Grab Handle

 

Another no brainer but, a very necessary one!  In one of my previous "Tips & Stuff" about installing a swim grid, not just for swimming but for safety as well (re-boarding device!), there was one component missing.  Every boat of course will be different in how the grid is attached and where it is attached, so it may or may not need this "device", a Grab Handle!  When I first installed my grid I thought there would be enough "stuff" to grab to pull myself up onto the grid, not so.  What I needed was a decent handle to get a grip on, and not just for myself, but the wee ones as well.

Kevin from Harbercraft had a handle installed on his 1925 but for me, it just wasn't in an easy place to get hold of and then to climb up on the swim grid.  So, with a whole bunch of help from Jeff at Captain's Corner in Salmon Arm, we came up with the perfect handle for my application and, as Kevin is reading this he is no doubt ordering one for himself!  The install of it is pretty easy, the most important thing being to measure 8 times and then drill only once, or twice in the case of my handle.  Unlike fibreglass that can at least be filled if you screw up on a hole,  holes in aluminum are a bit tougher to hide.  It is only 2 holes but, you know Murphy's Law when your doing these things! Figure out where you want to put it, measure between the handle studs, centre to centre, and then do the same on the hull, at least 3 or 4 times!  Although aesthetics don't mean squat to some anglers, I still like to have a nice looking boat so, keep looking for the handle  that will fit right and look right on your boat.

 

 

I'm guessing that some installs are done the way they are because it may be alot simpler than installing the right way or in the right place.  In the case of my boat it was a major pain in the sphincter to get to those bolts that were wayyyyyyyy back in the hull but, with a little help from the wife and alot of sweat from me, I managed to reach those elusive bolts. After I drilled the hole I painted up the bare aluminum in the holes and, put some Marine Goop on the base of both handle studs and stuffed a little around the holes just for good measure.  I then gave both of the studs a liberal coating of Thread Lock, even though I was going to Ny-Lock nuts over top of flat washers.  Do you actually think I want to have to go through all this again just because they loosened up?  I don't think so!  So, with the the wife pushing on the handle from the outside I worked the ratchet/wrench from the inside and got the nasty part of the job done.

Even I have to say the job turned out damn fine, looks good and, it works even better!  Don't skimp on the safety stuff when equipping your boat, especially when you have kids out with you in the boat. Nothing worse than pulling the arms out of some 6 year old in an attempt to get them back on board the boat.