After returning from her shake down cruise in Baja, it was time to get busy on the final outfitting of the Chula to make her the fishing machine I envisioned. I made some changes and added some features to make her more fishable and more comfortable. Here are the latest...
I made the rocket launchers by having my buddies at work bend a piece of .083 wall 316 stainless tubing to my dimensions. I mounted this tubing by installing two 60 degree bases (used for installing bow rail) and an aluminum backing plate thru-bolted through the pilothouse roof.
I then attached six of the CE Smith clamp-on stainless rodholders to complete the unit. It was a bit on the expensive side but turned out strong and very clean looking.
I decided I didn't want the hassle of messing with outriggers so I came up with a unique solution. I mounted a couple of the removeable gunnel mounted rodholders, horizontally on the top of the pilothouse.
To keep them from backing out underway, I drilled and tapped a 1/4-20 boss and thread in a small thumb screw. After fishing I simply remove the rodholders and throw them in my fishing bag.
My intial idea was to mount them on the side of the pilothouse but I didn't like the way the bases would look permanently attached to the side. By mounting them on top they are out of view when not in use.
I can now run 7 lines in the water without tangling. Four on the gunnels, two off the top of the pilothouse and one down the center off the rocket launcher.
Bracket mounted out of view
Note 1/4" hole drilled and tapped
Machine screw prevents the holder from backing out
The inside of the pilothouse was improved by adding grabrails to the helm area and slats over the footrests to make them more comfortable. These improvements were a direct result of my experience on the shakedown cruise.
A louvered door to the cabin was also added and really changed the overall look of the helm area. Plexiglass doors were added to the seat pedestals and the storage cubbys on the helm. Again, they made things look very clean. The deck was painted gray to cut down on glare.
Had this custom made. Will allow me to keep the inside of the pilothouse clean while storing the boat and stay warm while on the water. Three piece design so each panel can be rolled up independently. Really finishes off the pilothouse and makes it very comfortable.
My buddy Mickey and I fab'd up and installed the bowrail. We started by laying out the location of the stanchions and mounting the 60 degree bases. Once that was determined it was time to bend the tubing.
Our initial sweep was derived by putting a 20' length of tubing up under the rubrail and carefully molding it using the hull. We then took it to a work bench and worked it around a template clamped down on top of the bench. After a lot of eyeballing and fitting up we got it where we wanted it.
Very pleased with how it came out especially given the fact that I was going to have it done outside. The price quotes I got along with the fact that the guys that did my other rail were too busy, forced me to do it myself- and I'm glad I did.
Mick and I had it fab'd and installed in 5 hours and it really turned out beautiful. Very satisfying feeling....and man it really accentuates the lines on the Chula!
I had a custom cover fabricated for the cockpit. It'll keep everything nice and clean for the next fishing trip and protect the inside from the sun. It can also be used if the boat is moored offshore by tying off at the motor and hanging small sandbags off the four corners over the gunnels.
This is what she will look like with her final paint job. Painting is essentially all there's left and she'll be ready to go. Fishing season is just around the corner....