Motorising a Big Fish 120 With Cameron Childs

Want to seriously juice up your yak? Check out this mad build!

This is a pretty amazing yak mod. For those of you who know Cameron you may have seen this build previously but we think it is so damned good that it should be shared with the rest of the world! If the build itself is not impressive enough you should know that Cameron custom made all the parts including building his own PWMs (Pulse Width Modulators) from bits he bought online for speed control.

While Cameron loves fishing out of his yak, he also owns a boat and enjoys targeting a wide variety of species from both watercraft and the land.  He is a crack shot with a spinner and a real dead-eye with a baitcaster. 
What Kayak Did You Choose and Why 

 I bought the 3 Waters Big Fish 120 because of the excellent load capacity (181 kgs) and the large and flat floor areas (91cm beam and 366cm overall length). These really help you handle, measure, and release your catches. Even with the rudder pedals installed the cockpit still has a lot of room and the floors can be lifted for cleaning. The sounder pod really appealed to me and made fitting the sounder an absolute breeze. The sounder pod sits nice and high but doesn't get in the way of casting or general operation. You can unclip and lift out the whole sounder pod. It also has these really great sleeves for rod storage (you can see one either side of the sounder in front).
Why Did You Choose to do This Mod?

 I powered the kayak because in the past I found trying to fish and paddle or maintain position by paddle too much of a cluster and it really dampened my experience with kayak fishing. This was 4 years ago when I first started getting into the sport. 

I persevered with it on and off for a while before I decided it was time to get a more suitable yak I could custom fit a motor to. This is my 3rd yak now after having some experience with previous outfit consisting of The Beast kayak from Dream Kayaks with a rear mounted 34lb Watersnake. 

Steering was taken care of with foot pedals and motor control with a simple flick of the switch and dialed speed right next to the seat. This freed up my both my hands 90% of the time for battling fish. Due to the cathedral hull design of the Big Fish 120, I decided to run 2 smaller 24lb watersnake through the scuppers in the rear well, eliminating a lot of the fabrication work required on the previous set up.  Flex damage won't be a problem because of the way they are mounted in the rubbersised sleeves.
Walk Us Through the Process Briefly

Once I picked up my Big Fish 120 from Rusty at Dream Kayaks with a smile from ear to ear, I set about what I was going to need to pull this off. I had some wild ideas like 2 brushless thrusters with a complicated system just to control speed, but the cost was going to be in the thousands. 

I decided to stick with what I know, grabbed myself a pair of 24lb Watersnakes, 2 PWM motor speed controllers, an FPV 50AH lithium battery supplied by the good folks at Freak Sports, and all the supporting hardware to get the job done. Motors were dummy fitted, speed controller was made up, then on the water for a test. First trial was an absolute success, so I didn't muck around in getting the motor shafts trimmed down, wiring tidied away, and a false floor made to cover the motors with an esky on top. 

Sounder went into the pod along with a 7AH battery to run it. To my surprise, I was also able to fit the 50ah lithium battery in there too. I was going for a bit of a stealth approach with running this motor set up. Upon first inspection whilst on the water, you wouldn't even know this thing was powered! 
What Obstacles Did You Face and How Did You Overcome Them?  

I'd have to say my biggest obstacles were the lack of space in my dinky shed, followed by time. Probably even a sprinkle of procrastination but otherwise a fairly simple project to complete once the planning has been properly thought out.
How Does it Handle on the Water?

Handling is quite good with the big rudder, and maneuverability is enhanced by having each motor individually controlled by its own PWM.

Push up for forward, pull back for reverse, and centre for stop.  You do get some degree of maneuverability by having one forward and one reverse .
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