Motorized Kayaking

Has anyone used a motor on their kayak? If so, what brand of kayak do you have and what motor did you use? I have a basic recreational kayak - Future Beach Fusion 124 and am considering putting “The Skimmer” motor on it. Here’s their link -

Looking for feed back or tips. Thanks


AKA Buster_boy

I want one!

I think if you want a motor boat, you

– Last Updated: Jul-22-15 12:27 PM EST –

should get a motor boat.

I had both an aluminum jonboat w outboard motor and a 2 person kayak that were lost in Hurricane Ike. I decided to replace them with one boat, a three-man canoe, and then I built a trolling motor mount and bought a trolling motor for it. I'm really glad I bought a canoe, it works great as a paddle craft and for fishing from, better than the 2 man kayak ever did, but it isn't really a good replacement for the jonboat. The speed and range of a canoe with a 30# thrust trolling motor isn't nearly that of a jonboat with a 3 hp outboard. Since it's not a squareback canoe, and the trolling motor is offset, the handling characteristics are bad. I'm always having to compensate for the tendency of the boat to veer to port. I have to be very careful when turning, especially at full speed or in waves from boats or wind, lest I capsize her. I have a big heavy lead acid battery sitting in the boat, and messing up the boat's trim. I also have to push it as far forward as I can, or the weight of it, the motor, and me in the stern of the boat raise the bow out of the water. I have to worry about the lead acid battery and the motor being ruined if the canoe ever did capsize. I pretty much leave the trolling motor on shore these days.

Think about why you want a trolling motor for a kayak. Are you looking for greater range, and/or hands-free movement while you are fishing? I've found with a 30# thrust motor you really don't get that great of range, and when the battery runs down, you're going to be paddling back, so hope that the trolling motor hasn't taken you out a greater distance than your arms can paddle back. Also, where are you going to put a big, heavy battery in your rec yak? Even if it did offer greater range, it's going to take up a lot of space that would hold equipment you might want for a longer trip (tackle box, safety gear, cooler, etc.) Where are you going to put your paddle when you have the motor running? (and because the battery is going to run down on you, you'll need that paddle to get home). And that greater range (and thus greater time spent in the boat) that you want to get from a trolling motor - is it really going to be comfortable to be sitting in the kayak that long, and with your arm cocked at an awkward angle to control the motor?

Remember that trolling motors were designed for a specific task. They weren't designed to be a boat's primary propulsion. They were designed to ride up on deck while an outboard took the boat where it wanted to go, and then provide a slow, quiet way to move back and forth at the destination without disturbing the fish, and then it rides up on the deck again while the outboard takes the boat home. For that reason, even though some companies like Ocean Kayak make kayaks that have built-in trolling motors (and are thus able to overcome *some* of the handling and storage issues I've discussed), and I know people who use them to fish out in the Gulf of Mexico, I don't even recommend those, I think they encourage people to push both boat and motor beyond what they were designed to do, and people can get in over their heads because of it. And when you aren't using the boat as an ersatz motorboat, it's going to be so much heavier than a conventional yak of the same size. I also think that Ocean Kayak discontinued the model with the motor in it (the Torque) and didn't replace it with another motorized model. That should probably tell you something.

If you want a vessel that you can sometimes use as a motorboat, sometimes use as a paddling vessel, I think a squarebacked canoe with a small gas-powered outboard is really the only sensible option.

One more thing to think about
In a lot of states, unmotorized paddlecraft don’t have to be registered, but as soon as you put a motor on that, you’re going to have to register it, and you’re going to have to pay the annual fee, put the stickers on, on top of battery maintenance.

re: motorized yak
I added a standard minn kota to my commander kayak using one of those metal bars for attaching trolling motors to canoes. Works great! I have heard really good things about the kit you mention and I have looked at both that and bassyaks kit if I end up picking up a Ride 115.

Don’t let the negative feedback bother you. Adding a trolling motor allows me to go upstream and then paddle back down…something I could never do if I only paddled. I can explore much further, no gas required, no noise involved, same amount of exercise. Simply more options opened.

My post was not meant to “bother” him
but to give him a realistic summary of the potential headaches of of trying to use a trolling motor on a small paddlecraft, the kind of stuff that gets conveniently forgotten in sunny salespitchy recommendations. Whether booking a hotel room or buying something on Amazon, I’ve found the negative reviews are more helpful, and tend to be more accurate, even if I end up booking or buying because I decide I can live with the potential cons the negative review describe. I’m sure buster_boy wasn’t “bothered” by my opinion and didn’t need you to soothe him. I think we can all give him our opinions without suggesting he disregard opinions we don’t agree with, and he can weigh our suggestions and make up his own mind.

Torqeedo 403
I am almost certain that I will get one next season. I know they are expensive but have yet to read any really disappointed reviews. Big thing for me is the battery only weighs about 7 pounds vs 65 for the MinnKota.

Torqeedo will be releasing a new set of batteries soon that will all have a USB powered support and most with very extended battery capacity.

solo skif
Do yourself a favor and demo a solo skiff with small gas motor. Ive been in the kayak business 42 years. Electric motors just don’t cut it. The problem is battery technology just isn’t there yet. A small gas motor can wheigh much less then an electric with battery but will provide three times the speed and torque and get 45 miles per gallon. As long as you carry some extra gas you will never get stranded far from home with dead battery. Most kayak hulls were never designed to run with a motor . The solo skiff however was designed to run at high speed and is an amazing hull with a small 3.5 hp motor. It actualy costs less then buying a large kayak and then a battery and salt water trolling motor. Im a dealer in Nj if you want to demo here.



R.C. Electric Motor
Hi all I’m a semi newb here (used to be “Rickers”), but am not a newb to motorized kayaking.

I’ve been using a 14 foot sit on top with a radio controlled electric motor for many years on flatwater and whitewater and have never had any problems. My motor is 45 thrust pounds and I mounted it on center-line on the stern and use two 33 amp hour gel deep cycle batteries kept in the center compartment on the floor of my kayak. This set up works great, it’s very safe and it allows me to extend my trips. I’m not fond of the noise and smell of gasoline motors and certainly don’t need a high speed kayak.

My setup will go all day at “walking speed” and is very quiet for sneaking up on fish as well as sneaking up on wildlife for photography.

In my state it’s only $10 to register it for life as a power boat and the only battery maintenance i need to deal with is charging the batteries after each use, not a hassle at all.

I liked the way my electric kayak turned out so much that I went and bought another kayak that had an electric motor built in for my wife, they both work fine with no issues whatsoever so I would recommend an electric powered kayak to anyone who wants one.

Me too!
This seems like a good option for my doings, maybe not for others. I fish a huge swift river for salmon, don’t have any place to store a river boat and motor, and enjoy kayaking. The downside for my kayak is going upstream. My options are to have my wife drop me off for a long paddle downriver to a pick-up point, fishing on the way, or fight my way upriver using eddies and I only know two places where I can launch and work up half to 3/4 mile. I seldom fish the river from the yak but use it to access islands and gravel bars away from crowds.