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Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 - Trolling Motor


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I have almost completed my addition of a trolling motor to my Ocean Kayak Prowler 13. I will work on getting pictures posted and some more detailed info on what I did, but for the time being here is a summary what I was hoping to accomplish. 

I was wanting to add the option of a trolling motor to my kayak so I could take some extended trips, without wasting a lot of time and energy on paddling. My family takes a trip every year to Marco Island, FL, and after last year's trip I realized I had been wasting a lot of time and energy just to get out of the canals and to the spots I wanted to fish in the bays and open ocean. The trolling motor may not cut back too much on the time, but it would help on the amount of energy spent paddling. Another idea I thought about was hands free steering and power controls, so I could essentially work my way down a bank fishing without the need to alternate between paddle and rod. 

However, I also wanted the trolling motor to be easily and quickly removable. The trolling motor would be nice for extended trips, but for shallow streams, and quick jaunts to local lakes it seemed like overkill. I still wanted to maintain the simplicity of throwing the kayak on top of the car and being on the water in 15 minutes. 

Finally, I wanted to keep the expense *relatively* low. BassYaks sells a Prowler 13 kit for $499... I only paid $679 for my Prowler... I was hoping I could fabricate something myself for around $150. 

I have successfully made a mounting bracket on the back of the kayak (semi-permanent), which allows the trolling motor to be secured to the mount with a bolt and wingnut. I also installed a female trolling motor plug receptacle in the rear of the kayak near the mount with the male lead wired to the trolling motor (Quick, easy, removal). The trolling motor is steered with the addition of foot pedals and cabling... basically what the rudder kits allow you to do (handsfree steering). The power switch has been wired to the center hatch near the seat so I can control speed from the cockpit. The battery terminal connections are also wired internally in the kayak to allow easy removal and addition of the battery. 

There are really only two cuts you need to make in the kayak for this mount/system. One is a circle around 4-5 in. in diameter in the rear well of the kayak. This will allow you to install an access panel in the back and give you space to work in the rear of the kayak that you couldn't normally reach. You will also put a small hole in the rear where you will install the female trolling motor plug receptacle. (I drilled two holes... remember to measure twice). As for screw/bolt holes, you will need to drill two for the mount top in the rudder channel. I utilized the rudder mounting screws in the rear so I didn't have to drill any more holes for the mount. You will also have to drill two holes in the rear to run the cable for the steering pedals, and then up the seat as well. I used the existing mounting holes for the foot pedals, so I avoided some more holes there. You will need drill a hole in the center consoled to feed the wiring for the speed control and for the battery terminal wires. 

I will stop here, as I think these descriptions are worthless without some visual aids. I'll hopefully finish the wiring tonight, snap some pictures, and update the post. 

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First Step. Cut a hole in the rear well and install an access panel to work in the rear. 

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Next I wanted to fashion a mount on the rear so I could add/remove the trolling motor easily. I used some old cutting boards, doubled them up for strength, and supported with "L" brackets. Then bolted it down through the rudder channel. I also used the 4 existing rudder mount bolt threads to secure it on the rear.  

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I am going to trim the excess off and round the edges to reduce drag.

I needed to remove the existing clamps on the trolling motor so that it could be mounted to a flat surface. 

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Now the TM can sit flush on top of the mount. I drilled a hole through the TM bracket and the mount on the kayak to insert a bolt to secure the TM to the kayak. 

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Next steps... Steering cables and electrical wiring. 

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That looks great so far.  This has been on my list to do to my Coosa for awhile now. It is just tough to do with the shape of the coosa.  I am following to see your progress!  Since you have the battery already, you might as well install some LED lights.  If you do decide to do that, shoot me a message, I am currently working on mine at the moment and have some great ideas.

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In order to control the trolling motor with my feet I needed to install a set of foot braces that were not standard on the prowler. Mounting screws already existed, so I utilized those with a pair of Attwood foot pedals (1/2 the price of the Ocean Kayak set). I drilled holes in the areas designated for the rudder cables and basically followed the instructions for installation of the rudder steering cables (google it). Ran plastic tubing in first, so the galvanized cable wouldn't rub grooves into the holes. Crimp on some ferrules and attach to the foot pedals.

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To attach the steering cables to the trolling motor I got two galvanized split ring hangers, unscrewed them and screwed together the two pieces with the bolt holes, and added two eye bolts to the hanger holes. 

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Steering system complete... now onto the electrical. 

 

 

 

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I saw a similar install on youtube that looked like it turned out really nice and worked well. 

-- Jim

If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles. -- Doug Larson

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For the electric wiring you will need to remove the powerhead of the trolling motor. There will be a speed control piece in the head that you will remove and utilize for the control in the cockpit of the kayak. There are 4 wires coming from the trolling motor Red/Black (+/-) and white/yellow. The white and the yellow control the speed in forward and reverse. The leads to the battery will also be wired here so a total of six wires attach to the speed control. I took the hatch cover off the cockpit hatch and carved out an area for the speed control to fit in. 

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I purchased a 4 wire trolling motor plug (T-H-Marine-Ranger-Style-Trolling-Motor-Plug) so I can remove the trolling motor from the kayak, wiring and all, very easily. 

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Here is how I wired it. Minus the jumpers since I was wiring 4 wires not two. Covered the wires with some flex tubing and installed a makeshift powerhead on top of the trolling motor shaft with some pvc. 

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Cut a hole in the rear and Install the female portion of the plug. 

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For the wiring from the cockpit to the trolling motor plug, I found it easiest to run the wires from the cock pit towards the back, since I could grab them from the rear hatch that installed. It would be very difficult to run them from the back to the middle. So i drilled a hole in the cockpit hatch and fed the wires to the rear, attached to the female plug. Secured and fastened everything. For the leads that need to connect to the battery, I utilized the existing leads from the trolling motor. I drilled a hole behind the seat and fed the leads up to the cockpit hatch.

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And that's about the gist of it. I can go into some more detail if people would like to know more. Very happy so far, now I just need to get it on the water. 

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I'll try to get a video of it in action and to demonstrate how easy it is to add/remove. 

 

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My question now is do you need to register it and get tags for it?

-- Jim

If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles. -- Doug Larson

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Very cool,  thanks for sharing. 

Money is just ink and paper, worthless until it switches hands, and worthless again until the next transaction. (me)

I am the master of my unspoken words, and the slave to those that should have remained unsaid. (unknown)

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