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 Post subject: Another minor repair
PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 1:12 pm 
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Location: SW Chicagoland
I managed to bend one of the masts on my Mirage drive yesterday. Not enough to actually call it broken - I was out on the water for at least an hour more after bending it - but enough that I could tell it wasn't working as well as it should.

Just to be clear, this isn't a problem with the drive. It's a problem with the knucklehead operator not paying enough attention to submerged logs, of which there were many in the creek I was touring.

So today I learned how to remove the fin and mast (easy), un-bend it (not easy, and not perfect, but plenty adequate until I buy a replacement), and re-install the mast and fin (easy). Considering the kind of abuse these drives are likely to take, they're remarkably resilient and, so far, easy to repair.

Side note - in my 47 years, I've never had occasion to use Locktite Threadlocker. This week, I've needed it on two different kayak projects.

Next up for this afternoon is the hard part - cleaning the creek muck off the boats.

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 Post subject: Re: Another minor repair
PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:16 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:51 pm
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Location: St Louis
I did the same thing yesterday in a small downstate Illinois lake. I knew the log was there, but I whopped it anyway. My bend was severe and about 3" below the threads. In addition to the bent rod, I also ran the lower end of the rod completely through the rubber- strange. Anyway, a bent mast certainly makes a difference in the drive performance. I did fish the rest of the day, however.

When I got home I removed the rod, which was tough, and managed to straighten the "kink", which was even more difficult. That is some tuff steel!! Lessons learned: 1. Have a spare mast, or carry an 8 lbs engineers hammer and die to chase the threads. 2. Have a basic emergency tool kit on board. 3. If you know there are submerged obstructions, slow down. 4. If you know there are submerged obstructions, slow down. I know technically that is only three lessons, but I thought the number 3 was so important that it warranted mentioning twice!

Question: I didn't use locktite when I reassembled the mast. Is that necessary?


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 Post subject: Re: Another minor repair
PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 4:57 pm 
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I did the same thing a few weeks ago on a submerged oyster bed. When input it back together something must be out of adjustment because at full spread of the pedals they will make a slight popping noise. Anyone had this issue? And it isn't the fins hitting the bottom of the yak, it makes the noise when the fins start to move off the bottom of the boat.


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 Post subject: Re: Another minor repair
PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:25 pm 
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Location: SW Chicagoland
fishalot wrote:
I did the same thing yesterday in a small downstate Illinois lake.

How is the fishing downstate? Here in the upper part of the state (Joliet to Starved Rock area), it's horrible. Worse than last year.

fishalot wrote:
My bend was severe and about 3" below the threads. In addition to the bent rod, I also ran the lower end of the rod completely through the rubber- strange.

Way ahead of you - I managed that mast through the fin trick the first week out 8) Curiously, I didn't bend the mast doing it, and was able to repair (brute force) it without leaving the water.

fishalot wrote:
Question: I didn't use locktite when I reassembled the mast. Is that necessary?

I was working from the directions that came with my wife's ST Turbo upgrade fins, which called for it. My gut feeling is that it isn't really required, especially if you do periodic maintenance checks on your drive to ensure everything is snug.

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 Post subject: Re: Another minor repair
PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 6:02 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:51 pm
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Location: St Louis
Chamfer, thanks for the info. I think I will forgo the locktite in favor of routine maintenance checks. Fishing down state has been good, generally. It has been very poor the last two weeks, however. I mostly bass fish with a fly rod and deer hair poppers and since I retired (2012), I manage to get out everyday, literally. I live on the Mississippi and have yet to try my PA on it. Have you been on the rivers with your kayaks, either Illinois or Mississippi? if so, how did your PA handle? Prior to my PA I had an outback and sport. I took them on the Miss near Monticello, Mn. and they worked well, but it was a much smaller river. I really had to be careful because of the rocks, current and shallows.


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 Post subject: Re: Another minor repair
PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:43 am 
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Location: SW Chicagoland
fishalot wrote:
Fishing down state has been good, generally. It has been very poor the last two weeks, however. I mostly bass fish with a fly rod and deer hair poppers and since I retired (2012), I manage to get out everyday, literally.


I am soooo jealous!

fishalot wrote:
I live on the Mississippi and have yet to try my PA on it. Have you been on the rivers with your kayaks, either Illinois or Mississippi? if so, how did your PA handle? Prior to my PA I had an outback and sport. I took them on the Miss near Monticello, Mn. and they worked well, but it was a much smaller river. I really had to be careful because of the rocks, current and shallows.


The Illinois River is pretty close, and we've been out on it several times. The PA (and my wife's Outback) handle just fine, and the areas we've gone the current has been slow. The pleasure boats racing around can kick up some nice wakes, which are fun to play in. One time we went out on a windy day to a very wide slough/lake area north of Peoria, where the wind had plenty of space to create constant 1-2 foot swells, which was alarming at first, but a blast once we got used to it. Hard work peddling against that sort of wind, but worth it.

I'm going out again this afternoon to the Starved Rock pool. The river is very wide there above the dam, and away from the navigation channel there are a lot of islands and interesting looking stuff. Should be fun.

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 Post subject: Re: Another minor repair
PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 10:13 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:51 pm
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Location: St Louis
Good info-Gives me courage to venture out onto the river above the dam at Alton. I,ll be dodging the rowboats and cabin cruisers.


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 Post subject: Re: Another minor repair
PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 2:31 pm 
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Just get a metal pipe and bend the drive shaft back into place... I do it all the time


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 Post subject: Re: Another minor repair
PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 7:09 pm 
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Its gonna happen if you use the mirage drive. I've bent mine two different times. I got out the cutting torch and used it to heat up the rod and easily bent it back straight. Not a big deal and no damage to the threads. First time was a log in the dark. Second time was a small drop off in low water, and ripped the teeth off the sprocket on a rock ledge. Bending the mast rod was part of the overall destruction. Lesson learned... Pull the mirage drive in shallow water.

At $98 for a turbo fin kit, or $18-20 each rod, I'll keep using a blow torch to straighten the shafts.

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 Post subject: Re: Another minor repair
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 6:20 pm 
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Location: SW Chicagoland
Chamfer wrote:
I'm going out again this afternoon to the Starved Rock pool. The river is very wide there above the dam, and away from the navigation channel there are a lot of islands and interesting looking stuff. Should be fun.


It was fun, but the water was often VERY shallow away from the navigation channel. I got grounded on sandbars more than once, even with the Mirage drive removed. I guess when I saw geese walking around in the water, that should have clued me in.

Lots of Asian carp. Didn't see much of the jumping activity they're so well known for, but in any patch of 3-5' calmer water, they'd be everywhere. They seemed attracted to my yellow PA - when we'd stop and drift, they would sort of group up around me, while ignoring my wife's sand Outback. I wish there was a way to get them to take a hook, but being filter feeders, your only real hope is snagging one by chance. I'm a catch-and-release fisherman, but I'd be happy to make an exception for the Asian carps, and they're supposed to be good eating.

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 Post subject: Re: Another minor repair
PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:44 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:51 pm
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Location: St Louis
Chamfer-I was out today on the Illinois River-a first-trolling a large crank bait and managed to snag a big Asian Carp and actually hook a couple Gar. When the cabin cruisers zoomed by me the wake would make the Asian Carp go nuts! It would be nice if they would take a fly. Anyway, the PA handled the big rolling wakes like they were nothing-i was pleased with the performance. Also, I managed to only run aground twice on mud flats and just hit one log. No damage done today, however.


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