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Downrigger Track Mount Secure?

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I just finished installing 36" Bert's tracks on my glass boat. I've got Cannon Mag 10's with swivel base which is then attached to the Berts fixed mount for downriggers with 4" rise. I put the riggers on last night for the first time and am concerned with how much movement the whole setup has. It seems to "flex" quite a bit when I put pressure on them and that is with no cannonball. Should I be concerned with how they will hold up?

Tracks were mounted using standard hardware from berts and a larger oversized washers under the end that the rigger is going to be. I asked if I needed a backing plate and was told I did not for the 36" track. My fiberglass is 1/4" thick, very flat and the mount was done very clean.

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hard to judge how much "flex" you are talking about, are the end of the booms moving + - 1.5" or 5"? most mounts I've seen flex some, once loaded while trolling they don't usually move anymore than that first inch or so when you pull on them.

with the risers there is more leverage put on the track and gunwale

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If there is nothing below the 1/4" fiberglass then I'd be concerned about not having a thicker backing. The track will distribute the force of the downrigger over its length but that can be a lot of force with a 4' boom, a 12# ball, plus the weight of the Cannon rigger and the up/down of heavy seas.

I would suggest reinforcing the length of the track under the fiberglass with 3/4" of treated plywood and then use the fender washers. Quarter inch thick aluminum plate can also be used. If possible I would try to extend the backing a beyond the ends of the tracks to further distribute the load.

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Ryan is correct. Another thing you could do is lose the riser and get the flush mount for the Bert's track. Lowering the rigger will lessen the flex.

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... I would suggest reinforcing the length of the track under the fiberglass with 3/4" of treated plywood...

To clarify...

3/4" thick plywood

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I have the exact same set up on my boat. I have the Traxtech backing plates under the track so there is not much movement there, but there is a bit of slop in the canon swivel mounts. That is where 80-90% of the movement at the end of the rigger boom is coming from. Not really that concerned though...seems pretty normal from what I've seen.

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I had the dealership reinforce my mounts with steel plates. When im running both riggers there is a decent amount of flex in my rigger bar. So far I just cross my fingers and hope the aluminum holds.

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Thank you all for the feedback. I need to decide if I want to cut a bigger access hole on the starboard side because getting a backing plate in there is going to be almost impossible with how it is today. Just getting washers and nuts was quite a task. The other side will be a piece of cake, just need to cut the plywood and secure it. I think for now I'll just do one side and see how much difference it makes, then tackle the other side.

In response to how much flex there is, I'm not at home to measure, but it is enough to make me feel uneasy about it.. I did notice a lot of slop in the swivel base and all of that, which I tried to compensate for when gauging how much flex there is. I really didn't want the 4" risers, that's just what is out there. I know fishinggreats.com has a 2.5".. Maybe that would help as well?

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I just mounted berts track on my crestliner 1850 sportfish. I would not use plywood as I did that on my old islander and it eventually cracked and wore from boat movement. When I reinstalled it I cut 3/16" alluminium plating to the exact lengh and width of the track so it is blolted down the hole lenght of the track and width. I did the same thing on my new crestliner. No MOVEMENT I used Nylon locknuts all stainless.

on the bottom side of the plate I put in with a 5/16 stainless flat washer

you can

use steel but it adds more weight to the boat and was a concern for me as my new boat is not as big as the old islander so I went with aluminum.

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just to clairify I mounted the plating on the bottom side of the gunnel.

and the track on the top side. Putting the plate on the bottom of the track on the top of the gunnel gains you nothing.

It is a bit of a challenge to get the plate up underneath and does require some trimming and grinding depending on the width

and shape of the side of your gunnels.

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Instead of Wood, Use thick white cutting board as backer, tough as hell, wont flex, never rots and easy to custom cut, and drill.

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Instead of Wood, Use thick white cutting board as backer, tough as hell, wont flex, never rots and easy to custom cut, and drill.

I did consider this, but how would I do that for a 36" track? Multiple pieces? The tracks I have are berts so there are only 3 pair of screws, 2 screws per end and a pair in the middle.

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The white cutting board stuff he is referring to is UHMW. There is also Delron.

they make it in the same widths and lenghts as any other stock. I did it with 3/16th aluminium and I it cut to the width of my gunnel and the lenths of the track. you can do the same thing with the UHMW. before I bolted mine in rather then try and line it up I drilled all the holes before mounting as to be able to tranfer the mounting holes from the track to the backer. Then drilled my holes in my gunnel and everything lined up.Use a center punch to keep your hole centers straight and you wont have a problem. good luck:thumb:

If using aluminium 1/8 inch would work to. If I was using UHMW I would use no less thick than 1/4. it will flex and the thinner it is the more brittle it is. 3/8 would be fine.

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I did consider this, but how would I do that for a 36" track? Multiple pieces? The tracks I have are berts so there are only 3 pair of screws, 2 screws per end and a pair in the middle.

Go to a building supply (Lowe's, Menards, Home Depot) and get composite deck boards. Completely weather proof and can be cut easily to fit your space with a circular or jig saw. Comes in 8' lengths.

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