2021 Z19 Tandem Trailer Metal Fender Mod

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Pat Dilling

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I already posted this on Bass Boat Central Nitro Forum. Thought there may be some folks here that would be interested.

Prior to getting my boat I was warned by a few people regarding the steel fenders with the metal diamond plate on top. The warning was regarding the danger of scratching the underside of the hull of the boat while pulling out if the boat slid up on top of the fender either due the trailer being in too deep or because of wind or a wave lifting the boat. I have landed a quite a few bass boats, I just figured the trailer must have been in too deep. Now that I have mine and have put it on the trailer a few times I can definitely see how this can happen.

So I came up with a simple, inexpensive solution. I took the metal diamond plate off by drilling out the rivets and removing the fender mount bolt. I went to Harbor Freight and picked up three 12" x 12" self-adhesive rubber safety mats with tread surface. They cost $4.99 each and I had a 30% off coupon, final price less than $12. I cut each one in half to get 6 pieces. I drilled a hole in the middle of one for the fender bolt, peeled the backing and put it place getting it as square with the fender edge as I could eyeball. I then placed one on either end. The adhesive sticks very well to the fender. I will keep an eye on it and if any come loose I will rivet them down. The rubber looks good and should protect the boat from scratches and give and even better no slip step surface than the metal.

Another option: I saw a new Phoenix boat with similar fenders and diamond plate. The edges of the diamond plate were smoother, and the top of carpeted board on the inside of the fender was about 1/2 to 3/4" higher than the fender top. This would help guide the boat and also provide something for the boat to land on if it should get above the fender. I considered raising the boards on my Nitro trailer, there are 5 screws that hold it in place, it would not be difficult. I still might do that if this hack does not work out. Here are a couple pictures before and after. It took me about 30 minutes to do both fenders.

Pat
 

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What you describe is indeed a bit of an issue. I haven't had any major damage done but it is annoying at best. This is a good idea actually. Also with those glued down water cannot get under the diamonplate cover. I'll add that I've been pretty impressed with the durability of the finish on the new trailers and lack of rust spots anywhere- mine is a 2017 so it's been in the water quite a bit now with very little rust showing anywhere.
 

Pat Dilling

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Larry, When I did this mod my trailer had been out of the water for a couple days and about 125 miles. There was water under the diamond plate!
 
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Zman, no doubt, fortunately the armor coating keeps the rust off unless it cracks or gets rubbed away. The only area I've had to work on a little is the joint where the tongue swings around. I've had to sand and repaint some of the exposed ends at the joint and where it rubs in operation..
 

Larry Coots

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I have a 2019 z19 almost the same color scheme. The first time I loaded it I damaged the bottom on the edge, then I had the same thing happen again last week loading in a strong wind storm. You can bet I will be doing this. I would estimate the damage at $1500 bucks.
 
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I'll share a tip that has worked for me on cosmetic repair to bottom chips that aren't structural. Dry and clean chip or spots, mix some JB Weld compound and work into the cracks or chips. Let it dry 24 hours then do any sanding necessary. The stuff will hold up permanently and can be almost invisible with a little paint or nail polish. Really and easy and inexpensive fix for chipped deep scrapes. Stuff happens and sure does hurt your feelings but sometimes it just don't need the expensive repair.
 

BrettL

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That looks great! First day I took out my new Z20, I ran it up on the fender and scraped up a couple feet of the bottom outside edge. Oh I was sick let me tell ya. My fault though as I got caught up in a wave the guy launching next to me caused. I should have reversed immediately but I didn’t and had no idea that my fenders were adorned with absolute cheese graters! I went to Harbor Freight yesterday and bought the same material to do the redo today! Thanks for the info and pics!
 

Pat Dilling

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I should have posted an update. I ended up redoing mine after about 4 months as the adhesive began to lose it's grip on that powder coating on the trailer. I lightly sanded the powder coating before applying the matting then drilled and installed rivets at the corners. I found some black "Hard as Nails" nail polish to paint the rivets black. Still looks good and staying in place after 9 months use.
 

Andrebass

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I also scraped the bottom outside edge of my 2019 Z20 loading, spent 350 to have it repaired. I also switched out the diamond plate for rubber pads, that like Pat's came loose and I went for the gorilla glue and smothered the pads like butter on bread with the glue and so far it's holding . I scratched the bottom again recently and bought the gel repair and catalyst at Tap Plastic (spent 60 on materials) and studied different youtube videos and did it myself. On a recent trip, I found a screw that had backed out on the carpet pad attached to fender that was full of gel coating and torn up on the head of the screw, so I removed it for now and have not scratched the boat since.
 

BrettL

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That looks great! First day I took out my new Z20, I ran it up on the fender and scraped up a couple feet of the bottom outside edge. Oh I was sick let me tell ya. My fault though as I got caught up in a wave the guy launching next to me caused. I should have reversed immediately but I didn’t and had no idea that my fenders were adorned with absolute cheese graters! I went to Harbor Freight yesterday and bought the same material to do the redo today! Thanks for the info and pics!
 

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BrettL

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I couldn’t find the 12” pieces but did find the 4”x16” pads. No cutting just glued and riveted with some black plastic rivets I had. I will be calling TN Wraps today as that’s really the way to go. Those look fantastic!
 
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