what to expect from a trolling motor?

-- Last Updated: Nov-16-08 10:41 AM EST --

i need a motor, not as a primary source, but for when the wind picks up a bit, or if i need to make a long run, to go fishing or hunting. max distence for the motor would be 1-1.5 miles. can a trolling motor push a tandem SOT 5 mph? what kind of speed can you expect from a quality motor like the minn kota? also, what thrust would you recommend for a boat like the malibu II? bout 300 lbs of weight, including the passenger and all the gear? thanks for any info!
also, how much does a battery way, and how far can you get on a battery?

What kind of water?
Are you on flat water or in current?

I have never hooked a trolling motor up to a kayak, but I have hooked it up to a much larger canoe. I used a 40ft/lb thrust motor. The batteries are heavy - same weight as a car battery. You’ll have to secure it somehow too.

Then you’ll need some kind of a transom or means to connect the motor to the kayak. That’ll be challanging because kayaks aren’t designed to take a trolling motor.

If you can figure out how to trim the kayak with a heavy battery and a fairly heavy trolling motor and still have weight for you and your tackle, and you can figure out how to attach the trolling motor to your kayak, then you could expect moderate speed, likely not 5mph against a head wind. You could readily go a mile to a mile and a half on flat water. If you’re going against current or tide, I don’t know. It would depend on the current or the tide.

Why go through all this bother on a small SOT? I think you’d find it a lot easier and a lot more useful to learn good powerful strokes, good stroke technique, and build endurance. If you’re paddling flat water, you could probably get a lot more speed and tracking against quartering wind with a longer kayak rather than trying to make a kayak into a jon boat.

That said, I had a Jon Buoy, which is a kayak with a transom and battery strap-down spot, and that thing absolutely scooted with a trolling motor. As I said, though, it was designed for it.

  • Big D

you can expect …
… a lot of expense , a lot of weight , a lot of hassle in rigging - maintaining - use , and why would you want to try and make your 11’ yak something it’s not designed to be ??

As for what an elect. motor and batt. system can do … example : 65 lb. thrust 24V remote control motor, 2-115 AH marine deep cycle batts. maintained on 3 stage charger when off boat, can push you around for 2 days straight and still have 1/2 plus batt. power left in reserve (3 out of 5 lights left) … total boat and load 1300-1400 lbs., moves out on full speed …

Friend Electrified His Wife’s SINK To
help her keep up with more experienced paddlers on long runs. Made a motor attachment plate out of 1/4" aluminum sheet shaped and squared to the stern, and attached with SS machine screws and well nuts. Bought a cheap old troll mtr on ebay (10-12# thrust), removed the control head and cut down the shaft to a length that would submerge the mtr to a proper running length. Cut away most of its orginal mounting bracket, leaving enough to attach to the boat plate and still tilt. Left about 12" above the mount for a string and hook to the cockpit to pivot/tilt the mtr up when not needed. Kept the motor in a straight on position and steered by dipping the paddle. Had a simple toggle switch in the cockpit to turn motor on and off after using components in the old control head to set best desired speed. Put a battery in the compartment just behind the yaks seat (maybe that center compartment in the M-II). Was a really neat, clean installation.

I tried it out once, worked really nice, and would keep up with him (a strong paddler). Hardly noticed any handling difference when paddling without the motor down. Had a new paddler use it on a trip and when she ran out of gas was also able to drag two tired newbie guys with her holding on along side. Bought some small mtrs to try the same but haven’t had the time yet. The old 16# I tried on my Rx Dagger Legend pushed it at 4+ mph on “high” with just me up, but diff between med and high wasn’t much, guess due hull maxing out. A 40# might plane it :-). Just some ideas. Rick

Trolling motor on kayak
I’ve posted these pics before but here they are again.

View as a Slide-show for better view. They may take a bit of time to load if you have dial up. The two batteries are small 33 amp hour batteries. It was very easy to mount this remote control motor on the stern.


Is your Motor Guide a 45 lb. …
… bow moumt series ??

Is it a 12v and the second batt. for a backup ??

Do you remove it for transport and attach at water after unloading and set up ??

Do you use a trailer ??

Did you shorten the shaft ??

Looks like a neat rig !!!

Motor On The Cobra Marauder
Yes I trailer the boat, I unlatch the motor from its mounting plate for transport. I use two smaller batteries at the same time. I don,t use one large one because of space constrictions, the two 33 amp batteries go end to end on their sides in the large rectangle hatch right in front of the seat. The motor is designed for bow mounting so I reversed the head for better appearance and I also shortened the shaft. Shortening the shaft was easy, I removed the head and I slid a piece of white PVC pipe into the shaft with the wires inside the white piece of pipe. I sawed the shaft to length protecting the wires from the hacksaw blade with the white PVC pipe. Until I reverse two wires in the motors base, the steering commands are reversed, I’ll fix that issue later. The motor, fish finder and the CD player all run off the same two batteries. I also blocked off the slot that locks the motor into the deployed position so it can ride up and over rocks, ledges and bars without hanging up and stopping the boat. I extended the prop protector fin with some polyethelene.

you did a fine job …
… it was probably a good idea to let the motor free swing backwards if it strikes a rock or something , since it’s on a kayak … guess you don’t use reverse though , huh ??

I am a big fan of remote (wireless) steering control .

I run into the same cross control issue when backing down a river using a bow mount 65 lb. remote on a Jon boat … left is right , right is left , lol .

The precision capability of a remote is incredable once you get use to them .

You could actually face downstream as you back down a river and your control would be regular , right would be right , left - left , since you have a bow mount on the rear .

The tupperware trawler
I’m very happy with the way it turned out. It’s really comfortable with my new seat. I put a Surf To Summit GTS Elite seat on it. I would like to put another fishing kayak together in a year or two. I want to check out the sterns of some other kayaks to see how to build the mounting structure. On the Marauder the mounting plate had to hang back quite a bit so I put on side struts that I made out of blue poly. The dash is mounted on a RAM mount and is made from a portion of the bottom of a blue farm chemical drum. The anchor trolley uses nice sailing dingy pulleys and there is a black compass on the bow. I also put small nylon cleats all around. The boat is a bit over the top but it attracts attention and helps me to sell new Cobras at boat ramps and launch sites.