Choosing a no-fuss kayak motor.

Kayak fishing equipment and rigging discussion.

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Choosing a no-fuss kayak motor.

Post by Amayumi » Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:25 pm

Dear sirs, it's my first message.

I write from Brazil, a third world country with very limited equipment choices.

I need a motor to carry me (105kg) in my small kayak (20kg) plus my equipment (about 10kg), from the dock pier to my fishing spot, using the paddle only to manouver when I get there.

Conclusions to date:

- Mercury 3.3hp outboard.
water cooled, stronger engine, good quality but expensive (here in Brazil),

- Chinese copy of Yamaha outboard. 2.6hp.
cheaper, water-cooled, but.. Chinese..

- Cheapest solution: air-cooled outboard with Chinese mechanics, driven by a stationary motor type, just like grass mowers (common around here).

Reflecting here which way to take to move my kayak, I remembered that, in addition to weight, any gas outboard demands a careful Maintenance, to avoid any of the many possible mechanical problems that may (and will) arise.

This problems kills the mood of those (like me) who have very little time to fish and cannot deal with so many troubles of gas outboards..

Hence some friends suggested the possibility of using an electric trolling motor plus battery in my kayak.

Well, I did not think of this before because I imagine that besides being weaker, an electric trolling motor would require a heavy battery,..

But, reflecting, I imagine that a trolling motor would have a simpler maintenance, with fewer problems than a gas one.

From there I went to research:

The texts comparing the thrust of the electric motor (in pounds) with the power of the outboard (in Hp) vary a lot:

some say that the 30-pound thrust
electric motors corresponds to 1hp gas motor ..

and others say it takes 70 to 100lbs of thrust to have 1hp

The fact is that the electric will not have the same power as the petrol engine. Not even half of force and speed.

So a electric will transport me in a veeeeeery slow pace, requiring more time of functioning to achieve my final destination.

Here comes the my doubt:

An electric motor (plus the heavy battery) is able to work nonstop for like 1 hour (since I travel slowly) to take me to the fishing spot and then another nonstop 1 hour back to home?

Or its too much nonstop work to this kind of electric motor?

And what would be the size (in amperes) of the battery to make an electric motor (say with 30 pounds of thrust ) to work nonstop during these 2 hours without needing recharging?

Or its not viable and would it be better to go back to the gasoline engine?

I'm not in a hurry to arrive.

I really do prefer something that always work whenever I need, and avoid lots of maintenance and mechanical problems.

A 3.3hp Mercury outboard weighs 13kg net

And a 30lbs trolling motor plus battery? We're talking about how many kg (pounds)?

What do you say?

Electric or Gasoline?

What is the best way to go?

Thank you

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Re: Choosing a no-fuss kayak motor.

Post by internetpilot » Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:54 am

Can you tell us a little more about your kayak? Is it a sit-inside or sit on top model? I am a bit concerned because kayaks weighing only 20kg usually do not have a very significant weight capacity, so that might limit you more than anything for adding a motor to your kayak. I'm honestly not sure if such a light kayak could handle any motor -- electric or gas.

That being said, I am not aware of a single kayak on the market that is actually designed to handle gas motor. Kayak hulls are designed for paddle speed -- not motor speed. A 3.5hp outboard motor produces a lot torque, bow lift, and speed that I just don't feel a kayak can safely handle. Even a smaller 1.5hp motor is still probably too powerful for most kayaks, especially a lighter weight one like what you have. If you really want to put a motor on your kayak, I would think an electric trolling motor would be your best, safest choice.

My kayak is about 376cm and 43kg with a weight capacity of 204kg. I have 55-lb thrust trolling motor on it which weighs 9kg. To power it I use two small lead acid batteries that are 35 amp hours each (70 amp hours combined), and each battery weighs 9kg. So that totals up to around 27kg for the batteries and the motor, which barely takes anything away from my kayak's weight capacity, but that might be significant for your kayak. I stow the batteries in the bow storage hatch of my kayak, running the cables through the hull of the kayak back to the controller and the motor. With the motor on the stern and the batteries in the bow, as well as my seat also being slightly more toward the stern, this balances out the weight in my kayak rather well. My kayak is rather heavy, but the motor still provides a top speed of 7-8 kph. That's not as fast as a gas motor, but it's about all that my kayak can safely handle, especially in choppy water conditions, other boat wakes, etc.
ShadowCaster.jpg (81.44 KiB) Viewed 2255 times
I believe you have access to in Brazil? That is where I purchased my motor and the batteries.


Smaller Motor:


I hope this helps you!
-- Chris :thumbleft:
Coleman Scanoe
Perception Sport Destiny/Scout 12
Perception Striker 11.5
Field & Stream Shadow Caster 123

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