Always goes this way. Just as I get busy on two things, everything else I’ve been waiting on starts.
Soooo, another quick update to tempt and tantalise before I get to work out how much it might cost to sell the various versions of this frame I’m testing…
Without further ado, the aft, fore and side fitting electric motor and battery mount, fishing/camera/outrigger mounting point, backrest, carrying rig and now, chair!
Got some foam wrapping to be added to soften the impact when carrying both motor and battery as that tubing is a little thin to rest on the shoulders alone
The chair came about from chatting with friends who suggested calling it ‘The Transformer’ as it fits together in different combinations and besides looking quite smart can take me sitting on it!
Now on to testing it in the water before a full write up..
Update: 14th June – Still not got out to test yet but have finally added the steering mechanism as pictured below. Should be possible to attach this type of mechanism to a home made version as all that is needed are two eye bolts, handles/toggles and some string/cable that can be fitted to the motor mounting wood. Just a pulse width modulator to add so that I can control the motor speed from the front and all done! (Admittedly the PWM isn’t necessarily part of the mount but would make control from the front of the vessel easier – reverse still to work out..)
Finally got out to test this rig. The weather wasn’t particularly accommodating (excessive wind for speed tests) and it is a case of going back to the drawing board in some respects. In others I was overjoyed as even though I may have looked comical, I was able to carry the entire assembly, kayak, battery, paddle, backpack, pump and life-jacket from car to seafront over a pebble beach. (To be fair, given my slight frame this was a challenge especially post testing when will power was the only reason my legs didn’t give way trying to lift the rig from floor to over my shoulders!)
Onto the fitting and water testing then. It was a bit tight fitting the mount in aft position once fully inflated and getting it past the air filling points to align properly. Once there and with the steering strings attached, I was able to turn fairly sharply at any speed from right up the front of the vessel. (As mentioned speed control currently still requires proximity to the motor to function so this setup would currently only be viable at lower speeds i.e. trolling along)
The things that didn’t work so well and are back on the workshop floor for now.
- The wooden beam for attaching the motor to (kinda critical!) gave off two loud cracks at the point of executing a sharp turn from one extreme to the other. After checking the location of the cracks (each end at thinnest point), I was still able to test for another 20 mins or so without further damages. Of course this is the point of stress testing with a 62lb motor and so I’m looking at alternatives and or the possibility of reverting to my original, single aluminium tube, design. Drilling a 22mm hole about 20mm from the end of a 45mm wide piece of pine may be pushing it I realise but as the rig currently weighs in at less than 1Kg I’m trying to keep it that way.
- Steering accuracy/range. Although basically functional, the lack of reverse and the limits that running strings through to the steering arm impose really won’t work. So, a single cord wrapped around a fixed point on the motor shaft should allow for the ability to rotate 360 degrees and thus provide reverse capability if still not the ability to change speed.
- Carrying the rig. The battery needs to be fixed in place better as due to the need to hoist it up over one’s shoulders to fit, the battery can slide one way or t’other. The gap between motor and the person carrying can also allow the battery to drag the whole rig forwards so making for a less comfortable walk (putting the motor on the inside of the bar may limit slide). Both of these can be remedied with straps/bungees and the foam makes the load if not a pleasure, easily bearable for a short walk. Finally, adding carrying straps to see if it is viable to carry the battery, motor and rig in one hand is another option I’ve been considering.
- I need to get fitter to be able to carry it all! The combined weight of just under 50Kgs (around 2/3 my weight) and uneven loading with the kayak being in one hand made walking slow but initial fears of falling and snapping my neck whilst tied up in the rig didn’t feel a concern once loaded.
I did start to make a video of my walk to the beach with my SJ4000 on a pole. Here’s a snapshot from the video with me nearly fully loaded up. (Yes, I have considered whether putting an inflatable ring around my waist and just walking into the water would work!)