Autonomous side scan survey kayak

Been lurking in the background for a while now but I think I’m about ready to start work on my first build. What I’m envisioning is a dual trolling motor setup (skid steer) set on a 16 ft old town look 160T kayak. Once the autonomy is worked out I eventually want to incorporate a hummingbird or lowrance side scan unit on a teather to collect high resolution bathymetry and side scan data here in the Puget sound (Washington state) . I will be using the 16ft tandem So that I can “ride along” until I’m comfortable with the autopilot taking complete control at which point I will move the whole package to a smaller hull (single seat kayak more than likely). As I’m just getting started I would love to hear any suggestions or look at any relevant prior posts.

Sounds like a great project.
Do the trolling motors go as fast forward as they do backward? My only thought is on skid steering rovers the motors normally operate at the same speed either forwards or backwards mean you can turn on the spot. If the trolling motor is more powerful forward then in reverse when you try to steer it might not turn very sharply. Its not something I’ve tried. Just thought I’d mention it. I guess the mounting of 2 motors is simpler then attaching a servo to each and using them for steering in the traditional manner.
Thanks, Grant.

Do you have an update on this BarnHatt?
John Easton
South Africa

Sorry for the lack of updates, life can tend to get in the way sometimes. I just got my pixhawk 2.1 last week and am starting to buy up other components. I put the first trolling motor on order today going with a minn kota riptide 55. Having a little trouble with finding an appropriate motor controller.

I’m leaning towards this one:

I plan to use counter rotating props on my trolling motors but I couldn’t find them anywhere online so I designed my own, plan to verify measurements and 3d print them this weekend.