Get your motor running

Some kayak anglers have been motorizing their craft for the past 20 years or so. (Photo by Phillip Gentry)

Adding a motor on a kayak is not a new concept. It’s safe to say kayak anglers have had options to add motors for at least the past 20 years.

But, what’s so great about having a motor on a kayak? Here’s a few of the positive takeaways.

More range. Modern kayak motor manufactures are bragging about 60+ mile range on one charge with some of their newest models.

It’s easier. Older anglers or those with injuries or disabilities see a kayak motor as a doorway to continue enjoying the sport beyond their physical limitations.

Defeat the wind and current. Today’s electric motors can automatically lock you into position using internal compass and GPS coordinates. Imagine holding your position in a 10-mph wind or steady current by simply depressing a button. Other features include the ability to reposition the boat in any direction by 10 to 15 feet with the push of another button.

Less fatigue, more enjoyment. Kayak anglers looking for a relaxing day on the water catching fish would probably agree that less fatigue equals more enjoyment.

Most of the controversy surrounding kayak motors comes up in tournament competition. When angling for money, all of the participants strive for an even playing field. It’s not a stretch to say that motorized kayaks are an advantage for some or all the reasons cited above.

Some years ago when foot pedal kayaks were emerging, the pedalers were thought to have the advantage over the paddlers because leg propulsion allowed you to be hands-free to fish. This advantage is compounded with motorized propulsion being both relatively hands-free and less fatiguing.

Another drawback to motorized kayak angling is the weight of the motor and battery or power supply. In a boat where weight management is precious, having a motor is a big consideration. The rigging and mounting of the motor can throw the kayak off balance or make the boat tippy.

Finally there’s the cost. A ready-made kayak trolling motor and kit can be costly. Doing it all yourself will cut the price in half.

The add-ons include a lightweight 12-volt battery, maybe some controls, and a bracket that will fit somewhere on the kayak.

Are kayak motors here to stay? Probably, but time and popular opinion will decide if dropping the paddle in favor of the tiller is the next evolution in the kayak angling world.

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About Phillip Gentry 403 Articles
Phillip Gentry is a freelance outdoor writer and photographer who says that if it swims, walks, hops, flies or crawls he’s usually not too far behind.

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