Tuesday, September 13, 2016

How to Build a Divider System for Your Bullet

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If you own a Bullet, you are typically a happy guy. The boats perform as well or better than any hull out there. But, it comes with a price. Bullets simply don't have the ergonomics or amenities that most manufacturers offer. This is no more evident than when looking into the forward storage compartments. My 2003 20XD didn't come with a rod or tackle storage system. All the compartment's are cavernous, but not separated. So, unless you like your stuff sliding around, you have to be creative. 

In my case, I broke down and built a Custom Lighted Rod Locker Setup for the center section, which you can read about in the link. As time went on, I got tired of all my tackles boxes sliding around and getting mixed up. So, this week I decided to fix that. Currently I have all my hard baits and terminal tackle on the passenger side and the plastics on the driver side. Why? Well, for the reasons mentioned. Things just slide around and it became a hassle to wade through everything, so I seperated it. The issue became uneven weight when riding alone. Yes, I know that sounds stupid to most of you, but not to Bullet owners. The passenger side was typically 200 pounds lighter than the driver side which would induce chine walking a lot easier than normal. 

So, I decided to fix it. I wasn't going to go as far as the Lazy Susan contraption that Phoenix uses, but I knew I wanted to standardize my tackle box size, which would allow me to build a rack to secure them. 

First things first, there was a sale on Plano boxes. I like the smaller ones because I frequently fish out of other boats and need them to fit in my backpack. After buying them, I used some spare wood (leftover from replacement parts for our bed) to mock it all up.

The idea was to book end the leftmost area to secure the tackle boxes. I wanted the weight as far back as possible to make it easier to stay on plane. Additionally, I wanted to block off the unusable portion of the compartment to limit anything from sliding forward and getting lost. 



Of course, Bullet owners know that the bottom of the hull has complex curvature. These precut boards are rectangular. No problem. Using some cardboard to copy the gaps between the hull and the board, I traced the shape of the cardboard onto the wood and used a jigsaw to cut out the shape. 

Next, I carpeted each individual section. I learned a lesson on the leftmost divider, however. I started the carpeting pattern on the wrong edge, which is the one facing up. This cased the seam to be on the visible side rather than the bottom. Not only does this create a visual booboo, but it also hampers flush mounting on the bottom. I was out of carpet and unable to redo it. But, considering I am the only person to see it, I wasn't too worried. I did fix this on the remainder of the pieces. 

Though I haven't done it yet. the right most crosspiece will be a bait hanger. I just have to find the right pieces of hardware. In addition, I would recommend a second light in the box because the dividers will kill most of the light to the left and right sections. Each piece was screwed together after insertion with the right most divider fastened to the bulkhead via the center compartment  

Here is the finished product.