Small, Outboard Gas Motors Suitable For Fishing Kayaks

Electric trolling motors work well for trolling on flat water, but when it comes to going in choppy water and in the ocean, another type of propulsion comes to mind, and that is (very) small, lightweight, outboard gas engines.
This is because electric trolling motors have a low effective power output relatively to the combined weight of their engine and battery, or batteries. They offer a reduced effective activity time, and that could be a problem in long trips, or in adverse weather.

An overpowered boat, or kayak, is unsafe, and keeping safety in mind, most small outboard boat engines are too big and powerful for kayaks – even for the stablest kayak, which is the W500. However, smaller outboard gas motors are hard to find.

We advise to outfit your W500 with at least one large size outrigger, in case you’re going to use a 2 HP outboard motor with it. We do not recommend using bigger and more powerful engines, simply because going too fast in such a small boat can be dangerous, as both directional stability (tracking) and lateral stability are reduced at high speed that can be reached with such motors. Also, the more powerful the engine, the heavier it is, which could lead to steering problems.

As for smaller outboard gas engines that would not require the use of outriggers, we’ve been able to find only a few models that have a capacity smaller than 2 HP:
A business named Florida Outboard Motors & Engines offers a 1.2 HP, 2 stroke outboard engine weighing 16 lbs, and a business named Island Hopper Small Outboard Engines offers a 1.5 HP, 2 stroke outboard engine weighing 16 lbs as well. This weight is equivalent to that of a small, 30 lbs thrust electric motor.
Both motors are made by BridgeStone.

More on motors for kayaks:

NEW: read more about motorizing fishing kayaks >>

7 thoughts on “Small, Outboard Gas Motors Suitable For Fishing Kayaks

  1. Two stroke outboard engines are noisy and stinky, and not known for being very reliable. I’d stick to human power, or electric power, or both.


  2. Better use a leaf blower – It works when the nozzle is either in the water, or just pointing backwards and blowing air. No problems with seaweed clogging the propeller, and you can go in skinny water. Even a powerful leaf blower doesn’t weigh more than one of those tiny outboard gas engines, and you can get one for cheaper… and blow leaves with it too!

  3. Hey, if I propel my kayak with a leaf blower, would I have to register it as a motorboat? 😀

  4. Interesting discussion…
    Some leaf blowers feature a 4-stroke engine. They save the need to mix oil in the gas, stink less, and are quieter than the 2-stroke engines

  5. Marco, yes you would have to register the yak with electric or gas powered
    The only way you wouldn’t need to register, is if it human powered such as paddle
    or wind.

    Hummmm, leaf blowers for power, noisy, but I bet it works.
    Pete, have you tried this?

    Tight lines and move your Wavewalks safely.

  6. Nope, but I saw one with my own eyes – on YouTube… :) Pretty impressive, but much more noisy than paddling 😉

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