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Assembly Instructions

Fishing and trolling Rod Holders, Planer Systems and Rocket Launchers

Fishing Rigging and Rod Holder Systems Call (315) 649-2589

NOTE TO INSTALLERS:  We recommend leaving the protective plastic on all masts and bars for fitting and mounting these systems to prevent damage to the masts and bars

Instructions for mounting the Charter Captain Deluxe, Charter Captain Special, Rocket Launcher Plus, Rocket Launcher, and Rocket Rigger.  For the most part the instructions cover the Charter Captain Deluxe.  When mounting the Charter Captain Special, Rocket Launcher Plus, Rocket Launcher and Rocket Rigger please disregard the sections that cover accessories that are not included in the system that was purchased.  Mounting instructions for our vertical surface mounts and hardtop systems will be covered separately

NOTE:  We do not recommend mounting our systems without these brackets.  Also a strong and solid mounting surface is necessary to prevent movement and racking which can cause stress and eventually metal fatigue at the mounting location.  In most cases aluminum gunnels will not provide adequate support.  Also access to the underside of the mounting surface is necessary for mounting the backer plates.

These systems can be mounted in a variety of  locations and positions.  One of the most common mounting location is on the gunwales or side rails abeam the rear part of the cabin or bimini.  This positions the rocket launchers at the rear edge of the cabin top or bimini for accessibility to stowed rods.  This also allows the best access to the planer reels and tow line when running the planer systems.  Also access to the vertical rod holders and net holders if included, must be considered when deciding a mounting location.  Offset brackets are available when the bases and masts can’t be mounted directly abeam the desired cross bar location. Warning:  safety must be considered when positioning the pulleys.  Reaching and or leaning over the gunwales when handling the planer tow line can be dangerous.  The systems can also be mounted on step downs, platforms or any deck with a flat surface that will allow positioning the rocket launcher stack in a desirable location.  If it is not possible to position the mounts directly below the desired rocket launcher location a special offset bracket is available that fits over the masts.  The bracket allows the positioning of the rocket launcher stack forward or aft from the vertical masts (up to 18″).  The 90 degree brackets would then be mounted on the offset brackets in a horizontal plane rather than on a vertical plane on the masts.  In this case if the system came with the planer reel and pulley, a special pulley bracket is available for mounting on the masts rather than the 90 degree brackets.  For our Charter Captain Deluxe and Charter Captain Special our standard package includes pulleys mounted on the 90 degree brackets. This positions the pulleys at the same height as the rocket launcher stack. If this height is not the preferred height for reaching the planer tow line a special pulley bracket is available.  This pulley bracket allows for positioning the pulley and tow line at any height on the two vertical masts.

Position the base mounts in the desired location on the side rails of the boat or other suitable location. The mounting location must be of adequate size to accommodate the 5″ X  5″ bases.  Also ensure the base mount position allows under rail or undersurface access to install and tighten bolts and enough clearance for mounting the under rail support plate. Use of the under rail support plate is required to validate warrantee.

Once the base mounts are positioned in the desired location mark the bolt holes with a marker. Drill through the rails with a sufficient bit size to accommodate the bolts being used to mount the bases. Due to the variation in rail thickness and mounting locations, Great Lakes Planers does not include mounting hardware. It is recommended that 5/16” stainless steel bolts are used for strength and rust resistance. The bolt length will depend on rail thickness and mounting location. Caution: The use of lag screws will not provide adequate support!  Also the base mounts must be mounted so that they are plumb.  If your mounting surface is not flat or level, shims are necessary to ensure vertical and plumb masts.  Bases that are not vertical or plumb will cause binding to the 90 degree brackets.

Once the bolt holes are drilled, apply marine grade silicone to the bottom side of the mounting base around the full perimeter of the bottom outer edge of the mount. Position the mounting base on the rail with the tightening knob facing toward the bow or stern of the boat.

Place the under rail support plates in position and attach with 4 bolts using appropriate nuts and lock washers. Apply silicone around all bolt heads. Place both of the 6’ vertical masts in the base mounts on each side and tighten knobs.  At this point it is best to attach the upper “mast bracket” to the 5′ support bar.  Do this by placing one end of the support bar into the mast bracket.  The plastic will have to be removed to position the upper mast brackets.  The tube should extend 1/2″ to 3/4″ beyond the ears of the mast bracket.  This allows the tube to adjust in angle for unlimited lower mounting solutions.  Once the tube is positioned in the mast bracket mark the tube with a pencil or marker and drill with a 5/16″ drill bit.  Attach the tube to the bracket with a stainless steel 5/16″ X 3″ bolt-leave the bolt loose temporarily.  With the bolt and knob loose, position the tube and lower support bracket to the determine the desired mounting point.  Once the mounting location is determined adjust the length of the 5′ support bar by cutting to length if necessary.  Re-position the tube with the lower bracket temporarily attached to the tube and re-check the mounting location.  Allowing enough slack in the bracket for angle adjustment, mark the holes onto the tube through the bracket with a pencil and drill a 5/16″ hole through the tube.  Drilling both sides of the tube instead of all the way through on one side can be more accurate.  Attach the lower bracket to the tube with a stainless steel quick disconnect pin (provided).  Reposition the bar and bracket to the mounting location and mark the bolt holes.  Note: ensure clearance for backer plate.  Bolt into place with 5/16″ Stainless steel bolts.  Remove the bolt from the upper support bracket remove the bracket from both masts.

Slide net holders on each of the masts with the tube facing toward the bow then tighten the knob when positioned in the desired height. The net holder may be used as a 4th rod holder if desired.  Next slide reel assemblies over each mast positioning the reels outward toward the port and starboard side of the boat and tighten in the desired height. In most applications the net holder and planer reels can be positioned at the bottom of the masts with the brackets resting upon each other.  Next position 3 rod holders on each mast with the rod holder tubes facing the stern and tighten knobs when positioned as desired.  Note:  The order in which the accessories are installed and spaced depends on individual preference.  Re-attach the upper mast brackets to eacjh mast.  The mast brackets can be position above the 3 rod holders or somewhere between the rod holders depending on support bar length.

Ensuring the masts are plumb and tight take a measurement from the inside surface of one mast to the inside surface of the other mast and deduct 1/4″ and cut the horizontal support bar to that length. Remember to double check your measurement.  If the horizontal support bar is cut too long it will be impossible to slide the horizontal support bar over the vertical masts after attaching the 90 degree brackets.

Once the horizontal bar is cut attach the 90 degree brackets to each end of the horizontal bar, leaving the tightening knobs loose and install on the vertical bars to check for fit.  Note:  The 90 degree bracket must be positioned so that the pulley is below the vertical mast tightening knob.  Binding on the masts can mean the bar is too long or the bar is not being lower evenly onto the masts.  We recommend thet the knobs on each base are loose.  This allows some play in the masts for mounting the cross bar. If the fit is ok, remove the bar and one of the 90 degree brackets from the horizontal bar and install accessories.  If a radar mount is included mark and drill radar dome bolt holes into the flat mounting plate.  Install the radar mount to the center of the bar. The radar mount should be held in place by tightening the knob onto the support bar.  The holes may then be drill through the tube and through the pre-drill holes in the bracket.  Bolts are then installed and tightened to secure the radar support.  Install the desired number of rocket launchers using a tape measure to space evenly.  The rocket launcher tubes are positioned with the drain holes and Great Lakes Planers logo aft for proper water drainage.  If lights are included place the lights on the bar in the desired location.  Warning--Light installation and wiring must be completed by qualified marine electronics personnel.  Wiring may be routed along the outside of the horizontal bar and down one mast or routed through the inside portion of the bar and masts.  When running the wiring on the outside of the bar and masts use plastic zip ties to secure wire.  When routing the wire through the insides of the tubes a 5/16″ hole is drilled on the bottom side of the horizontal bar next to the light bracket.  Install the grommets (provided) into the drilled holes.  Wiring may then be routed through the tube to exit at each hole/grommet.  The wiring should exit  the second grommet adjacent to the second light at the opposite end of the horizontal bar.  Another hole should be drilled on the mast above the 90 degree bracket.  With a grommet installed route the wiring down through the mast to the selected switch location and power source.  Also wire insulators or wire wrap (not included) should be used on wiring routed the inside of all tubes, bars and masts to prevent chaffing from vibrations.  Place the completed horizontal bar onto the vertical masts and tighten in the desired height.  The base mount tightening knobs may have to be loosened to gain some play in the masts when mounting the horizontal support bar. The bar must be lowered evenly onto the masts to prevent binding when installing.  An alternate way of installing would be to position and tighten the rocket launcher stack onto the masts before placing into the base.  Checking the tightness of all knobs on a regular basis will prevent any movement of components.  Note:  The included stainless steel pins must be used to secure the 90 degree brackets to the horizontal support bar and both masts.

The rocket launchers may be adjusted individually or as a whole stack allowing a continuous choice of angles for the rocket launcher tubes or stack.  Also the net holder and vertical stack rod holders may be adjusted vertically or 360 degrees laterally for individual preference.  When the outrigger bracket is mounted with the complete planer system the bracket can be adjusted to clear planer board tow lines.   String the planer board clips and tow line through the pulleys.

All other rocket launcher systems are mounted the same way and differ only in the number of accessories added.

Vertically mounted bases-Place the bases on the desired vertical surface and mark for bolt holes.  Caution:  lag screws will not provide adequate support.  Also, ensure there is access for mounting the support plate on the inside surface of the mounting location. The bolt holes are drilled for 5/16″ bolts.  After drilling apply a quality marine grade silicone to the under surface of the base and attach with stainless steel bolts.  Install the vertical masts into the bases, ensuring the masts are perfectly plumb and square to each other temporarily tighten the pivot bolt.  Take measurement between the inside portions of the masts and cut the horizontal support bar to this length.  Install 90 degree brackets to the ends of the bar to check for fit.  The pivot bolts should be loosened to install the bar and brackets over the masts.  Once fit is obtained one of the 90 degree brackets can be removed to install the rocket launcher tubes. The rocket launcher stack is then re-installed onto the masts. The design of the mounts allows adjustment up to 12 degrees to allow for a plumb mount on surfaces that are not perfectly plumb or vertical.  Once it is determined that the masts are plumb a 11/32″ hole needs to be drilled through the upper portion of the vertical mounts drilling through the cylinder and masts.  After drill the 5/16″ stainless steel quick disconnect pin needs to be installed in the both mounts. If  it is not possible to place bases directly below the desired rocket launcher stack location the bases can be mounted so that they angle for or aft to position the rocket launchers at the desired location.  In this case the vertical rod holders may have to be rotated to gain a workable angle (if included).  If angling the bases is not possible an offset bracket is available to position the horizontal bar for or aft of the vertically positioned masts.  These brackets can provide up to 18″ of for and aft offset positioning.

Hardtop rocket launcher stack-For installing the hardtop the first step is to determine the length of the horizontal support bar.  The horizontal bar width is entirely up to the customer and can span the whole width of the cabin top if desired.  Once the bar is cut to the preferred size we recommend assembling the whole system.  Loosen the base mounts and the brackets that hold the horizontal bar then place the stack on top of the cabin in the desired location.  The bases will conform to any slope and the brackets will slide along the bar for positioning.  When the best location is determined mark the bolt holes and drill through the cabin top.  At this point it is easier to remove the base mounts from the brackets for attaching.  Apply a high quality marine silicone to the underside of the mount then position the undersurface support plates and secure with stainless steel bolts.  Gaskets are also available as an option for sealing the mounts to the cabin top.  Install individual rocket launcher tubes onto the horizontal bar and place the brackets on the ends of the bar. Place the stack into the mounted bases and tighten the knobs.  The individual tubes can now be angled and spaced.  The base and cross bar brackets need to be drilled with an 11/32″ hole for installing the quick disconnect pins.  The last step is to attached the end caps to the bracket ends and the ends of the horizontal support bar.