Upgrades to Watermaster?

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by pastorbrian, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. Hey fellow watermaster owners; (well, I ordered mine...so it's on the way!)

    I was wondering, other than padding or upgrading the seat, what other "hacks" or upgrades have you done to your watermaster?

    I am specifically curious about anchoring, the foot rest area and/or the back platform for carrying things.

    I ordered the complete upgrade package already, with the larger boat, so those things will be on the way with the boat itself.

    Thanks- cant wait to get it!

  2. Hey Brian, Congrats on the new Kodiak! With the complete upgrade package, you don't have a lot to think about. The additional D-rings installed for the cargo net will add more flexibility for your set-ups. Your cooler and dry bag set-up, anchor, and pumps/pressure gage will most likely be your focus. Do some searches and you will find a few threads. Happy to answer any specific questions. As you may already know, I went thru the same purchase at the beginning of this year. I think you are really going to enjoy your Kodiak on both still and moving waters. Enjoy!
  3. Brian,

    In moving water.... I'm not a big fan of anchors on personal sized watercraft. The anchor weight still needs to be hefty to keep position and the small boats just don't track well to the point of being dangerous. It's worse with pontoons, but still, been there done that and wouldn't do it again.

    Still water... If you don't use an anchor(s) that often, carry a couple lengths of parachute chord and mesh bags. Fill the bags with rocks when in need of anchoring up. Run the chord through the d-rings as needed. Stows nicely in the zipped compartment in back of the soft seat when not needed.

  4. Brian, river oars if you did not already get them. Big difference between the standards and upgraded river oars from what I've seen. The waterproof roll top bags that the boat comes with should hold your gear. A good electronic pump, K Pump and pressure gauge are standard in my kit for my new to me Kodiak. I also added a glue on scotty rod holder base forward of my rowing reach and stripping apron. I prefer that over the vertical carry strap on rod holder that comes with the WM. A small, low profile soft sided cooler for the back deck for your gatorade and fruit snacks is also nice under that cargo net. Enjoy the new boat! Ed
  5. Regarding stillwater anchoring... I don't anchor up that much, but this 2 lb anchor: http://www.cabelas.com/product/Kayak-Anchor-System/701200.uts?Ntk=AllProducts&searchPath=%2Fcatalog%2Fsearch.cmd%3Fform_state%3DsearchForm%26N%3D0%26fsch%3Dtrue%26Ntk%3DAllProducts%26Ntt%3Dkayak%2Banchor%26x%3D16%26y%3D12&Ntt=kayak+anchor, has been sufficient when I have.

    Like Chris, I just utilize the D-rings. I then tighten and secure the anchor line with this: http://www.cabelas.com/product/Nite...+9+carabiner&x=23&y=10&Ntt=figure 9 carabiner, attached to another appropriate D-ring. I found the large one somewhere without the rope.

    I figure if I do ever need a larger anchor, this one could be used in conjunction with a bit larger anchor for some steady chironomid fishing.
  6. Hello pastor, hope we meet up one day!

    I opted for the highback WM seat for an extra bit of support. Much to my dismay it doesn't have the cargo bag like the standard seat. The highback seat is OEM'd by Surf to Summit and found they have a Fishing Pack that straps onto that model seat. Someday I will modify the spinning rod holders to work with a fly rod.

    I found a 16"x13"x1.5" Thermarest Trail Seat model at Sportco for $15. I used Pliobond to glue 3 - 8" strips of velcro adhesive-backed hooks onto the pad and loops onto the WM seat. I made a small hole in the bonded corner on the seam of the pad to pull some cord through that I can clip to the seat strap D ring for a fail safe. It is very comfy and warm. Nylon or neo waders are a bit slippery against the nylon Trail Seat so I recommend brushing a little surgical adhesive onto the Trail Seat surface to avoid sliding around.

    I do use the WM anchor system with an 8 lb pyamid anchor for rivers. It uses a jam cleat screwed to the seat deck so you can avoid knots. The 8 lb anchor holds in current I can't quite hold in with oars and I don't want to anchor up in anything faster anyway. A $5 mesh clam net that has a PVC ring in the top holding it open clipped into the nearest storage bag D-ring provides good (knotless) rope management. I keep a blunt-nosed serrated river knife sheathed on my PFD soley for the purpose of cutting the rope in case the anchor somehow hangs up in swifter water.

    The Cabelas 2lb anchor that Gregg mentioned for stillwater is excellent. I use a very similar Cabelas 3.3 lb 4-tine folding anchor in stillwater that sportsman turned me onto. It holds well in a very stiff wind.

    Brian Chan recommends using a bow anchor for chronie fishing so I occasionally use a Scotty Anchor Lock with the Scotty Rod Holder Float Tube Mount (with 50" straps) on the bow.

    I also had BSI make me up a rain/splash-proof PVC storage bag that mounts to the mesh storage bag D-rings. When clipped over the mesh bag everything in both pouches stays drier.

    If close to a road I clip a milk crate into the seat back that will keep the contents just high enough off the cargo deck to avoid getting wet from any rain or spray that accumulates.

    My next upgrade will be to find a way to mount something like Outcast 'toon Cargo Pockets within easy reach yet won't interfere with the oars. In the meantime I picked up a Wind River Boat Bag from Dave Ink's Water Strider site, but it's pretty small.

    Finally I want to find a set of good 3-piece 7-ft oars to gain more rowing efficiency with shafts that can be drilled for the WM oarlocks. (2-piece won't fit in the WM pack)
  7. Brian, Let us all know when you find the ticket on those 3pc longer oars. I bet they would work great on the Yak when running over 4,000 cfs in the early summer.
  8. I called Advanced Composites, Cataract oar manufacturers. They make the three peice oars that would break down as a special order. Problem is the drilling of the holes in the shafts voids their warranty. A wise gear program guru told me that the risk with such oars being so stout would be that a failure in a bad situation might not break the oar, but could tear the oar patch off the boat. I would interpret that as a catastrophic risk not worth taking...so I had a friend build me a light weight frame that would allow the use of oars and standard oarlocks. His first go at the frame, based on my measurements alone, is awesome. Once I really run it through some testing I'll likely photograph it greatly and send him teh detailed photos so he can even make this great frame better. The problem is that WM has changed their boats slightly over time and mine is a bit older. When river gradient brings on stiffer challenges, space and portability are less of an issue and I want to use burlier oars, I've got the tool for that.
  9. The WM Caviness oars are about 5 1/2 ft overall. After some observation a river safety instructor told me a 12" to 18" extension with the handles remaining in their current position would provide more efficient rowing.

    Caviness does not offer an extension or a 3 piece oar. BSI told me on the phone they have (and use) 7 foot Caviness oars drilled for the WM oarlocks as special orders but they won't fit in the pack.

    Sawyer offers a 3 piece oar in their Pole-Cat and MX composite oars. Carlisle has a 1 foot oar extender but I'd have to have them build a custom shaft for a 66" (overall) oar so it would fit in the WM pack. Both would require drilling that void warranties. I think Mike Nelson mentioned NFO offers a 3 piece Lightspeed or Power Stroke oar drilled for the same oarlocks on the Renegade but does not list it on the site (hmmm... Scadden + custom order = :confused: ).

    A frame for a WM... I really like the fact I can toss the WM pack, my fishing/wader duffel and a milk crate with any other foofaraw I might need for a day in my QX4 (Pathfinder) without dropping the back seat(s), but I'd like to know more Ed. Certainly would make mounting the cargo pockets easier :rolleyes:
  10. Brian, I've not had a chance to get it out and test it but as soon as I do I'll put up a report. My friend did a great job on the frame. I realize that going with a "drop in" type frame like this makes the boat not as packable, but when packability is not the concern I think this a great asset for some more technical rowing locations when pulling against the firm frame over the supple tubes may have advantages. The frame itself weights about eight pounds and easily rests on the roof of my ride, strapped down for the trip.
  11. Hey Gregg, we gotta get back out! Ed??
  12. Ed, would you mind showing me a pic of your frame as I have been thinking about doing the same thing.
  13. Sorry the pics are so bad. I have boats piled on boats in the garage. The frame is wonderfully finished, great welds and design. Not having my boat in hand the builder relied upon me to convey measurements and such. I did not do as precise a job as necessary, but this is step one in the lightweight frame evolution process. I can say that without a doubt I know this frame will allow me to really pull without concerns of any inflatable material damage around the oarlock patches. My kodiak is older and the patches are 1/3 the surface area of the newer ones. The frame is about 8 pounds. I realize that it takes away the portability of the boat in a bag concept, but it allows me to use catarat oars (beyond stout), have a rigid frame for more techical river stretches (which I hopefully will slowly grow into). The frame is nothing short of amazing so far. I have had in the lake, but have not had a chance to do a river float since I got the frame from the builder. PM me if you want me to connect you to the builder, he is a great guy to work with and I hope that my prototype frame can lead to a production item that will benefit those that want this type of add on versatility to the amazing water master boats.

    Rear end (anchor beam) the production version will extend out beyond the tube and will lay more along the curvature of the boat.
    View attachment 37453

    The front triangle area, this can be improved with better measurements and there is a good chance the foot bar can be set at a custom distance from the front of your seat platform or maybe be adjustable.
    View attachment 37454

    Looking down the boat from the bow. Oar towers can be angled out more along the tubes yet still allow for oarlock insertion and clearance. Easily can mount rope lock and pulleys for any anchoring system you'd like to use. Might be able to integrate one.
    View attachment 37455

    The builder was full of amazing possibilities. I'll have another built in time, this prototype will serve its purpose to learn and improve as well as row some rivers.
  14. Wow Ed, that's awesome! It is way more frame than I was expecting and looks very well made. Keep us posted as you try it and refine it...
  15. Freestone, I want to see how it might fit your water master too, I know yours is a touch shorter. I know Jesse has one that is an older model and both Greggor and Alex have newer ones. With any luck I'll be able to compare how this frame fits into all these versions. We still need to get out and row a river so we can also try different oar combos. If only your schedule was not always so darn busy.
  16. Busy? Me? Let me check my 2012 schedule. I might have an afternoon free bawling:

    I also just realized that we should try those strap-ons I bought for my Escalade. They are really simple and very packable. And, while they will not provide the beefy, ridge base of your frame, they might be better than our originals. Hey I just had an idea. What if we had a big curved metal plate with a hole in it that went over the oar lock base and strapped around the tube tightly. Then when one reefed on their Minimags, the oar patch was not fully flexing/pulling away from the tube as the metal plate prevented it/dispersed the force. And if it had a welded on short piece of pipe aka oar lock receiver, it could be used with a regular oar lock for really hairy rivers...just random thoughts when I should be sleeping...
  17. Ed,

    8 pounds you say? That is pretty light and consistent with the WM portability concept. About how much does the frame cost?


    I'm blushing brightly having read about you, strap-ons, and Escalade in the same sentence. Had to stop right there!

  18. Well Sg, I was lying in bed, half-asleep in the early morning darkness writing it on my phone. I guess I should have been thinking about something other than boats though, LOL!

    Ed, I'll post a picture of those strap-ons if I can find them - but maybe I'd better post a warning not to open the photo at work. :rofl: I haven't tried them on the Escalade yet but until this morning, I'd never though of also trying them on the WM. I really don't want to drill my MiniMag so the strap-ons might be a way around that. We're going to have to have an even bigger gear trying out party now - oars, frames, strap-ons... Maybe we can get Chef to bring his Renegade as I'd like to it too.
  19. Sg, the frame builder, out of Portland, will make these full rowing frames for $375. I'm pretty sure that is the same price point as the "strap on" light duty frames from Outcast, if that is what Freestone is referring to. If not, I'm blushing brightly myself! His frame design has full oar towers, is stout as hell and drops into the boat quite nicely. Mine does not show the seat base, but his plan is for a seat base that will accomdate an action seat, low back rowing seat or whatever you prefer to put on your boat.
  20. Awesome Ed. I have the same boat Gregg does. While it's not at the top of my buy list right now, I'd like to pick one of those frames up pretty soon.

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