Easy on/off homemade downrigger transom board

Just posted pics of the planer mast I made for a friends boat last year… figured I’d add this transom board to perhaps help someone else needing something similar.

My friends boat is used for many things… freshwater, saltwater, duck hunting… so the downriggers needed to be easily removable. Since the riggers we used were my old cheapos, we also didn’t want to mount the quick detach bases to the boat. So, I came up with a transom board that is held in place with only one bolt on each end. The bolt goes through the board and through a hole I drilled through the aluminum rail. I used a large washer between the bolt head and the 2×6 to spread the stress over a larger area. When the board is off, all you have left is two quarter inch holes (one on each side) that are in a spot that causes no problems.

I screwed a 2×4 under the 2×6 top board to be sure it had strength when we kneeled, sat or leaned against it.

I had some pipe left over from making the planer mast (in the mast thread), so I used that to make a strong rod holder on each side. I through bolted the lower bolt through the pipe and 2×4. This acted as a rod stop at the bottom of the holder as well. The upper fastener is a screw… I drilled a hole through the pipe just bigger than the screw threads and then drilled the outside hole with a bit just larger than the screw head. Most of the pressure is against the back fastener, so this screw was just a 2″ exterior grade decking screw. We used these rod holders for the wire line dipsies. Plenty strong!

I left a little overhang on each side of the boat to be sure the wood wasn’t weakened too much by the bolt hole being too near the edge. I cut small 45 degree angles on each corner so if the boat rubbed up against a dock or something, the board would be less likely to catch.

With the quick detach downrigger bases, we were able to spin the riggers around during transport, so the rigger arms weren’t sticking outside the boat.

Could have added a couple more rod holders in the center for storage… or drilled a hole for a net holder or pliers holder… but for a quick project, this worked out quite well.

I clamped the board to my tailgate to allow me to temporarily mount and line up the downriggers and the rod holders. I even ran lines out to simulate lines in water. Wanted to make sure the rod tips wouldn’t hit while on the water.

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And on the boat for a test run here in NH… The following week we hit Lake O for browns and lakers… the board worked great.

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Edited by jobsite, Yesterday, 11:44 AM.

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