DIY Motor Mount For My Fly Fishing Kayak (a.k.a. “Motor Yacht”), By Kevin Eastman

With the cool weather we’ve been having here the past couple of weeks, I’m beginning to think we are back up north ourselves.

I finally got around to getting some more pics of my transom motor mount after redesigning the attachment points.
I was out for a short trip in it today and took a few others to go along with them. I’m having a blast putting around St. Augustine in my new “motor yacht”. It reminds me of years ago when we’d go out fishing in a small boat with an outboard. I also cobbled together an articulating extension for the tiller arm so I can control the motor with my arms facing the bow.

We had a sunny but cool afternoon today with no wind, so I decided it was time to take a cruise and brought along a couple of rods to troll on my trip. The trout are biting pretty good so I’ve included a picture to let the northern yakkers live vicariously through since most of their waters are getting a bit cool to play in. I also ran into a couple of Loons that have made their way south for some warmer weather this winter. They are in their winter plumage so aren’t real pretty like you’re used to seeing them in the spring and summer.

I’ve got some wild plans to build set of sponsons for the back and put a 5 hp motor on the boat, then see what kind of trouble I can get in to.

Cheers, Kevin

Kevin's 'motor yacht' - a motorized fishing kayak.

Yamaha outboard motor attached to Kevin's fishing kayak

DIY motor mount for fishing kayak

DIY motor mount for fishing kayak

Kevin's DIY motor mount design for fishing kayak

Trout presented for the kayak fisherman's camera

Loon fishing near St Augustine Florida

Loon swimming and fishing

12 thoughts on “DIY Motor Mount For My Fly Fishing Kayak (a.k.a. “Motor Yacht”), By Kevin Eastman”

  1. Thanks Kevin,

    Your design looks sturdy and effective –
    I’m sure this motor craft has started a ‘Green Movement’ in your area – Green with envy! 😀

    I like your DIY articulated tiller extension too, although I would try to do something to reinforce the plastic joint, or maybe give that thing a little ‘joint replacement’ with an aluminum joint?…

    As for a 5hp motor, I don’t know what to say… (it rarely happens!) 😉
    It sounds very exciting, and feasible too. Outriggers would solve the stability problem at very high speed, but you’re likely to get into some steering issues as your ‘W speedboat’ starts planing at around 9 mph… You’d have to make sure the hulls stay in contact with the water, at least partially, which means steering while being seated more towards the bow, to keep it low –
    Adding a spray deflector before your test run sounds like a good idea, because you could get plenty of spray from the bow.


  2. Very nice setup! I was going to ask what engine it was, but then I saw Yamaha in the tag list… Those are really good motors.
    Congratulation on that trout… up here the smaller ponds already have ice on them 🙁

  3. I like this setup. It seems that unlike the standard W transom mount, it may offer a way to outfit the kayak with a flush mounted rod holder on each side, although I’m not quite sure that having fishing lines dangling so close to the propeller is such a good idea in the first place.

  4. This is surely an intersesting design
    I guess the propeller shaft is 15 inches long.
    Any problems with steering?

  5. Paul,
    We recommend a motor that features a 20″ shaft, but since only Honda offers such a model in this range of low-power outboards, many W kayakers use 15″ shaft outboard motors from other companies, and so far we haven’t heard any complaints about that.

  6. Very Nice, but I would add a more solid connection to that area.
    You are asking and putting a lot of pressure on that bend.
    I would worry about bending and God forbid tearing the wavewalk’s wall.

    I’ve toyed with that same idea for my second W500, and my W300.

    As far as a 5hp, you are adding way more power then that little boat could handle.
    Turning will be an issue, when I had the 3hp on, and had her opened up full speed, turning was scarey, but doable.

    I would love to attach my two W500’s side by side and put my 6hp on it, that’s been another setup I’ve been toying with too.

    The 2.7hp that I have, and my two 1.2hps move these bad boys along just fine.
    Both are short shafts, and they work just perfectly.

    Just make sure the motor mount is made so the propeller is in the right depth for its length.

    Even in the River, my 1.2hp gave me no trouble at all while running up and down river chasing stripers last spring.

    Good luck, and keep the updates coming people.

    Tight lines and MoPaddle Safe All.

  7. Paul, you are correct, it is a short shaft model. (2hp yamaha 2 stroke) The top of the propeller doesn’t quite clear the bottom of the hulls but this doesn’t inhibit steering too much. Though, in sharp turning attempts it does slow the turn some. It’s more than functional and very maneuverable with a the short shaft. Ideally I would have liked to cut down the spray skirt some to get the motor to sit lower but I didn’t want to deface the boat like that, especially if I didn’t like having the motor mounted.

    Yoav, If I make the outriggers with a sharp entry and keel, I think that that might mitigate any steering problems with higher speeds from a larger engine. Though at the rate I finish projects, that could be years from now.

  8. Kevin,

    I agree that keeled outriggers would help you counter affect the steering issues caused by the reduced contact of the main hull/s with the water at high speed.
    If you make the outriggers big (i.e. buoyant) enough, they would work to reduce the stern’s increased draft as a result of the heavy motor weighing on it, and that’s something you’re likely to appreciate when you go in shallow water.
    However, keels might also reduce the shallow water capabilities of your craft… which seems to get us closer to the idea of a retractable keel, or maybe dagger boards such as Jim Luckett has incorporated in his sailing kit for the W.
    Drive carefully! 😀


  9. Rox,

    Most of the power applied by the motor on the motor mount is handled by two long vertical steel bolts that go through the saddle, and through a thick reinforcement plate below it. It’s hard to see these bolts in the pictures.

    Looks like steering is going to be a problem with the 5hp motor going full throttle, and the kayak planing at who knows how many mph –
    Gary Thorberg experienced steering problems at 9.6 mph, and I guess that him sitting more towards the front of the cockpit would have solved them, but Gary’s motor was a 3hp, and a 5hp is a different animal 🙂


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