One thing I have learned about fishing is it’s a pragmatist’s game (i.e. you change to what works (puts fish in the boat)). I enjoy casting lures, but after using a stern-mounted trolling motor on my Mariner for a couple of years, I have come to realize that trolling is (in most cases) the more productive method. Due to the finesse of the yaks rudder, it’s even easy (using a planer) to troll shallow water & banks with overhanging branches.
Experience has taught me that trolling in a kayak works best at slower speeds (i.e. 1…2 mph, never faster than 2.5 mph). This means that I never use more than 5A from my battery when trolling (Power = Volts x Amps = 12 x 5 = 60 Watts),
so with a 60 Watt solar charging system, I should be able to troll indefinitely (as long as there’s sunlight). Quite simply, as long as the solar cells are producing more than you’re using, the yak has become (for all practical purposes) a perpetual motion machine. (Well… at least in daytime until moon-powered cells are invented.)
Now, since I have yet to exhaust a battery in a single day, it’s really hard to justify putting a solar power system on my yak. Maybe if doing a week-long outing (unlikely for me). The area at the rear of my Mariner has plenty of unused space, but well… it’s a solution looking for a problem.
However, I would like to do a little prognosticating:
In the future, the upper hull surface of high-end kayaks will be covered with segmented flexible (replaceable) solar cells (to allow zipping fast across the water all day without worrying about a dead battery).
Oh well… just a little daydreaming… back to my nap.