Install Your Own Power Poles

By Capt. Steve Chaconas

This after market installation makes for a perfect DIY project saving money and time!

One of the most popular options on bass boats is the power anchor, Power Pole. The company supports their popular product with professional on-line and telephone customer service along with detailed instructions and all of the components ready for a Do-It-Yourself installation.

Each Power Pole comes door to door via FedEx along with a specific mounting bracket for many boat manufacturers. The brackets are designed to either transom mount or bolt behind the engine mount or jackplate.

In the case of Skeeter boats it's quite simple. The main support bracket mounts to pre-existing bolts on the motor's jack plate. You can use the existing bolts on the jackplate, but Power Pole sells longer bolts.

These mount in a matter of minutes ... like five for both sides! Once in place, the poles themselves are mounted. Again, with a buddy, these are bolted in place in a matter of five minutes. The bolts are included for the poles to mount to the bracket.

Two wrenches to apply pressure from both sides and that's it! Just follow the printed directions for which bolts go where and with what washers in what order.

Next comes deciding where you want the holes for the hydraulic lines, 2 for each pole, and where the pumps will be installed. A call to Skeeter produced a suggestion on where to drill the holes and where to mount the pumps.

Placing Painter's tape on the boat surface, measurements were taken and the drilling began.

The instructions detail the pilot hole and drill bit size and the tape reduced the chance of the drill bit sliding across the gelcoat surface.

Holes drilled, the thru hull bushings are tapped into the holes with a dab of marine grade sealant.

The hydraulic tubing runs through these holes into the compartment where the Hydraulic Pump Units (HPU) will be mounted.

Route the hoses into and around the compartment, keeping in mind these hoses are fairly stiff and can't be bent at angles, rather curved around bends. Take about 10 minutes for this step.

Mounting the HPU can be a tight fit. The Skeeter has plenty of room where the oil reservoir used to be installed. This space now vacated with the new 4-Stroke SHO Yamaha outboards is ample. The old oil shelf is a perfect shelf to mount the pumps and can be purchased from Skeeter. Otherwise, a bracket can be fashioned to fit or mounted in an empty battery space.

The pumps are installed on the brackets included and then to the shelf. But before this assembly is secured to the boat, it's a good time to attach the hydraulic hoses to the pumps with the hardware included. The compression fittings are installed with a wrench according to the instructions included. Once mounted, the wires from the pumps are routed to the battery and the included terminal connections are crimped before bolting to the battery. Depending on how the pumps are mounted, this could take about a half hour.

Pour the included "special" marine biodegradable hydraulic fluid into the tanks ... it takes a quart for each reservoir. Prime the pumps and that's it. It really is that simple. Just a few minutes for this, best to use a funnel!

As for tools, standard auto tools and most stuff guys have in their toolboxes. The Power Pole Blades are totally wireless and can be operated with a key fob carried on a belt or lanyard.

A more "permanent" programmable switch can be hard mounted on or near the dash to provide access while operating the boat.

This remote allows programming a few options like speed and operation of two poles either together or independently.

For other units requiring wiring, Power Pole makes a variety of switches with optional remotes for some of their units.

This can be a one-person operation, but two make it much easier. Boaters purchasing Power Poles can save $100+, and the time waiting for a technician to get to you, with a Do-It-Yourself installation that takes about an hour.

The package contains everything you need, except tools, with options available through Power Pole. If you take on this project during the day, a phone call (1-813-689-9932) to the company or a trip to the website can secure most answers promptly!