When I put together a review of the Wilderness Systems Ride 115X one piece of the boat really impressed me for it sheer ingenuity, the centre console that is designed to carry your echo sounder, battery, cabling and transducer all in one piece. Designed in association with Lowrance, the idea is that you can utilise all the great functions of your Lowrance sounder when on the water but when the day is over the entire unit is easily separated from your kayak and stowed in your car for easy transport and increased security.
Consisting of a moulded plastic unit backed with high density foam, the unit is easily mounted to any Wilderness Systems kayak that has been designed with the console in mind. I could go through step by step instructions on how to set this up but I would do so with the fear of insulting most people’s intelligence. This unit is so straightforward and simple to use that any instructions can be disregarded and a quick glance at it should be enough to tell you how it works. I will give you a look at what I have done with mine.
1. The first thing to do is attach the transducer to the base of the console. The console is pre-drilled and treaded to accept the hardware used to mount the transducer to a boat transom and comes included with any Lowrance unit.
2. Pack the battery and cables into the recess of the centre console. Use the foam provided to form a seal around the unit and to stop the cable falling out. Make sure to leave enough cable to reach the echo sounder screen.
3. The recess in the hull is moulded to allow the console to fit right into it. The smaller hole right through the hull is where the transducer will sit, below the waterline.
4. The transducer viewed from below when the centre console has been placed inside the kayak. The design ensures that the transducer is kept out of harms way when landing or launching. Rocks and other debris under the water will have a hard time reaching the transducer in here. Direct contact with the water will also ensure more accurate readings and performance from the transducer.
5. The console is locked in place with a small Yakattack Screwball. The area in behind can hold a small dry box with car keys, a mobile phone, a couple of fishing lures or anything else that you may like to have close to hand.
6. I attached a RAM ball mount to the top of my console. To this I can attach the screen of my echo sounder. The 360 degree positioning of the RAM mount can be adjusted to suit my style of fishing and can be seen easily whether standing or seated.
7. The finished set up. The screen, battery, cables and transducer are held in one convenient unit. This allows the user to lift the entire electronics system out of the boat for secure storage in their house, garage or shed.
Unlock the unit by loosening the Screwball and it lifts straight out, it couldn’t be simpler. Incidentally, I have used the Screwball as a camera mount for some of those all important ‘monster photos’! The console can be customised in any way that you see fit, there is an endless list of possibilities.
The fact that the unit allows the transducer come into direct contact with the water is also a very good consideration. Performance and reads form the echo sounder unit should be very accurate and the need for messy ‘through the hull’ installations have been eradicated.
This system will also make things very easy for those that like to use a couple of different boats and not have to spend money on an extra echo sounder or transducer. This system allows the user to change their electronics units between compatible boats with ease. the whole process will take seconds.
The Wilderness Systems Centre Console for kayak fishing electronics is a simple but brilliant idea. It makes using electronics on the water easier, it makes storing your electronics easier and is fully customisable to suit your needs as an angler. The only complaint I would have with this system is that it is not already on every kayak!