TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


By RealBigReel
#2237790
Got the seat mount done. Seat is ready for install after that area is filled with Styrofoam.
Sanded the bottom. Knocked off all the high spots. Cleaned it and then put a second coat on.

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Compare coverage to the previous pic.
By tbone56
#2238512
I see the cedar, but where does the balsa go?
Are the lighter colored strips balsa?
Nice looking boat.
Thanks for sharing.
By RealBigReel
#2238521
tbone56 wrote:I see the cedar, but where does the balsa go?
Are the lighter colored strips balsa?
Nice looking boat.
Thanks for sharing.

All of the blond wood is Balsa. The majority of wood in the boat. If it has color it is Western Red Cedar.
By RealBigReel
#2238638
Working on the foot deck. Laid down a layer of 2" 1.3 lb pink foam and then a layer of 1" 1.3 lb pink foam with some even lighter stuff (white) in the middle. The white stuff was a fraction of an inch thinner than the 1" pink foam. Sanded the edges contiguous, plus a little downslope towards the Mirage drive out.
Then I started cutting and laying in the 4" wide balsa slat flooring. Requires quite a bit of clamp force to hold it down right. So Last evening I got 4 strips of 4" wide bonded down. Used the slow epoxy with microballoons for thickener last evening, because it was warm. This morning I was only to get 2 of the 4" slats bonded down and that took all my weights. This morning slightly cooler so I used the medium epoxy and again with microballoons. Using epoxy for coverage and so that I can trust the cure. Other adhesives might work but epoxy is anaerobic.
There will be 2 of the 3/4" Western Red Cedar slats next coming from the back. This is for the fish finder mount to attach to.
Once all of the slats are glued down, the edges need to be filled all around with a light tan color mix of microballoons and then a layer of glass while that is still wet.
I was planning on moving my My humminbird 597 ci HD DI that I have had for over 6 years now but it is giving me GPS errors. So I thought I'd send it in to get it fixed. Chatted with people at Humminbird and the cost to fix is 255 bucks. Checked prices and I can get a new one almost as good and in some ways and better in others for less. Since I am going to spend that kind of money anyway, I decided I am going to let the old 597 go with the kayak STRIPER when I finish STRIPER2. Have an old Lakemaster chip I'll let go with it too.
Started looking at fish finders and I found that I can get side imaging for 500 bucks. HUMMINBIRD HELIX 5 G2 CHIRP SI GPS COMBO. Side Imaging, Down imaging, CHIRP, Navionics capable and compatible with my map chip. Also features AutoChart Live which allows it create it's own map overlays as you go along. More precise than chip maps. The more passes made the more accurate the map becomes. And then found the very unit I wanted at Hodges Marine for $446.02. Saves over 53 bucks. Chose free shipping because it will still be here before STRIPER2 is ready for water. Pulled the trigger and it shipped yesterday. UPS says I'll have it Tuesday.

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By RealBigReel
#2238753
Got a real good fit with the deck slats last evening. Deck is 3.5" above the bottom of the kayak.
Got up early this morning because I knew it was going to get hot. Too hot.
Trimmed and sanded around the drive mount and any other place that needed it.
Cut a piece of fiberglass for the deck and trimmed it to fit.
Mixed up 80 ML of medium epoxy and then mixed in glass (white) and phenolic (chocolate) microballoons to get the right color for fill. Filled in around the drive and around the edges.
Mixed another 80 ML of medium epoxy and did the aft portion of this deck. (Trying to avoid too much thermal mass in the cup.) Used a 2" brush for speed. Mixed a final 80 ML and finished out the deck fiberglass. Just barely got that last batch done before it went jelly on me.
The front edge of the seat will be at the forward edge of the blue Styrofoam.
Did a little cleanup sanding for this picture.

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It weighs just under 36 lbs at this point. Feels really solid.

06/19/17 My 70th birthday. I was going fishing but the weather did not cooperate.
Sanded a bunch and then laid down a medium cure topcoat on the foot deck and surrounding areas.
Last edited by RealBigReel on Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
By RealBigReel
#2239353
Got the Humminbird Helix 5 SI Chirp GPS FF delivered on Tuesday. Been working on the FF transducer install. Since I have side imaging the transducer needs to be below the hull while functioning. It needs to stay down when I am paddling or pedaling. But I also want to be able to retract for transport and be retractable if it hits something. It hinges on "P" clamps and a 3/16 stainless steel hinge pin made from an aerospace bolt with the ends cut off.
The fish finder transducer well is directly behind the seat as you can see in the first picture. The 2nd picture shows the transducer retracted. The 3rd picture is looking slightly upward at the bottom. You can see the block in front of the transducer to protect it. The protective film is still attached to the transducer. The 4th picture is from the right side.
Things will get painted with epoxy graphite and then it will be difficult to discern as everything will be black.

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Still need to work out the down lock for on the water and the uplock for transport.
By RealBigReel
#2241185
First look yesterday (Monday) was a big disappointment on the top finish. Don't know if it was the weather or did I just try to spread it too thin. It was all globby.
Worked for bit on the mirage drive mount. Used Forstner drill bits to drill an oversized hole for the Mirage Drive, Click N Go Mounting screws. I used a forstner because I wanted a square bottom hole against the 10 layers of fiberglass on the bottom side of the mount area. Then I carefully calculated the amount of epoxy that I would need. Mixed and poured into those holes.

In the afternoon I worked on rudder controls. Was having trouble getting the 80 lb superbraid to feed through the cable housings. 7 feet is about as far as I could push it through. Taped the shop vac to the end of the housing and sucked it right through. In one instance 15 feet. Cable housings are made out of 1/4" nylon refrigerator tubing.

This morning I finished up running the cables and tying them off. Tightened them down and superglued them in place. Still need the lock down block. The rudder control push rods are a 28" arrow shaft, sliding in 5/16" "P" clamps. The grips are just pieces of Western Red Cedar with 1/4" P clamps to attach to the rods. Slide into place and tighten.

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Then I put the Mirage drive in its slot. Partially disassembled the Click N Gos so that the mounting holes were easy to access as a drill template. Placed the Click N Gos in their spots and drilled through the potted epoxy with a .210" drill. Switched the Click N Gos to access the opposite holes. (The actuator lever is in the way of one of the holes.) Tapped 1/4-20 through the epoxy and then the 10 layers of fiberglass on the underside with my unique tap wrench.

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Then reassembled the Clink N Gos and installed them with inch and 1/4 long 1/4-20 screws to the Mirage slot. Tightened the screws just short of snug. Installed drive to make sure I had the right alignment and then snugged the screws down.

Installed the Mirage drive for a fit check. "Nice tight fit."

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The rudder was quite right. Couldn't get it t come up all the way.
Took a break and then sanded the top again and put another coat of epoxy on it.

07/12/17
Woke u p at 3:30. Figured out how to fix the rudder. Went back to sleep.
Got up at 5:30. After breakfast went down to the shop. That new coat of epoxy was better but still got lots of dust and several little bugs in it.
Restrung the rudder uplock and now it works right. Had to tighten the rudder actuator handles. May have to superglue them to the shafts.
By RealBigReel
#2241851
Been working on the cooler.
Taped cardboard to the sides of the cooler slot and then taped Glad Wrap to that to keep things from sticking.
Cut 2 pieces of 1/2 " X 10" X 36" sheet Styrofoam and laid them in against the cardboard.
Then laid in a 1" thick piece of contoured Styrofoam in the bottom. This pressed the 1/2" pieces firmly against the sides.
The cut 2 pieces of 1/2" X 9" X 36" Styrofoam .
Mixed some medium epoxy with glass microballoons and spread it around the corners, edges and some in the middle of the 10" wide pieces.
Laid the 9" wide pieces and clamped it up.
Cut the ends to fit.
Took some of the epoxy microballoon mix and filled the corners all around and the edges and let that cure
Glassed the bottom.
Sanded the lip edge
Cut the lid to fit out of 1" thick Styrofoam.
Laid the lid piece of Styrofoam on the top cooler body and then bonded Balsa and Western Red Cedar on top.
Sanded and filled.
Carved and bonded on hinge points.
First picture here is the cooler body ready for the last couple of pieces of glass.

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Second picture is the lid. Ready for the gloss coat on top and the white coat of epoxy on the bottom.

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After that it gets sealed and hinged. Hinges are 2" wide nylon strap.
By RealBigReel
#2242045
My kayak STRIPER had a Hobie Click N Go mount point fail on me. Threads ripped right out of the wood. Might have been a disaster except I had already planned on moving the Click N Gos to STRIPER2. Gutted STRIPER and gave it to the neighbor and then ended up helping him to convert it to paddle only.

Been working some long hours in the heat trying to get STRIPER2 ready for the fishing.
Installed the cooler seal and hinges this morning and then installed the Humminbird Helix 5 G2 Chirp Sonar/GPS.
Going to take it out tomorrow.

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Not totally finished but it is fishable.

7/21/17 Took it out on lake Proctor.
Several things good.
Very stable.
Seat was comfortable and would have kept me dry except for other problems.
Cooler capacity was good
Helix 5 is the best fish finder ever. Speed and depth were accurate.

Number of problems:
The rear drain plug leaked big time. Never got it to seal.
The mirage drive pumped water up into the deck and that got much worse when the rear started to fill with water. And when it filled up with water it got really unstable.
Rod holders wouldn't hold position on the "T" tracks. If a fish pulled the line with all that leverage the rod holder would twist.
The custom cooler floated when the rear filled up with water.
Cooler hinge screws interfered with fully opening the cooler.
Fish finder display was held down with double stick tape, popped loose

Fixes:
Put a dab of marine lube on the threads of the rear drain plug. Sealed it up completely. Operates smoothly.
Raised the height of the partition behind the seat, in front of the cooler.
Screwed down the fish finder display.
Mirage drive seal not unlike Hobie. Should keep the drive from pumping water up into the deck.
Front and rear cooler hold down done.
Redid the hinges on the cooler, where it now can swing all the way open.
Several fixes still to be done.
More fixes:
Put tabs under the cooler lid to keep it aligned when it closes.
Redid the Click N Go hold down bolts. Drilled a hole in the bottom and installed longer bolts and nuts. Resealed.
Hard mounted the seat and sealed all around so water can't get under it
By RealBigReel
#2242907
Redid the rod holders. These are RailBlaza rod holders with the standard mount. In each side there is a hole in the backside in the middle between the 2 mounting holes that can be drilled out for center mount like this:

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Tested it. Put the rod in the rod holder and then pulled on the line until the drag on the reel let go.
By RealBigReel
#2243606
Had a bunch of stuff to do over the last several days.
Besides the new Railblaza rod holders (thankyou ACK):
The drain in the cooler bay leaked. It leaked over the top when I picked up the front end of the kayak to launch or retrieve. So I just made it taller with a 1/2" union on the top.
The seat leaked so I patched in around the seat.
Improved the seal around the Mirage drive both in the mount and the stuffed foam covering.
CG was too far aft so I moved the 2 fish finder batteries (@ 5 lbs each) to the front hatch and built the new hold downs with bungee. Moved the FF power cable too.

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Ready to take it out again.
08/09/17 Today, took it out for the 4th time.
Limit of White bass, plus a 21 inch bucket mouth (CPR) and 17" Channel Cat.
Mirage seal worked good. Very little water coming up in the aft part of the drive.
Very little water in the cooler bay. Mostly acquired at takeout. Drain worked good.
Really like the Humminbird Helix 5 G2 Chirp Sonar/GPS.
New RailBlaza rod holders are working well. Can be positioned forward enough to not interfere with paddling but rods are still reachable.
Seat back PVC rod holders work.
Batteries in the front hatch improves the CG.
That new Cabela's 8 A amp hour fish finder battery was still above 12 volts after 6 hours of use.

Still getting a little water under and behind the seat.
Need to arrange the seat better. Too much play.
Mirage drive seal can be better.
After 3 rather troublesome outings it looks like I am down to the minor nitpicks.

08/10/17 This morning I came up with what seems the obvious solution to the Mirage drive seal. Just superglued a couple of pieces of foam to the corners of the hard seal.

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