I recently received some GearTrac from YakAttack and I was keen to see how best to utilise it on my kayak. However, nothing in life is easy!. The rigging on my kayak has evolved over the past few years, a fish finder, GPS and GoPro video camera have appeared over time. The GPS and fish finder are powered from an SLA battery mounted with the kayak. One of my GoPro video cameras was mounted to the rear of the fish finder.
The GearTrac provided some interesting options, though to be honest I decided it was better to start with a clean slate. Sure, adding a length of GearTrac here and there would have been quick and easy, though I wanted to make the best use of them. The Big Game has a flat ‘dashboard’ area ahead on the foot wells yet I’ve never made any real use of this area. There are reasons for this, though by far the biggest is that I load the kayak upside down on the car so any fixed fitting would eventually get damaged. When I originally mounted the fish finder I took this into account and made it a fold down affair.
The GearTrac provided an opportunity to tidy up the current arrangement whilst providing some additional flexibility and space. That said, the current kayak rigging was going to require a bit of a re-work!. The GPS power feed and cam cleat were removed, this left a few holes that were plastic welded closed using a soldering iron and trimmings of plastic offcuts leftover from fitting hatches, etc.
The GearTrac comes supplied with quality stainless screws to enable rapid fitment, it even comes with a drill bit!. However, after some thought I decided to mount the GearTrac using stainless steel nuts, bolts and ‘penny’ washers. This is my own preference, rigging is very much a personal thing. Rather conveniently the 16” length of GearTrac fitted neatly across the ‘dashboard’ area of the Big Game. Holes were drilled and it was ready to mount.
It’s always worth applying some sealant to the drilled holes, washers, etc, to ensure a watertight seal. Having to apply some at a later time post a leak is hassle best avoided.
Within a couple of minutes the GearTrac was bolted into place. It was clear that its low profile was not going to be intrusive whilst loading/unloading the kayak, absolutely perfect!
The main wiring loom for the front of the kayak appeared below the original fish finder mount situated in the left foot well. It had never been ideal for a couple of reasons so I decided to relocate it closer towards the GearTrac using a better quality watertight wiring gland.
So how are accessories attached to the GearTrac?. There are two main options, using either a ScrewBall (1” or 1.5”) or a Mighty Mount. These attach using T-bolts (Mighty Bolt), the Mighty Mount requiring the addition of threaded knobs if it’s to remain moveable. The Mighty Mount is a mount in its own right so I’ll cover that in a later article. The use of a Mighty Mount on the GearTrac allows attachment of Scotty rail mounts, etc. Here are a couple of stock images.
In the case of the ScrewBall it’s simply a case of sliding the ball onto the GearTrac and tightening down. With a Mighty Mount the principle is the same, though a threaded knob is used to tighten down against the T-Bolt
Below are close up photos of the base of a PanFish mount showing the MightyBolt designed for use with the GearTrac. It’s as simple as sliding the required item onto the track and tightening down a couple of turns to lock it firmly in position. The ScrewBalls work in exactly the same manner.
The re-routing of the forward wiring loom allowed me to reposition my GPS, fish finder and GoPro camera onto the GearTrac. For the GPS I used a 1” ScrewBall allied with the Garmin 60 RAM mount. The Humminbird 565 fish finder was mounted using a 1.5” ScrewBall and a double socket arm. For the GoPro I’ve used the YakAttack PanFish Portrait, though I’ll cover this particular accessory in greater depth in another article.
As can be seen in the above photo by positioning my electronics onto the GearTrac I’ve increased my working area whilst producing a far cleaner setup. The GPS, fish finder and GoPro attach in seconds. The fish finder head unit can be removed and its base mount is stowed on the ‘dummy mount’ in the left foot well. The latter ensures a clean profile when loading/unloading the kayak upside down.
I also took the opportunity to replace any remaining alloy RAM components with the equivalent composite item. The kayak looks far tidier as a result, goodbye corrosion!
After quite some head scratching I decided to mount an 8” length of GearTrac just behind the Crazy Creek seat. There was a slight issue here as the deck profile where the track was going to be positioned wasn’t flat. I used a couple of spacing washers at either end to make up the difference. Again, I went for the nut and bolt option though it was quite a stretch, access being via the centre hatch.
I currently use the VisiCarbon Pro and I was looking for an alternative mounting location for this item. I also have a PanFish camera pole which can be mounted either on GearTrac, Ram ball or Mighty mount (it even slides into a standard flush mounted rod holder!). It’s sold for a specific mounting option, however, with a couple of spare parts it can be easily swapped from one mounting option to another… neat!.
The GearTrac positioned just behind the seat will prove ideal for these items.
The GearTrac really is a great product, its finish is superb and it’s extremely strong. The cost is reasonable considering the material specification and sheers quality of this item. When you consider the initial outlay when purchasing a kayak, it’s really a relatively small price to pay for an accessory that will no doubt provide many years of faithful service. That said, it’s also ideal to upgrade, or to bring some additional flexibility, to your current setup.
My next articles will look at fixing Mighty Mounts to the kayak and I’ll soon be reviewing the PanFish and PanFish Portrait camera mounts. I also have some interesting plans for additional camera mounting options, watch this space!
Base Material: 6000 series aluminium
Finish: Type III Hardcoat Anodize - Military Grade
Colour: Gunmetal Gray
Fasteners: #10 Stainless Steel thread forming screws
Weight: 1/2 lb per foot