Splash guards are commercially engineered or homemade additions to boats with low freeboard. Installed above the transom, especially notched transoms, they give the boat a little extra insurance against swamping under certain conditions:
- Backtrolling while casting for or playing larger fish such as stripers
- Maneuvering during following seas conditions
- Keeping the cockpit (and feet) dry, especially during cold weather
- Compensating for inadequate scupper or splash well volume
- Keeping water out of the boat during launching, especially from steep ramps
Splash guards are quite popular aboard both aluminum and fiberglass walleye or multi-species fishing boats, especially those with notched transoms. They are more and more being adopted aboard bay boats, skiffs and other inshore fishing and general purpose boats, or on many center console boats that have been repowered with heavy outboards.
Splash guards are available in various configurations. Some are straight, while some curve aft to give additional protection from spray entering the boat. Most are easily removable and stowable.
Splash guards are not needed or necessary under all conditions. For example, when installed, they can make reentering the cockpit from swim platforms more difficult. However, it’s good insurance to have a pair aboard to keep waves or following seas from possibly swamping your boat.
Learn more about splash guards by following these links: https://www.whitecapmfg.com/, http://www.wavewackers.com/, https://www.veveinc.com/shop/Back-Trolling-Splash-Guards/ .