My W Fishing Kayak Outfitted With a 2.5hp Lehr Outboard Propane Engine, By Jared Jorstad, Kansas

I wanted a kayak that paddled well, but was stable enough to fish out of easily, and being able to put a gas engine on it is a huge bonus.

The kayak has worked well. My dad, who lives in Minnesota, has tipping trouble with standard kayaks, and this worked well for him. My sister also took my nephew out in it.
I didn’t get much paddling time in it, but on the first time, I paddled 200 feet or so from shore, stood up, and paddled back.

I outfitted it with a 2.5hp water cooled Lehr propane engine with a 15″ propeller shaft. I like a water cooled just for the lower noise level.

Here’s a picture and video from throwing the engine and outriggers on and trying it.

fishing kayak with 2.5 hp propane Lehr outboard motor - Kansas

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8 thoughts on “My W Fishing Kayak Outfitted With a 2.5hp Lehr Outboard Propane Engine, By Jared Jorstad, Kansas”

  1. Thanks Jared,
    Something tells me that sooner or later, you’ll get rid of those ‘training wheels’ 🙂
    BTW, having outfitted your motorized 502 kayak with outriggers doesn’t mean you shouldn’t attach the XL flotation to it… -It’s a good habit.

  2. I use a 2 hp Honda (also a 15″ short-shaft) and had my W500 fitted with outriggers as well. One day put on a bathing suit and took the kayak out with only a paddle. My goal was to find the “tipping point”. I was stunned to find how far over I had to move the center of gravity to reach destabilization! As an example, you can sit with both legs over the gunnel and your feet in the water and the W will be fine.

    After this experiment I removed the outriggers and have not had a single moment of doubt since, whether starting the motor, turning the kayak or running at high speed (Google Traks on my Android phone says I’m doing better than 8 mph!). Every owner who is using a motor and outriggers should consider doing this test on their own.

    I would love to get a report on the Lehr motor which I have been following on the web for a year.

  3. Michael,

    Agreed, but it can take some time before people feel confident enough to remove the outriggers.

    8mph sounds like an accurate measurement – Last week I measured 7.5mph sustained over a mile distance, against a strong wind, with a 8-10″ chop.
    Last year, Gary Thorberg measured 9.6mph with a 3hp motor. At that speed, he experienced control problems, since the boat was planing, but I think sitting more forward in the cockpit could have helped improve the situation.
    Anyways, it’s not about speed, of course, but about fun, and the freedom to go much further than a paddle allows you to go.

  4. Interesting engine. It would be great if we could use natural gas for this, wouldn’t it? The ride would be almost free…
    Looking at all those fishing kayaks that are outfitted with small outriggers at the stern, my feeling is that their effect is mostly psychological… For outriggers to offer a noticeable addition to the yak’s stability, they need to be attached to its middle section, and be big, that is very buoayant.

  5. There are buses running on natural gas, so maybe we’re not that far from scaling down this thing to cars and boats? It would be great to have a source of cheap gas for your car and boat at home! 🙂

  6. I used to have a catamaran type power boat with trim tabs, and I found that you had to be very careful about trimming the nose too far down as it caused one side or the other to dig in sometimes. This created a dangerous veer to the direction of the hull that dug in, and could throw the occupants over. This was a speeds of about 30mph.

    With the slower speeds in the kayak, I don’t know if this would be a factor or not. Maybe someone with a motor could comment.

  7. Hi Tom,

    The distance between the W kayak’s hulls is not big enough for such an effect to take place.
    We prefer to use the term Twinhull rather than Catamaran, because typically, catamarans are very wide, and the W isn’t wide even when compared to most kayaks out there, which are mono-hulled.


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