How to mount a Micro Power Pole on a kayak
I’m excited to say that I finally got my hands on a Micro Power-Pole and this thing is awesome! I’ll be mounting it to my Evoke Sequoia 120 kayak and I thought that I might as well do a little write up on how I mounted it at the same time.
The Sequoia 120 doesn’t have a flat surface large enough in the rear to accept the Micro as is, so my thought was to create a mounting bracket / plate that could not only accept the Micro, but also possibly be used for a trolling motor mount in the future as well.
I also ended up making as second mounting plate for the Power-Pole so that it can be quickly attached to one of the two wide tracks in the rear of the Sequoia.
All in all the builds went well and I’m very please with the end resulst. A step by step explanation follows below:
Mounting plate #1: Rear Mounted Power-Pole
I had been thinking about this project for a while now and after talking to the guys from electrickayakcompany.com at Icast this year, I had pretty much decided that I would mount two rails on the sides of the rear storage well to act as mounting points for the bracket. In addition to those two mounting points, I planned on using the two threaded inserts from the rear handle as my other two mounting points.
After installing the two rail sections in the rear and removing the rear handle, a cardboard template was made of the mounting bracket.
I had to include a handle in the bracket since I had to remove the existing rear handle in order to use those threaded inserts to secure the new mounting plate
I had a 1″ thick piece of HDPE that I got from a neighbor who was going to throw it out a few years back. I had used it as a cutting board previously and over the years the surface had gotten a little beat up lying around the shop. At 1 inch thick I debated if it was too thick or not, but I wanted to make sure that the handle was strong enough to not break. So I kept it at 1″ figuring I could always mill it down later or dill some large holes to lighten it up if necessary.
After cutting out the plate, I sanded a lot of the scratches and old spray paint off. I used my propane torch to melt down and smooth out the surface after sanding. I also routered the edges, test fit the piece and then marked the hole locations for both the mounting bolts and also for attaching the Power-Pole bracket.
After drilling all of the holes I realized that I’d have to counterbore the holes on the back side so that the 4 nylock nuts that secure the Power Pole bracket to my mounting plate would not stick out. Unfortunately, I also realized that the Power Pole bracket ended up covering one of the mounting bolt locations that would screw into the old threaded inserts for the handle. This meant that I would not be able to attach the bracket to my mounting plate and then attach the mounting plate to the kayak. To fix this, on the back side of the plate I counterbored holes that were smaller than the nuts supplied by Power-Pole. I then put them on a bolt, heated them up and melted them into the counterbored holes on back side of the plate. If I would have thought about it ahead of time, I probably would have just drilled and tapped the holes for the Power-Pole Bracket.
After that, the hard work was done. I used 2 stainless steel flat head phillips screws for the handle inserts and two t-bolts in the track with wing nuts to secure the mounting plate to the kayak. The Power-Pole bracket was then simply attached using the four supplied stainless steel socket head cap screws which I cut down to size so they wouldn’t extend past the bottom surface of the plate.
I’m really pleased with how this came out. It is very secure and doesn’t flex or move a bit. By having it off to the one side a bit, I’ve left room for a possible trolling motor mount in the future as well. The thickness of the handle, after rounding off all the edges with the router, feels perfect in my hand. I’m glad it’s not thinner there.
Mounting Plate #2: Side Mounted Power-Pole
For the second mounting plate, I was curious if something could be made that could quickly be mounted to and removed from the large flat gear tracks that come standard on the Sequoia. I figured that this might be useful for times when I might switch back and forth between using the stake out pole as a push pole and having it in the Micro unit, like when I bow fish. This position moves it much closer to seat making easier to remove the pole and put it back into the unit. So like above, I started with a cardboard template.
My goal with this mounting plate was to keep it from extending into the rear cargo well of the kayak. I wanted this to be as neat and clean as possible. After a test fit to verify it didn’t extend into the well, two hole locations were marked for the T-bolts that would attach the plate to the gear track. 4 holes were also drilled to attach the Power-Pole bracket.
Since this plate needed to lay flush, I could not bolt the bracket to the plate using the supplied hardware. I also could not counterbore these nuts into the plate since I used a small piece of 1/2″ HDPE that I had laying around. So I decided to use stainless steel 1/4 -20 flat head bolts that I inserted from the bottom in countersunk holes. The 1/4 – 20 nylock nuts just happened to be a perfect press fit for the counterbored holes in the Power-Pole bracket.
Here’s a bottom view of the 4 countersunk bolts.
As you can see the bolts I put in were a little long and wouldn’t allow the Power-Pole unit to sit flat when in the bracket. A quick trip to the grinder took care of this issue.
All that was left was to put the 2 T-bolts in the track, tighten the plate and then put the unit in the bracket.
I think it looks good and I’m pleased with how it came out. I really like the fact that the whole unit with the plate can be removed in less than a minute with nothing left on the kayak.
The one noticeable difference it that there is a little bit of flex in the system with this mount, where as the rear mount didn’t flex at all. If I was in deeper water, in windy conditions or in moving water, I’d probably opt for the rear mount. But if I was in skinny water or if I wanted to use the spike as a push pole, I think the side mount would work well. I could see someone putting one on each side to keep them positioned at the exact angle that they want.
Well, I guess pretty much wraps up how I made my mounting plate for the Power-Pole Micro unit. I’ll try and do an overview of the actual unit later this week, but as of right now I’m really impressed with it.
I’d like to ask you to please share some of your kayaking knowledge with our community. We want to make it as easy as possible for people to unplug and reconnect with nature. If you know of a great place to paddle, a great trip to take or even certain water access points, please consider sharing your experiences with our community!