inexpensive motor for recreational kayak


Want to paddle down stream and back up before dark, small river, looking for suggestions for inexpensive motor to put on a recreational kayak.



Electric trolling motor
with a 12 volt battery

jack l

You Tube

– Last Updated: Jan-03-14 12:01 PM EST –

I don't look at YouTube much so I don't know how to search there, but you can do a regular internet search including the words "kayak trolling motor video" and you will end up with lots of examples on YouTube.

If you check out some of those videos you'll see that you'll probably need to be creative to make it work. Keep in mind that the weight of the battery and motor will be as much or more than the weight most people carry for an overnight trip, and providing proper trim is likely to be impossible (since the battery will be either too far forward or too far rearward for proper trim, and adding something to counteract that weight probably will push the battery + counterweight load to 100 pounds, and you don't want that either), so the boat may not perform especially well as a paddle craft (the lighter you are, the more you will notice the difference). I don't know what your rivers are like, but most small rivers have lots of shallow spots, and in that case you'll need to be able to lift the motor to negotiate those places. Finally, you'll want to search for a motor with a much shorter shaft than normal. A shaft length of just two feet would be perfect, if you can find one that short. The vast majority have a total length of about five feet and are designed to reach well below the surface from the deck of a motorboat, but apparently there are specialized short-shaft motors too.

With a motor of any kind
you will need to register it as a power boat in most states.

Electric trolling motor
with a 12VDC battery or a long-tail motor like this -

The Torqeedo 403 Ultralight kayak motor receives good reviews, looks well-engineered and is a nice lightweight design with integrated battery and included charger, but it isn’t cheap.

Old low power trolling motors are often
available for $40-50 on eBay. If you or a friend have a bit of electrical/mechanical skills can take off the top control box, cut down the shaft, simplify the wiring, and make a simple, removable tip-up mount for the back of your yak. Can also use a smaller. lighter deep cycle battery if you don’t have to travel too far. Our little old 16# thrust MinKota, on a simple home-made side mount pushed a 60# tandem canoe with two up just fine. Did see a new motor and mount recently for

Inexpensive motor
YOU are the most inexpensive motor for your kayak.


One more:

– Last Updated: Jan-07-14 6:59 PM EST –

Every now and then a kayak motor rotates through that advertisement window on the right side of this site's page (note, I've figured out that what shows up in that window is specific to the user. Somehow it "knows" what topics you've searched for in the last few weeks). I finally saw the ad again and snagged it.

The company appears to be all about motor-powered kayaks, but based on the ad that rotates through now and then, I know they sell their motor kit all by itself too. I have no idea what it costs (didn't try looking).