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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Guys,

Since ordering the Elite I've been going over ways in my mind of setting it up with an easy to use electric motor setup, and I think I have come up with a solution.

I'm wondering how well it would work if I rigged an engine mount Minn Kota to the Elite. If I had a light engineering place make up a bracket which would attach to the mounting points on either side going around and under the yak, I think it would be perfect.
This setup would not detract from the stability or balance of the boat being below the waterline and perfectly centered. It also keeps everything above the waterline clear and uncluttered.

The only thing I am not sure of is the steering as this motor mount would be fixed below the boat, which brings me to my question.

Do you guys reckon the rudder would be sufficient to steer the kayak?
 

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What uses will have for this setup Dallas? The Elite looks like a pretty good paddling yak.

My experience with having a leccy is that it is nice at the end of the day to cruise home and essential with the Tempo II if I'm by myself and have to fight a stiff breeze but is little use for fishing. The proximity of trolling lines to propellor means that it doesn't take much to get caught around the prop either, particularly once the lines have been allowed to go slack, for whatever reason.

In answer to your specific question, the rudder will not be as effective as turning the motor. The factory rudder is designed for steering when paddling. A bigger rudder mounted as close as possible to the prop would be better. If you have the prop under the yak you can certainly afford to have the rudder go deeper.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Heya Peril,

The motor is less for me, and more for my wife.

She wants to come out paddling/fishing with me but at 46kgs she's not the strongest paddler and even a slight wind causes her all sorts of problems.
I'd like to have a motorised option so that she can come fishing with me and not want to go home after 45 mins because she's tired and cant make any progress into the wind.

It would also be handy for me on the odd occasion if I wanted to go offshore trolling for Pelagics, and also for use in larger impoundments to get to locations which are a fair hike away faster etc, it would also increase my range offshore, I reckon a 55lb engine mount Minn Kota would hammer along :shock:

Do you think trolling lines would tangle with the prop mounted under the yak?.......only times the line should go slack when trolling would be with the motor off.......?? no worse than a stink boat I would have thought.

I have never used a rudder with a kayak so I really have no idea how effective they are at turning the kayak.

I kinda figured it would not turn the boat as well as a tiller steer would, but if trolling for pelagics and just basic motoring along for the wife I was wondering if anyone could tell me how effective they thought it might be for this kind of use.

Not really looking for fine control.....just as long as it turned 'reasonably' well.
 

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Dallas, have a look at the motor mount and small leccy made by sevylor for the dive yak xk2020. I had one for my dive yak, with two reasonable SLA batteries in a tackle box. It was steerable, but worked best just as a paddling aid. I ended up keeping it centred with an occy strap, and you would turn the yak with extra strokes of the paddle. The performance on high speed was just enough to move the yak at a very slow trolling speed, but coupled with paddling took it up to a very respectable trolling speed (probably too fast). These are low power motors and nothing like a minn kota.

When you got close to where you wanted to go, simply switched it off and paddled in the rest of the way. The dive yak was slow, cumbersome, uncomfortable and really prone to wind drift so it made good sense.

Knowing what I know now with the Swing, the only time I'd use a leccy would be when getting out to a long distance dive site (4 Klm +). But then I'd likely be overweighted and too much crap hanging off the yak for diving anyway. I've found that once you do a few outings your paddling fitness picks right up. Also, the long paddle back from a dive site represents a good lure trolling opportunity.

Yak fishing feels kind of natural, and using a motor takes a little away from that IMHO. I also think there's value in keeping it simple. But, if you need the paddling assistance, or have a big yak (like a double as Peril mentioned), then it makes good sense.
 

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No doubt a 55lb leccy will power you along. You might need a boat licence! Biggest issue will be battery size. Check out how much current it will draw at full power, work out how long you will want to use it for (in hours) and multiply the two to determine battery size. It will be heavy!

The mount points on the elite appear to be for a bracket to side mount a tiller steer leccy. This sounds far more practical for your purpose. Doesn't allow you to paddle and steer, but the tiller steering will be very responsive. Also will enable you to tilt the motor in shallow water, which will be very handy when launching and landing.

If Dogfish doesn't respond here, send him a PM. He appears to know the guys in the factory in NZ and should be able to explain their intentions for mounting a leccy.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Heya Chilli,

Thanks for the suggestions mate :)

I want to avoid a tiller steer as they are a pain in the ass to steer from a yak, and also they tend to upset the balance and clutter the topside of the yak as well.

The beauty of the idea above is that aside from the bracket and battery in the tankwell, there is no clutter up top, and steering is taken care of via the rudder foot pedals rather than try and twist around to grab the tiller.

The paddling assistance for the wife is the main priority, if it were just for me I wouldnt bother.

I don't tend to need any assistance, 27yo and in better than average condition/strength due to regular gym visits.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Peril said:
No doubt a 55lb leccy will power you along. You might need a boat licence! Biggest issue will be battery size. Check out how much current it will draw at full power, work out how long you will want to use it for (in hours) and multiply the two to determine battery size. It will be heavy!

The mount points on the elite appear to be for a bracket to side mount a tiller steer leccy. This sounds far more practical for your purpose. Doesn't allow you to paddle and steer, but the tiller steering will be very responsive. Also will enable you to tilt the motor in shallow water, which will be very handy when launching and landing.

If Dogfish doesn't respond here, send him a PM. He appears to know the guys in the factory in NZ and should be able to explain their intentions for mounting a leccy.
Dual battery's should weigh no more than 50kgs I'm thinking and should provide heaps of battery life for a full day's fishing, Elite's capacity is something like 230kgs so even with my 90kgs on board there still heaps of capacity.

Obviously wont be doing any surf launces but I should be able to get offshore from a lot of places without going thru breakers. (also bearing in mind for offshore trips for me it wont be used very often, just occasionally as I will no doubt paddle 9/10 times)
The wife will only come out on flatwater as well so no issues there.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi the cost of this set up would be well over $1500 as the 55lb Minn Kota retails around $1000 plus 2 batteries, charger etc etc seems excessive. The best solution would be to increase your wifes paddling efficiency if you watch the video in Beginners Section I think the lady on it says that size shouldnt matter and working on technique will help as its not about strength but technique and the light weight of your wife should be an advantage less drag etc.. and if the batteries went flat or the motor had a problem you would struggle to get the kayak plus extras back if you couldnt paddle it on its own. As was also pointed out in an earlier post regarding motors the set up and pack up time is increased quite a bit.
Why not attach tow line to your wifes kayak and help her that way.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thats what I was thinking Occy but there was also a reason my kayak only has one seat. :lol:
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Getting a bit OT now really......

The question was really only would the rudder be sufficient to steer :shock:

I already have 2 x 70ah AGM batteries, charger etc for my camper trailer, the only cost would be the motor. $1000 or so didnt seem too much money to me if it would mean she would come with me more.

I'm lucky enough to have a wife I want to spend time with rather than get away from :wink:
But at 46kgs, and someone who does no physical exercise, her arms are thinner than my wrists. Even with a better paddling technique she's still going to be buggered on a windy day, she gets more wind affected than I do due to her lighter weight.

I dont see how its any different to a Viking Tempo style setup (and no more expensive considering I have most of the stuff already), the motor mounted underneath rather than at the rear. And the Tempo certainly seems to have its place among the yak fishing fraternity :?:, the great thing being that when the motor isnt wanted it can be removed and I'm still left with the extreemly capable paddle powered Elite 4.5 which suits ME rather than just her :)
 

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One battery to run it for a couple of hours should be OK, but will still be heavy.

I think your best bet would be a foot switch (like an accelerator) for the motor, and keep your hands free for use with the paddle. Maybe you can dial the performance down of the motor so you're not blowing through your batteries (that would help save on weight too), and also not risking the mrs running out of control.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Chillihilli said:
One battery to run it for a couple of hours should be OK, but will still be heavy.

I think your best bet would be a foot switch (like an accelerator) for the motor, and keep your hands free for use with the paddle. Maybe you can dial the performance down of the motor so you're not blowing through your batteries (that would help save on weight too), and also not risking the mrs running out of control.
If the rudder steers the yak nicely then hands are free.

The engine mount Minn Kota has a speed switch with infinite speed adjustment rather than the usual 1-2-3-4-5-R on a normal tiller steer.
It can be mounted somewhere or left hand held.

I reckon hand held would be the go.....
 

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Hi Dallas,

I would suggest that you consider a dual rudder setup with shallow blades each side of the propeller thrust stream. They need only be as deep as the bottom of the prop and would be much more effective than a single rudder.

I dont think that it would be necessary to put them immediately behind the prop as right at the stern of the yak would give a much greater turning moment.

Interested to see how you go. I think that electric motors have a lot to recommend them in the fishing/boating/sailing scene.
 
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