UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Lake Mitchell

Moving into My New Office

Moving into My New Office
Alex Davis

The new year to many professional fishermen also means a new boat. Some people like the smell of a new car — who doesn’t, really? But the smell of new fiberglass is better than that. It’s better than the smell of warm apple pie to me.

A few years ago, I went and toured the Ranger Boats facility, and seeing the work put into these boats blew my mind (Did I mention that fiberglass smell?). Ever since I was a kid I wanted a Ranger 520, and my 2019 boat is the sixth 520 I've owned. The current Z520L, in my opinion, is the best boat on the market.

Getting a new boat isn’t like getting a new truck, though.

When you purchase a new vehicle, the dealer has the gas tank filled with gas, the tires are shined up and you get those paper floor mats so you don’t get the regular floor mats dirty. For many professional fishermen, this is not the case with a boat.

When I picked up my Z520L from Chattanooga Fish-n-Fun, it still had the white plastic cover from the factory. No motor, no graphs, no trolling motor – she was pretty much naked. This is where the work that no one sees began.

The first step I like to do is to get the boat wrapped. It’s much easier for the guys at Sign Designs in Lawrenceburg, Tenn., to wrap a boat without a motor, so that’s what I did. It was a two-hour drive, an all-day project, then two hours home just for the wrap.

The next step was to get all my goodies put on. I’m sure my UPS driver hates me, because my house was a daily stop for him with Power-Poles, graphs, T-H Marine accessories, Boat Logix mounts and a Minn Kota Ultrex all coming in.

Then the real work began.

This is where the old saying “It isn’t going to rig itself” comes into play. This project — and yes, I say project — typically takes a few days. From front to back, getting everything wired right, batteries installed, graphs hooked up and linked together, Power-Poles installed, and motor hung is a process. Luckily, Eric Morris and his guys from Wedowee Marine breezed through this whole process in just a day. But the work wasn't over yet.

Once she was rigged, it was time to test her out and break in the motor. Initial break-in is two hours on the motor, and for some reason, I get to do this on Lake Guntersville in December every year, which is fine, except the wind gods seem to know I’m coming because it always blows when I do it.

After the motor was broken in, I set up all my electronics and got all my settings tuned up. Lastly, I made sure everything on the boat was in working order so I was 100 percent ready for the new FLW Tour season.

Getting a new boat is something I look forward to every year, but I also know it’s a lot of work as well. But it’s work that I love to do. As I step back and look at my boat fully rigged, only one thing comes to mind: In the words of Luke Dunkin, it was worth it!

Tags: alex-davis  blog 

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