TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


By RealBigReel
#2291277
I say new boat because this one is not really a kayak. And I dare not say ultimate kayak because I could build another someday. But this boat will meet the needs of my current fishing style. Already made a couple of mistakes in this build. I planked and I would suggest planking doesn't work and strip built is a much better idea just takes longer.

I had several ideas I wanted to incorporate and problems I wanted to avoid from previous builds. My other 2 current kayaks both have custom coolers. Sounds like a cool idea except they get water under the cooler. And when they are loaded with cooler packs, ice and fish, they make the kayak tail heavy. And STRIPER2 has a removable rudder so that it can be loaded tail first. Problem is installing and removing that rudder every outing is cumbersome.
Loading tail first in the truck, is a good idea it just means the rudder needs to be more retractable and protected.

And I wanted to be able to stand up. The design turn out with dimensions of 13'8" and 33" wide.

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I wanted the structure to be contiguous and I wanted all compartments to be drainable. So I decided on a construction similar to a paddle board with a cockpit. The keel is 2 layers of 2" thick construction foam with the 8' joints offset between layers. Used a 2X4 to lift the center (upside down) to put an inch and a half rocker in it. Used PVC to lay out the spline.

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Profiled the foam keel with a crosscut saw,
Then the bottom got coated with graphite fiber for toughness.

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And glassed the deck, fore to aft with S glass

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There is no interruptions in the structure of the keel. This makes for a foundation that is strong and rigid.

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Like I said planking was an error. Boards are too stiff to get them to form up properly

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Planking does cover a lot of area quickly though.

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That is a crossbow that I was building at the time. It broke at around 150#.
I decided that building STRIPER2 without a bait tank was an error. STRIPER3 will have an integral bait tank and integral cooler. I took a 4 gallon bucket and cut it in 2 and spliced it 12" wider. This keeps the tank low and retains the round corners. Also allows just a bit more volume than any regular bucket. Around 8 gallons. Both the bait tank and the cooler have drains.

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That idea puts just about everything above the water line. To avoid having the pump sit low where it could get shorted out I came up with a scheme to get it primed and this also allows me a hose for washing things out as well. A necessity since the bait tank and cooler are integral to the structure.

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So I tested my theory as to how to prime my bait tank pump. Turned the bait tank inflow valve off. Turned the hose outflow valve on. Turned the pump on. Sucked on the outflow hose. The pump primed and water immediately filled the outflow hose (500 GPH). Turn the tank inflow on. Turn the outflow hose valve off. Bait tank will fill in about a minute.
Bait tank plumbing looks like this.

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You can see the fish finder transducer well cover in the picture also.

When it came to doing the tumblehome and the front hatch planking didn't work at all. Planking simply would to not make the curves. So I cut all my planking down to 3/4" which goes around curves nicely.

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I have also built a seat. The seat on STRIPER2 is just too uncomfortable and not dry either. STRIPER3 seat is webbed and will be up high (hopefully dry), which the extra width allows. Also will be completely removable.

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Working on the cooler now. More pictures to follow.
User avatar
By TexasJim
#2291309
RBR: Always enjoy your boat builds and pics. Even the things that don't work. I'd like to build a custom kayak/skiff, if I had a shop instead of a shade tree. Guys like you inspire me. If I had a shop and money, I'd be dangerous. TexasJim
By RealBigReel
#2291596
Rudder is retractable. This is the rudder mount.

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Rudder up.

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Rudder Down

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Tomorrow I work on the rudder controls.

Integral Cooler

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The cooler has 4" thick walls on the 2 sides and bottom. Fore and aft walls are 2" thick. It has a drain. And with use of the aerator motor can be washed out on the water.
By RealBigReel
#2291681
Added nylon bushing made from nylon tubing to go in holes that the rudder rotates in.
After working most of the day on the rudder controls. This is what the rudder looked like.

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But there was a problem. You can't see it but the line to pull the rudder down goes through a short length of soft tubing that is bent 90° under tension. Not a good solution. So I added a pulley and the line still runs through that the short length of tubing but now at a minimal angle.

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Still having problems keeping tension. And when it loses tension the line comes off the pulley. May need to add a bungee tensioner to the system and a roller guide to keep the line on the pulleys even if the line is loose.

Lines run through the cockpit and loop back through the front hatch. Sliders are installed. Steering will be operable from either side. Deploy or retract only right side.

8/28/19
Been doing lots of sanding.
Today I got my Helix 7 delivered.

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Installed the transducer.
By RealBigReel
#2292019
Didn't want to spend over 100 bucks for a set of Hobie Clik-N-Go. This design is how I mount my Mirage drive.

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Other side:

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Latch Open

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Latch close

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The Mirage drive slipped into the mount with no difficulty but I was having trouble getting the Mirage drive out of the mount. I found that the bolt heads that held the downlocks in place were just a little to far into the mount, so that it hung the drive up if it wasn't extracted perfectly straight up. None of the local retailers had a 1/4 countersink bolt with a shank. So I put the existing hex bolts in the drill press and spun them up. Then used the Dynafile to take off about 1/2 of the head and round the corners, so that it didn't hang out so far and had no sharp corners to hang up the Mirage drive when I tried to pull it out. That left just barely enough head to grip with a wrench. Mirage Drive goes into the mount and comes out smoothly now. And there is no play between the Drive and the mount.

Then I carved out the mount hole in the keel, making the hole in the keel accommodate the drive now with the downlocks.
It is a tight fit. Just about ready to install the mount with downlocks.

Cut out the front hatch cover. Installed the front hatch scupper. All of the compartments now have a scupper.
By RealBigReel
#2292115
Installed the Mirage drive mount into the boat today.

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I had it set up with shims to fit just right. But Gorilla glue acts as a lubricant until it sets up. So I had to kluge it.

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But the glue set up and held position and alignment.
Working on rudder controls now.
By RealBigReel
#2292535
Yesterday I got both sides filled, sanded and glassed.Been getting the bottom ready for the powder graphite coat. Bonded runners in place. Laminated the Kevlar nose down side.

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Threw a bunch of scrap material away.
Mask the bottom to 1.5 inches up
Then painted the bottom with epoxy, micro balloons and graphite mix.
Found out that epoxy doesn't like to stick to Gorilla Glue clear.
Waited until it was tacky and put down a second coat.
The pulled the masking tape off before the first coat stuck solid to the masking tape.

This morning I used the Dynafile to take off the upper bacony edge. Then I mask the sides top and bottom. Pulled it out in front of the shop and set the nose on the ground to make it easier to reach. Mixed some epoxy white and painted the left side.

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I had just put the boat back in the shop when it started to rain all of a sudden.

Check fit.

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And things fit.

In attempting to install this seat it became apparent that there were too many problems. The front feet were not sturdy enough and the rod holders were in the wrong position. Modifications would have been to heavy and take up too much space.
So I redesigned the seat. Bought a new piece of 3/4"X2'X4' BC exterior grade plywood. Cut out the frames and other parts and assemble it with screws and Gorilla glue. Tried spray painting it white and that didn't work. Went through a whole, buck a can, Walmart spray paint. Coverage was inadequate and uneven.
Went back to Walmart and got a 4 oz can of gloss white. Brushed on less than 1/2 a can and it looks decent. Then I started stapling the straps. Used up the material left over from the first build and then salvaged straps off the old seat to reuse in the new seat. Got dark before I could finish.
09/16/19 Finished the new seat up this morning.

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Bonding the seat mounts into place. After the glue sets I'll glass it. Then I'll be able to remove or add back the seat. The Helix 7 base is bonded with Gorilla double stick tape.

Afteroon:
Glue was dry. Pulled the seat out. Cleaned up the glue. Glassed the seat mounts in. Cut a notch in the seat to avoid the fiberglass in the seat mount.

Carved some pieces to make the Mirage drive fit tighter. Epoxied them into place.
By RealBigReel
#2292951
Finishing up and getting ready for a first float tomorrow.

Mirage Drive blocked in:

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Fish tail braid for the front end. (The easiest braid I know of.)

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Font hatch latched

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Rod holder mounts and rod holders installed. Helix 7 operational.

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It weighs 88 lbs with the Mirage drive. Not bad considering that it has a integral fresh water bait tank and cooler.
Going to float it tomorrow.
User avatar
By TexasJim
#2293088
Thanks for the update. Been wondering what it would weigh. Nice design and build. Hope she floats and pedals well. TexasJim
By RealBigReel
#2293111
Had it out for the first time yesterday. Some fisherman in a power boat took some pictures. You can see the monstrous cooler and large bait tank as I start out. I was able to stand with no difficulty.

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Drafting about 2" of water

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It was good so I went fishing. Started the day off with a double.

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Used the bait tank for a live well.

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Still some problems and such to be worked out but it floats and it fishes. Caught some of the best White Bass this year.
Bait tank is something over 8 gallons or 5 gallons depending on which drain used.
By RealBigReel
#2293220
Went fishing again today. Gusts to 25 MPH. This is about as much wind as I care to stand, and it showed the flaws. Inadequate rudder authority and not enough counterbalance on the rudder. Weather cocking made it hard to steer. Weather cocking is not going to go away so the rudder will be completely revised.

Manage to catch 4 nice White Bass and 1 16" Channel Cat.

09/21/19 Spent the entire day building a new rudder system.

09/23/19 Spent another couple of hours on the new rudder. New rudder and old rudder.

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Had it out today. The new rudder was quite acceptable. Put forth late and still managed 7 good White Bass.

09/25/19 Received the cables and the controler for the solar system yesterday. Fifty watt solar panel arrives today. Hoping to never have to charge batteries or have a low voltage shut down again.
In the afternoon I got the solar panel and put it all together. Not a trivial task.
After playing with this solar system for a couple of hours I came to the conclusion that the controller was bad. It was ordered through Amazon so no problem. I wanted to upgrade controllers anyway. The new one will be here tomorrow.
Installed the new solar controller an it is not charging batteries either. Have a customer service request in with Renogy to ascertain why. (Supposedly 24 hour response.) Also order a new multimeter from Amazon yesterday. This multimeter is will be able to tell me if I am getting more than voltage from the solar panel. My current multimeters only read in the mAh. Need one that reads Amps.
While playing with the solar I found the rudder carrier had broken. It was still semi operational. So I don't know h ow long it has been broken. Glued it back together and glassed it inside and out this time, then reinstalled.
I had incorrectly wired a switch that caused the controller to misread the battery. Fully functional solar system now.

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Looking forward to trying it out.

10/4/19
Had it out today. Started the day at 12.4 volts. Turned the fish finder on. Dipped to 12.2 volts at 10:00 when I fired up the aerator motor. Climbed back to 12.9 when I shut the aerator motor down at 1:00. Solar performance better than expected. Fishing not so much.
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