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Perception Pescador Pro 120 with T200 thrusters


(john mccue) #1

Just wanted to present my BlueRobotics T200 propelled Kayak project.

YouTube walk through video

SpreadSheet Parts list

I just got into Kayaking last year. Didn’t take long to realize fishing and paddling is a hard mix. As soon as I saw the T200 thruster I knew it was the perfect motor for a kayak. I started planning last fall but I didn’t get everything ordered until May 2018.

Mounting the motors was the most challenging aspect. I wanted a mounting system that was light, quick to remove, and I could deploy with one hand. My solution was an aluminum U channel mounted perpendicular to the length of the kayak, right behind my seat. Motors are attached to curved hollow metal tubing which pivots down into the water.

All the electronics and batteries are stowed in an ammo box. Two 12 volt 27 amp/hour batteries wired in parallel to a 50 amp circuit breaker, heavy duty kill switch and then to a 70 amp bus. The BlueRobotics ESC’s, are controlled by an Arduino which reads signals from an Invacare electric wheel chair Joystick mounted to my seat.

So the system is in three parts, the motors on the metal mount, the joystick, and the battery box. It only takes 2 minutes to install or remove. I can keep it all safe inside my Truck until getting to the lake. The battery box is heavy at 36 pounds but the self contained unit makes it easy to bring into the garage for recharging.

I’ve ran the setup all summer with no issues. I did a 45 minute run at full power without any overheating or cutting out of the ESC’s. Max speed is 3 MPH. I can do a 360 spin in 20 seconds. The current at full speed was 33 amps.

So I just wanted to share and say thanks to BlueRobotics for such great products.! Watch the video and tell me what you think.


(Rusty) #2

John, this is awesome! Thanks for sharing. We appreciate the test results and endurance testing as well. Do you have any pictures or videos of it operating?


(john mccue) #3

Sorry about my voice in the video, need to hire a professional voice actor! I’ll try to post some better video.

Here is a phone video of traveling at full speed.

And a short video doing a 360 turn.

The motors are mounted very close to the center of gravity so it turns very quickly.


(Matt) #4

This is pretty well done mate. Nice one !!


(marcos) #5

Hi John!, i´m involved in a similar project but before buying the thrusters I wanna know if you think is enough with only two T200, or will the system work much better by using two for each side of the kayak? Other option could be to join two kayaks (to get some kind of catamaran) and then install two T200 over each side or a couple of T200 for each indivual kayak.
I need an autonomous kayak (or surfboard) to collect ambiental data and is critical for me to buy the correct thrusters.
I found the use of a kayak interesting for the testing since one be aboard to control everything.
Thanks in advance for your time and good luck!
my best regards, marcos.


(john mccue) #6

Thank you for your interest and I’m sure there are others on this forum who could guide you better than me. I am not an engineer so can’t impress you any fancy math calculations.

But if you check out the Blue Robotics store page for the thrusters they have several Voltage and Thrust graphs that will help you decide on 2 or 4 motors.

In my setup, I have a 12 foot kayak with me and my equipment weighs around 275. Max capacity is about 300 pounds. The fastest I have been able to go is 3.1 mph and at that speed, 33 amps of current with 12 volt batteries.

Sounds like you are just in the planning phase and don’t really have any thing set in stone so you want to brain storm and think about what you need. I would start by looking at the environment you are planning to be in. If heavy vegetation is an issue, you might be better with trolling motors. How long will the autonomous kayak be working? That will decide what kind of battery capacity you will need. These are just a few of the kind of questions you should be asking to help shape your project.