Interview with Steve Komarinetz from Bassyaks E-mail
Thursday, 22 October 2009 18:28

Steve Komarinetz is the Dr. Frankenstein of the operation. He is doing some terrific installations in quite an array of kayaks. He also sells complete kits for the do it yourselfer. So you’ve got a few options when it comes to motorizing a kayak from BassYaks. Buy a fully motorized kayak; have your kayak done by them or purchase a kit and install it yourself. Whichever way you go you can have a motorized kayak. Joey has a Malibu X-13 and I just had BassYaks set up an OK Trident 13. The reason I chose the Trident is because OK is going to release a fully integrated kayak called the Torque in July. It has a motor that will drop in the tank well and utilize the rudder system of the kayak for steering. It’s going to be 33#s of thrust with a variable speed control. The Torque is basically a modified Trident 13 so that’s why I chose it for my BassYak. Steve set up my Trident with the same thrust and the variable speed. Speaking of Steve he’s real busy but I managed to get him on the phone for some questions.

1) When did you start kayak fishing and how did you first learn about it?

I think my first adventure on a Kayak was in the Dominican Republic while on a family vacation. It was 1998. I didn’t venture far from shore but we still managed a few Barracuda and various reef fish. From then on, all of my vacations were to key fishing destinations with a few kayak excursions mixed in with shore fishing. I remember the first kayak I used was a big orange tandem "LOG" with no seat backs. I used the scuppers for rod holders, at first that's what I thought they were for, that's probably when the wheels started turning. When I was home everything was back to normal. I was heavily involved in Youth Soccer and coaching High School soccer. When the time came to step aside I realized I needed a hobby. Living on the Thames River in Connecticut with fantastic fishing year round made the choice easy. I got a Tarpon 120, outfitted it, and started fishing locally.

2) Why did you motorize your first kayak and when was that?

Since I own my business and had lots of great fishing locally I started to fish a lot. Sometimes two trips a day. I don’t know if it was bad technique or overdoing it but I developed tendinitis in my elbows to the point where I had to stop paddling. With winter approaching I decided my winter project was going to be to power a kayak. I picked up a cheap sit-in to experiment on. That was four years ago.

3) What model kayak did you use?

It was a Victory Blast, a 10 foot sit inside, so I guess that was the first BassYak. After many variations were considered I decided upon a finial configuration. I used a 28 lb Motorguide and it had remote steering with buttons on the pedals. That kayak is somewhere in Vermont now.

4) How have Bassyaks evolved?

The present Bassyaks have cable steering for the rudder, a remote throttle, a removable motor, a 12 volt system that’s reliable, maneuverable, transportable and inexpensive. That combined with the latest battery technology and the advent of the brushless motors has produced kayaks attaining speeds of 6 mph and run times of 10 hours. What’s great it's only going to get better.

In the early years of development the motorized kayak was accepted by a few and but many purists hated it. The more a person fishes out of a kayak, the more they’re going to see some of the limitations with the standard paddle concept - things like control in certain situations, the paddle getting in the way, holding position, controlling the sleigh ride, dealing with wind and current, etc. The motorized kayak solves these problems and shines when fighting and landing fish, it's not just for getting from here to there.

5) I feel as you that electrified kayaks are about to explode. Where do you see things?

As kayak fishing evolves so do the fisherman. Now many are looking at motorized kayaks as a new style of fishing. Fishermen aren’t the only ones. By this summer 3 major kayak manufacturers will offer a motorized kayak, and within 3 years every manufacture will offer a model or two. BassYaks has a solid niche in the sport’s future. We offer almost every kayaker a means of electrifying their kayak by offering conversion kits for approximately 25 different model of fishing kayaks. Bassyaks offers in-house build conversions or kits for the fisherman wishing to convert their own kayak themselves.

 

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