjoys in his spare time. So this project was one he wanted in on, not only for the experience, but to see it through and make improvements to a bass boat. Thankfully he has a cherry picker that is built to lift motors of all types and many other ultra-heavy items. Without this tool, you simply can't do this job.
Paul attaches the lifting plate that screws into the fly wheel.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Paul attaches the lifting plate that screws into the fly wheel.
And easily puts enough pressure on the motor so removing the bolts will be easy.
Photo: Thomas Allen - And easily puts enough pressure on the motor so removing the bolts will be easy.
There are four bolts holding the motor to the jackplate, two per side. In this image you can see two of them that need to be removed to free the motor from the existing jackplate.
Photo: Thomas Allen - There are four bolts holding the motor to the jackplate, two per side. In this image you can see two of them that need to be removed to free the motor from the existing jackplate.
Having two sets of hands is ideal. One set to hold the wrench still inside the jackplate so the bolts and nuts don't turn as they are loosened.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Having two sets of hands is ideal. One set to hold the wrench still inside the jackplate so the bolts and nuts don't turn as they are loosened.
In just a couple of minutes, the bolts are removed
Photo: Thomas Allen - In just a couple of minutes, the bolts are removed
Keep everything. This cool little
Photo: Thomas Allen - Keep everything. This cool little "dish" is magnatized so all the metal parts inside it won't spill out. You'll need all these bolts, hang on to them.
Here you can see the motor is free and hanging comfortably on the cherry picker.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Here you can see the motor is free and hanging comfortably on the cherry picker.
Time for a break and more pizza.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Time for a break and more pizza.
The weather continued to stay wet, making us thankful for a roof over our heads.
Photo: Thomas Allen - The weather continued to stay wet, making us thankful for a roof over our heads.
Time to dig into the new Atlas jackplate by TH Marine. Why install one of these? To optimize boat and motor performance. By being able to raise and lower the motor by operating a switch, you can get a clean hole shot from shallow water and keep better control of your boat in big water and waves. But most of all, your rig will run to spec without having to make a single turn of a wrench.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Time to dig into the new Atlas jackplate by TH Marine. Why install one of these? To optimize boat and motor performance. By being able to raise and lower the motor by operating a switch, you can get a clean hole shot from shallow water and keep better control of your boat in big water and waves. But most of all, your rig will run to spec without having to make a single turn of a wrench.
Paul decides to power up on a 2-litre of Mt. Dew. This man is for real, folks. He doesn't mess around when it comes to detailed DIY projects. Every piston needs fuel.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Paul decides to power up on a 2-litre of Mt. Dew. This man is for real, folks. He doesn't mess around when it comes to detailed DIY projects. Every piston needs fuel.
While Paul polished off that bottle of soda, I removed the zip ties that secured my main transducer cable.
Photo: Thomas Allen - While Paul polished off that bottle of soda, I removed the zip ties that secured my main transducer cable.
Looking into the existing jackplate, you can see there are two bolts per side that attach to the boat's transom.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Looking into the existing jackplate, you can see there are two bolts per side that attach to the boat's transom.
With the right tools like a pneumatic socket, these come off very easily.
Photo: Thomas Allen - With the right tools like a pneumatic socket, these come off very easily.
With all the bolts pulled out, the jackplate may or may not remain stuck to the transom. This one did because the previous owner used plenty of marine-grade silicone to eliminate any chance of a leak. Too much silicone, in fact.
Photo: Thomas Allen - With all the bolts pulled out, the jackplate may or may not remain stuck to the transom. This one did because the previous owner used plenty of marine-grade silicone to eliminate any chance of a leak. Too much silicone, in fact.
With a little pressure, the jackplate popped off, and we had a clear transom to begin cleaning up.
Photo: Thomas Allen - With a little pressure, the jackplate popped off, and we had a clear transom to begin cleaning up.
Here you can see much of the remnant silicone.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Here you can see much of the remnant silicone.
Being careful to not scrape the clearcoat from the back end of your rig, use a bladed scraping device to remove the clumps of dried silicone.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Being careful to not scrape the clearcoat from the back end of your rig, use a bladed scraping device to remove the clumps of dried silicone.
This process may take a few short minutes, but it's critical to getting a solid seal between the transom and Atlas jackplate.
Photo: Thomas Allen - This process may take a few short minutes, but it's critical to getting a solid seal between the transom and Atlas jackplate.
Once everything is cleaned off, get new marine-grade silicone placed on and around each of the four bolts.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Once everything is cleaned off, get new marine-grade silicone placed on and around each of the four bolts.
Here you can see the transom is as clean as it's going to get, and there is more than enough silicone to eliminate any chance of leaks.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Here you can see the transom is as clean as it's going to get, and there is more than enough silicone to eliminate any chance of leaks.
The new Atlas hydraulic jackplate is ready to install. Keep all the nuts and bolts from your previous jackplate, you can use them again.
Photo: Thomas Allen - The new Atlas hydraulic jackplate is ready to install. Keep all the nuts and bolts from your previous jackplate, you can use them again.
Before cranking each nut down, use a liberal amount of anti-seize on the threads as stainless steel bolts and nuts will lock up at a moments notice. I'm going to beat this point home in this gallery because neglecting this part will likely result in a very frustrating, and potentially damaging mess. This stuff is cheap and easy to use. Use it. Trust me.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Before cranking each nut down, use a liberal amount of anti-seize on the threads as stainless steel bolts and nuts will lock up at a moments notice. I'm going to beat this point home in this gallery because neglecting this part will likely result in a very frustrating, and potentially damaging mess. This stuff is cheap and easy to use. Use it. Trust me.
Lather it on.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Lather it on.
TH Marine makes it easy to know which end is to be connected to the boat.
Photo: Thomas Allen - TH Marine makes it easy to know which end is to be connected to the boat.
Again, two sets of hands will make this part easier, but Paul being the master he is, he handles it himself so I can take a picture.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Again, two sets of hands will make this part easier, but Paul being the master he is, he handles it himself so I can take a picture.
Oh, and read the instructions. They are simple, and will help anytime you have a question. But read them before you start, not after.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Oh, and read the instructions. They are simple, and will help anytime you have a question. But read them before you start, not after.
You'll want to torque the bolts to 80- to 90-foot pounds.
Photo: Thomas Allen - You'll want to torque the bolts to 80- to 90-foot pounds.
With all the jackplate bolts tightened and the motor still unattached, it's a good idea to run the wires to test functionality.
Photo: Thomas Allen - With all the jackplate bolts tightened and the motor still unattached, it's a good idea to run the wires to test functionality.
Here you can see I've attached the positive and negative ends to their corresponding terminals on the cranking battery.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Here you can see I've attached the positive and negative ends to their corresponding terminals on the cranking battery.
The back of the included switch features three tabs that the three wires need to be installed on. I read the instructions to Paul and he placed the wires, but something was wrong. The up button moved the jackplate down, and visa versa.
Photo: Thomas Allen - The back of the included switch features three tabs that the three wires need to be installed on. I read the instructions to Paul and he placed the wires, but something was wrong. The up button moved the jackplate down, and visa versa.
Upon further inspection, we had two of the wires backwards. Why? Well, Paul informed me that he is colorblind, and can't tell the difference between the wires at all. My father has the same issue, so we laughed at the misfire. But the instructions clearly indicate the proper order.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Upon further inspection, we had two of the wires backwards. Why? Well, Paul informed me that he is colorblind, and can't tell the difference between the wires at all. My father has the same issue, so we laughed at the misfire. But the instructions clearly indicate the proper order.
Once we had it hooked up right, we tested it and it ran perfectly.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Once we had it hooked up right, we tested it and it ran perfectly.
Now it's time to reattach the outboard to the new Atlas jackplate.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Now it's time to reattach the outboard to the new Atlas jackplate.
Paul positions the motor with the cherry picker, again a paramount tool for this job.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Paul positions the motor with the cherry picker, again a paramount tool for this job.
With very little effort, we placed the motor and put the bolts back into position.
Photo: Thomas Allen - With very little effort, we placed the motor and put the bolts back into position.
Again, use anti-seize. Do not neglect this part.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Again, use anti-seize. Do not neglect this part.
We began cranking down the bolts.
Photo: Thomas Allen - We began cranking down the bolts.
Here you can see Paul utilizing an extension on his pneumatic driver, making it easier to gain adequate access to the bolt without risking scratching the motor.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Here you can see Paul utilizing an extension on his pneumatic driver, making it easier to gain adequate access to the bolt without risking scratching the motor.
With all the bolts cinched down, Paul takes the pressure off of the cherry picker, and the motor is mounted.
Photo: Thomas Allen - With all the bolts cinched down, Paul takes the pressure off of the cherry picker, and the motor is mounted.
Again, we double check the torque on all the bolts.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Again, we double check the torque on all the bolts.
And Paul's puppy Miller has had enough excitement for one day.
Photo: Thomas Allen - And Paul's puppy Miller has had enough excitement for one day.
The new shiny Atlas hydraulic jackplate is fully attached, fully functional, and all done in less than 2 hours.
Photo: Thomas Allen - The new shiny Atlas hydraulic jackplate is fully attached, fully functional, and all done in less than 2 hours.
A good evening with a good friend, pizza and completed task. Satisfying.
Photo: Thomas Allen - A good evening with a good friend, pizza and completed task. Satisfying.
The next afternoon, I ran the wires for the Atlas hydraulic jackplate, and that required the use of an inexpensive, but critical tool: A wire snake. Or a fish tape, however you want to call it. This is such a convenience maker, I keep two of them handy. This will help me run the wires through the gunnel of the boat up to the console.
Photo: Thomas Allen - The next afternoon, I ran the wires for the Atlas hydraulic jackplate, and that required the use of an inexpensive, but critical tool: A wire snake. Or a fish tape, however you want to call it. This is such a convenience maker, I keep two of them handy. This will help me run the wires through the gunnel of the boat up to the console.
Here is where I'm going to place the operation switch.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Here is where I'm going to place the operation switch.
Here I've run the fish tape from the front of the boat, and I'm going to tape the wires to it so I can run them through the gunnel.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Here I've run the fish tape from the front of the boat, and I'm going to tape the wires to it so I can run them through the gunnel.
By using electrical tape, cover it fully so it will cleanly pass through the gunnel. Hang-ups can be frustrating, but by making the temporary junction as smooth as possible, it'll keep the cuss words to a minimum.
Photo: Thomas Allen - By using electrical tape, cover it fully so it will cleanly pass through the gunnel. Hang-ups can be frustrating, but by making the temporary junction as smooth as possible, it'll keep the cuss words to a minimum.
Here's the wire cluster now at the boat's console where it can be attached to the switch.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Here's the wire cluster now at the boat's console where it can be attached to the switch.
Very easy, and fast. Now the jackplate is fully functional.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Very easy, and fast. Now the jackplate is fully functional.
With that done, let's switch gears to installing Minn Kota Talons onto the side of the Atlas hydraulic jackplate. The holes for the Talon mounting bracket are pre-drilled making this install process simple easy.
Photo: Thomas Allen - With that done, let's switch gears to installing Minn Kota Talons onto the side of the Atlas hydraulic jackplate. The holes for the Talon mounting bracket are pre-drilled making this install process simple easy.
Here is a look at the Talon mounting bracket system. It's easy and compartmentalized, but each boat configuration might require different adjustments. Minn Kota makes it easy with their system to fit to any boat transom.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Here is a look at the Talon mounting bracket system. It's easy and compartmentalized, but each boat configuration might require different adjustments. Minn Kota makes it easy with their system to fit to any boat transom.
For the larger bracket bolts and nuts, you'll need 3/4-inch socket and wrench. Plus a torque wrench.
Photo: Thomas Allen - For the larger bracket bolts and nuts, you'll need 3/4-inch socket and wrench. Plus a torque wrench.
Here are your options. Depending on the boat, you can rig your mounting brackets to the front or rear of the Atlas jackplate. Ideally, you'll want the Talons as far forward as possible to accommodate the weight distribution.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Here are your options. Depending on the boat, you can rig your mounting brackets to the front or rear of the Atlas jackplate. Ideally, you'll want the Talons as far forward as possible to accommodate the weight distribution.
Here is me making this point again. Use all of the included anti-seize on the large stainless steel nuts and bolts.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Here is me making this point again. Use all of the included anti-seize on the large stainless steel nuts and bolts.
Here is the base bracket that attaches to the Atlas jackplate, and the mounting hardware.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Here is the base bracket that attaches to the Atlas jackplate, and the mounting hardware.
Rig it as high as it will go.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Rig it as high as it will go.
Use this stuff.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Use this stuff.
Crank those bolts down, then torque them to 30- to 40-foot pounds.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Crank those bolts down, then torque them to 30- to 40-foot pounds.
Another reason to get an Atlas hydraulic jackplate, you can raise the motor out of the way when installing Minn Kota Talons.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Another reason to get an Atlas hydraulic jackplate, you can raise the motor out of the way when installing Minn Kota Talons.
Here you can see I used the back holes to mount the base bracket, but positioned it facing forward.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Here you can see I used the back holes to mount the base bracket, but positioned it facing forward.
This is the next piece you'll need to install, the mounting bracket arm will extend the Talon to the side of the boat.
Photo: Thomas Allen - This is the next piece you'll need to install, the mounting bracket arm will extend the Talon to the side of the boat.
You can see the gear-type teeth meant to provide many angle options, which will accommodate any bass boat configuration.
Photo: Thomas Allen - You can see the gear-type teeth meant to provide many angle options, which will accommodate any bass boat configuration.
The long bolts are for securing the arm to the base.
Photo: Thomas Allen - The long bolts are for securing the arm to the base.
Here you can see I've positioned it as far forward as my boat's transom will allow.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Here you can see I've positioned it as far forward as my boat's transom will allow.
Use the included anti-seize. Am I getting my point across on this?
Photo: Thomas Allen - Use the included anti-seize. Am I getting my point across on this?
Crank them tight and torque them to 30- to 40-foot pounds.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Crank them tight and torque them to 30- to 40-foot pounds.
The arm is attached and ready for the next part.
Photo: Thomas Allen - The arm is attached and ready for the next part.
This is the next component to attach to the arm, it'll hold the tilt bracket.
Photo: Thomas Allen - This is the next component to attach to the arm, it'll hold the tilt bracket.
I've eye-balled this bracket being parallel with the transom. Essentially you want it to be square with the boat, parallel with the back and perpendicular with the gunnel.
Photo: Thomas Allen - I've eye-balled this bracket being parallel with the transom. Essentially you want it to be square with the boat, parallel with the back and perpendicular with the gunnel.
I've not yet cranked the nuts tight in case I need to make an adjustment at the end of the install.
Photo: Thomas Allen - I've not yet cranked the nuts tight in case I need to make an adjustment at the end of the install.
Here is the tilt bracket semi-installed.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Here is the tilt bracket semi-installed.
For this part you'll need 1/2-inch sockets and wrenches.
Photo: Thomas Allen - For this part you'll need 1/2-inch sockets and wrenches.
The way this bracket is designed, you can adjust the third axis as needed to correlate with your boat configuration. For mine, lining up the sides makes it square with the boat.
Photo: Thomas Allen - The way this bracket is designed, you can adjust the third axis as needed to correlate with your boat configuration. For mine, lining up the sides makes it square with the boat.
Here it is installed and in the down position.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Here it is installed and in the down position.
Here it is installed and in the up position.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Here it is installed and in the up position.
Ready for the Talon.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Ready for the Talon.
Get a second set of hands for this part, you'll appreciate the added support.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Get a second set of hands for this part, you'll appreciate the added support.
Minn Kota makes the install process easy by keeping all parts for each component together.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Minn Kota makes the install process easy by keeping all parts for each component together.
Here's a quick tip from a lesson I learned the hard way. Put the bolt head inside the tilt bracket, with the washer and nuts on the exterior, otherwise the bracket won't close all the way.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Here's a quick tip from a lesson I learned the hard way. Put the bolt head inside the tilt bracket, with the washer and nuts on the exterior, otherwise the bracket won't close all the way.
Here you can see the Talon is installed, but it's leaning back and not level with the boat.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Here you can see the Talon is installed, but it's leaning back and not level with the boat.
The way this bracket is designed, you can make those smaller adjustments to square everything up.
Photo: Thomas Allen - The way this bracket is designed, you can make those smaller adjustments to square everything up.
First you'll want to raise this bolt that acts as a stop so the Talon won't slide too deep if the bolts are loosened.
Photo: Thomas Allen - First you'll want to raise this bolt that acts as a stop so the Talon won't slide too deep if the bolts are loosened.
Remove the nuts and washers from the base of the Talon. On both sides.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Remove the nuts and washers from the base of the Talon. On both sides.
Slightly raise the Talon and move the bolts back to the center hole.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Slightly raise the Talon and move the bolts back to the center hole.
Or whichever hole works with your boat's configuration. The goal is to have the Talons perfectly vertical.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Or whichever hole works with your boat's configuration. The goal is to have the Talons perfectly vertical.
Here you can see the Talon is in the correct position.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Here you can see the Talon is in the correct position.
Now you can go back and crank the nuts down, then torque them in.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Now you can go back and crank the nuts down, then torque them in.
Adding the Talon kickstand is necessary if you plan to use the tilt bracket. It will help prevent damage to the Talon and your boat.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Adding the Talon kickstand is necessary if you plan to use the tilt bracket. It will help prevent damage to the Talon and your boat.
Take out the two small phillips scews, and the Talon top will come off. It's attached to several wires, so don't pull too hard.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Take out the two small phillips scews, and the Talon top will come off. It's attached to several wires, so don't pull too hard.
Insert the kickstand brackets as shown here.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Insert the kickstand brackets as shown here.
and position the kickstand so the Talon will rest close to vertical, or slightly weight forward.
Photo: Thomas Allen - and position the kickstand so the Talon will rest close to vertical, or slightly weight forward.
The kickstand will stow in the included brackets.
Photo: Thomas Allen - The kickstand will stow in the included brackets.
On the base of the Talon bracket is a splash guard that will help reduce additional water blowout when you're running the boat. In other words, there will be less drag.
Photo: Thomas Allen - On the base of the Talon bracket is a splash guard that will help reduce additional water blowout when you're running the boat. In other words, there will be less drag.
Run the wires.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Run the wires.
In this wire cluster, you've got a positive, negative and an alarm wire if you feel it necessary to have a reminder every time the Talon is deployed. A nice feature if you so choose, but I keep it disconnected.
Photo: Thomas Allen - In this wire cluster, you've got a positive, negative and an alarm wire if you feel it necessary to have a reminder every time the Talon is deployed. A nice feature if you so choose, but I keep it disconnected.
Neatly attach the cable to the bracket with zip ties.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Neatly attach the cable to the bracket with zip ties.
And one side is installed.
Photo: Thomas Allen - And one side is installed.
Repeat the Minn Kota Talon install for the opposite side. Having two is a much better plan than only having one. The Talon will secure your rig to the bottom when shallow-water anchoring is critical to your fishing objectives. This was a fun and effective project that can be accomplished in a driveway with the proper tools. Plus, doing the install yourself will keep you in touch with the inner workings of your boat, which will only help you when and if the time comes to troubleshoot. Plus, this is a very satisfying job to accomplish by yourself.
Photo: Thomas Allen - Repeat the Minn Kota Talon install for the opposite side. Having two is a much better plan than only having one. The Talon will secure your rig to the bottom when shallow-water anchoring is critical to your fishing objectives. This was a fun and effective project that can be accomplished in a driveway with the proper tools. Plus, doing the install yourself will keep you in touch with the inner workings of your boat, which will only help you when and if the time comes to troubleshoot. Plus, this is a very satisfying job to accomplish by yourself.