Anyone who has used a Hobie Adventure Island extensively knows that depending on the conditions, they can account for a rather wet ride. Its not uncommon for water to rush over the deck and at times the bow can submarine briefly, which can submerge the bow hatch completely. If the hatch isn't perfectly sealed (and there are minor variances in different hulls) this will result in a small intake of water. A long day in such conditions can eventually amount to a lot of water getting in. This is one of the reasons I installed a removable rechargeable bilge pump recently. But lets face it - prevention is always better than cure. Scott and I put our heads together to come up with just such a thing - here's what we arrived at:
The SLH manual pump livewell kit is a package put together designed to simplify the creation of a fail-proof kayak fishing livewell using almost any cooler box. This video (starring Scott Lovig and directed & edited by myself) introduces the manual pump livewell concept, the SLH kit and a instructional guide on installation.
Ever since it was released, Hobie's Adventure Island has always run the furling line through a cleat and fairlead on the starboard side of the crossbar. This is the very same side that the mainsheet runs through, just a few inches apart. The downside to this arrangement is that it means that both lines dangle about around to the right of the Miragdrive. I've long been thinking of ways to change this, without having to tap new threads in the crossbar to swap over the furling line cleat and fairlead. Today I nailed it.
In a recent rant I mentioned that I had decided not to use a fish finder on my newly rigged AI, citing weight, clutter and reliability (for open ocean kayak fishing) as concerns. I've given this topic a lot of thought since then and have looked around for a compromise - a means to achieve depth sounding without the need for a sounder mounted onto my kayak. Without question, it is always useful to know what sort of depth you're in. But in my case at least, rarely has it been vital to be able to detect fish or decipher bottom surface readings.
The big boss at SLH was kind enough to give me the use of an Adventure Island and allowed me to install pretty much whatever I want on it, so starting out with a blank canvass, I'm now fitting out my 3rd AI for personal use. As recently described, I'm going for ultra efficiency this time around. Before getting too busy with the drill I spent a lot of time thinking it through and many discussions were had with Scott on various kayak fishing orientated rigging alternatives. So far it is shaping up a lot like my previous AI, but with a few notable refinements.
Barry (AKA Aussieonyak) has shared a brief clip showing off a clever modification he came up with for his AI. He's cleverly installed a folding Haka (solid surrogate for mesh tramp), which allows him to fold the amas in order to land fish. There I was thinking a Haka install would have to be fixed. Well done Barry!
It was during our passage to Wathumba last year that we discovered the Achillies heel of the spray skirts that have been popularized for Adventure and Trimaran Island trimaran yaks (by Kayaking Bob and various imitators), which is that if the bow is burying and the skirts bury with it, significant slow-downs result. Occurring precisely when the last thing I wanted was to slow down, I had little choice but to remove them and I never put them back on. I'm glad Holger was there at the time to see it, because he was one of Bob's imitators, and had made such skirts for numerous people up to that point. Rather than concede defeat however, Holger resolved to improve the design to get around this and he presented the solution to us at Fraser Island on this years trip.