Tag Archive: electric trolling motor

An electric trolling motor is a small, battery powered electric motor suitable for propelling kayaks. Typically, such motors range from 24 lbs to 55 lbs thrust.

Wavewalk 500 Battery Pack

By Captain Larry Jarboe

Florida Fishing Kayaks

After all the excitement of the S4 introduction, it is great to see people posting their W500 and W700 pics and modifications.

The narrow twin hulls make these the ideal stable paddle vessels. Also, the W500 and W700 kayaks are easy to convert to electric power with a simple bolt on transom mount available from Wavewalk..

However, most batteries are too wide for the W500 (and some extent, the W700) to fit down into the hulls.

My solution is to put two 35 AH 12 volt U1 deep cycle batteries end to end in a custom made tapered housing that slips down into the hull. These are batteries that are often used to power electric wheelchairs.

70 amps of 12 volt power will run a 30 lb. thrust Minnkota electric trolling motor at top speed setting (4-5 kts.) for a couple hours. Or, troll at half speed all day. Figure about $160 cost for the under 40 lb. battery pack. Compare with the weight and cost of any other 70 Amp Hour battery that will not fit into the streamlined hulls.

I made my battery box from a plastic planter tray and some PVC decking material. It fits perfectly and works wonderfully in my white W500 that was my original Wavewalk investment.

The only issue was the conducting material at the battery terminals. Stainless steel does not transfer electricity very well. It was hard to find anyone in the Upper Keys on a Sunday afternoon who had a pair of brass nuts.

Try asking for that commodity, anywhere.

Yes, I scored on the 5/16×18 nuts.

And, the 70 AH battery box combo carried me offshore for a post-hurricane exploration of the Atlantic Ocean.

But, that is another story…

 

Back to fish

By Captain Larry Jarboe

Florida Fishing Kayaks

The summer weather and water temperature have turned to perfect in Key Largo.

The water temperature is in the mid-Eighties and the wind has stopped blowing. Though it is August, the air temperature is only in the low Nineties. My wife and I have taken this time to explore the near shore reefs and out of the way places in our “backyard” in Garden Cove.

Garden Cove is located in the heart of John Pennekamp State Park and is directly adjacent to the Dagny Johnson Botanical Hammock State Park. We can visit both these parks from our Wavewalk stable twin hull kayaks every day without waiting at the highway entrance gate or paying the entrance fees. We can also harvest fish and lobster under Florida and Federal regulations but spearfishing is definitely prohibited. Thus, we have a fully stocked pantry of fresh seafood only a mile or two from our house beside the only commercial docks on the Atlantic side of North Key Largo.

This is the perfect place to operate a fishing and eco-tour business featuring safe and portable vessels that require minimal effort to paddle or operate a motor from. And, when business is slow, I can use these same vessels to harvest fish and lobster commercially in accordance with my State and Federal commercial fishing permits.

The Wavewalk S4 is the perfect kayak to motorize and use to fish or find new spots inshore or offshore. Almost every day, I find more areas to fish that most people overlook in their quest to go faster and further offshore.

It must be nice to be able to afford five or six hundred dollars a day of fuel expenses to try to catch a fish. But, I prefer to save my money.

A dollar’s worth of fuel runs my S4 all day. Or, we can take out a couple more S4’s with electric trolling motors and spend maybe twenty five cents more on our electric bill.

Yesterday, I invested a couple hours to catch some fish from our backyard pantry to eat next week.

The proof is in the pic.

 

 


Larry offers guided fishing and diving trips in the Key Largo and the areas that surround it »

More fishing adventures with Capn’ Larry »

Lobster fishing trip with my Wavewalk S4x2 double skiff catamaran

By Captain Larry Jarboe

Florida Fishing Kayaks

Yesterday was the day after lobster season opened. I wanted to see if anyone had raided my secret spot so I assembled an S4x2 for my wife and her friend.

We separated the combo for traveling through a narrow creek. My wife really enjoyed the silence of the 12 volt Minnkota electric trolling motor as she plowed ahead of us.

As you can see, no one has found my lobster hole as it is virtually inaccessible by any other vessel than a Wavewalk skiff.

I took two lobsters for the ladies’ dinner. No reason to be greedy. The rest will stay in my inventory.

 

 

 


 

Larry offers guided fishing and diving trips in the Key Largo and the areas that surround it »

More fishing adventures with Capn’ Larry »

How much HP for my S4 skiff’s outboard motor?

This article summarizes research performed by Captain Larry Jarboe, as well as inputs from Wavewalk dealers and S4 clients. Its purpose is to answer a frequently asked question (FAQ) from prospecting clients, which is “What outboard motor should I choose for my S4?”

The answer is that the outboard motor you should choose for your S4 depends on two factors, which are

  1. How much power you need
  2. How important is the motor’s weight for you

And there is a trade-off between power and weight, namely that the more powerful the motor, the heavier it is, and the harder it could be to carry it.
In any case, the motor should be a 20″ log shaft (L) model, and not a 15″ short shaft (S) model.

2 HP outboards

Outboard motors in this class weigh around 30 lbs, which makes them fully portable even for a user who’s not very strong. A 2 HP motor can propel an S4 skiff with one person on board at speeds up 8 mph, even in choppy water. This speed would decrease as the boat is required to carry more passengers on board. S4 owners who tested such motors with their S4 skiff reported that the boat felt under powered, which means that they felt like going faster, but the motor lacked the powered required for this. For this reason 2 HP motors are not popular with S4 users. Another reason for their lack of popularity is the fact that being air cooled makes them noisier than water cooled motors.

3.5 HP outboards

Outboard motors in this class weigh around 40 lbs, which makes them still portable, but less so than 2 HP motors. A 3.5 HP motor can propel an S4 skiff with one person on board at speeds up 14 mph, even in choppy water, and it can propel the boat at 12 mph with three passengers on board in  moving water. This size motor is the most popular among S4 and W700 users, as it offers a good trade-off between power and weight for people who must lift the motor or carry it by hand over long distances.These motors are also less expensive than bigger ones.

6 HP outboards

Outboard motors in this class weigh around 60 lbs, which makes them portable only for very short distances, and not for everyone. A 6 HP motor can propel an S4 skiff with one person on board at speeds up 18 mph, and it can propel the boat at 14 mph with three passengers on board. 6 HP motors are the second most popular motors among S4 users.

8 HP outboards

Outboard motors in this class weigh around 80 lbs. At such weight, these motors can no longer be considered as portable, and the only reason to use them is the fact that they are offered with electric ignition, which eliminates the need to start them by pulling a cord. The S4 outfitted with an 8 HP motor performs well in choppy water, but it could feel over powered for an inexperienced driver, which should avoid using such motors with their S4. Heavy users may benefit from driving with a U-jointed tiller extension, in order to move some weight forward from the stern to the middle of the boat.

6.5 HP mud motors

Mud motors are bulkier and heavier than regular outboard motors. A 6.5 HP mud motor weighs around 80 lbs, and it’s not portable. The reasons you’d want to use such a motor instead of a regular outboard of similar power are if you need to go in very shallow water (skinny water) and mud, and if you fish or hunt in water with plenty of vegetation and underwater obstacles. The S4 performs very well with a such a mud motor. We do not recommend using less powerful mud motors because typically, these motors require more power than regular outboard motors do.

Electric outboard motors

Some electric trolling motors are described by their manufacturer as “outboard motors”, namely comparable in power to small outboard gas engines. If you consider such electric motors, we recommend remembering the laws of physics, and applying the formulae for Kilowatts to Horsepower conversion, which are:

  • 1 KW = 1.34 HP
  • 1 HP = 0.745 KW

 

 

 

 

 

 

Very comfortable for a good long day on the lake

By Jim Gifford

Michigan

I am enjoying the boat very much. I am very happy with it.
I modified a cart to fit his boat and easily take the boat from the garage to my trailer then to the lakes pretty easily. I am experimenting with a trolling motor mount that will allow me to place the trolling motor to the side. I registered the boat to keep the state happy.

The grand kids have been out with me a few times, but don’t want to stay out as long as I wish. This should improve as they age and want to fish as much as play. It has proven to be a great boat to use on my own as well. I have lots of room for what I use to fish. Very comfortable for a good long day on the lake.

In all I enjoy using the boat very much and also the planning of ways to make it my own.

The motor mount is not fully tested. The cart is just 1inch pvc 31 inches long with 7 inches of a pool noodle at each end. This is tie strapped to a kayak cart I had already.

 

Wavewalk 700 with DIY motor mount

 

 

Wavewalk 700 attached to wheel cart

 

W700 on wheel cart