Took delivery of the test unit yesterday. For those that don't know what this is, the Whippella is a propeller attachment that fits onto virtually every straight shaft whipper snipper. (Models may also be available for bent shafts). As we all know, many whipper snipper type products are petrol driven.
This post is not about the ethics of using a petrol driven motor on a kayak - It is about integrating a kayak related product for use on a kayak, and seeing how and if it could be used in a functional manner. If you have ethical issues about petrol powered yaks, don't bother posting.
Now that the formalities are out the way here's how it works:
You basically remove the complete trimming head unit off the whipper snipper until you are left with the main shaft with a greasy rod in the middle of it. On the end of this greasy inner rod there will be a shape machined into it, maybe a square, a rounded rectangle, a hex or maybe a star shape or something else. The whippela comes with a bunch of brass fittings. All you do is match the fitting to the inner rod.
When you know which brass fitting you need, you screw the fitting into the prop unit. There's only one place this goes so you seriously cannot stuff up. There are only 2 things left to do and all the bits come in the box:
Find the black rubber seal that best fits the inner rod then locate the small white housing that houses the seal and slides inbetween the inner rod and the shaft. To finish off the prop, locate the big white sleeve that creates the best fit between the prop and the main shaft. Slide it up the shaft, attach the prop, slide down the sleeve and lock off the prop. You now have a fully functioning propellor on your grass trimmer.
For me it took a couple of goes lining up all the business then bingo. For a first timer it is a pretty easy job. You just got to think about it and play around for a bit. When you've done it once you could almost do it blindfolded.
Once the assembly was done I played around with the supplied clamp and mount to see how it would work. When testing out all new yak stuff, I try my best to avoid creating new holes and make the most of existing fixtures and deck hardware wherever possible. For this test, I used the Scupper Pro. I also like to use crap that is lying around the house, I avoid using professional tools and basically like to keep things as basic as humanly possible without needing to buy stuff.
After a bit of muddling, I had a brainwave and whittled and rounded the lower edges of a piece of 2 x 2 hardwood with a kitchen knife to fit in an existing rear flushmount rod holder. On the square end I clamped the mount. Because the mount is multi directional, I have a feeling it will work without any more stuffing around. From there I attached the whipper snipper square on the centre of gravity on the mount. I removed the throttle from the handle and fashioned a small bit of timber to act as a remote throttle that I control with my left hand in my lap while steering the thing with my right hand.
Because the unit is mounted at the side of the yak, I reckon I have about a 20 degree turning circle to the right and maybe 60 degrees to the left. We'll see when I test it out tomorrow.
To this point, motorising my yak with a Whippella has been 100 times easier than mounting and fitting the electric.
Far Northern NSW
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