2022 G3 17' CCJ - Rigging

FuzzyGrub

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So this is not a "true" project thread, but about rigging out a new boat, and adjustments made after some use. In fact, outside of a lite 14' semi-v, this is the first new "real" boat to work on.

My son surprised me in late winter, that he purchased a jet boat. :) It was a complete surprise to me, even though he has been talking about them for years, and I have poo-pooed modifing our 1648 mod-v for one. The only catch, I had to go pick it up, and rig it out.

He purchased from Towne Marirne in PA, about a 2 hour drive from here in NY. A few pictures from pick-up day.
 

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FuzzyGrub

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Trolling Motor

We have used MG Wireless 45lb Trolling motors, for quite a few years. We use two remotes and the guy in the back (me) takes over when the guy on the front, hooks up. 45lb wasn't going to cut it, so was looking for a 70-80lb thrust. Still wanted electric steer w/remotes over cable steer. I wanted something with anchor lock and sonar incorporated. It came down to MK Auto-pilot or MG Xi3/Xi5.

The Pinpoint GPS seemed to have better reviews than Auto-Pilot. MK does have much better, but this is not a "at any cost" rig out. We were also happy with our MG Wireless, so seemed like the better choice. I couldn't find a local store with either the Xi3 or Xi5 on display. The main difference I could find between the Xi3 and Xi5, was the latter came with a foot control that is optional on Xi3. I did lean toward the Xi5 for the extra 10lb of thrust, but it lost out to the additional $200 cost. Ended up ordering the Xi3 online for under $1500. This is the 70lb with sonar and gps.

Unlike the Wireless, a detachable mount does not come with it. MG has two mounts, I went for the cast aluminum one. Installation was straight forward and could reach all the bolts from the front plastic hatch cover access. The long ss bolts that came with the mounting were a pain. Probably for use on thick fiberglass boats. I ended up galling two of the six and snapping them off. Shorter ones from the H/W store fixed it.

Also ordered a second remote. The lanyard that comes with the remotes has a safety feature for easy break-away. We found that popping and dropping to the boat. A little dab of super glue fixed that.

So far, we absolutely love the anchor lock. It has worked extremely well in the current/wind we have encountered. My son will not have the excuse anymore that the fish hit while he was on the trolling motor. ;) We plan to try some of the other navigation features for fishing along the banks.

The only real complaint is the deployment and retracting is kind of a pain. The Wireless seems so straight forward in comparison. Maybe the Xi5 is better? Just going to deal with it, and hopefully gets easier with use.
 

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FuzzyGrub

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Batteries and Charger

I have used Walmart group 29 DC for years. I have gotton very good life out of them by charging them after every outing. The G3 came pre-wired for 24V, but the hold downs are for group 27. I think I could have squeezed the group 29, but went with 27 to minimize the work. So far, seem to have enough reserve for our fishing needs, but haven't done the dawn to dusk yet.

I have used Quest marine chargers for many years. I still have three in good working condition, but selected a new charger. I went with a two bank 10 amp charger from Noco. The display is much more informative than our old Quests, and has settings for SLA and Li batteries, for the possible future. It also has a desulfation repair mode. Nicely encapsidated like the Quest chargers.

For the starter battery went with a single 5 amp Noco. Five amps should be plenty with the alternator on the Yamaha 90/65 jet. I didn't want to run a long wire back to the starter motor and use a three bank.
 

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FuzzyGrub

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GPS/Fishfinders

For now, just installed existing Humminbird equipment that I had on hand. Far from the latest and greatest, but have proven themselves to satisfy our needs for fishing the Susquehanna.

The G3 comes with an offset plate for the transducer. No need to put the first holes below the water line and make sure they are sealed well.

For whatever reason, I mount the external GPS near the transducer. The units have internal, as well. The G3 has a separate "tube" to run the wires from the back to the console. It still took some futzing around with a snake and pulling the wires through. With the forward center console, the standard 20' transducer cable was on the verge of needing an extension. I have about 4" to spare.
 

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FuzzyGrub

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Misc

The G3 comes with a track system that is close to what Lund uses. I purchased some Brocraft mounts for adopting our rod holders and for moveable cup/stuff holders. Also got a fish measuring tape that even the near blind can read. ;)

While the G3 came with port side rod holder, added verticle rod holders on each side of the center console.

For now, just went with a heavy duty tarp and a fitted motor cover.

The G3 came with 3/4" pin w/nut seat bases. I went with a Tempress ProBax Orthopedic in the matching bench seat Mossy Oak Shadow Grass. My son likes to just stand, but I need to change it up during the day. For channel cat fishing, easy to move to the front.
 

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FuzzyGrub

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OK, that is most of the rigging I did before its first splash. After a few fishing trips have been making some changes and will post those up in the near future.

The boat has been blessed off with the River gods with a decent smallie and 10 and 11lb channel cats.
 

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eeshaw

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Looks like a nice rig. I have the Xi5 and really like it. The only bell that they don't have is the self deploy feature, that would be really nice. I see you have an engine cowl cover also, I need to get one of those. Those are some really nice cats you got there! I see a lot of fishing in your future!
 

FuzzyGrub

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eeshaw said:
Looks like a nice rig. I have the Xi5 and really like it. The only bell that they don't have is the self deploy feature, that would be really nice. I see you have an engine cowl cover also, I need to get one of those. Those are some really nice cats you got there! I see a lot of fishing in your future!

I have never seen any of the self-deploying trolling motors. My concern would be the additional mechanicals that could fail after the parts are NLA. ;)

I am interested in knowing how the Xi5 deploys. The mechanisms look similiar and didn't find a video of it being deployed. On the Xi3, you have to engauge the foot lever, and push the shaft horizontally until it clears and can swing down.

Maybe I am too use to the Wireless, which you could grab the shaft and the relese handle with one hand. Lift and swing down.
 

FuzzyGrub

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Hopefully, will be fishing tomorrow, so took a better look at what was going on with the Xi3. It seems like the mechanism was catching in the slot. I added a little grease and made a big improvement. I also put together a handle to help with the horizontal pushing. We'll see how it does.
 

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eeshaw

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The Xi3 and Xi5 deploy the same. Step on the release, push it off its cradle and let it swing down while holding it so it doesn't slam down.
 

FuzzyGrub

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So, when we were out fishing, one of the challenges was getting back and forth to the front deck. While the port side was more constrained, it was planned for only occasional use. The starboard side was still tricky even for my thinner son. My initial desires was not to change any existing equipment layout, well that didn't last long. I removed the nav and extra long anchor light, and stored them away. I unscrewed the rubber clamps and filled the holes with pop rivits.

Now that the anchor light was gone, added a second measuring tape to the port side, along with the net. It cleared up the pathway allot. Since we use mainly spinning outfits, looking at ways to tuck them in at an angle vs the 90 degrees which cuts into the path.

I don't like the oem rod holders on the port side. The reels were constantly getting bumped with the limited floor space around the bench set. I'll be removing the side holder on that, in the future. It will be just the 3 X 2 rod holders on the CC.
 

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FuzzyGrub

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Went with a larger graph, but of the same era as our other HB stuff. It was reasonable and works well. It drove some other changes, though. At 1.1 amp draw, didn't want that coming off the starter motor. BTW, looked at some new graphs with slightly larger screens and they were pulling 2.5 amps! OK, time to try my first LiFePO4 battery. Went with a 20ah to have reserve on a long dusk to dawn fishing trip. The first one I got only tested to around 12-14ah, so it went back to Amazon. The second one (different brand) tested better at 18ah. That will be tested further on the water this coming week.

I didn't have a battery box so used a plastic ammo box with foam to lesson and pounding on the battery. Cover sits above but prevents any item from coming into contact with the terminals. A charger pigtail and pigtail for the graph. So yes, it drove a charger add. While the 10x2 Noco does support LI batteries, that is near max for the LiFePO4, nd didn't want to swap back and forth. Bought the 5 amp portable Noco, which also support 6V. Mounted it with included velcro. It will come out with LiFePO4 for winter storage.

So changes, drive changes, that drive changes. ;)

Also added a cup holder (adhesive mount) under the console for phones with easy access to charging port. ie out of the rain.
 

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FuzzyGrub

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eeshaw said:
The Xi3 and Xi5 deploy the same. Step on the release, push it off its cradle and let it swing down while holding it so it doesn't slam down.


Thx for the confirmation. I might have found why ours was being a PITA. It was the pushing and pulling in/out of the cradle. The acid test will be when my son uses it.
 

FuzzyGrub

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After three days of fishing and 142 smallies, this latest configuration works well. :)

The Xi3 deployment was much better. I'll say this, "I will never buy another bow trolling motor without anchor lock feature". 2nd remote was probably overkill. After three days, I only used the remote once, to turn it off when my son was fighting a smallie too close to its prop. Not sure I'll be able to get use to the old wireless on the 1648.

The group 27 batteries are doing well, too. I didn't check what the voltage was, but after just two hours of charging they were back in the "green" zone. The LiFePO4 didn't get below 13V, and it too charged quickly.

I'm going to call the initial rigging complete! :)
 

JL8Jeff

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Nice boat! I looked at a used G3 1656 CCJ with a 60/45 Merc a few years ago but it was just too much $$$ for me at the time. I got lucky and stumbled on my Lowe 1652 tunnel jet when the guy had a prop outboard on it and never advertised it as a tunnel jet hull. I'm out in the boat by myself 95% of the time so the size works great and it just barely fits in the garage. And I know what you're saying when you go to walk around the console, it can get a little tight on the sides and my console is much narrower.
 

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FuzzyGrub

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If it gets you to where you want to go, that is all that matters. :)

We fished four out of the last five days. Our two ramps in our area, were both mudded in. We had to go 10 miles upstream to launch. Right below that ramp is shallow and most prop boaters won't venture back up it. While it did eat a little into fishing time having an empty river of boats for those trips was well worth the time. Loving our 1st jet. :)
 

Jim

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Awesome boat and thanks for the fishing pics!

You really have me considering buying that same trolling motor for my boat.
 

FuzzyGrub

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Jim said:
Awesome boat and thanks for the fishing pics!

Careful what you ask for. ;)
 

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FuzzyGrub

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On deck mods:

- Seadek or other Eva foam. Probably do casting decks first.

- Interior lights, maybe the string of LEDs like the 1648.

- Removable LED driving lights on front corners.

- Yamaha multi-gauge or NMEA to HB999.
 
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