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: http://wavewalk.com/blog/2008/07/14/thrust-in-electric-trolling-motors-for-fishing-kayaks/
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