TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...

By RealBigReel
Start of the Mirage drive Click N Go installation for the Mirage drive mount.


The Click N Go is screwed into the wood.
Installed the other one and did a fit check. Got it right!

8/29/12 Drilled the Click N Go fastener holes out to 5/16" DIA and then filled them with 2:1 epoxy. Next I'll drill them out to 13/64" and tap 1/4-20.
Had to refill the holes later. Must have soaked into the wood.
Replaced the 1/4-20 5/8 long hold down screws in the Hobie Click N Go with 1" long screws.
8/31/12 Epoxy still not cured, even after setting it out in the hot sun for a while. Must not have gotten the mix right. Made new parts including fore and aft support pieces this time and poured epoxy in the holes again. Bonded the 2 pieces for fore and aft support. Must have gotten this mix a little hot because it was burning my hand before I finished.
09/01/12 Got up early o find the epoxy hard. Drilled the epoxy filled holes out to 7/64 (.203) although the tap table called for a #7 (.201). (I figured I could live with .002 oversize.) Then taped the holes.


I built this tap handle while I was in machinery school. The "nibs" were done EDM as was the profile of some of the other parts. Also used a manual lathe on parts and the handles were done on a CNC lathe.
Installed the Click N Go with a ball end Allen wrench (only way it can be done).


Checked alignment.


It was off about .060". So I loosened the 8" "C" clamps and taped it with a hammer to get it right on stomped on to make sure it was flat on the bottom. Tightened the clamps down and checked alignment again then I SuperGlued the 2X4 end pieces in place. That is so I don't have to carry around those monster "C" clamps and these 2X4s are only there temporarily. That part will be cut off before the mount is installed in the deck.
Hobie Click N Go were a special order part from ACK and they were rather expensive. But they are really slick. To install the Mirage drive just set the levers forward and drop the Mirage drive in. Locks down automatically.
To removed the drive pull the levers back (counterintuitive). Lift the Mirage drive out and the levers automatically reset ready for the next time install.
Have to admit these might even be better than the mechanism I used on my HYBRID kayak.

09/02/12 Got up this morning to find the work I did yesterday in good order. Epoxy cured up nice and the mount is ready for install.


Tomorrow I'll cut out the deck and install the mount, sand to fit and then glass around the edges.
09/03/12 Fit check.


"Nice tight fit." Then bonded in place with 3:1 and Microballoons.
Later turned it upside down and sealed it all around again with 3:1 and Microballoons.
After that cured I sanded it flush with the belt sander. Then applied a layer of glass around the bottom holes with 2:1. Done for the day.
By RealBigReel
09/07/12 Been doing lots of sanding and fill work. Last night I filled in around the Mirage drive, some extraneous spots and a few spots on the nose.
This morning I got up early and sanded some.
Then draped it with 50" wide 4 oz.


Trimmed it up and applied 2:1 epoxy.


Probably take most of the day to cure.

09/08/12 Got up early this morning. Sanded the selvedge away from yesterdays layup. Sanded inside some and then vacuumed it out. Applied 3 layers of glass to the nose region with 3:1. It is much cooler today.


Have to see how long this takes to cure. Working on a new design for adjustable rod holders up front. I don't like the Scotty type but I am looking at something similar. It needs to slide fore and aft and change outboard angle. I want to be able reach it easily when I am pedaling and trolling but have it totally out of the when I am paddling.
Last edited by RealBigReel on Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:50 am, edited 2 times in total.
By RealBigReel
Yesterday I took it over to Lake Proctor. The wind was blowing and there were some waves. Perfect test conditions for this build. The current weight of the build is 28 lbs but with the wind I decided to use the cart to get it down to the water. I put forth and paddled a short ways. One thing was immediate apparent. Primary stability is inadequate for a fishing kayak. Secondary stability is also unacceptable. I tried removing the seat cushion and all I got was a wet butt, stability was still not there. I came close to flipping it several times on either side. But there were a couple of good things. It road the waves well. No tendency to raise the bow in waves that were about as tall as the bow. No hull slap at all. Maneuverability was excellent. From a standing start the nose came around nicely even against the wind. Effective keel was working, under way it held a course.

So bowgarguide's concerns were well founded.

When I designed this boat I felt that if a 14 foot boat could be overly stable at 28" wide then a 15 foot boat could be adequate at 26" wide. A straight mathematical calculation seems to work, but there were to many other design changes.
So what to do now. With almost any other kind of build It would be a difficult to fix at this point, not that this will be particularly easy. The obvious answer is to be to add width. The width could be increased to 28" with the center of the increase around the seat. The bow area will be unaltered. If the added width were done with 2 stepped layers of 1/2" Styrofoam on either side, there would still be plenty of power sanding required to shave the shape into a clean transition. And there would need to be quite a bit of fill work. The cross sectional radius at the angle of the side with the tumblehome could increased to minimize the required fill, but the radius at the angle of the side with the bottom would remain the same (1") so as to maximize the effect of the width increase. This modification would mean an increase in projected hull weight to around 40 lbs.
User avatar
By richg99
I know nothing about designing boats but have enjoyed following this construction.

I have owned a large number of boats over the years. One of the most fascinating designs was the hull on the Gheenoe. The original designer flipped his canoe a number of times.
With a background in aerospace design, he added side members to his basic canoe. It became far more stable.

Whether similar additions to your hull shape would help or hinder, I do not know...but...I owned a Gheenoe once. Even big old me could flounder around in it and never worry about flipping it. Take a look.

One web site is www.customgheenoe.com
That site is the site of the original designer's son. Both Dad and son produce the boats today. The other site is, I think, just www.gheenoe.com
regards, Rich
By RealBigReel
So after lots of sanding but no where near done. I sealed up the edges of the patch all around. Check to make sure it was reasonably cured and then took a quick trip to Proctor, really hoping that bowgarguide was right and that 28 inches was wide enough. As soon as I sat down I was immediately comfortable. Paddled it around a bit. Took a video but it really doesn't show anything, there is no reference except the angle of the water in the Mirage mount. Mirage mount sucked water when going forward but that will go away when it gets filled around the edges.
Now there is a bunch more sanding to do and more filling and then it can be glassed. Getting back after it.
By RealBigReel
Didn't trim the top and bottom edges of the patched in sides properly and ended up having to back fill. The project seemed to be at a standstill for a while there.
It just didn't seem right and I ended up filling and sanding several times before glassing. Lots of work but little progress.


Had to tune the Mirage drive. One of the fins was out of alignment and the chains were a little loose. I installed Click N Go again.
Then I filled in around the Mirage mount with Styrofoam. This will reduce drag and help prevent water from being sucked up in to the cockpit area when underway.


Got up to find the epoxy not cured up properly so mixed a 40 cc batch just a little hot and coated it again.
Feels like I am moving again after standing still for a while.
Learned a couple of interesting tips on the internet today.
You can thin epoxy with alcohol.
Put a drop of CA on the root of those cheap brushes to keep the bristles from falling out

Been agonizing over what Dynafile knockoff to get and just decided to order the real thing and a bunch of belts from Enco.

In the evening got the upper part of the Mirage mount filled and glassed in.


A little trimming around the edges and then paint it black.

10/02/12 Took off work early today.
Did a little sanding. Got some rough edges trimmed down.
Re-did the rudder pin, so that it is right on the aft end. 2 layers of glass. Think 3 more layers should hold it. Got a couple of little bare spots glassed in.
Started building the rudder. The center pulley is going to be a little bigger this time.
10/4/12 Built up the tail 3 layers more now to 5 layers around where the rudder pin will go. Trimmed and glassed the rudder.
UPS brought my Dynafile and belts.
10/5/12 Went fishing today. Caught 10 Sandies mostly nice.
Came home and sanded on this one some and then filled the bottom of the rudder pin hole.
Then glassed the front area and the rudder pin hole one fore time (6 layers now).


It needs carving and filling.

Rudder Clevis Assembled with Superglue and then glassed inside.


The 1/4" diameter titanium hinge pin is sitting beside it. (Left over from another project.)

10/11/12 Have the titanium hinge pin cut to length and rounded on the end. Tacked the hinge pin on the clevis with superglue. Carved the tail end to fit the rudder clevis. The rudder clevis is ready for some more glass.
Glassed the other side of the rudder.
Jointed an extension on the rudder up/down controls and tested to see if a line could be threaded through. Have the frog eyes for the rudder set for glass and filler. Did some sanding with the new electric Dynafile.
10/12/12 Got some more glass on the rudder clevis. Filled around the frog eyes.
10/13/12 Put some more glass on the rudder clevis. Finished filling around the frog eyes.
By RealBigReel
Filled around the frog eyes for the rudder controls. Got some work done on the rudder parts. 5 layers of glass to hold the titanium hing pin.


The rudder weighs 6.25 ounces at this point. Need to put the foil shape on the lower portion and drill out the retract pivot holes.

2nd coat of glass on the bottom of the hull. On the first coat I started epoxy at the back end and had trouble with the glass bunching up around the gunnel as I worked forward. This time started in the middle and worked forward then finished the back half. Did not have that trouble with it bunching up. Did need to "sweep" the edges with the brush as I applied the epoxy.


Took an hour and 45 minutes with a 2 inch brush. Used 50" wide 4 oz glass and took 19.5 oz of 2:1 epoxy. It weighs 36 lbs at this point. Still plenty of things to do before it goes fishing.

10/15/12 Trim and sanded the edge of the glass on the bottom, using the dynafile and hand sanding.
Took the full size belt sander to the rudder for some major material removal.

10/16/12 Glassed the rudder lower parts. Installed the rail for the sliding rod holders. Bonded down the knee support last layer. A little fill around the frog eyes and the tail piece.

10/17/12 Made the 2 little attachments for the rudder control horns. This is where the control lines attache to the rudder clevis.
10/18/12 Drilled out the control arms on the clevis and sealed the holes up with superglue. Put a shim on either side of the rudder at the attach hole. Gathered up the fasteners for the Rudder assembly.
10/19/12 Drilled the hole in the rudder clevis for the rudder to retract on. Sanded and shaped the rudder to fit the rudder clevis. Sanded a notch in the back of the rudder so that the rudder can retract all the way to vertical.
10/23/12 Shaped and sanded the knee support and then filled and fiber glassed it. Another layer of epoxy on the rudder and filled one of the holes on the rudder clevis for redrill.

10/26/12 Was planning on using a small piece of polystyrene tubing for a bushing for the rudder controls, lift and directional. Destroyed a couple of pieces of tubing and gave that one up. Looking around for something that might work, and there sat the 1/4" ID pulleys from HYBRID. (Removed when converted to just control line housing.) 4 of them, just the right number. Drill them out to 5/16" cause I am using a piece of .300" diameter carbon arrow shaft for the control slide rod. Sanded away 2 edges to make these busing fit in the corner up under the tumblehome. I was afraid to use CA because it is way up under the tumblehome, so used hot melt to tack the 4 of them in place, using a piece of arrow the shaft as an alignment guide. Then bonded a small piece of nylon cord into the groove. Epoxied that piece of nylon cord into the groove.
Another layer of glass in the seat area and on the knee support.
Last edited by RealBigReel on Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:25 pm, edited 6 times in total.
User avatar
By makenmend
Wow those dynofiles are pretty pricey but I can see the time saving, just when I thought I had all the tools I needed :!:

Enjoy to see the progress and can really understand " lots of work but little progress " seems as though I'm in that place right now.

keep posting.

By RealBigReel
Been working on rudder parts and getting ready to install them. Dropped the rudder and broke the down stop. Superglued it but I think it needs a layer of 1" glass tape on each side.

Installed the bushings with hot melt glue then installed a piece of cord in the groove with epoxy. Epoxy does not stick to nylon so hot melt glued the epoxy soaked cord in place. That seems to be holding.
Installed the rudder control slide rod (piece of carbon arrow shaft) on both sides and then bonded in a piece of 1/4" dowel in each end with CA. This piece of dowel has a hole drilled up the end and then one cross ways so that I can install the control line in the center of the control rod.

View up under the tumblehome:



Need to trim up the rear deployment control cable housing at the frog eyes and then run control cable (80# superbraid).


Finish the controls and then rod holders are next on the agenda to make it fishable.


I think that will handle the waves.

10/29/12 Started stringing the control cables. Got the Port/Starboard control done. Just need to figure out how I can make the Deploy/Retract and still make the rudder easily removable. Think I have it figure out but it will have to wait till tomorrow.

10/30/12 Stopped and got some "P" clamps to keep the cables better organized. Did realize how necessary those are going to be. The 2 cable housings that run through the front hatch area have way to much flex and the "P" clamps will help with that. Drilled a 1/4" diameter home and glued a 1/4 dowell 3 places along the tumblehome on each side.

10/31/12 Installed "P" clamps near the front of the cockpit to lock down the cable housings that run through the front deck, and then 2 more smaller to keep the control cables up under the tumblehome on each side. Need to tighten up the cable on the side that lifts the rudder and then it will be functional. Need to glass in a couple of handles on the control rods to make them easier to push and pull.

Video of the rudder in action.


11/3/12 Glassed the handles on the control rod sliders. Worked out a rudder downlock that didn't require anything additional. (It locks against the knee brace.)
Used contact cement to glue a blue pad to the seat back.
Working out the design of the sliding rod holders. Not totally happy with this so far.
Tacked 2 rod holders to the seat back with superglue in preparation for glassing them in. Glassed the seat back rod holders in place.
Glassed the sliding rod holder.
Put a layer of Epoxy/Graphite powder on the bottom. Took 9 ounces of 2:1 epoxy to cover the bottom.


The mix migrated under the masking tape. Did not get a clean line, and it needs a second coat.

11/5/12 Masked it up again.
11/6/12 4.5 ounces of 2:1 epoxy mix with 3 heaping spoonfuls of graphite powder was all it took to cover the whole bottom. Coverage looks good, no bare spots showing through.

11/7/12 Epoxy with yellow pigment on the sides. Should have sanded first.


Adhesion with pigment is poor and coverage is not that good even after I increased the amount of pigment in the mix to about double what it calls for. Thinking I need a better paint.

11/9/12 Got up early and did a little sanding. Been thinking about how to solve the problem with the pigmented epoxy adhesion. Added glass microballons to the mix. That made it work better better.
2nd coat before 7:00 AM


Not perfect but better.
Later turned it over and sanded.
Installed a card board shim in the cooler well. Cut up some Styrofoam for the cooler and braced it up and used foam adhesive in all of the corners.


11/10/12 Got up real early and spread a little more yellow epoxy around. I like the color.


Took a trip to Dallas after breakfast. Stopped by REI and picked up a seat cushion for this kayak and a couple of other items.
Came home, sanded a bit and put a 2nd coat on the front deck. Then did a little touch up. The caulking around the cooler is dry except where It is thick. I'll let it sit till Monday.

11/14/12 Click N Go installed.


2nd layer in the cooler bonded in.

By RealBigReel
Just a few more items.


And yes I did I build that!

11/17/12 Moved the "P" clamps for the control system (they were in the way of the sliding rod holders). Sanded a couple of runs out. Glassed the front rod holder assemblies. Put another coat of yellow on the foredeck and the foot deck.
User avatar
By h4rdcorenub
Hey man, can you post a better picture of the the steering control handles? I can barely see them in the last picture you posted. Have not seen an up close picture of them yet. Thanks in advance.
By RealBigReel
h4rdcorenub wrote:Hey man, can you post a better picture of the the steering control handles? I can barely see them in the last picture you posted. Have not seen an up close picture of them yet. Thanks in advance.

Picture of the right side of the cockpit from about 4 feet back, rudder retracted.


Same but from inside the cockpit, rudder deployed and locked.


The control sliders are carbon arrow shafts. The slide bearings were made from nylon pulleys and are hot glued and then glass in place. (Most glues do not stick to nylon.) I have them encapsulated.
Picture taken about 4 feet back of the left side of the cockpit rudder steering neutral position, handle in the out of the way position.
Rudder steering control handle rotates up so that the rudder can be controled while sliding the hand on the gunnel, minimal effort.
The little black thingys are "P" clamps. These keep the control lines from getting in the way.
The rudder 1/4 Diameter hinge pin rides in a 1/4 ID piece of aluminum tubing which is glassed right onto the aft end of the kayak for best leverage and minimum drag.
The control lines are 80# superbraid. (Same stuff been working for 2 years on HYBRID without a problem. Hobie uses 120#)


Same view closer taken from inside the cockpit.


Control handles were just superglued to the arrow shaft and then I ran a layer of glass around them. Seems to strong enough. I will probably add some sort of grip later.

The rudder in the retracted position.


Rudder control arms are 10 inches wide, because I want control to be easier than it is on HYBRID (which is only about 5 inches wide). This kayak will be used by some scouts.
That piece of stainless that looks like the end of a little crowbar is used to keep the rudder from floating up on the hinge pin. It should give in the event of a straight up force on the rudder, like when the kayak is parked on the shore and then the wind blows it sideways and a wave picks the kayak up and drops the the rudder on a rock (yes it happens).
This rudder only retracts 180°. Not that it deploys and retracts on a center pulley. This solves several problems.
Just undo the 4 minibiners, slide the hold down aside and lift it straight up, and the whole rudder unit is removable for transport.
Hope that answers your questions
User avatar
By h4rdcorenub
Thanks a lot, big help. I am wanting mine to be removable as well due to the fact that the rear of the kayak fits perfectly under my toolbox in the bed of my truck but the front does not. So I will use a similar setup with the quick detach control lines. Mine is all aluminum now so it will not float up, I plan on leaving the hinge pin (7/16 " bolt with threads removed) free to slide up and down for upward forces. I am still not 100% sure how I am going to do the control to be foot operated without the sliding foot braces, but I do have a few ideas now. Looking at doing it either the way you did it or removing the locking pegs for the current foot braces to allow the foot rests to slide freely on the adjustment rails and tie the control lines to the foot pegs. I do not have any good braid for the god laying around so I will have to improvise the control lines for now and change them to something better once I find a setup I like.
By RealBigReel
Paddle Latch done.


It isn't done yet but it could be fished.

11/23/12 Got up this morning and installed 2 Bass Pro Rod holders on the seat back (in addition to the 2 static rod holders that are on the sides of the seat back). Had this done by around 5 AM. Had the traditional day after Thanksgiving breakfast pie. Pecan pie. Then decided it was time to move the Humminbird 597ci HD DI to the new kayak. This is the biggest item left on the list of things to do. I had allocated an hour for this task. So far I am 3.5 hours into it and it will take at least another hour. Breaking now for a mid morning, snack, cherry pie, worlds finest.
Rebuild the display mounting bracket. Had to mod the mounting bracket for the transducer, and the transducuer well. Mixed 40 ML of epoxy and sealed up all the drill holes. Put the extra epoxy down the keel line with plenty of graphite powder mixed in. It is a little cool out so it may not be ready to drill and tap until tomorrow.

11/24/12 Got up early this morning again. Found the epoxy in the transducer well was good and hard. Drilled and taped for the transducer mount screw. Drilled out the transducer cable hole. Installed the transducer. Connected it up to the display mount. Put the Bass Pro rod holders back in their mountings. Set the FF battery in place. (It still needs mounting, but it will work like it is.)


Then I put some more glass on the custom cooler which is staying home today.
I noticed these Bass Pro rod holders had a small problem. If they are pulled up and turned just right the rod holders come out of the bracket. Maybe that is a design feature, at any rate once they are installed I don't want them coming off. And if they are pulled up part way they will jam and not turn. That sort of thing could be very inconvenient on the water. There is a hole in the bottom of the rod holder which is just the right size for a 5/16-24 tap. So after I taped the hole I installed a stainless bolt (left over from another project) and a washer to keep it from being pulled up too far. So now I can yank it up and turn it and slam it back down without having to be careful.

Almost ready to go fishing.
By RealBigReel
Made up some rod leashes and a leash for the Mirage drive.
My wife took several pictures before I left to go fishing.


On the way down there just barely avoided disasters. The rope that was for tying the kayak in the truck although braided nylon does not knot well, it nearly came undone. And I left one of the control lines connected to the rudder and put the rudder in the cooler slot, thinking it wouldn't blow out of there. It did just about blow away and it pulled the split ring clear into the hole. Manage to pull it out with a hook. Need to switch the the minibiner with the split ring. That will prevent the ring from getting inside the rudder next time. And while I was messing with it I found that the control lines were wrapped around each other inside the rudder.


Put forth about 10:30. Paddled a few strokes and then lowered the rudder. Deployment was smooth and solid. Had no trouble feeling when it was down all the way. Down lock worked like it was supposed to.
Dropped the Mirage drive into the Click N Go, slick. The kayak came right up to a good speed.
The sliding rod holder on the Starboard rail got deleted because it interfered with the paddle. The sliding rod holder on the port rail didn't work. It was dragging the reel in the water. Need to work on that idea. Maybe rocket launchers on the sliding units? The Bass pro rod holders on the seat back work great. Pointed one forward 1 notch and straight out and the other one forward 1 notch and up slightly to keep the butts from interfering. This gave me a wide flatter trolling spread. That also means less line out. So I can turn sharper without tangling lines. Did not cross lines once today.
Rudder steering control was smooth and light. I kept running control handle into the rod holder rail, but that should be easy enough to fix.
Tuned the Mirage fins for speed and it still felt light and easy. This kayak is faster than my kayak HYBRID and it is easier to pedal at trolling speed.
Fished for a couple of hours working all the spots that produced for me last week when I was out in HYBRID without a single bite. Decided to put it up and just before I arrived back at launch I made this movie of turning.


Turning authority is excellent.
There were a few wakes but the waves were really small today. No hull slap. Primary stability is less than HYBRID but I never felt uncomfortable and it handles waves parallel to course without roll.
After I got home I just had to straighten out those rudder problems. Took less than 10 minutes to get working right.
User avatar
By makenmend
Glad to see you on the water, bound to be something needs tweaking on a new build. Did you have your GPS for boat speed? hope to see your boat in person in the non to distant future.

By RealBigReel
makenmend wrote:Glad to see you on the water, bound to be something needs tweaking on a new build. Did you have your GPS for boat speed? hope to see your boat in person in the non to distant future.


My GPS gives instantaneous speed. The numbers were conistently higher than what I had seen previously in HYBRID but I hesitate to say exactly how fast I was going based on what I was seeing on GPS. Need to figure out how to get average speed on the Humminbird 597ci HD DI.

11/27/12 Put some more fiberglass on the cooler. This thing has so many surfaces it is difficult to make any serious progress. I have figured out how I am going to hinge the lid but the latch idea is not firmed up yet. I need something that can be done and undone with one hand while sitting side saddle, and then it has to be secure enough to keep a good sized fish in.
11/28/12 In the afternoon after work ordered some for stuff from ACK and several other vendors for the various project that I have underway.
11/29/12 Just after I got home from work, FedEx arrived with my package from ACK. Kudos to ACK again.

11/30/12 Got up early and put a another layer of 4 oz glass on the top of the lid of the cooler. Down to bits and pieces of fiberglass cloth.

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