S.O.T.: weight, outboard

For quite a while, I’ve been looking for the “right” boat for ME. I’ve long since stopped looking for the “perfect” boat. The features I want are range, ease of use, ease of transport, etc. I’ve considered various craft from canoes, to kayaks, to motorized rowboats. I’m currently looking at the Sit On Top kayak since it offers seaworthiness, the ability to add a 2.5 hp gas engine or a trolling motor with plenty of battery power, and the ability to cartop. I’m looking at the Old Town Predator (there are a few variations) OR maybe a light-weight alternative. I’ll be using this for fishing, transporting camping stuff, etc.

There are two potential issues that I have with this kayak. The first is stability when an engine is mounted. The roughest conditions in which I plan to use this boat would be about 100 yards offshore in a bay that occassionally gets rough, at least by lake standards (but not by ocean standards). I mention this because it seems that I might take a wave from time to time, which is why I like the self-bailing SOT. The issue is flipping. Frankly, I don’t know how likely it would be to flip under such circumstances. My gut says that it will probably happen sooner or later. The problem with flipping is that I’d ruin a gas engine, and it might be very difficult to turn upright, given the 40 lb weight of the engine. For use with a gas engine, the Old Town Predator seems ideal, given its stout design.

The problem with a stout (heavy) design is loading it onto a car. I used to have an O.T. canoe that weighed 85 lbs, and it was a serious challenge to get it onto a car. I currently have a 30 lb solo canoe, and I love how manageable it is. I doubt a 30 lb SOT could handle a gas engine the way the heavy predator could.

Another option is a SOT with a trolling motor. I currently have a trolling motor, and 30 Amp Hour batteries weigh 25 lbs. I figure I’d need, ideally, 100 lbs (weight of battery + motor). The advantage to this setup is that the motor could be made waterproof to deal with a dunk. I still don’t know how well such a setup would right if capsized. People have said that kayaks are terrible platforms for motors, but it seems like it really shouldn’t be that difficult to right such a setup. Any thoughts?

Then, there is the SOT to use with the motor and batteries. Should I try to go light weight, or stout and stable?

Are there REALLY any good ways to get an 82 lb predator onto a sedan? I’ve seen some wood ramps, etc. online. I wonder how well these work. Just picking up one end of a boat this heavy, never mind flipping it while in air, is a real difficulty. Any ideas? Thanks.

Inflatable dinghy NM

Canoe and trailer
Consider a Mad River Adventure 14 rotomold plastic canoe with an electric MinnKota trolling motor (the canoe is built to attach one on the stern). Haul it on a boat trailer – there are many makers of such trailers and you can get one from around $700 or much less for a new one. I often see the MR Adventures for $300 to $450 for sale used on Craigslist. Can be paddled tandem or solo.

I used to have the 16’ model Adventure (bought used with a 30 watt MInnkota for $400) and due to the low gunwales, tumblehome and moderate width, we paddled it with 230 cm and 240 cm kayak paddles. Great boat for lakes, bays and mild whitewater. Honestly, I was able to load the 16 myself onto my Subaru’s roof rack (and I’m a 5’ 5" middle aged woman.) Just lift the bow onto the rear, walk back to the stern, lift and shove forward.

motor on SOT
How exactly are you planning on mounting a motor on a SOT? The mount would have to be considerably higher than the stern of the boat further reducing the stability. Sounds like a bad idea.

The inflatable dinghy sounds like the ideal, they are far better with a motor than without, don’t row worth a darn and can carry a lot of weight and fold to nearly nothing.

Bill H.

Can get trolling motors
I think it is Johnson Outdoors (makers of Nevky, Ocean Kayak, and others) that has an ekectric trolling motor kit for their kayaks. Mounts center - like between the paddlers legs. Google Ocean Kayak Trolling Motor and it will come up.

Torqueedo is a company that makes Retrofit trolling motors kits for kayaks.



– Last Updated: Jul-03-16 7:51 PM EST –

As for the inflatable, I tend to poke around a lot of backwater estuaries. I worry about it getting popped. It would also be nicer to have something that's smaller for such use. Maybe I'm trying to demand too much out of one craft, but I'm still hoping something like this will work.

As for the mounting of the propulsion, considering a recent post, I've decided that a gas engine is not practical. With my current trolling motor, I'd remove the top and have the controls within the kayak. As for the bottom, it would be easy enough to make a mounting platform at the stern of the kayak out of polyethelene.

As a general rule, I wonder if lighter craft are more suited for this than heavier craft, or if it's just a question of capacity.

As far as righting a capsized craft, my gut says that even with 75 lbs worth of batteries and the weight of the motor, it wouldn't be too difficult since the batteries would be pretty close to the center of gravity along the Y-axis.

Did you check out the Adventure?
Here is the catalog page:


It really does check off most of your boxes and is set up for the trolling motor, no fuss, no muss. I love kayaking but I always enjoyed using our Adventure 16 as well. Personally, if I was going to fish I would definitely prefer that, or any canoe, to a kayak. More room for bait containers, nets, tackle, etc. Easier to anchor and you can go solo or with a buddy.

Loading, other stuff

– Last Updated: Jul-03-16 11:56 AM EST –

I've been preaching about ease of loading for years. Light boats are wonderful, but there's no reason that loading a heavy boat needs to be prohibitively difficult in your case. My guess is that you must not have ever tried using a load-assist bar. Lifting just one end of the kayak up to roof-top height on a sedan should be no problem for a person who is capable of moving the boat around otherwise (it would be different for a person who can't even carry the boat by themselves). Once the boat is leaning on the load-assist bar, the rest is easy, because once you are lifting other end of the boat any higher than your waist, you've slid the boat forward on the load-assist bar far enough that you're only lifting one third-the boat's weight or less.

As far as motors go, I really like the relative lightness and all-day running capability of gas engines as compared to electrics (though even the 40-pound weight of your 2.5-horse motor seems heavier than it could be) putting a gas engine on a SOT seems like a bad idea. I see you have reached that conclusion yourself.

I did check out the adventure, and I thank you for the suggestion. I’m not sure that I want to go with a canoe, which is what I’m using now. It seems to me that a SOT is considerably more seaworthy than a canoe, which is why I’m considering it. It seems with a SOT, that it could be capsized and re-boarded MUCH more easily than a canoe, which would require bailing, etc.

Stick with an SOT! Even the fattest and bargiest can be easily managed for short 2-3-mile paddles “OK”, especially when your objective is not paddling but fishing.

On the other hand, if you think you’ll always be in a hurry, a small inflatable Zodiac-type might work for you just as well.

But the kayak can be an excellent, lightweight fishing platform that has the added feature of silence with the benefit of stealth -but only if you


-Frank in Miami

rear mount low center gravity kits
kayaktrollingmotor.com or bassyaks.com