Day Two: 19-Foot Mako, 1996
The Upgrade: Replace Aging Pry-Out Deck Plates With New Screw-In Models
Tom’s deck plates weren’t a problem functionally, but they looked awful. Turns out the amount of talc used in their production made them weather exceptionally fast. They were ruining the look of an otherwise clean cockpit. We contacted Beckson for three four-inch plates and two eight-inch plates with nonskid — they had the exact dimensions and color we needed. While we were at it, we also took the opportunity to upgrade to screw-in plates, in place of the original pop-outs, for a more secure closure.
Expected Cost: $105.95
Extra Supplies: Tube of 3M 5200
Expected Time: One hour
Actual Time: Two hours, 15 minutes
Experience Told Me: These were relatively simple and straightforward replacements, but you never know how overzealous the previous installer might have been with the silicone, or how strong the bond still is. We had to do a lot of careful prying with a putty knife.
The Upgrade: Install Pull-Up Midship Cleats
Tom’s Mako featured no midship cleats, which are great for attaching a spring line or for temporarily hanging a fender. No fisherman, however, wants hardware that will potentially tangle a line. Attwood’s pull-up Neat Cleats offered a nice solution. When not in use, they present a catch-free profile above the gunwale. When you need them, they pull up and stay in position.
Expected Cost: $67.99
Extra Supplies: Hole saw, tube of 3M 5200
Expected Time: 30 minutes
Actual Time: 30 minutes
Experience Told Me: In hindsight, this might have proven the easiest job of all. Cleats require only two seven-eighths-inch holes. We added a hole saw to the original shopping list to give us a clean cut, then simply secured the cleats in place, aided by the convenient access below the gunwale. Some cleats come with templates. I’m not sure if ours were lost in the trash or what, but we fashioned one on paper to get the proper alignment.