Tag Archive: motor boat

Driving The W Motorized Kayak Seated With Tiller Extension

Here’s a short video showing what it’s like to drive the W500 kayak motorized with a 2HP outboard gas engine, and steer it with a long, articulated tiller extension:

The long tiller extension offers the driver to sit more forward, and make the boat more level, although at high peed the bow still goes up.
The articulation in the tiller extension makes it easy to steer, as it enables both pushing and pulling, as well as rotating the handle in order to increase and decrease power.

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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 »

Read more about motorizing your fishing kayak »

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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More northern kayak fishing insight from Gary »

Kayak Fishing as an Extreme Sport

For most anglers, kayak fishing is an extreme sport. Extreme in the sense that an angler fishing from a kayak is compelled to give up the two essential things that any regular fishing motorboat provides, which are adequate stability and elementary comfort. The third requirement, storage space is important as well, but less than the first ‘must have’ two. Indeed, fishing kayaks are not stable enough, and they are extremely uncomfortable, when compared to regular size boats. As for storage in fishing kayaks, the situation is as dire as it is with regards to stability and ergonomics.

Kayak fishing promised a cheaper, hassle free, low maintenance, lightweight, car top form of fishing craft, and a direct, sporty experience. However, today, out of tens of millions of Americans who fish from boats, merely one in every thousand fishes from a kayak, and this is after a decade of promises that ‘kayak fishing is the fastest growing outdoors sport’, etc.  The bulk of US anglers have followed neither the kayak fishing pioneers nor the fishing kayak manufacturers’ hype, and since growth in kayak fishing participation is no longer as fast as it had been several years ago, it is safe to say that the US kayak fishing market has matured. This is partly a result of decreasing enthusiasm from new participants, as well as a high dropout rate that has been typical to this sport since its early beginnings.

Yes, but…

But kayak fishing feels extremely uncomfortable only if you’re fishing from the old fashion, sit-on-top (SOT) kayaks and sit-in kayaks. In contrast, when you fish from a W kayak, you experience a level of comfort that’s equivalent to that of fishing from a regular size boat, and some W fans would argue that you feel even better.

When stability is concerned, the level of stability an angler experiences while fishing from a W500 kayak is on par with what they’d feel fishing in a regular size fishing boat, in the sense that they are not required to constantly address the issue of balancing, and they can fish standing up with ease, comfort and confidence that are outside the world of fishing kayaks.

The W500 is the only kayak offering storage space that’s dry and accessible any time, and as much as any kayak angler may need, even if their fishing trip includes camping, and therefore carrying on board numerous and bulky items that so far only canoes and regular size boats could carry.

The future

This is to say that kayak fishing has a future, and a bright one, but not as the extreme sport it’s been for most kayak anglers so far. The future of kayak fishing as a broad base sport and leisure activity depends on the participation of regular people, who care about their personal comfort, and demand a performance level in stability and storage that is not sub-minimal.  In other words, the future of kayak fishing is W kayak fishing.