My W500 DIY electric fishing kayak

By Ricky Bruni


I fabricated this mount from easily sourced items… 3/4″ plywood, misc plumbing parts, and wire from Lowes. The mount is held to the boat frame by 2″ by 1/2″ plastic nipples and faucet nuts. The battery box is just light gauge steel from Lowes and bent over a 4X4.

I bought a light weight gel cell battery (UB 12350) which weighs only 23 lbs. I did a barrel test and the motor ran just shy of 3 hours straight at speed level 3 of 4. Not bad. The motor is a 30 lb trust Minn Kota.

The tiller swivel was $12 from plus shipping (racelite tiller extension swivel).










9 thoughts on “My W500 DIY electric fishing kayak”

  1. Thanks Ricky,

    Most impressive job!

    I like the fact that you’re using a lightweight battery, and it seems like you’re getting good mileage from it.

    Couple comments –
    It looks like the electric cables run from battery to the control box inside the hull, and I think you could get theme to run under the spray deflector and attach them to it with plastic cable ties.
    Also, you may may to consider making the battery well watertight, in case you run into choppy water.


  2. That sure looks like a lot of weight on those hulls, Ricky. I hope you can post a short video showing it motoring along.

  3. Packer…will do. The motor and battery are right at 50 lbs total so should not be a big deal (though I weigh 225 myself !)

  4. Nice job on the DIY electric motor set-up.

    The only thing would worry about is water getting the battery wet and cables wet.
    Rain may be a problem, let alone waves.
    But I do like it, I used to have my W300 setup with electric motor and added cables to steer with my feet.
    And I placed my batteries down in the hulls so they were out of the elements.

    Can’t wait to see a video of you in action.

    Good luck, tight lines and MoPaddle safe all.

  5. Well…I guess I can put boots over the battery terminals. I am a fair weather, small lake fisher only so I don’t anticipate whitecaps or water coming over the gunnels. In light of concerns voiced about the battery I have researched and not found anything other than potentially faster battery drawdown if water should conduct between the terminals and remain bridged. This battery has a good 1/4″ riser (from the battery top itself) before the lead terminal is exposed. I may be a fool…but damn the torpedoes…I’m going for it ! Film at 11:00…

  6. I finally took the maiden voyage of my W500 under power. When I got to the lake I realized I forgot to bring the tiller (crap !). No problem…I locked the motor in straight forward position and used my paddle as a rudder. I think I will just use this method all the time as it is one less thing to work around and get my line caught up in.

    The motor worked great and the W500 seemed to handle the 300 pounds (me, motor, battery, anchor, and stuff) like a trooper. I am a fan of having a dual powered yak !

  7. Sounds good!
    Glad to hear your setup works well 🙂

    These days many kayak anglers switch from human powered propulsion to motor assisted paddling – It saves time and adds to the kayak’s range of travel.


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