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Quickstart Guide - Shearwater

Congrats on your purchase of the Shearwater 125 fishing kayak – with choices of a pedal drive and/or motor, as well as other pro angling accessories!

This quick start guide covers the basic install, setup and operation of key Shearwater 125 components and accessories, such as:

For your safety and to ensure your highest level of enjoyment from the Shearwater 125, it is important that you read and comply with the included Owners Manual and safety information that came with your Shearwater 125.


All Shearwater 125 fishing kayaks come with certain parts and components, to include but not limited to:


Optional accessories available for purchase which will enhance performance and experiences with your Shearwater 125 include:


The Vibe X-Drive Pedal Kit allows fast, but smooth-and-easy pedal acceleration and stopping using XD fins. Quick-swap from your included standard flat-deck Base pod to a X-Drive pedal mounting pod to easily use the Vibe X-Drive pedal system.

The X-Drive Pod is included with the Vibe X-Drive Pedal Kit.


  • Remove system from kayak during transport.
  • Keep hands clear of kayak scupper area when deploying or swapping the pedal drive.
  • Be aware of your environment when operating the pedal drive.
  • Avoid collisions and impacts to the pedal system.
  • Raise unit when launching and coming ashore.
  • Ensure the pedal drive is fully secured and locked into mounting bracket before operating.
  • Always take a paddle and PFD on board with you.
  • Rinse the system with fresh water after use in brackish or salt water.

In addition to these selected warnings, please comply with the complete operating manual.


Swapping in the X-Drive kit is a matter of assembling the drive and installing the X-Drive pod. Both of which are simple and will only take you minutes.

The only tool you will need is an adjustable wrench.


    1. Unscrew the bolt on either side of the X-Drive unit

    2. Insert the bottom of the pedal shaft into the slot

    3. Re-insert the bolt through the X-Drive shaft, being incredibly careful to not overtighten

    4. Repeat for the other side

    Replace the Shearwater Base Pod with the X-Drive Pod simply by turning the retention tabs and lifting the pod out, inserting the X-Drive pod and locking the tabs back in place.

    1. When in water 13” or deeper place the X-Drive into the pod, lining the pins on the drive up with the slots on the pod

    2. Clip the drive securely in place with the retention clips

    3. Adventure on

    Switching the Shearwater to pedal mode opens a whole new world, being able to easily swap out the pods makes it a whole system kayak. Whether you choose to pedal, paddle, or power your next adventure, the Shearwater is ready to take you there.


    The Bixpy J-1 Powershroud easily attaches to the Bixpy-Ready Vibe Gravity Rudder, and the Bixpy J-1 Outboard Kit includes everything you need to motorize your Vibe kayak within minutes.


    One of the places where the Vibe Shearwater shines is in its modular nature - having the ability to switch between pedal, paddle or power quickly and efficiently is truly unrivaled, – and adding the Bixpy J-1 Powershroud motor will give you all day propulsion; whether you are just using it to troll spot to spot, or if you are using it to cross big bodies of water.

    One of the unsung heroes of this modular platform is the Vibe Gravity Rudder which, can be fitted to any rudder-ready Vibe Kayak, and which is "Bixpy J-1 Motor Ready", so you can add a Bixpy J-1 motor in moments.

    The only tool you will need is a Philips head screwdriver.

    Instructions for installing the adapter:

    The Bixpy J-1 adapter installs in minutes on the Shearwater:

    1. Remove the end cap off the Gravity Rudder by unscrewing the 4 Philips head bolts
    2. Remove the Bixpy hardware from the Bixpy rudder adapter and line up the holes with the rudder
    3. The adapter should be oriented so the metal tab is facing towards the kayak, and the blue latch is facing back
    4. Using the hardware that came on the Bixpy adapter secure it to the rudder
    5. The nuts recess into the adapter so you do not need a socket on them. Be careful to not overtighten as you can strip the plastic

    Instructions for installing the motor:

    To install the motor itself follow these simple instructions:

    1. Attach the power cable on the rudder to the motor with 1⁄4 turn to lock it in place

    2. Slide the blue retention clip forward on the motor and notch the metal tab on the rudder into it, securing the front

    3. Flip the metal bail with the blue lever on the rudder down over the retaining tab on the motor and click it into place. You should hear an audible click.

    4. Attach the other end of the power cable to the Bixpy Outboard Battery pack

    And you are good to go!

    To utilize the motor you will need to place the magnetic kill switch over the round power button imprint on the battery. This is a safety feature - so if you become separated from your kayak, the motor will not continue to run.

    The wireless remote control will let you cycle through the various speeds, 12 forward, 3 reverse. Make sure the remote is right side up, with the octagonal stop button oriented on the bottom.

    The addition of the Bixpy J-1 Powershroud motor to your Vibe Shearwater 125 gives you that punch of power that will have you covering more water even faster than before. Giving you the ability to switch between pedal, power, and paddle all in the same trip without modification is unrivaled and will have you exploring further and adventuring deeper.


      The Vibe Gravity Rudder offers a robust double hinged, 90° Slide and Stow mechanism that gets the rudder completely out of the water in a heartbeat if it hits an underwater obstacle.

      In addition, the Gravity Rudder's versatile system has a lot of benefits that other rudders lack; including the ability to quickly and easily mount a Bixpy J1 Powershroud Motor, and it also features a locking mechanism that allows the rudder to lock into place when motorized in forward or reverse. With the Bixpy J1 attached, your kayak will have a punch of power to propel a kayak for more than 75 minutes at continuous full speed and 10+ hours in trolling speeds.


      Installation is easy! Just follow these steps and you will be on the water in no time.

      You won't need any tools for installation.


      1. Take the linchpin off the bottom of the rudder post.

      2. Place the rudder post into the metal collar on the rear of the kayak & reinstall the linchpin.

      3. Go to the foot controls (or hand steering control) and insert steering cable into the tubes in the hull, feeding them all the way through to until they come out the back of the boat. If they get stuck, try tying the cable to a thick (~40lb) piece of monofilament and feeding that through first, pulling the cable through.

      4. Tie the cable to the rudder with a barrel knot.

      And that is all there is to it, your Gravity Rudder is good to go!

      And whether you choose to hook up the Vibe Free Flow Foot Braces, or the Vibe Steering Handle, or BOTH you will have complete control over your next adventure.


      The Vibe Summit Seat truly takes kayak seats to new elevations!

      With 4 easily-adjustable seating positions (5 if you count sitting on the optional Summit Perch), the Summit Seat delivers all-day, every-day comfort and generous lumbar and back support, and so much more. With a ventilated back and seat you’re kept cool and dry; which means you will be comfortable spending long days in the seat. Kayak comfort just reached the Summit.

      In addition, the Summits included under seat slide-out drawer will keep all those loose items close at hand. And with the optional mesh drawer cover, you can be comfortable knowing your items will stay in place.


      The Summit Seat ships in 2 pieces to keep it from being damaged in shipping. Assembling it is a matter of putting the back on and threading the straps.

      The only tool you will need is an adjustable wrench.


      1. Take the bolts out of the seat clamp at the rear of the seat

      2. Turn the clamps so the tabs face up

      3. Insert the dog ears on the seat back into the tabs on the seat

      4. Reinsert and tighten down the bolts

      5. Thread the strap under and through the buckle and down through the front

      Flip the seat over and tighten the straps on the bottom (like really, really tighten them, you can do it!)

      Installing the Summit Seat Base to the kayak:
      After the seat is assembled, installation onto the kayak itself is easy. You will essentially just be slotting some track mount T-bolts into a gear track.
      1. Loosen the T-bolts on the bottom of the base until they are at the end of the threads

      2. Place the T-bolts into the tracks and twist the knobs until it starts to tighten, leaving it a little loose right now, the Summit Seat has adjustable trimming, so you can choose how far back/forward you want your seat to be, once you choose your position go ahead and turn the knobs until they are tight.

      With the base installed, you can now select any of the 4 seating positions and install the seat itself. This adjustment can also be done on the water if you want to change up your seating position as the day progresses.

      Attaching the Summit Seat to the Summit Base:

      Installing the seat itself only takes seconds and can be done on the water with some practice.

      1. Place the seat onto the supports

      2. Secure the rear bungee over the bar

      Secure the front by flipping the shrimp clips up over the bar

      Summit Seat's 4 seating positions

      The 4 seating positions are:
      1 Recumbent Low (front bar down, back in the bottom notch)
      2 Neutral (front bar down, top notch in back)
      3 High (front bar up, back in top notch)
      4 Recumbent high (front bar up, back in bottom notch)

      If you have the Summit Perch installed, it gives you an elevated seat in any position, but it is most optimal in the neutral position

      Get out there and enjoy all day comfort with the new Vibe Summit Seat. You now own the pinnacle of kayak comfort and versatility.


      The unique optional Summit Seat Perch easily attaches to the back of the Summit Seat to offer kayak sight fishermen a platform to gain a much higher sitting position or the ultimate standing vantage point 16-inches off the water.

      It takes everything we love about the Vibe Hero seat and ELEVATES it, literally. The seat already sits up higher off the deck than ever before, but it has one more trick up its sleeve.

      That is where the Vibe Summit Perch comes into play – bringing your sight fishing game to unprecedented heights.

      Standing on the perch gives you the absolute best casting clearance for making those sidearm casts under cover. It allows you the full range of motion to make that perfect pitch or flip to entice that next bite. And if standing in a kayak is not your thing, sitting up on the elevated Summit Perch will give you that higher point of view that you can usually only get from standing up.

      So, you are sold on the idea, but how do you install it?


      Installation is easy! You can follow these easy steps and watch this video and you should be able to do it yourself in a matter of minutes.

      The only tool you will need is a Philips head screwdriver.


      1. Take the Summit Seat out of the kayak and set it on a nice solid surface like a table.
      2. Take the perch mounts and place them loosely on all 4 corners on the back of the seat.
      3. Install the hardware loosely in the mounts as you will need to make adjustments later.
      4. Line up the 4 posts on the perch with the posts, moving the posts as needed so the perch fits snuggly over all of them.
      5. Once the perch is in place, make sure that the posts are seated fully onto the perch.
      6. Tighten all hardware.

      And that is all there is to it!

      With the Vibe Summit Seat and the Summit Perch you now have an unprecedented advantage. Taking your sight fishing game to new heights.


      In less than 5 minutes, the smooth-and-easy optional Vibe Steering Handle can be installed on either the port or starboard side, and features a brake system to set the steering tension just the way you like it – to not only give you full control over your kayak when pedaling or Bixpy powering around, but it is designed to allow a level of control and comfort that is unmatched.


      Installation of the steering handle is quite easy if you follow these simple steps.

      The only tools you will need are a Philips head screwdriver, and your cord-cutting tool of choice.


      1. Choose which side you want to install your handle on – left or right
      2. Run the cables from the middle of the boat to the rear through the cable routing tubes. If the cords get stuck, try attaching tying on a piece of 40lb monofilament to one end, feeding the mono through first and pulling your cord through. Repeating for both top and bottom cable runs
      3. Tie the cable to the rudder with a loose overhand knot (you will be retying this knot so do not make it too tight, it is just a placeholder)
      4. Take the steering handle and wrap the cable coming out of the top tube over the handle and back under. Then push the cable through the eyelet and tie a knot so it cannot slip back through
      5. Now take the bottom cable and wrap it under the handle and around to the top tying it off through the eyelet like you did previously
      6. Using your screwdriver, screw the handle onto the side of the hull being careful that the cables stay in place
      7. Untie the knots you tied on the rudder and pull them tight making sure the steering handle is straight up and down. Then retying each one with a barrel knot to ensure that they do not come loose
      8. Double check to ensure that the handle moves the rudder in both directions with ease. When you are happy with the range of motion, go ahead and cut the excess cable off. If you need to adjust it, just untie your knot, and pull more on the cables or loosen it up, before re-tying it and cutting the excess
      9. Using the black set screw on the steering handle you can adjust the tension. Now is a good time to set this – stiffer steering will be more responsive, and looser steering will be a bit more forgiving.

      That is all there is to it. Go hit the water and have full control over your kayak!


        The Vibe Freeflow Foot Braces, which come standard on the Shearwater 125, provide super maximum comfort and make converting from free-sliding rudder control to fixed, locked position a breeze.

        They are on-the-fly adjustable, so you can position them perfectly just for you so you know that you will always be able to reach your rudder controls or braces.


        Installing the Freeflow Foot Braces is easy and requires no tools!


        1. If your kayak had Vibe toe-control foot braces installed, first untie the steering cables, then remove those by pushing on the black lever, and sliding them off the tracks

        2. If your cables are not yet run, feed them through the rudder control line guide near the foot brace track

        3. Once the cable comes out at the rudder, tie them off to the rudder with a barrel knot

        4. Take the foot brace, and run the cable through the plastic guide on the side of the brace, and then tie the cable off on the red adjustment knob with just a simple overhand knot, so it does not slide back through

        5. Sitting in the seat, slide the braces until you like the positioning of them, turning the red adjustment knob to take up all slack in the line as you do

        6. You can now slide the braces for and aft, and it should move the rudder smoothly as you do. If you want to adjust the positioning further, just turn the adjustment knob accordingly

        7. To lock out the Freeflow Foot Braces so they not longer control the rudder, but instead act as a brace, just push the black latch into one of the holes on the track, locking out the movement in the pedals.

          Regaining control is as simple as pushing that lever to pull the latch out of the hole

        And that’s all there is to it! The Freeflow Foot Braces add just another aspect to the versatility that the Shearwater was built around.