BigJon Planer Board Mast Installation
Spooky fish, clear water, lots of boat traffic?
With more and more boat traffic on the water these days fish are getting spooked by wakes more often. Planer boards are one way to distance your lures from the noise of your outboard, and their becoming as standard as PFDs and beer coolers :~) This is by far one of the easiest installation procedures youll ever do on your boat, so why not give it a try?

What you'll need:
A Boat
Planer Board Mast
Assorted Stainless Steel Mounting Hardware
Drill & Bits, Wrenches

Step By Step

Start with placement; where should the mast be placed within the boat? This is going to take you longer to figure out than the installation itself. The placement should be far enough forward to keep the line from the mast to the board out of the way, but back enough to maintain access to the reels. I opted to place mine (the old mounting plate is shown) just in front of the seat mounting plate and back just a little from the bow due to the decking on my boat, further forward is a compartment I can't access. One note here, I wouldn't reccomend a mast for boats smaller than 16'; check out the In-Line boards.

I went with BigJon again, no problems with the last one so why change a good thing. A few "improvements" have been made to the new series of masts. Most importantly would be the 2-piece construction and the easily removable base. I'm not very excited about the floor mount for my application; it's going to be in the way big time when I'm not running the boards. You'll notice I used the old mounting hardware as I know I'm not going to like the mounting base sticking up; look for a future article on how to flush mount this piece!

Now of course the "brilliant" engineers at BigJon couldn't manage to make the new base plate fit the existing holes, that would have been to easy.
No matter how you turn it, it's just not going to work. Well, at least you can get 2 out of 4. Below the decking I placed a backer board and large fender washers to "shore up" the mounting. This may or may not be needed depending on your specific decking material. But you know what they say, "When in doubt..."
This is what you should end up with.
One last modification I like to do is place a snubber between the boards and the mast.
Remove the clip at the end of the line on the mast reel, connect the snubber, and simply re-attach the clip to the end on the snubber..
Here's what you should end up with. The snubber soaks up most of the jolts when running the boards in anything other than flat calm conditions, it'll extend the life of not only the mast, but your decking as well.

Board On,
Author: Eric Zadorecky

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