DIY ultralight SOT kayak idea. possible?

-- Last Updated: Jul-04-16 9:39 PM EST --

I think that a SOT kayak capable of supporting a trolling motor would suit my purposes well. However, the only drawback is the weight for the size that I'm considering.

I have an idea: turn an ultralight solo canoe into a SOT kayak. If I were to start with a craft made of fiberglass, or anything other than poly, really, I could add a deck and foam underneath, then drill scuppers. The only problem I see is lack of width in solo canoes. I'd like something at LEAST 30" in beam. Any thoughts?

I'm only considering this since there aren't any fiberglass SOT kayaks that fit my needs.

what do you
need ?

HTB the ground isn’t covered.

wanna Indian Racing canoe with sponsons ?

Hint ! = Paddling
Paddling = No Motors


You could frame up a wide boat using wood frame and canvas. These use to exist when fishing motors first came out. Look at old duck hunting boats.

poor idea

– Last Updated: Jul-05-16 12:33 AM EST –

There is way more to seaworthy boat design than just chopping up existing boats and cobbling something together. Canoes (except for pack canoes) are designed to be paddled from a high seated position and you can't paddle them sitting on the floor of the hull. And, no, you can't cut down the sides of a canoe to make it lower and add a deck. Adding a deck means it would not be a sit on top but a decked canoe, like a Rob Roy or a Canak. A boat also has to be designed to function with scupper holes without sinking -- you can't just add them to any craft. I'm pretty sure you have to have a double-hulled molding to have those and stay afloat.

If lightness, ability to mount a motor and capability in rough seas for fishing is your goal, maybe you should be looking at rubber dinghies instead, like the type used for yacht tenders. These weigh about 80 lbs, which is about what larger sit on top plastic kayaks will run.

You can get trolling motor mounts for some folding kayaks. Klepper makes one for some of their models:

Or maybe build a kit boat rowing wherry and add a motor mount:

Honestly, you may have better luck with suggestions if you try a fishing forum. As has previously been mentioned, our advice here is primarily for human-powered boats.

Sea Eagle
How about one of the Sea Eagle models with their motor mount kit?

Their PaddleSki looks interesting. Only 41 pounds. Lots of options in addition to the motorized one.


– Last Updated: Jul-05-16 7:19 AM EST –

Interesting double wall molding, cut sides down n add sit on foam $... but the structure loses tumble home
then build another gun wale for
testing ...too much for me.

Back to sitting atop my carbon f ultralight.

Thanks for the suggestions. The only reason I’m bringing up motoring on this forum is that there is far more canoe/kayak knowledge here than on motor boat forums.

Why is weight a problem?
When I put a trolling motor on my canoe, the battery weighed 60 pounds, the trolling motor weighed 40 pounds and the motor mount weighed 8 pounds. It worked great but was tippy without an outrigger so that added another 20 pounds.

I got tired of carrying 128 pounds of motoring gear so I set it up for rowing and found I could go even farther rowing than the battery would take me.

If weight is a problem for the boat, then you are going to have a hard time moving all the gear too. Get a really nice cart.

like Frank says
BEing able to row may be your best bet for the environment you are paddling in – it would solve the weight issue and problems with banging a prop in the shallows or worrying about fuel and swamping issues. Rowing wherries and skiffs are designed for coastal and harbor environments and are very effective in rough waters. Plus they are light and fun.

A long time ago…
we tried that for a while. Lugging that damn battery around takes more effort than paddling ever did.

In the event of a capsize, it’d get ugly fast.


bottom line
Kayaks are designed for paddling. If you want to use a motor, choose a boat that is designed for artificial propulsion. Sticking a heavy battery and motor on a kayak cancels out much of the advantages of a craft that has been used for with great success by humans for thousands of years. This isn’t just “purism”, it’s a reality check.