Today was very exciting. After digging out the compass and protractor, measuring, comparing, learning about costs of bending pipe, stress points, bend radii, gauges and tensile strengths, I’ve thrown together a conceptual custom built motor mount.
Now, I’m well aware my mediocre handyman skills leave a lot to be desired as denoted by the ‘straightness’ of my drilling 7/8″ holes in a bit of 2×2″ wood by eye and it is certainly not the finished product! I’m playing about with two different aluminium frames to test out differing assembly styles and I’m posting a quick taster early to give some more ideas for a recent commenter, Lutheran who is at an early build stage currently.
Well, it fits, holds the motor and battery and even when I forgot myself and took the battery out before removing the motor, the frame stayed put!!
In the first photo you can see where the Ram mounts fit. They are there as I’d noted they would sit in similar locations to the rod holders I’ve seen on rigid hull kayaks and this is something that is difficult to achieve on inflatables.
The crossbar where the Ram mount is fitted is not certainly going to stay there, it is just there for now to keep the frame together although it does add rigidity. I’m toying with the idea of a fabric strip across the middle to provide a firm backrest that the included Sevylor seats really fail to provide.
The second photo shows it all in-situ, filling up my hallway and clearly showing how skewed my drilling is! Had wondered if the rear pipe ends could be used to fit the outriggers I’ve seen that can be fixed to Ram mounts although they may be too far back on the vessel. Having the Ram mounts there in any case would lock the rear wooden bar so they may become integral.
It was originally intended to sit the battery horizontally (as you can see in the first photo by the small wooden tray) but as the frame manages to sit snugly slightly further back than expected, the battery slots in better as you can see below.
The other frame I have to test has a larger battery loop which provides a longer flat base that could be better suited for lower sided vessels or for fitting on rigid hulls.
There are a lot of variables in terms of possible additional fixtures that could be added to fit differing vessels. I’m still toying with the benefits/drawbacks of trying to make the width of either the front or back of the frame variable in order to fit differing hull shapes but that will have to wait until I get down a local kayak shop to check how it might work.
I must say, although early days, I’m quite chuffed with this design so far and am keen to see how it balances as a carrying frame (including if it will bend at all) once it is fixed solid.
Not so sure about throttle control but a pulley/cable system for steering is nagging away at me now given all of these oh-so-handy fixing points…