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 »

Jesse Hamilton, W300 Kayak Angler, Carlsbad, Southern California

Jesse got his W300 fishing kayak in January. He fishes mainly in the ocean near San Diego, in the harbor and in the lagoon. In this short cellphone movie Jesse is showing a 6 lbs spotfin croaker he caught:

Here is a collection of fish Jesse caught on another good day, including (top) a sand bass and (bottom) another 6 lbs spotfin croaker.

fish caught in fishing kayak, including sand bass and spotfin croaker

Jesse mounted a trolling motor on his W300, and he gets to speeds up to 10 mph with it. This picture shows the transom mount Jesse built:

transom mount for trolling motor on fishing kayak

Jesse also rigged his W300 fishing kayak with carry wheels: Sometimes Jesse takes his dog for a ride in his kayak:

wheels for fishing kayak

dog in fishing kayak

Jesse likes to paddle his W300 standing up, and fish standing as well. Jesse also likes to fish for halibut. His favorite lures are Berkley Gulp Alive, and he recommends smearing the lures with Uni Butter (sea-urchin flavored butter) that attracts fish better than anything, both in saltwater and freshwater.

Jesse is the owner of the Five Star Pool & Spa Service for care of aquatic systems.

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More About John Zoltner’s Motorized W500 Fishing Kayak, and First Bass Caught…

Continued from John’s first review of his motorized W500 fishing kayak

-Just caught the second or third biggest bass I’ve ever caught (a little over 3 lbs). For me that’s a big bass! So maybe investing in a fishfinder was a good idea. Unfortunately I didn’t have a camera with me so no one’s going to believe me 🙂 I also caught it on a beat-up, 1950’s lure called a “Flatfish” that I resurrected from an my old tackle box. The action of the lure is so outstanding that I’m trying to buy more of these obsolete lures.
Also enclosed a few photos showing my new reel style trolling motor crank and fishfinder, my crossed cable TM steering system and a detail shot of the flip-over wheel attachment cable connector (uses existing carry handle screw) and of course, the Flatfish.

Motorized fishing kayak - rear view

Detail of motorized fishing kayak

Wheel detail of motorized fishing kayak

Old fish lure used in the 1950s

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John Zoltner’s Motorized W500 Fishing Kayak – New York

John drove all the way from upstate NY to Wavewalk (close to Boston, MA) to get his W500 fishing kayak. Being an experienced engineer, John  took his time to inquire and think about trolling motors, steering systems etc., and came up with one of his own:

I’ve included some pics of my trolling motor adaptation which borrows from other W kayakers, and adds a unique steering method.

electric motorized fishing kayak - stern view

After some experimentation I decided to mount the motor at the very back using a 1/4″ aluminum plate, and added a crossbar to the top of a shortened TM shaft.  So far this is Rox’s TM configuration.  I then routed the steering cables thru 1/4″ brake tubes screwed to 2 strips of pine running the length of the seat.

electric motorized fishing kayak

Since I wanted the steering and motor speed control to be on the same handle, I mounted the TM head and a short section of shaft to a large plastic pulley and wrapped the steering cable around it.  By doing so, I can now control the both the steering and speed from the common handle.

electric motorized fishing kayak, stern view

I attached a piece of 1/4″ plywood to the top of the 2 pine strips and covered it with some foam and a piece of vinyl material.  Since there is now a hollow space under the seat I was able to run the TM wires and also a rope to raise the motor via a smaller hand cranked pulley.

electric motorized fishing kayak, stern view

I also used the flip-over loading wheel concept that one of the clever W bloggers sent in.

flipping wheels for carrying fishing kayak

I’ve been out twice since the TM has been added and so far its working really well.

John Z


Personal Motorized W Fishing Kayak…

I thought about this motorized W boat design a few years ago:

Personal motorized fishing kayak

It shouldn’t be too hard to turn a W500 kayak into a similar ‘personal watercraft’:

Using standard aluminum tubes, the stem of the steering handle can be made to be telescopic, so it could extend and retract, thus allowing to steer while riding the saddle as well as standing up.

Also, such telescopic steering system could allow for the driver to move fore and aft on the saddle while still steering. This could be useful for dealing with different water conditions.

-Food for thought for the engineering-oriented members of the W kayak community…

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Roxanne’s Motorized W500 Fishing Kayak Project

-“Here is an update on my newest Wave walk yak, the W500:
I am making a prototype out of wood for the console. I may change it to a diamond plate later.”

W500 fishing kayak with console for electric motor

-“I want it to be removable, so when I don’t want to use the trolling motor, I can remove the power head.

I didn’t want to add a Dry box/tackle box to the W500, like I did on my W300’s set up, after removing the power board from the head of the trolling motor. I didn’t want the box up there in my way, it makes for easier dismounts.”

W500 fishing kayak console for electric motor

-“This time I’m leaving the power head together, just cutting the shaft, and wiring the motor (bottom half) with a quick connect connector, so I can unplug the power head and remove it for just paddling.

Again, this will be a foot controlled steering, leaving my hands free to battle my fish.

I’ll send you and update after I mount my plate for the trolling motor.

Take care.


W500 fishing kayak with console for electric motor

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