TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...

By RealBigReel
1/17/11 This morning I reseated the bait tank motor. Checked all the joints in the plumbing.
Drilled holes for the fish finder cords.
Took the rudder control apart so that I can add couple of layers of glass and some stouter components.
Started work on the front hatch. Got it all tacked up

1/18/11 AM
Epoxied the fish finder cord holes.
Glassed rudder components.
Glassed in the control cables where they pass around the rear cooler hole.
Glassed the underside of the front hatch cover and put it in its place. Then clamped it down so that it gets the right curvature. Hope it cures enough so that I can sand it and finish it. The top of this will be left natural blonde balsa. So I want a nice finish.
Sanded the hatch cover.
Got a little spring back when I brought it in the house to cure.
Glassed the outside of the hatch cover. Clamped it up see if I can get it to form up.

1/19/11 Minor disappointments
Still a little springback in the hatch cover.
Rudder control didn't quite get enough epoxy down the hole. Couldn't put it together this morning.
Still have a leak somewhere. Has to be in the bait tank system.

Took HYBRID fishing. Caught 7 Sandies.
Lusca took a couple of pictures for me.


Note how shallow the draft.


Note how wide and flat the front rod holders are. They are designed for trolling.

Finish coat on the front hatch cover.


Put a pad on the bottom of the batteries so they don't punch a hole in the deck.
Got some temporary plumbing so I can test for the leak in the back.
Been looking at rigging most of the day. Still don't know how I want to "nail" down the front hatch.

Time to shoot the engineer and get on with the project. Simple is best. So I laid a pattern of 4 holes for a bungee hold down of the front hatch.
Put some epoxy on those 4 holes plus down the hole for the rudder control knob.
Redrilled the holes and attached the J hooks and the shock cord ends with aircraft nuts and bolts.


Then I found some adhesive backed velcro left over from some previous project and made hold downs for the batteries.
By RealBigReel
Took HYBRID over to Proctor to try and find that leak.
On the way over there I got a tour of ARMs Bait and Fish Co. They have some interesting fish.

Found the leak but I forgot to bring a driver to tighten down the suspect hose clamp.

While I was fooling around with stuff like the hose clamp I figured an easy way to lock the rudder down. I just run the rudder control line up over the bungee button that I use for the paddle latch. Then the paddle can be latched right over the top locking the rudder in place up or down. Too easy.

Water temperature was 45°
Tried to catch some birds so I could fish amongst them without success. There were thousands of Cormorants and hundreds of Pelicans. Pedaled about 2 miles total. On the way back I shot this video.


Hybrid turned about a 30 foot circle. Rudder control is good. Speed is acceptable.

Got home and tightened down that hose clamp.
Last edited by RealBigReel on Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By RealBigReel
bowgarguide wrote:RBR
since you completed your boat and used it some ,what are your thoughts on using the other cloth and the balsa , is it worth the expense and extra time?

Anybody who tells you they have completed their boat will probably lie to you about other things too. :lol:

The cost of Balsa is about the same as Marine Plywood. Balsa is light, and you can determine just how light from a nominal 12 lbs/cubic foot down to 4 lbs per cubic foot. I chose 6-10 lb and paid a 40% premium. This allowed me to use a little bit thicker (mostly .25 thick) pieces. Balsa is excellent to work with. Sands very easily, almost too easily, and no splinters. To weak for major stressed structure, it will need either need extra layers of glass or patch in some other kind of wood. The longest pieces available are 4' and the widest is 4", so lots of splicing. You can get longer and wider but it will merely come already spliced. Pieces may not be perfectly straight so some care must be taken when laying them down. Balsa will absorb epoxy, probably more than most any other wood. With Balsa there are no layers like any sort of plywood, so epoxy absorption is not impeded, but it will not soak all the way through. Care must be taken when cutting or drilling not to delaminate edges. I used a hacksaw blade for most cuts. Usually a tight angle to the cut works best. Want to make sure that pretty much all surfaces are glassed and edges need to be soaked with epoxy. Exposed balsa would not weather or wear well.

Kevlar is difficult to work with. Not impossible but difficult. The reason you see Kevlar used in some very light boats is that they are being formed in molds. This removes the necessity of sanding edges smooth. I think I chose the wrong weave of broadcloth for this type of build. The 3 different Kevlar fabrics used on Hybrid all have a unique texture. It looks like a patchwork with the glass too. Probably wouldn't choose Kevlar again. It is incredibly tough, but not unbreakable. Good layer (or 2) of glass will do an adequate job for most kayaks. I found that any cutting or drilling through Kevlar left fuzzies. The only tool that can clean those fuzzies up effectively was a Dremel with a mini grinding wheel, with the wheel turning towards the edge at maximum speed. The ability to sand glass so easily outweighs the toughness offered by Kevlar. The ability to sand glass and the cost factor of Kevlar would make me lean towards glass for my next boat.

The 3 oz glass that I used on the uppers and throughout the interior worked well. I Have 2 layers of 3 oz in the SOT area and this is adequately rigid. 3 oz glass lays down nicely and forms to curves and corners well. The 3 oz glass on the hatch "disappeared" nicely. I was tempted to change the name of HYBRID to BLONDIE.
Fiberglass tape was used extensively. 1" 2" 3" and 4".

I used Microballoons with epoxy for filler. Nice thing about microballoons is that the viscosity can be taylored to the application, anything from paintable to trowelable. If you use glass (white) and phenolic (chocolate) microballoons together the color can customized to some extent. Microballoon fillers have an even fine texture when cured. Microballoons are light and sand easily.
Last edited by RealBigReel on Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
By RealBigReel
Simple Mirage drive plug. Made from scrap sleeping pad foam. Whole lot cheaper than the $23.95 for the Hobie Cassette Plug, and works about as well.


Note also the modified Mirage cam lock. This one seems to be working.

4/7/11 Out on Proctor in HYBRID. Caught 1 keeper Hybrid, a 13" Crappie (yeh, trolling) and 20 keeper White Bass. Caught about 50 fish total for HYBRID on the day and that makes the boat total to date of about 190 fish.

6/6/11 Fish finder Display installed.


I have had it temporarily installed here already. Total fish for the year is around 400.


Replaced the seat pad with a Thermarest Camp seat, 2.5" thick. Actually the 1.5" version would probably have done the job.
7/21/11 passed the 500 fish for the year mark.
Last edited by RealBigReel on Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:05 pm, edited 3 times in total.
By RealBigReel
5/18/12 As I pulled the Hobie Pedal drive unit out of the kayak on that last trip, it was clear that the hold down was damaged. It has been getting worse lately so that was not a surprise. I have been working on a redesign for some time. The redesign is totally different from anything Hobie has ever done. Turns out I had all of the materials I need to make it work, left over from previous projects. I drilled and cut out the old hold down bolt. Then carved a notch on the right side for the new design.


I did not want epoxy leaking into or through the tube so first created an end cap but mixing a small cup of 5 minute epoxy and setting the end of the outer tube in it then I put a plastic cap on other end. BTW 5 minute epoxy does not cure in 5 minutes. When it cured, I sanded the excess epoxy away.
I mixed some filer epoxy with microballoons. First the batch was just a little goopy for under the tube and then added more microballoons to make it pasty for filling over the tube. A small piece of rope to was used to fill a small area near the rear of the tube where it gaped below the deck. As soon as I had this pasty filler spread to my liking I dropped in the outer tube and laid down a layer of fiberglass and immediately mixed a fresh batch of epoxy. Then proceeded to lay down 5 more layers of glass over the uncured filler and the tube. Doing it like that prevents having to sand between layers.


After that cured I carved the notch for the side support pin on of the Pedal drive and then a notch further to the right for the slider pin using a drill and a Dremel. Cleaned up the internal burrs with a round file. The inner slider tube was taped #10-32 and the stainless actuator pin was screwed in by hand.
Once I got the slider tube in place I was able to carve the deck out for the left side making it match the right side by using the Pedal Drive itself as a jig, with frequent checks for alignment. The positioning of these deck notches must be within a few thousands of and inch laterally to work, and they must be level or the drive will sit cockeyed. If this had been part of the original design it would have been much easier. I filled and laid this left side up the same as the right side and after it cured I pulled the plastic plug and cleaned up the extraneous edges.



Then carved out the notches on the left side using a drill and Dremel. The slider tube was taped #10-32 so installation only required the tube be slid into place with the screw screwed in finger tight. I worked on that off and on from Friday thru Saturday so I did not get to go fishing, and then finished it up on Monday after work.
I like the slick appearance of the new design.


The new mount is tight and rigid. Better than Hobie?
By jmsilhy
Hey this is simply amazing, I used to build model airplanes but this beats the sh** out of that, 'cause I could never get in and fly on one of them... 8) Just COOL!!!
By RealBigReel
Went shopping last Saturday at Bass Pro and Cabelas for a fish finder. I was set on a Humminbird 385ci HD DI, but then I found out that it was just as tall as the 597ci HD DI. So I cam home miffed because I did not want to have to modified the mount. But then I got to thinking about it and I decided that I could do it with out to much trouble. So I ordered the 597 from Hodges Marine and put it on 2nd day deliver because I did not want have to do without one again.
My wife asked me how much money I would have saved if I had bought it while we were in Dallas. I said well with 2nd day delivery the 597ci HD DI was $597.39. If I had bought it either Bass Pro or Cabelas it would have been $649.99 plus tax $703.36! "Oh", she said. The advantage of the internet.
Last night I got the Transducer mounted in the well under the seat. But I had to revise the display mount to get it to fit under my legs while I am pedaling. Got some of the parts prepared but I stilled needed a couple of items from Ace this morning, because I wanted to go with all Stainless hardware.


Put forth about 10:00 and was't long before I got it slimed.


I really like the 597ci HD CI. Operation is smooth. I like having GPS speed. Still plenty of stuff to learn about this unit.
By RealBigReel
Still use this kayak, especially when I go to the river or when I have guests.
8 Year old grandson tried it last summer. He loved it after having struggled with a 9' Heritage most of the day. He handled this 14'er with ease.
The balsa rails were just too weak, so cut them completely off and replaced them with a 3/4" X 1 1/4" piece of pine.
Then I wasn't happy with the rudder controls so I replaced both steering and actuation. The shaft is a cheap arrow shaft from Walmart. Oversize "P" clamps for sliders and nominal "P" clamps for handle attach. Small block of pine for a handle.
The Kevlar hull is plenty tough. No dings yet, after running into several rocks and trees.

By Ayosh45
How did you get the mirage drive mounting brackets that go in the Kayak? I have been planning a similar foam carbon and epoxy design but I am not able to find the mirage drive mounts. I have a paddle set for the mirage just not the mounts. I do t want to gut my hobie.
By RealBigReel
This kayak does not have Hobie Mounting. The Mirage drive mount is uniquely my own design. The mounts in this kayak are done with a 1/2"ID aluminum tube that slides onto the Mirage drive 1/2" SS mount shaft. That tube slides in a aluminum tube that is just larger than the OD of the mount tube. There is a notch in the tube for a bolt that allows for grip on the inner tube.
However my kayak STRIPER2 (see post) has Hobie Click N Gos. You can get Click N Gos from Austin Canoe and Kayak. May have to special order. Not cheap, but convenient.

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