Native Propel Drive – Just Add Oil?

DISCLAIMER: I’m not promoting that you go out and do this conversion on your propel drive unit (you may void your warranty…), I am strictly sharing how I went about completing this task for those who may be contemplating or have thought of doing the same. The choice is strictly yours and yours alone…

Since purchasing my used Native Slayer Propel 10 a few months ago, I finally got around to performing my first inspection of the propel gear drive assemblies. I noticed that most of the lithium grease had flung off the contact areas of the gears where it is most needed – not good… I studied the parts breakdown of the propel drive unit online and also watched a maintenance video and disassembly video produced by Native Watercraft. When compared to a lower unit on an outboard motor or even a differential on a car, I saw no reason that the propel gear drives could not be in a constant gear oil bath as well. With this thinking in mind I chose to convert my drive to use a synthetic gear oil in the gear drive chambers and show how I went about accomplishing this task.

After this conversion I will be performing routine inspections on the propel drive gear assemblies and will report back if any failures occur but I highly doubt that this will be the case.

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DIY Boonedox Knuckle for my Slayer 10

The way this all came about was that I purchased a set of “tall universal width” landing gear legs from Boonedox for my Hobie PA14. Now I had a set of extra landing gear legs. Hmmm, what to do? Sell it? I could but wait, I have another kayak that can use a setup like that… Yeah well purchasing a expensive knuckle set from Boonedox was out of the question so the thought of possibly making a diy knuckle entered the picture. The rest is as they say history…

The following video is not a “how to” but more of a “visual montage” showing the approach that I used to create my version of the Boonedox Knuckle which is the main support structure of the Boonedox Landing Gear that mounts on to the kayak.

 

Fun Fishin Fellsmere (Episode 2)

Had my ups and down at Fellsmere Reservoir this past Thursday, literally. My DIY Boonedox landing gear for the Native Slayer 10 ended up failing where I suspected it would but luckily I had a fix in mind for it which I have already applied and will be testing it out again soon. Other small items like the fish finder transducer mount leg not staying in position and the location of the fish finder mount itself getting it the way when paddling – but at least these are simple issues with simple fixes. Now the biggest fail of them all came from my camera that I use behind me that points forward. That is my “catch all” camera and it failed! I never noticed that it quit working. Apparently it must have overheated and just shut down (it was a hot day). I chose not to wear the additional hat or chest camera that day, bad judgement call on my part, so sadly no forward facing video action to show. With that said I will now be upgrading to some better camera equipment (GoPro).

heddon tiny torpedo

The lost recordings would have allowed for many top water blow-ups on a vintage lure ( heddon tiny torpedo ) that I wanted to use in hopes of at least catching one fish with it. I have owned this lure since I was sixteen years old and have never caught any fish with it. As you can imagine I was super excited to get so many reaction strikes and not only from bass but from pickerels as well. I even got to hook a gator with it! Luckily it got off and I was able to get my lure back. Hopefully the next Fellsmere trip will be a more video productive one…

Testing out of my new/used Native Slayer 10 Propel Kayak was in itself fun and a learning experience. The kayak is very stable (I can stand up and fish with no issues and the propel drive does what it supposed to do – and how about that reverse – awesome! I’m so accustomed to my hobie mirage drive, as the peddle mechanisms are quite different as to how they interact with your legs when applying force, that eventually I should get used to cranking on the propel drive system. I am very pleased with the seat riser mod that I created and the weed guard mod also worked great. The weeds will always wrap around the prop but at least it won’t wrap around the prop shaft itself. This makes the weed removal process much simpler as well as faster.

Here is the video of the few fish that I did manage to land, nothing great, but at least I did not get skunked!

DIY Boonedox Mount

Rainy day project – finally finished up my diy Boonedox mount for the Native Slayer 10 yesterday. I had purchased the much needed tall legs for the Boonedox landing gear on my Hobie PA 14 and now had the standard legs just sitting in a box. I could not see paying $150 for the Boonedox knuckle set so I opted to make my own for less than $20. Soon I’ll have a ‘how to’ video to show for those who may be in a similar situation or just want to tackle a project like this.

 

PVC Transfer Bridge?

Just a little something I wanted to share…

This evening as I was getting ready to load my hobie on to the trailer for tomorrows trip when I got this brain fart… As I was moving some pvc pipes out to the backyard to get them out of my way I thought – (would it not be cool to just make a bridge with the pipe going from the kayak cart to the trailer?) then lo and behold the “transfer bridge” became reality – LOL…

I usually get pretty close with the cart to transfer the kayak over to the trailer but for this experiment I left a sizable distance between the two just to see what would happen and the result is that it worked flawlessly. It was a pretty uneventful and sweet transition from one to the other.  I did not try the second level of the trailer but it seems to me like it would have worked out just as easily…

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All work and no play!

I had issues yesterday fitting the kayak to the bed extender. With the bed extender positioned to its shortest length, the kayaks rudder ended up right on top of the T-bar which was unacceptable. Also the Slayers extra deep keel was another issue since it did not allow the kayak to rest on its hull unless it was toppled over to one side.

To resolve the first issue I made a new bed extender post which is approximately one foot shorter than the original one. This placed the T-bar roughly one foot forward of the keels edge. For the second issue I tie-wrapped pool noodle sections onto the pvc roller tubes. When the kayak is in its final resting position on the bed of the truck, prior to strapping it down, I rotate the pvc roller tubes so as to position the pool noodles to make contact under the hull for support and to take the load off of the keel.

Since I was dealing with the transportation side of things I notice it was kind of a chore sometimes to get the c-tug lined up properly under the kayak so I decided to add some pool noodle supports to help line things up a bit. So far it seems to help quite a bit so time will tell if this mod will need to get updated or not.

So all that’s left now is to take the kayak out for a ride in the back of the truck to the waters edge and take her out for a spin…

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The Weed Shield Project

This is my shareable attempt at creating a weed shield for the prop shaft of my Native Watercraft Slayer 10 propel drive. I will continue to update this project if the need arises or I come up with a newer design but I believe this current prototype will work fine for the long haul…

I am sharing the project files on thingiverse for those who would like to 3d print their own or would like to have one made by one of many 3d printing services available online. At this time, for those needing a print service, I would like to recommend 3dhubs

Thingiverse Link: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2848298