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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 8:58 am 
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2016 6:16 pm
Posts: 3
Just outfitting my new PA12 for my 70ieth Bday. What fun!!! My primary interest is wildlife photography, hoping to be able to get closer to birds on the water, and animals coming to the water in otherwise inaccessible areas. Oh and I also fish with whatever will catch fish: fly, bait, spin, troll when not shooting with the camera. Rigging up for fresh and salt including bays, estuaries, ocean within reach of shore.

People get some amazing shots of birds by drifting under cover (similar to duck hunting). I have outfitted with anchor trollies on port and starboard to be able to deploy an anchor plus a drogue, or two anchors (bow V or bow stern) to hold position if necessary. A dodger, or bimini with sidewalls plus a dodger seems the way to go for stealth photography. I ordered a Hobie Pro Angler Dodger from Austin Kayak. They sent a camo one that is no longer available from Hobie. IMHO it is worthless. Sent it back. Supposed to work like a pop-up tent, but no way to keep the support flimsy rods in place. Does not work with the mast, has no way to enter from the front. Does provide enough coverage. Sent it back. Not surprised it is discontinued by Hobie.

The only other one I have found is a silver gray Hobie Dodger 2011 that does have the velcro closures for mast and front entry. Bright white is not ideal cover. Looking for experience with this from others. Can't find any others on the internet.

I have the leaning bar setup, which seems a no brainer as the primary support for a bow dodger. I can't believe Hobie or someone else hasn't seen the possibilities for creating a dodger using the leaning bar. Ideally, the dodger should extend over my head (like a bimini) when seated, and have side and top windows for taking shots. Like a deer blind. I am considering a second leaning bar installed backward to support an extension over my head. Need to be able to deploy easily from the seat, and take down easily if the weather blows up.

Looking for DIY solutions to this.

Lots on the internet, U-tube videos, about taking on water through the front hatch if rolled over, especially when trying to land in light surf. Inconceivable for Hobie to make a non-watertight simon kayak. The tray insert prevents the hatch from sealing against the gasket. People have tried putting a gasket in the lid to see if this works, but can't find a follow-up report.

Appears to seal much better if the tray is removed, but not ideal solution. I found that the tray can be pushed through the opening so it sits below the gasket. Has anyone tried this and rolled over/tested a rollover to see if the hatch seals better with either of these solutions?

I have obtained sailboat hatch hardware that includes compression latches at the back and a hinge at the front, but don't want to start drilling unless absolutely necessary. Would work and seal like cockpit hatches on a boat. Geometry is challenging and may not work.


The Newport 32# thrust motor fits where the mirage drive fits. Others may also. Saw one video where a motor had been mounted through the well insert. Any recent experience with this?

My idea is to mount a wood bar with a mounting pad on H-rail universal mounts just behind the seat, and put a scuba dive weight(s) on the other end of the mount to counterbalance the load. Seems ideal, and better than the commercial version that fits in the rod holders further aft and costs $160. Also avoids bolting it on the gunwales, easily removable etc. Have mocked this up with a 2x4 and the geometry works. I will also shorten the shaft per U-tube video. 30" is unnecessary so close to the water.

Appreciate suggestions, links, feedback.

Lake Shasta water level is coming up 3 feet, yes FEET, per day and is within 50' of the top. Should be a great year!

Happy yaking.

Richard C. Eastman

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