Monday, January 12, 2015

More rigging (2015 Outback)


Next up for the rigging on my new Hobie Outback is to outfit the hull with some necessities.  I tend to keep my rigging simple, so this will be picture intensive but simple in total mods completed.  In short, a couple GearTracs, tsome new electronics, a power kit and some decals.

First up, the easy stuff - decals and as always, a couple YakAttack GearTracs.  The only rigging solution for me and the best in the business hands down.  I opted for the GT-175-04 series and installed them in the forward recessed tray areas.  I filled each hole with some marine grade silicone sealant before installing each mounting screw.
The port side will be for the fish finder, while the starboard side will be used for my YakAttack Panfish Portrait mount and camera.  It can also be used for a YakAttack Zooka Tube or even a YakAtttack Dogbone Camera Mount for a different camera angle.  I'll install a couple more in the coming weeks once I decide where I want them.  I also plan on installing the YakAttack NITEStripe as well sometime within the next week.

Next up, the new Lowrance Elite-5 CHIRP fish finder.  I removed the transducer plate and installed the transducer using the provided hardware and mounted it with some free space to permit true water temp and depth/soundings.
Next, I routed the transducer wire up through the wire channel into the cockpit area.  Using the front twist and stow hatch, remove the two center foam supports so can you reach the backside of the wire nut and unscrew the retaining ring.
You need to use the large two-hole wire nut grommet insert from the Hobie fish finder tree.  Route the transducer cable through the grommet and reinstall in the hull.  Route the transducer cable removing as much slack as possible back into the hull pulling the line forward and out of the hatch.  Re-insert the two foam supports and route the cable between the foam inserts.  I routed mine between the center and the port side support zip tying the excess wire and stowing it between the supports.
Reach inside the hatch again and remove the retaining ring on whichever side wire nut your prefer, I chose the left.  Remove the wire nut and route both the transducer cable and the power cable through both the retaining ring.  It is a snug fit and will require a little encouraging but it will go through.  Routing the second one through requires a little more effort, but angling the connector through the ring will fit.

The hardest part of this install is the next part - deciding whether to use one wire nut or two.  The reason is that the two cables for the newer Lowrance units have a total of three wires.  None of the Hobie provided grommets on the tree can accommodate this configuration.  If you opt for the second wire nut approach, then you will need to drill out another large hole. I personally didn't want two wire nuts, so I modified the Hobie well nut by using a drill bit to create a notch for the third wire.  After a few tweaks and use of a small screwdriver to manipulate the grommet, I made it work.
Next, I installed the head unit to the RAM Mounting Systems connector and YakAttack 1.5" Screwball.  I positioned it where I like it and connected both the transducer and battery connectors in order to determine the proper length of cable to leave exposed above the wire nut.  These wires are tucked away in the map pocket when the kayak is stored.


Last step is to wire the power and ground wires to the included inline fuse and Hobie battery connector.  As with all of my electronics installs, I solder the connections, and protect the connection with heat shrink and a wrap of electric tape.
One extra modification I do is to secure the excess cabling in a manner that reduces any noise from the wires slapping the inside of the hull while on the water or moving the hull to and fro.  Not all kayak hulls have extra attach points on the inside of the hull.  On the Outback, this is made easier by the location of the forward rudder pulley located just behind the hatch opening.  I simply placed a cable mount clip around the power wire and secured it to the front of the pulley housing with a zip tie and took up the slack wire.
The result is a clean wire path that doesn't interfere with the operation of the twist and stow rudder.
Lastly, installing the Hobie Battery bracket to the mast pole and securing any excess wire.  I make one slight modification here to decrease the likelihood of my battery and connections sitting in water that may enter the front hatch.  Although the battery bracket secures with a clamp around the sailing mast, I add a section of pool noodle to provide a little extra support for the battery bracket like so......
After all is said and done, plug in the battery and turn on your new fish finder.  Success!!!
Hope you found some of the tips and tricks I used helpful.