TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...

By bigred90gt
So, I have an old Wilderness Ride 135 that I bought used probably 10ish years ago. It was made before they added the option for the elevated seats, so the seat on it was the basic 1/2” or so pad fastened to the bottom with the cheesy folding back. It was terribly uncomfortable, so I bought one of those floating seat cushions and have been using that. It helped a little, but with my bad back (I’ve had 2 surgeries on my lower back and it’s jacked up again), after an hour or so I would be miserable and my feet would start to go numb.

I started researching adding custom seats and found a video of someone who added one of those padded plastic boat seats to his yak (not a ride 135, but same concept), so I figured why not. I picked one up at academy for $32, got a piece of 1” aluminum square tubing and some 3/4” PVC. I can get some better pictures if anyone cares to see anything in particular, but for now this is the only pic I have.

I mounted the square tubing to the seat with the screws that came with the seat. I match drilled holes in the aluminum into the top of the gunnel and put a 1/4-20 bolt through it with a rubber washer on the inside. For the back side of the seat, I used some existing screws that hold in a piece of foam inside the yak, and mounted a piece of 3/4” PVC. I put 90s on both ends and put some upright pieces to support the back end of the seat, and ran some 1/4-20 bolts through the seat body and the vertical PVC to help stabilize it. I sat in it in my garage and wiggled around, and it’s pretty solid.

I plan to add some home made outriggers to add stability. I’m going to order some crab floats and build them out of PVC. Bougot a couple of rod holders to use for them. I figure the elevated seat will make it easier to stand once I get the outriggers.

I figure it’s going to go 1 of 2 ways. Either it’s going to be a fantastic addition and super comfortable and the best thing I’ve done to it, or something will break or the yak will flip easily thanks to the high COG and it will be the dumbest thing I’ve done to it. Given that the newer ride 135 came with an elevated seat, I do t think stability will be too compromised. The outriggers should counteract any of that. I’ve never been able to stand in it, because it just isn’t that stable to me, and the seat sits too low for me to be able to get up. I’m hoping this and the outriggers takes care of that, as I much prefer to stand and fish.

I’m going out tomorrow for a test run, but don’t have the outriggers. I figure where I’m going the water is only a few feet deep, and it isn’t exactly cold, so if it is unstable and I dump, it won’t be the end of the world. I secure everything to my kayak and always wear a PFD, so if it flips because of the raised COG, it won’t be the end of the world.

Here is the only picture I took (after I loaded it in the truck in prep for tomorrow morning). If anyone wants to see any other pics, let me know and I’ll try to accommodate.

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By TexasJim
bigred: I built a set of outriggers for my 12-foot skinny aluminum skiff. I bought floats direct from the manufacturer, Perone Industries, in Mineral Wells, TX. From my experiences, PVC pipe may not be strong enough to give you the stability you want. If you use PVC, definitely buy Schedule 80, and don't make them any longer than necessary. I used galvanized conduit, and it was plenty stiff. FYI. PM me if you need my advice. It'll be worth what you paid for it! Good luck! ............TexasJim...........
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By impulse
If you're not trying to impress the chicks, I'd suggest simple boogie boards at $10 each instead of expensive outriggers. For a few $$$ more, you can get the PE boogie boards instead of the cheapo styrofoam ones I used.

They ride on top the water as opposed to digging in like torpedo shaped outrigger floats, so they don't really affect paddling speed that much. Also super easy to install if you have a flat section in the aft end of your kayak.

I used 3 x 3 x 1/4" aluminum angle and 4 stainless bolts. Easily removable for transport and storage. Another 4 SST bolts with fender washers to hold the boogie boards on. That's a 2.5HP Yamaha mounted on a 2x8 piece of wood.

Edit: If I did it over again, I'd use lighter aluminum angle, especially if I wasn't mounting a motor. 3 x 3 x 1/8" would be very adequate. 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" x 1/8" without the motor.
Kayak Outriggers.jpg
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By TexasJim
bigred: That's pretty similar to what I built, except I was stabilizing a 12-foot aluminum skiff, so everything had to be a bit stronger. Fot what you're doing, the floats in the video will work, but you can buy adjustable aluminum flagpole mounts that let you set your outrigger tube angles up or down. Probably cheaper than the rodholders. ...TexasJim...
By bigred90gt
Jim - I already bought the rod holders, so I might as well use them. Appreciate the info though.

Impulse - while I’m sure that design serves its purpose, it looks like the kayak would have to get awfully sideways before those touch the water. I’m looking for some that rides closer to, or in the water to stabilize it. With the rod holders I can always raise them when I paddle and drop them into the water when I get where I plan to fish.
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By impulse
bigred90gt wrote:Impulse - while I’m sure that design serves its purpose, it looks like the kayak would have to get awfully sideways before those touch the water. I’m looking for some that rides closer to, or in the water to stabilize it. With the rod holders I can always raise them when I paddle and drop them into the water when I get where I plan to fish.

If you look at what percentage of a round pontoon has to displace water in order to stabilize the weight, you'll probably find that the flat cross section of the boogie boards will be a lot more stable. A round pontoon will bob up and down a lot more than a flat boogie board with the same flotation.

I later modified the design with home made pontoons that touched the water, and found out that the added drag really made it a lot harder to paddle, and cut my under-power speed by half. So I went back to boogie boards that skimmed the water instead of acting as 2 displacement vessels like round pontoons. (Calculate the displacement speed of a 3' long vessel to see the physics behind that) There's a reason that they don't make round boogie boards.

My next step was going to be to double up on the boogie boards to get them closer to the water, but my assignment in Thailand ended before I could try them out.

But I'd be the first to admit that it's an ugly setup.
By SWFinatic
I've seen those on Amazon. I think alone they would be fine. If you buy their complete kit including the crossbar and mounting hardware it's almost the same price as Hobie's.

Here's a pic of what I did on a kayak a few years back. I just used boat bumpers from Academy and pvc pipe. I incorporated the stabilizers into the road holder rack I made. They were removable since I only used them when I used the motor. I also had them adjustable in height. My thought was to bring them in close to avoid interfering with the paddle. There was only about 1" between the inside of the stabilizer and the kayak. It was ok. I couldn't use a high angle paddle stroke but low angle stroke did not hit and it did add a ton of stabilization to the kayak with the added weight of the motor, battery, etc.
12T- Stablizer close.jpg

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