This is a pretty basic install, but the post is to posthumously bid farewell to my virgin, drill hole free, Adventure. It took me a week to build up the courage to do anything, tossing around options, threats, risks and rewards like some multi-million dollar engineering project. This is what I ended up with after the risk assessment was completed.
The hard bit was finding the optimum location. I ended up mounting it on the back of the rail, just behind the seat, using the Hobie Deluxe Mount. The advantages of this location and mounting method are:
(1) Being immediately behind the seat, the flag should not interfere with trolling or casting.
(2) Being in the centre, it shouldn't interfere with arms or elbows while paddling.
(3) The position does not interfere with carrying the Hobie Trax Cart inverted in the scupper holes.
(4) Because it's in front of the Cart, it doesn't interfere with deck storage space.
(5) Being mounted directly to the kayak rather than the Cart or a crate, it doesn't require anything else to be carried in order to carry the flag.
(6) Because the mount is well below the gunwales, the mounting nut (a double nut) will not intefere with loading an inverted kayak onto roof racks.
(7) Because there is space below the bolt, the mounting nut is removable in case it needs to be cleaned or replaced.
(8) Making use of the Hobie Deluxe Mount makes the mount stronger and more resiliant to leverage forces.
(9) The mount is at a raised and dry location, preventing any leaks.
The down sides are:
(A) Depending on your preferred seat position and recline angle, it may be possible to touch the flag with your back. Angling the mount slightly backward ameliorates this.
(B) The flag is closer to your ears, so it's louder when flapping in the wind.
Step 1 - Assemble The Required Parts Edit
The equipment required is shown in the following photograph.
The Hobie Safety Flag kit, consisting of:
- The Hobie Safety Flag (bottom)
- The flag mounting nut (bottom centre)
- The mounting bolt, two washers and spring washer (right)
The Hobie Deluxe Mount kit, consisting of:
- The Deluxe Mount (centre)
- Four small washers (left)
The Deluxe Mount kit also comes with four bolts and four Well Nuts. Since I could reach the inside of the mounting point through the centre hatch, I opted for alternative fixtures. These were marine grade stainless steel fasteners consisted of:
- Four 1/4 inch hexagonal head bolts (left)
- Four 1/4 inch nylock nuts (left)
- Four 1/4 inch, oversize washers (left)
Using 1/4 inch bolts was probably overkill, but they were the only size available at my local marine supply store that were the right length and had matching nuts and washers. I also used Sellys All Clear for water-proofing, two shifting spanners, and a hammer. A socket set would have been more convenient, but the shifters can be made to work with difficulty.
Step 2 - Determine Location Edit
Mark the centre of the rail behind the seat. Attach the flag to the mount with the mounting bolt. Make sure the kayak cart is inverted in the scupper holes, and the seat is attached in the rear position. Locate the flag mount on the rail so that it's clear of both the seat and the cart (see photo below). I angled the flag slightly backward to give it that 'go fast' look. Align the centre mark with the elongated hole in the mount to ensure its dead centre. Mark the hole locations by tracing around the inside of the holes with a pencil. Remove the mount, and mark the centre of each circle.
Step 3 - Drill Holes Edit
Down a couple of stiff shots of your favourite alcohol (valium could probably be used as a substitute). Then (gulp) drill small pilot holes at the marked location (see first part of photo below). Then drill two holes just larger than the 1/4 inch bolts. Using two bolts to locate the mount, drill the other two holes using the mounting plate as a guide (see second part of the photo below). Cross your hand over your heart and bow in the mourning of innocense lost.
Step 4 - Bend Washers Edit
Feeling inside the holes, you will notice that the hull is curved just behind the rear holes. This prevents the washers from mounting flush. To solve this problem, use a hammer to bend two of the washers. A vice would be handy, but I made do with a crack in the garage floor (see photo below). With the rear bolts though the holes, reach (painfully) inside the hull to check that the curve of each washer roughly matches the curve inside the hull where they will locate.
Step 5 - All Clear Edit
Squirt a blob of All Clear into each hole (see photo below). I also squirted a bead around the underside of the Deluxe Mount like a gasket.
Step 6 - Install the Mount Edit
Mount the Deluxe Mount upside down as shown in the photo below, using the small washers on the outside. Reach inside the hatch and locate all four large washers (they should stick to the All Clear on the underside of the hull) Use the curved washers on the rear bolts and the flat washers on the front bolts. Straining as you must, and with considerable rib pain, use one shifting spanner to hold the nylock nuts inside the hull while tightenting the bolts on the outside with the other shifting spanner. Two people would help with this, but it can be achieved with one (swearing ensued). Place the spring washer and one of the two supplied washers on the flag mounting bolt (see photo below).
Step 7 - Mount the Flag Edit
Place the removable mounting bolt through the hole, and tighten the double mounting nut. Use shifters to ensure it's tight. The permanent mount is now complete. The bolt and mounting nut can be removed at any time.
Step 8 - Admire Your Work Edit
The following are a few photos that show the completed mount. The first photo shows the clearance between the mounting nut and the gunwales. This clearance should prevent the mount from interfering with roof racks when loading the kayak inverted. The clearance under the mount also allows the mounting bolt to be removed if ever required.
The next photo shows the mounted flag, and the clearance between it, the seat and the inverted Cart. I personally use the forward location for the seat, thereby providing even more room for reclining. Angling the flag further backward (go-even-faster) may be required to suit a more reclined position when using the rear seat location. The angle can be modified slightly after mounting, by bending the Deluxe Mount, but this is better achieved by bending it before mounting, or simply angling the mount further back on the rail before marking the holes (see Step 2).
The final photo shows the mounted flag, in all its nerdy glory. But I figure its better to be a live nerd than .........
Return to Safety Flag.