With the multiple seating positions, plus standing, I wanted my gear in different positions all the time. So I talked to my friend Patrick at YakDaddy.net, and worked on getting a “Slider” kit together for the Cuda. The Cuda already has a lot of built in storage so I didn’t want to mount the full Slider, but I thought the Mini-Slider would be just what I needed.
Patrick and I brainstormed a bit, and after I received all the parts we thought would be necessary, I set to work. I only had three nights to prep for a tournament, so I had to work quickly. My goal for the install was to use the Slider Rails as a hinge for the hatch, with one end of the Rails mounted to the deck and the hatch attached to the rails. This way, one end would be permanently mounted to the hull to keep my gear from flopping around, and I would be able to keep a rod in the rod holder while I accessed the storage under the hatch.
The mounting went fairly quickly, and after a few hours of experimenting with different options I came up with one that met my needs. A few days later I was at the Jamaica Bay tournament, where the setup got 30 hours of testing under some harsh conditions. I made a few adjustments when I got home, and it’s all set. I can now access my gear comfortably no matter what seating or standing position I’m in. And even though the Slider is mounted on my hatch, I think it feels just as solid, if not more so, than the deck-mounted Slider on my last kayak.
Here’s how I did it:
First, I used a Standoff Mount for the hinge up front. You have to temporarily remove the foam brace from inside the hull to install it. The foam can be reinstalled once you get the bolt tightened. Hindsight being 20-20, I wouldn’t have used the center hole to mount this standoff. I would have drilled an extra hole on either end and used two bolts to keep it from twisting when I raise the hatch. Next time...
Next, I removed both hatch straps from the Cuda, and reinstalled the bolts to keep the holes sealed. Then I bolted the rear of the hatch cover to the rails using a Radiused Standoff Mount. I would later use this same bolt to reattach a hatch strap.
To attach the front of the hatch to the rails I used a Lift Kit Mount with the 3” arms for the front mount on the hatch.
Finally, I modified one of the straps I removed earlier by cutting off the female side of a buckle and melting a hole in the strap with a soldering iron. I bolted it to the hull with a single bolt and fender washer at the rear of my hatch. I installed the male side using the same bolt that attaches the rear Slider standoff to the hatch. Finishing touches include putting one of YakDaddy’s Foam Hook keepers on the rear crossbar to keep stray lures to a minimum. That’s it for my Slider install.