The ATLAS™ Jackplate is yet another quality T-H Marine product designed to improve your fishing time on the water. Specifically, a jackplate helps with hole shot, gas mileage, top speed and a variety of situational uses such as getting in shallow spots that would otherwise be inaccessible. For more on how a jackplate can help you, visit this post on Yamaha's website. As with just about everything else on a bass boat, the jackplate requires proper maintenance to keep it in good running order.
The ATLAS ™ comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame and a 3 year warranty on the pump and actuator. Following these few simple steps will ensure that your jackplate provides you with years of trouble-free use.
- Never continue to hold switch in the up or down position after the jackplate has completed its travel in that direction. Doing so will cause extra amp draw on your battery and could damage the motor or pump on your jackplate and may burn out the fuse. The ATLAS™ gauge kit is a handy addition that can help avoid excessive switch wear and use by providing a visual guide right on the dash of where the jackplate is.
- Always rinse your jackplate off after every use, especially if used in salt water. Keeping the black polymer rods on the side of the jackplate free of debris is important for smooth operation. These rods are made of a high-tech material similar to what is currently used in hip replacements, meaning they are self-lubricated. It is important to NOT apply any grease or lubricant of any kind to these rods, doing so will cause buildup of dirt and debris causing the jackplate to stick or jump. If buildup does occur, we recommend using Dawn™ dish washing liquid, a soft brush and fresh water to gently clean the rods. Move the plate up and down several times to ensure soap is and water is getting to all parts of the rods and rinse completely when done.
- After each use, check all mounting bolts to make sure they are tight. Running a boat at high speeds inevitably means a lot of vibration which can over time slightly loosen the bolts that hold the plate together. These bolts are installed at the factory by pneumatic drills to make sure they are properly tightened, but it's always a good idea to double check these important parts of the jackplate.
- Check and clean any loose wires and connections. You should be routinely checking wires and connections throughout your boat and trailer anyway, so add the jackplate to that list and you'll be much less likely to experience electrical problems while on the water.
- Always trailer and store with the jackplate in the lowest “down” position! Trailering with the plate "up" puts a lot of unnecessary weight and pressure on the hydraulics and on the plate itself, which significantly increases the chances of a problem down the road. If you see someone else trailering or storing their boat with the ATLAS™ up, let them know to lower it down!
So there you have it, five easy to follow steps to maintaining your ATLAS™ jackplate investment. If you have ATLAS™ issues that are not covered in this article, you can call T-H Marine directly at (256)-772-0164 for immediate assistance Mon-Thurs 7-5 CST or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Neal or Stafford will be more than happy to assist you.