John Zoltner’s Motorized W500 Fishing Kayak – New York

John drove all the way from upstate NY to Wavewalk (close to Boston, MA) to get his W500 fishing kayak. Being an experienced engineer, John  took his time to inquire and think about trolling motors, steering systems etc., and came up with one of his own:

I’ve included some pics of my trolling motor adaptation which borrows from other W kayakers, and adds a unique steering method.

electric motorized fishing kayak - stern view

After some experimentation I decided to mount the motor at the very back using a 1/4″ aluminum plate, and added a crossbar to the top of a shortened TM shaft.  So far this is Rox’s TM configuration.  I then routed the steering cables thru 1/4″ brake tubes screwed to 2 strips of pine running the length of the seat.

electric motorized fishing kayak

Since I wanted the steering and motor speed control to be on the same handle, I mounted the TM head and a short section of shaft to a large plastic pulley and wrapped the steering cable around it.  By doing so, I can now control the both the steering and speed from the common handle.

electric motorized fishing kayak, stern view

I attached a piece of 1/4″ plywood to the top of the 2 pine strips and covered it with some foam and a piece of vinyl material.  Since there is now a hollow space under the seat I was able to run the TM wires and also a rope to raise the motor via a smaller hand cranked pulley.

electric motorized fishing kayak, stern view

I also used the flip-over loading wheel concept that one of the clever W bloggers sent in.

flipping wheels for carrying fishing kayak

I’ve been out twice since the TM has been added and so far its working really well.

John Z

09/23/2009

I’ve been out 3 or 4 times and only caught 2 small bass. I’m obviously still a much better engineer than an angler  🙂

I’ve also been fine-tuning my trolling motor concept: I crossed the cables between the TM cross shaft and where it enters the yak. What this does is give me steering that responds directly to the direction I push the control handle. I no longer have to reverse my direction logic when I choose to turn in either direction. I also wasn’t satisfied with my TM crank pulley, so I ripped it out and now have a horizontal reel crank that works much better. I also just installed a fish finder/depth sounder to help me in the fishing department. I just epoxied the transducer sending unit inside the starboard rear hull. I also want to try adding a rudder directly to the body of the trolling motor. I saw this concept advertised on a yak trolling motor web site.

John Z

More About John’s Motorized Fishing Kayak, and First Bass Caught!

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13 Comments

  1. admin

    Wonderful!
    I’m sure this boat will inspire many others.

    I like the way the aluminum mounting plate fits in the handles – very clever 😀

    Yoav

  2. Knucklewalker

    Impressive design.
    KW

  3. Jeff McGovern

    Very well done sir. You are opening up a whole new world along with Rox for the W boats. Just how fast will it run?

  4. Rox

    Outstanding John.
    I really like your steering set up, and the handle to crank up your trolling motor. 🙂
    And thanks for the reminder on how the wheels can flip over for easy transport and storage.
    Now you don’t have to leave a yak cart on shore with the chance of being stolen while paddling or motoring!

    Tight lines all
    Rox

  5. admin

    And let’s not forget Jim, Dan, Dennis and Noel – each contributed something of his own to this new and exciting field of motorized W kayaks 🙂

    Can anyone imagine (or remember) what such a multi staged design process could have looked like before the Internet age, in the times people depended on printed magazines, TV shows and trade shows for inspiration and information?…

    Yoav

  6. John Z

    Yoav,
    Excellent point! I have to rightly credit Rox and all the others for the great ideas I ‘stole’ and built upon to arrive at what is still a work in progress, but as you say the collaborative and inspirational value of such a website is invaluable.
    John Z

  7. John Z

    (answer to Jeff McGovern:)
    Jeff,
    Don’t have a speed measuring device on the yak yet, but the cheap 30 lb. thrust Minn Kota Endura model motor does a real decent job. For instance, the lowest of the 5 forward speeds is almost a little too fast for a slow troll. The fact that it was probably designed to propel a much heavier craft than the W – makes it respond really well. I’m actually a Newbie with the motor specs. I’m sure Rox could answer your question with a lot more authority. It’s speed is certainly more than adequate for freshwater fishing although I’d definitely rule waterskiing out!
    John Z

  8. Rox

    John, no stealing here, we are all sharing ideas, and improving on designs.
    Your steering concept has taken it to the Next Level, it’s all good!

    The future W owners will find all the info posted here by W owners will be their Holy Grail, hours and hours of time saved by each new idea and design, all born right here, on the WW BLOG. 🙂

    Rox

  9. Rox

    John,

    My sonar gives me a speed reading in the digital mode.

    A 30lb thrust on my W300 going down stream, I reached a little over 5mph.
    The current alone, moved me 2mph in my drift.

    But in still waters with little current, I reached 3.8 mph on a fresh battery. 🙂

    Tight lines all.
    Rox

  10. admin

    Just in case someone asks about thrust in electric trolling motors:
    http://wavewalk.com/blog/2008/07/14/thrust-in-electric-trolling-motors-for-fishing-kayaks/

    Yoav

  11. turboman

    On my outrigger 14′ canoe I run a MK transom mount remote steering/speed foot pad that I hold in my hand, or feet, for full steering up to reverse and steering control without reaching behind me. The motor shaft I cut down to a 10′ for operation in 6″ of water. The transom mount remote motor is no longer available.

    There’s a high back pivoting fishing seat, with armrests, mounted 2″ higher than the old replaced plank seat.

  12. Pulley

    Turboman,
    Your rig sounds interesting, but how much does it weigh? I figure a 14 ft canoe with outriggers and a pivoting fishing chair would weigh about 150 lbs (or more??), without the motor and battery.
    That rules out the option of car topping, and requires using a trailer.

  13. ARNOLD JIMENEZ

    HI! I’M VERY FASCINATED WITH YOUR INGENIOUS SET UP WITH THE WAVEWALK KAYAK. MY NAME IS ARNOLD, I LIVE IN QUEENS N.Y. I’M PLANNING GETTING A WAVEWALK FOR MY FAMILY THIS SPRING AT LEAST 3 KAYAKS. I ALREADY HAVE A [13 ft long SOT fishing kayak and a tandem SOT fishing kayak] BUT I’M MORE INTERESTED WITH THE WAVEWALK STABILITY….

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