Motorized kayaks

A motorized kayak is a kayak outfitted with a motor. Typically, motorized kayaks are used for fishing, as a motor offers the angler a longer range of travel for their fishing trips.
The most common type of motor used in fishing kayaks is an electric trolling motor powered by a battery that’s carried on board.
W kayaks are stable enough to be outfitted with electric motors as well as powerful outboard gas engines. The latter are often more dependable and useful than electric motors, especially for longer trips and for traveling in moving water, e.g. offshore and in adverse weather conditions.
More information on motorized kayaks »

Rigged W500 Kayak For Ocean Fishing, By Richard Dion, New Hampshire

I have yet to try fly fishing but it is on my “to do list”. I use saltwater reels hoping to land stripers.
My primary use for my W500 kayak is ocean fishing. I usually do not venture out beyond a mile off shore.
I feel better sitting lower, and the seat modification works perfect. The bottom of the seat is even with the bottom of the structural “ribs” so there is no added drag.

Offshore fishing kayak rigged with trolling motor, and wheel for transportationSeat for fishing kayakelectric trolling motor mounted on kayak for ocean fishingkayak for offshore fishing, rigged with electric motor and carry wheelelectric trolling motor for offshore fishing kayakkayak for ocean fishing rigged with carry wheel

kayak for ocean fishing rigged with carry wheel

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9.6 mph With a 3HP Outboard Gas Engine On A W500 Fishing Kayak, By Gary Thorberg, MN

Gary Thorberg, from Farmington, Minnesota, mounted a 3HP outboard gas engine on his W500 fishing kayak. His goal was to break the speed record for this kind of watercraft, and he did it, big time, clocking 9.6 mph. Interestingly, there was no difference between upwind and downwind, which raises the possibility that Gary simply reached the upper limit of this motor’s speed, which is set by factors such as RPM, propeller size, pitch, etc.

9.6 mph is over twice the W500’s hull speed. Hull speed (a.k.a. Froude Number) is a constant number that increases relatively to the hull’s length at waterline. In other words, it’s harder to make shorter boats go at higher speed than it is to make longer boats to go at high speed.
Gary’s W500 was planing.
In comparison, here is a quote from an article about dinghies outfitted with outboard motors:
“Another option is an outboard motor. Two horsepower per meter can reach hull speed. Ten horsepower per metre will put a flat-bottomed dinghy on plane. A 10-foot (3.0 m) dinghy with a hard V-bottom hull and a fifteen horsepower outboard can reach speeds of 25 mph (40 km/h).”

To put things in perspective, the W500 is about 3.5 meters long…

NOTE: This video shows an experiment, as part of a research and development (R&D) effort.

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Motorized W500 Fishing Kayak In Tandem, Powered By 2HP Outboard Gas Engine

This is out second day testing of W500 kayak powered by a 2HP Honda gas outboard engine.
This time we tested it in tandem, with a second adult on board.
The W kayak seen in this video is loaded with about 390 lbs, which is over the maximum 360 lbs load we recommend.
The passenger in the front is effectively protected from spray by a cockpit cover made of half a small tarp that cost $5. Not a single drop of water got into the cockpit during this entire voyage, and the cockpit cover wasn’t really necessary.

We kept a W paddle on board to help us pole while launching and beaching in shallow water, and as a contingency plan.
The kayak was very stable, even when we turned at full throttle.

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Power W500 Kayak With 2HP Outboard Gas Engine

Following Sungjin Kim and Gary Thorberg, here is our beta version of a Power W500 kayak:

The 2HP 4-cycle Honda outboard gas engine is perfect for the job: It’s powerful, lightweight (28 lbs empty), user friendly (quiet), environmentally friendly (low emissions), and easy to use (throttle grip). Most importantly, one of the 2 models Honda offers features a 20″ long propeller shaft, which is an absolute requirement for the W500. Shorter shafts (e.g. 15″) won’t do.
The Power W500 went at high speed even when another passenger weighing 115 lbs came on board.
Driving it feels pretty much like driving an aquatic motorcycle – it’s fun, and exciting.
Getting used to steering with the tiller handle behind your back takes some time, but eventually it isn’t hard, and the sitting-riding position feels comfortable.

Watch the Tandem video »

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Fishing Kayak With Outboard Gas Motor, By Gary Thorberg, Minnesota

Gary mounted a 2 hp Yamaha outboard gas engine on his W500 fishing kayak, and this is how he did it:

Motorized fishing kayak with 2 hp outboard gas engine

Gary made this great looking motor mount from an aluminum profile and oak wood.

fishing kayak outboard gas motor locked in an upward position, in a paddling mode

Gary’s outboard motor locked up, in a position enabling him to paddle his kayak.

back view of fishing kayak with outboard motor: Room to turn the propeller 360

Plenty of room to turn the propeller around, in 360 degrees

kayak mount for outboard gas engine

Close up: Transom mount for kayak outboard gas motor

transom mount for outboard gas motor for fishing kayak

Transom mount for outboard gas engine for Gary’s fishing kayak

clamp detail from transom mount for attaching outboard gas engine to fishing kayak

This special clamp configuration assures good grip of the mount.

See movie in Gary’s comment below —

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