Monday, January 16, 2012

Do or do not.........there is no try...........

Such is the motto when performing customizations on your kayak itself.  Sure, its easy to try different modifications to a lure or even your own tackle carrying options such as a milk crate.  When you are talking about making modifications that involve cutting and drilling on a kayak, you are talking about permanent modifications for the most part.  In the event that you completely mess up or your modification does not work as planned, you will need to employ the use of a plastic welder.

For someone like myself with limited access to tools and work space, I live by the mantra of cut once, measure twice as so many contractors and laborers alike know all too well.  For me, my arsenal of power tools is limited to a standard corded drill, small electric sander, a 2-speed Dremel and various non-powered small hand tools.  When I make modifications, they are typically minute compared to others creations; however, they are functional to me and serve a purpose.

Such is the purpose of my first real modification on my new Hobie Revolution 13.  For those that fish with me or have seen me on the water, you know that I never venture out unless I have my YakAttack VisiCarbon Pro safety light/flag with my custom hi-visibility green safety flag with the SOLAS safety material.  Even during broad daylight, I have had various people tell me they could see me over a mile away.  During a recent nighttime outing to the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, I was changing my rods out for a different presentation and noticed the my safety flag had become entangled in one of my lure's treble hooks.  Not wanting to fight with a treble hook nor risk destroying my flag, I simply went back to my other rod and waited until later during my departure once on the beach to cut the snagged treble hook and save the flag.

It was in this moment that I realized that I needed a different location for the safety flag.  For those that have not seen or researched the VisiCarbon, let me just say that there are a variety of mounting options for you, because the owner, Luther Cifers, has designed the different versions to account for mounting options with a Scotty, Ram or the new Mighty Mount bases.  For me, I had opted for the Scotty version, since I had Scotty flush mounts installed on my previous kayak.  On my new Hobie Revolution, there are plenty of options for installation of mounts; however, the best options are typically RAM mounts.  Rather than selling my VisiCarbon and purchasing a new one with the RAM ball base, I did my research and located a smaller version of the normal Scotty round flush mount, the Scotty Compact Threaded Deck Mount (Model 444).

The best mounting option for me was aft of the rear gear bucket on the starboard side outside of the rudder cable tubes.  This location was nearly flat and provided the best location to minimize the risk of any water entering inside the hull.  So, I ordered the part and gathered the tools that would be needed for the job.  When the package arrived, the package contents included: the base, a spacer, a lock nut, end cap and rubber waterproof cap.

Based upon the instructions included on the back of the package, the tools were very minimal.  Tools I used were: standard electric drill, 1/8" and 1/4" drill bits, Dremel tool with a #562 Tile Cutting bit and my favorite waterproof sealant Lexel.  I use Lexel for my sealant applications, because it dries firm but still has enough pliability that any hull flexion due to temperature changes will not compromise the seal. The included spacer also serves as the template for the required 1 1/4" center hole and accompanying 5/16" guide holes.
I decided that I would use a two-pronged approach to this installation to minimize potential mistakes.  First, I started with the template and marked the 3 holes in the desired location then used the 1/8" drill bit to drill pilot holes followed up with the 1/4" bit to enlarge the holes in preparation for the Dremel.

Once the holes were done, I used the Dremel bit to enlarge the center hole first and tested the fit.  By doing it this way, I ensure that the hole is not a perfectly smooth area creating a tighter fit for the mount.  Once the center hole was the right size, I enlarged the guide holes using the low speed setting on my Dremel and made small sweeping strokes to enlarge the holes slightly also creating a snug fit.  Once the holes were completed and the mount was snugged into place, I removed the mount base and applied Lexel on the underside that would be flush against the outer hull of the kayak.  I then installed the waterproof cap cover and pressed the mount base into place.
I then applied more Lexel to the template spacer ring and installed it on the inside of the hull and then installed the lock nut snug against the spacer ring.  Once that was completed, I installed the end cap and double checked the fit to ensure that the Lexel was sufficient and that no visible light was coming through the openings.

Here is a picture of the mount assembled prior to installation..........
And here is the mount installed to the starboard side of the aft gear bucket outside of the rudder cable......
And here is the primary reason for installing what many would typically use as a flush mount for a rod holder, but I have chosen to use it for my safety light/flag holder........
Total installation time = 30 minutes

I hope you find this installation walk through useful and can apply some of the concepts in your plans on your own kayak(s).  I know I plan on doing some more modifications in the near future for my YakAttack PanFish Camera mount and GoPro Naked HD camera.

Enjoy your time on the water, be safe and remember to take a kid or a service member fishing and you will change their lives forever.


  1. I have a hobie revo 11. I have purchased a mighty mount for a yak attack panfish. Then I saw your blog was wondering why you chose the Scotty over the yak rail type. I haven't mounted mine yet, I was hoping to install tomorrow but you have a longer kayak/fishing experience has made me wonder.

    1. Hey Jennifer - the reason I chose the Scotty was simply due to timing. The rigging that you are reading was before Luther and the good folks at YakAttack had produced the Mighty Mount. I am a loyal YakAttack supporter, member of their Regional Fishing Team and also loyal to RAM Mounts for the last few years since that Revo rigging was performed. I'll be posting a rigging summary of my new 2017 Revolution 13 here in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!!

    2. Great! I appreciate your experience and helpful tips.

  2. No problem at all - glad to help. The key is to understand the various options you have to choose from then picking the one that makes the most sense for your specific kayak hull. Now I Keep it real simple - I use one of the rod holders on my Hobie H-Crate or when I use my YakAttack BlackPack, I simply install it in the GearTrac installed on the top of the BlackPack rails.