One of the most commonly asked question on mounting a fish finder to a kayak is, “Where or how do I mount it?”
Some kayaks have specifically moulded scupper drains to accommodate the fitting of a transducer, however a lot do not. I wanted to fit a Humminbird to a Dirigo Angler kayak from Old Town and, like so many before me, I asked myself the same question.
I looked at what I wanted to achieve and what was available to make the whole package come together easily and effectively. Looking at the cockpit of the Dirigo was the first step; what space was available for battery mounting, transducer mounting and finally mounting of the Humminbird head unit.
Obviously, the main requirement for the Humminbird was that it had to be in a convenient location. This meant it had to be clearly seen, easily reached, and be able to be quickly moved if needed. I also didn’t want anything sitting above deck height to interfere with loading the kayak onto the roof racks of the car.
I decided to use the new Rail Blaza platform to mount the Humminbird head unit under the deck; attaching it to the bucket hatch in the dashboard. I used an adapter plate specifically designed to marry the Rail Blaza mount to the Humminbird. This combination puts the fish finder in a great location; it is easily adjustable and folds away inside the cockpit at the end of the day.
The Rail Blaza mount comes with bolts and screws for fitting in various ways. It can be either surface mounted or flush mounted, which makes the system quite adaptable. An adjustment knob on the side allows for fast and easy corrections while the lockable mount can be rotated to various positions.
I wanted the battery to be located out of the way of every day fishing and paddling, but still be able accessible when needed for trouble shooting or recharging the battery. Behind the seat in the Dirigo was an ideal location.
The battery was a sealed 12V 7amp from Remco. It is ideal for running a fish finder for two to three days of fishing without recharging.
To mount the battery I used a machined nylon material that comes with tie down strap for a secure fitting. The tray is permanently mounted into the kayak using Fix Seal, a 100% clear adhesive sealant that is suited for marine environments.
Humminbird released a transducer mounting kit for internal mounting in kayaks. The kit comes with everything you need to mount a transducer: Rubber boot with adhesive; Scouring pad; Velcro hold down strap; Alcohol wipe and primer to ensure a clean area before fixing the mount to the kayak. A tube of marine grade grease is supplied that fills the boot and makes an air free pocket for the transducer’s signal to pass through.
It is important to ensure a clean surface before using any adhesive on a kayak; scuffing the surface also helps the adhesive to grab hold. The process for mounting is quite clearly explained in the instruction manual that comes with the kit.
The location chosen for the transducer was also behind the seat, next to the battery. This allowed for both the transducer cable and power lead to be bundled together and run in one loom to the front of the cockpit to the Humminbird head unit.
In this case, the wiring was run up the underside of the cockpit rails and is totally out of the way of any obstruction and out of sight. To hold the wiring in place, I used a few small blobs of Fix Seal along the length.
Excess cable was bundled up and zip tied off to the underside of one of the rod holders.
Phillips head screw driver
|Old Town Dirigo kayak 120 Angler (BLA part 522448)||$1499.00|
|Humminbird 385CXi Sounder / GPS Combo (BLA part 102546)||$799.00|
|Rail Blaza platform (BLA part 195652)||$45.90|
|Transducer Mount Kit (BLA part 103744)||$59.50|
|Adapter Plate (BLA part 195800)||$12.30|
|Battery Tray (BLA part 526222)||$16.00|
|Sealed Battery 7amp (BLA part 526216)||$39.90|