More kayak battery power

Drained. You overestimated your motor-powered yak’s battery charge and now you’re dead in the water. Drained is how you might feel when you pedal or paddle back to the launch site, too. <br><br> Certified electrician Josh Pierre of Kalamazoo, Mich., says a power station and onboard charger gives him approximately 50% more juice for his Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot 120 and its lead-acid battery, while adding little weight.  <br><br> <em>All captions: Dave Mull</em>
Photo: Dave Mull - Drained. You overestimated your motor-powered yak’s battery charge and now you’re dead in the water. Drained is how you might feel when you pedal or paddle back to the launch site, too. Certified electrician Josh Pierre of Kalamazoo, Mich., says a power station and onboard charger gives him approximately 50% more juice for his Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot 120 and its lead-acid battery, while adding little weight. All captions: Dave Mull
Components are a Schumacher Battery Extender power pack ($119) and a Deltran 1.25-amp Battery Tender and Maintainer ($39.99). Both models are out of production, but nearly identical options exist. Plus, other brands of power stations and chargers can do the job.
Photo: Dave Mull - Components are a Schumacher Battery Extender power pack ($119) and a Deltran 1.25-amp Battery Tender and Maintainer ($39.99). Both models are out of production, but nearly identical options exist. Plus, other brands of power stations and chargers can do the job.
The power pack nestles between Pierre’s tackle crate and seat. Pierre says it has gotten wet with no ill effects, but he plans to encase it in its own crate to keep water away.
Photo: Dave Mull - The power pack nestles between Pierre’s tackle crate and seat. Pierre says it has gotten wet with no ill effects, but he plans to encase it in its own crate to keep water away.
The charger fits under the AutoPilot 120’s seat. Pierre said he will install it more permanently under the deck, where waves and rain won’t contact it.
Photo: Dave Mull - The charger fits under the AutoPilot 120’s seat. Pierre said he will install it more permanently under the deck, where waves and rain won’t contact it.
The Battery Tender’s charger cables attach to the battery posts. The charger plugs into the Battery Extender’s AC outlet to the rear and forward into the cables to add battery power. Easily unplug the charger to take it out of the boat.
Photo: Dave Mull - The Battery Tender’s charger cables attach to the battery posts. The charger plugs into the Battery Extender’s AC outlet to the rear and forward into the cables to add battery power. Easily unplug the charger to take it out of the boat.