Rig for Silent Running

Quiet, please - fishermen at work.

Outdoor Life Online Editor

Remember all those World War II U-boat movies in which the submariners are sweating and holding their breath while the pinging PT boat passes close overhead? Drop a pair of pliers and BOOM! Their day was definitely ruined. Many anglers seem to forget what those guys understood: Silence is golden, especially when it comes to depth-charging a few lunker bass, trout or muskies. As with submarines, a quiet boat is a lucky boat, and you can do a lot to make yours luckier.

Muffle A Boat
One bass boat maker installs a half-inch-thick foam mat under the carpet to make stand-up fishing easier on the feet. But this mat, which is easy to install, has the secondary benefit of muffling those dropped pliers. Use a closed-cell foam pad like Durafoam. If you settle for indoor carpet padding it will soak up water and keep your decks "squishy." Cut Durafoam to fit with scissors, then glue it in place with carpet adhesive. Replace indoor-outdoor carpeting over the top for durability.

To decrease noise from a trolling motor as you raise, lower or run it, use rubber pads between the boat and the troller mount to block vibrations sent into the hull and on into the water. MotorGuide offers "mounting isolators" to bolt down a troller without under-deck access. The system employs a device similar to a drywall anchor.

Coat All Metal
Aluminum boats can benefit from the addition of spray foam in all enclosed areas (see Quick Tip). Indoor-outdoor carpet can also help aluminum rigs. Run carpet up the inwales as well as on the floors, using carpet adhesive to hold it in place. Aquamat sells PVC mats in 12-by-12-inch square pieces that interlock to form a quiet, non-slip surface.

Hatch lids can make a lot of noise if you let them drop shut. Add a plastic gasket along the lip. It will not only cut the noise, but also help to keep out rain. The gaskets are available from marine suppliers; otherwise, split an unused fuel hose, fit it over the lip and secure it with instant-contact cement. The anchor can be a major noisemaker. Choose a vinyl-coated model equipped with a length of vinyl-coated chain to keep sounds to a minimum. It's also a good idea to stow the anchor on a foam pad or a piece of plastic turf inside your anchor box.

Contact: Durafoam (732-229-3444); MotorGuide (920-929-5040); Aquamat (905-738-8884).