Well, now that I've seen an electric "railrider" I might as well post some pics of my electric kayak....my own handy work. Use two different motors small 10 lb thrust (in pics) for quiet water...and my larger 22 lb thrust for the bays and river currents. Use the same foot "slide/cables" for hands free foot steering like a kayak rudder. Batt box behind seat...hi/lo switch below seat front...fused....batt meter on the cockpit opening side. Motor releases by releasing cord that's clinched in cleat on other side of cockpit...and weight of motor lets it slide over and down into water. No lockdown since motor has forward speeds only. No need for reverse..can spin this kayak like airplane propellor since motor turns full 90 degrees either side!
Love the look on the face of the other kayakers when I buzz by with a drink in one hand and my fishing reel in the other...and a wake off the back end!
By the way I also created and had a welding shop build a carrier I use with my Mazda Miata....to transport the kayak. Now that was a trick of a design to figure that one out...but works like a charm!
VERY COOL! 8)
Do you think a 10lb thrust motor would work for a 2 person kayak? The conversion looks pretty straightforward - but do you have any advice for a kayak converting noob like me? Any and all advice welcome (including where to source parts, how to ensure water and electric don't mix causing shocks :O - y'know the basics...)
Ann Arbor, MI
This looks like it would be some kind of standard trolling motor, just installed in place of the normal rudder. Pretty ingenious.
Having kayak'd.. my first thought seeing this is "That's cheating!!" which..er.. is a bit amusing considering what I think about the wedgie/purist/bicyclists who've accused me of cheating. Anyway, for me I find kayaking attractive simply because it's non-powered.
The other thought is this application screams out for Li-ION batteries, right?
- David Herron, http://davidherron.com/
No...10lb would not be enough and you probably couldn't find one these days anyway. About the smallest you'll find nowadays is a 30 lb thrust which would be good for a two person kayak. Only problem is that the motors nowadays always have reverse...and you don't use reverse in the design. If you turned on reverse it would lift the motor out of the water since the motor isn't locked down...which allows you to pull it up easily and lower it easily by a cord that runs back to a small pulley on the "t-cap" mounted on top of the motor shaft. And of course when you're in forward speeds there's no problem since the thrust of the motor keeps the motor in position. I can give you all the info you need to do a conversion...but it would be better if you emailed me directly. I believe you can do that from here. There's a bit more to the conversion than meets the eye so I'd need to give you the details and that's easier by email. I have more pics as well.
Why LiION batts? Weight?
The trolling motor is standard...but has been altered. Basically you can chunk the top end...salvaging the switch control to mount somewhere convenient in the passenger area. Have to cut the shaft to appropriate length...and create a mount for the motor attachment...make the "t-cap" for the top of the shaft for steering cables to connect. And, unless you already have a kayak setup for a rudder system...have to purchase and install all that. And in my case the kayak I purchased wasn't molded with places for cables to exit the hull like the ones that have optional rudder systems....so I had to create those as well. And just to go ahead and answer John's one question here about "water and electrics." That's like any other boat with electric systems....inline marine fuse holder with fuse for safety.