Going with the flow: rod rack bungee cord hold-downs

When we added horizontal rod racks to the boat, we bought a model with the bungee cord hold-downs coming from the top, with the catch notch on the bottom (see picture below, left). Seemed logical – when un-hooked, gravity would just naturally have the bungee cord loop fall down so that they would be near the”closed” position.

However, we soon discovered that bungees cords coming from the top was a mistake. Many times while fishing, rods are laid in the rack with the bungee cords unhooked. That means that the bungee cords wind up getting caught underneath the rods, making it difficult to untangle them when it’s time to secure the rods.

A better way to attach the bungees is to mount them on the bottom of the rack, with the catch notch on top (see picture below, right). That way, the bungees naturally fall out of the way when unhooked. While you might think that turns the cords turn into a tripping hazard, in practice, that’s not the case.

By the way, we didn’t come up with this idea – the rod racks used in Jones Brothers Marine‘s boats use this approach.

Top-down rod rack bungees

Top-down rod rack bungees

Bottom-up rod rack bungees

Bottom-up rod rack bungees

Using geometry to stabilize the outriggers

When we installed our outriggers, we assumed they’d be strong enough to support themselves when running in the upright “travel” position. That turned out to be a bad assumption.

On our first run in heavy chop, we heard several ominous cracking sounds coming from the base of the ‘riggers, where the pole attaches to the stainless steel ferrule.

The problem? When running in rough water, the flex and sway of the 12′ long fiberglass outrigger poles creates tremendous stress on the joint where the ‘rigger poles enter the stainless steel ferrules.

The solution? At the suggestion of a friend, we placed a small stainless eye on the gunnel, slightly astern of the outrigger base. We used a small section of parachute cord and a snap to pull the outrigger cord out enough to put a shallow bow in the outrigger, then clipped the snap into the eye (see picture below). This simple triangulation method completely eliminated the problem.

Outrigger stabilizing approaches