Blending the old with the new

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side view of bass fishing boat

Although all my prior Skeeters came with Yamaha motors, this one came equipped with a low-hours 1996 Mariner 150. I love the sound and the smell of those old engines and this one had recently been gone through with compression checks, impeller replacement and lower unit lube changed. I touched up the skeg and a few scuffs and immediately put on a coat of Pro-Tec Nu-Paint Moisturizer followed by Pro-Tec Sealant Polish that brought it back to showroom shape.

This boat was equipped with a Lowrance 1240A flasher and it still worked, too. I have a spare one in the event it dies as they are no longer repairable. All of the gauges work and although the steering was rack-and-pinion dual cable, it will be replaced with hydraulic steering mainly to help this old guy out and make the boat manageable at high speeds without pulling my arms off. That is the last thing I have to do and will fit it in as time allows but will fish without it for the time being.

One of the key ingredients in this build was a wire upgrade to Sea Clear. I am running four graphs, three Garmin units: A 106sv and two 93sv units, plus a Lowrance Elite-9 Ti2 I will use for mapping.

I also added a T-H Marine Hydrowave unit but do not include it in the power provided by the Sea Clear. It has its own power run directly to the batteries and the Garmin LiveScope black box is also connected via the wiring harness. I also upgraded the compartments with LED lights. I upgraded the horn and all the latches and re-glued all the padding and loose carpet on this boat as well. I added New Pro Products V-T2s to the livewell lids, too.

The Power-Pole CHARGE was also added and I am so used to checking my batteries during the day, I would be lost without it. Battery power is provided by three Dakota Lithium 100 Ah batteries for the trolling motor and an OPTIMA BLUETOP AGM for the starting battery, pumps and accessories.

I will not have a boat without a T-H Marine ATLAS Hydraulic Jack Plate and have also added two 12-foot Minn Kota Talons and brackets including kick-down brackets. New gear blended with an older boat saves money but also provide the amenities I love and am used to using.