Sit Inside Mirage Drive Conversion E-mail
Written by Charles Beck   
Saturday, 06 December 2014 18:25

I've had an interest in converting a SIK to a Mirage pedal drive for several years. A few months ago I acquired two glass kayaks off Craigslist for a very good price. One was an 18-foot Eddyline and the other a Current Design product called Pisces, built in the mid 1980's. The Pisces is 17 foot by 24 inches and when paddle tested proved to be quite stable as well as fairly quick in the water.

project 1 2 project 2 2 project 3 2

Cutting into a perfectly good yak to fulfill an idea is sort of like a “Do it yourself” appendectomy because you think you might want to be a doctor. This was my first foray into a major retrofit of a kayak and I knew a lot of time was going to be spent in trial and error efforts. I begin by taking measuring my Adventure then cut out the combing and drivewell slot in the Pisces to match the Hobie measurements. I purchased a Hobie drivewell designed for their inflatable series but alas, inflatables are flat bottomed and the Pisces is “V” shaped, so out of ¾” marine plywood I built a box with cleats for drive guides. I glassed it into the hull as well as rebuilt the front combing. Very solid, and the drive goes in easier and fits tighter than in the Adventure. Wood wedges with a hold down lever keeps all in place.

project 4 3 IMG 2197

Steering uses a push/pull fiberglass rod system. Simple and very effective. Foam backrest, and for the first water tests I used a Hobie seat but plan on a light foam seat and backrest for the final version. So...the water tests. I built prototype outriggers out of foam but found the kayak really doesn't need them in flat water so removed them for the tests but will refine the concept for ocean fishing. The SIK is three and a half inches narrower than the Adventure but that difference in width is compensated for by having a lower center of gravity in the SIK by four or five inches.

As expected, the kayak moves faster than the Adventure under pedal and under paddle. I am closer to an ocean test but still have a fair amount of tweaking to do and will probably use pool noodles to insure the cockpit cannot over flood should a big one wash over the side on the maiden voyage. Here are a few close up pics.

Keep in mind that the surface finish will be a lot nicer but function adjustments comes first. The outriggers are prototypes made of hard foam and wrapped with tape with a wood backbone for support and even at this stage they are functional. One-inch aluminum pipe runs through the guide/holders. This is fashioned out of ¼-inch barrel plastic. Cut with jigsaw, heat with small torch, bend to shape, drill inch holes and bolt thru back combing. Fast to attach and detach even on the water. I may go with glass rod and ram mounts further aft later on. The outriggers at this point turn in the wood hole and just touch the water on their back ends. Kinda of a tap, tap with no drag while underway, but when I shift weight to the yak edge their flotation power stabilizes the boat immediately. Pretty sure I could jig fish without them but given our proclivity to yank extended rods upward at times, I will use them.

IMG 2198 IMG 2192 IMG 2193

The SIK aluminum rudder was bolted up to with a short length of flat bar that in turn was bolted to 5/8ths glass rod from Tap Plastic. The rod runs through three guides formed in the same manner as the outrigger holders. With three guides and a deliberate bend the rudder has enough friction to hold whatever position I choose so circling while fishing without having to adjust the rudder is quite doable. Plus, unlike my Hobie, there are no internal string attachments. Push for right. Pull for left. Did I get that right? Takes awhile to become automatic mentally.

IMG 2195 IMG 2200

The up close pic of the drive well/box shows the cleats and hold-downs for the drive. Hold-downs work well but maybe could be better. The back hatch can be opened one handed and fish flipped in. The back bungie cord acts as a hinge and spring and the front bungie stretches to an eyehook to secure the hatch. Next step is to buy some urethane hard insulation foam, 4x8 sheet of 1 and a 1/2 and make another version of outriggers and glass them. Urethane will accept glass resin but Styrofoam melts on contact with the stuff. More to come especially after first ocean test.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zi5sS4zMIuM&feature=player_detailpage&list=UUnUX9H95HpPvrCJEJJi9Q-g

 

You must be registered to post a comment.


Login

Newsletter

Subscribe here to receive FREE email issues of Kayak Fishing Magazine.

Most Popular

Kayak Fishing for White Seabass
Ghost Busting - When Hunting White Seabass, Silence is Only One of a Kayaker’s Weapons.Reprinted courtesy of KayakFishingZone.com: Paddling the U.S. Pacific Coast and Baja Each...
Crabbing From the Kayak
The apron was my design after I caught my first crabs and tried to sort them in the kayak. You should have had pictures of that. I went to a local sail maker and told him what I...
Myrtle Beach Sharkin
I got back last night at about midnight after a great 8 days at Myrtle Beach. I brought my kayak down again and had perfect weather every day with temps in the low 90's with a...

Random

Panama, First Impressions
It felt like an adventure before we even got out of the airport. I knew we were in a very different place for sure. First, there was the solid wall of heat and humidity when we...
Shipwreck's Big Striper
You gotta have goals. Goals are what create drive, which motivates you, which makes you reach. And plan. Someone once said a sure way to make The Almighty get a good chuckle is to...
Cochrane Bay Alaska
There are still places on this earth free from the wanton tinkerings of man. Places fierce yet fragile. Places that remind a man of both his power and insignificance.  ...

Latest Kayak Reviews

Lifetime Sport Fisher
 
5.0
Cobra Kayaks Tandem
 
3.0
Perception Sport Pescador 10.0 Angler
 
4.0
Hobie Mirage Outback
 
4.0
Current Designs Tailfin
 
5.0
Hobie Mirage Outback
 
2.0
NuCanoe Frontier 12
 
5.0
Native Watercraft Mariner 12.5 Propel Anglers
 
4.0
Hobie Mirage Outback
 
5.0
Pelican Castaway 100
 
2.0
Stealth Pro Fisha 575
 
3.0
Field and Stream Eagle Talon
 
5.0

Latest Equipment Reviews

Body Glove 3T Barefoot Max
 
5.0
Body Glove 3T Barefoot Warrior
 
5.0
Body Glove 3T Barefoot Warrior
 
3.0
Columbia Drainmaker
 
5.0
Sperry SON-R Sounder Shandal
 
4.0
Garmin VIRB Elite
 
4.0
Polaroid XS100
 
4.0
Backwater Paddles Assault Hand Paddle
 
5.0
Backwater Paddles Assault Hand Paddle
 
5.0
Stohlquist Piseas
 
4.0
Wheeleez Tuff Tire Kayak Cart
 
5.0
Boga Grip
 
4.0