DIY Motorized Kayaks

Motorizing your fishing kayak yourself can be a good idea, and it may not…
To begin with, it might not even be necessary for you to outfit your fishing kayak with a motor, whether it’s an electric trolling motor, or an outboard gas engine.
It could be that such outfitting project seems easy before you start it, and it turns out to be more difficult, and/or costlier than you had anticipated.
It could be that the specific solution you chose to implement is problematic for some reason, such as performance, control, or both.
There may be other things for you to consider before you start a motorization project, and we recommend that you read more on this exciting, yet possibly complicated subject of motorizing your fishing kayak.

You may also benefit from reading about what others have done as far as outfitting their fishing kayaks with motors – Their successes, failures, difficulties, observations, and conclusions.
In this section of this Micronautical kayak design website, we bring stories and reviews contributed by kayak anglers like yourself, who took a risk, designed a motor setup for their fishing kayak, implemented it, and used it – for better or for worse.
Some of them chose electric trolling motors, and others went for outboard gas engines.
Some outfitted their kayak with stabilizers (outriggers), and some didn’t.
Some chose to steer from the front, and others preferred to steer from the rear – with the steering handle on the side, or at the stern. There are even examples of foot activated steering.
For some, it was hard to realize their motorizing project, for others it was easy, and it seems like all had fun doing it…
Some planned to use their motor as a secondary mean of propulsion for their fishing kayak, and the typical example for this is trolling. Others viewed the motor as the main propulsion system, and the paddle as a secondary, auxiliary means of propulsion, or merely as a contingency.

You’ll surely find that all kayak motorizing projects featuring in this section are interesting, and there’s something you can learn from all of them.

Within this Micronautical design website, we neither opine on design issues, nor offer technical support, but you can contact other kayak anglers and DIY outfitters through Wavewalk’s fishing kayaks blog.

We do, however, wish to make one observation, based on our contacts with anglers who first outfitted their kayaks with electric motors, and later decided to switch to outboard gas motors: It seems like outboard gas engines are more dependable for long fishing trips and tough conditions, such as fast currents and strong wind.

The articles featuring in this section are:

Bass Fishing Kayak With DIY 1.2 HP Outboard Gas Engine Setup, by Rox Davis, Connecticut

Offshore Fishing W500 Kayak Rigged With Electric Trolling Motor and Front Steering, By Richard Dion, New Hampshire

W500 Fishing Kayak With Electric Trolling Motor, By Noel Mascarenhas, Texas

Offshore W300 Fishing Kayak With Electric Trolling Motor, Dennis Vircks, California

Dan’s Motorized W300 Fishing Kayak – Electric Trolling Motor

DIY Fishing Kayak Electric Trolling Motor Mount and Battery Box, By Brian Vickery, California

Electric Trolling Motor and Cable Steering System for Fishing Kayak, By John Zoltner, New York

Fishing Kayak Outfitted With Electric Trolling Motor and Foot Steering

Jim McGilvray’s Motorized W300: Outboard Gas Engine and Outriggers, UK

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