How to Put a Trolling Motor on a Kayak

How to Put a Trolling Motor on a Kayak
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To put a trolling motor on a kayak, secure a motor mount to the vessel and attach the motor following manufacturer instructions. Ensure the setup does not impede paddling.

Mounting a trolling motor on a kayak expands your fishing and exploration capabilities, allowing for longer trips without exhausting manual paddling. Anglers and adventure seekers alike opt for this addition to navigate waters with greater ease and precision. Proper installation ensures safety and functionality, respecting weight distribution and kayak design.

It’s essential to choose the right motor and mount for your specific kayak model to maintain stability and steering control. Kayaking enthusiasts enjoy the benefits of a trolling motor, as it offers a silent approach to sensitive fishing spots and the ability to cover larger areas. DIY solutions and ready-made kits are available to suit different budgets and technical skill levels.

How to Put a Trolling Motor on a Kayak


Selecting The Right Trolling Motor

Selecting the right trolling motor for your kayak involves several key factors. First, consider the mounting location—bow or stern—and the available space on your kayak. Kayak design significantly affects your choice. The motor’s thrust power, measured in pounds, should match your kayak’s size and weight.

Exploring trolling motor types reveals options like hand and foot controls, each offering different benefits. Freshwater motors suit inland waters, while saltwater motors resist corrosion. Understanding motor specifics assures a fit compatible with kayaking needs.

The motor’s power draw determines the battery size you need. Always opt for a high-quality battery to ensure lasting usage. Proper power management ensures longer trips with no mid-journey power issues.

How to Put a Trolling Motor on a Kayak


Mounting Options For Kayaks

Mounting a trolling motor on a kayak offers improved maneuverability and control. Whether to place the motor at the bow or the stern is a key decision. Bow-mounted motors provide better steering but require a remote or foot-controlled system. Stern-mounted motors are easier to set up but can be less responsive to steering.

DIY mounting solutions can be inexpensive and creative. Consider using a universal mounting bracket or constructing a custom wooden or PVC frame. Ensure that your DIY solution is sturdy and waterproof. Commercial mounting systems offer a ready-made, easy-to-install option though they may come with a higher price tag. Look for options that are adjustable and compatible with your kayak’s design.

Preparing Your Kayak

Before attaching a trolling motor to your kayak, gather all necessary tools and materials. You’ll need a mounting bracket, a drill, screws, stainless steel hardware, and the trolling motor. Safety always comes first; wear protective gloves and eyewear. Ensure the kayak surface is clean for a secure installation.

Stability is crucial for safe kayaking. Consider adding a stabilizer kit to prevent tipping. Use high-quality brackets and clamps to secure the trolling motor and maintain balance. A well-prepared kayak leads to enhanced performance and safety on the water.

Item Quantity Purpose
Mounting Bracket 1 To attach the motor
Drill 1 For making holes
Screws Varies To secure the bracket
Stainless Steel Hardware Varies For a rust-free setup
Trolling Motor 1 For propulsion
Stabilizer Kit Optional To increase stability

Installation Process

The installation process for adding a trolling motor is straightforward. First, select a flat spot on the kayak for the motor. Ensure it’s close to your seat for easy control. Next, secure the motor mount to the kayak with bolts or straps.

To wire the trolling motor, connect the motor’s wires to the battery. It’s important to use waterproof connectors to protect against water damage. Safeguard wires along the kayak’s body to prevent any trip hazards.

Test the motor placement before hitting the water. It should not wobble or tilt the kayak. Run the motor at a low speed while on land to check its stability. Adjust if needed to ensure proper balance.

Maintaining Your Trolling Motor

Routine maintenance of your trolling motor ensures optimal performance on the water. Regular cleaning of propellers and shafts is crucial. Ensure batteries are fully charged and connections are corrosion-free. Inspect the motor after each use for damage or weeds.

Encountering performance issues demands immediate attention. Noise or vibration often indicates a problem with the propeller. Loss of power could mean battery or connection issues. Consult the manual for specific troubleshooting steps.

Before storing for the off-season, clean and dry the motor thoroughly. Apply protective lubricant to moving parts to prevent rust. Store the battery in a cool, dry place after a full charge. Cover the motor to protect from dust and moisture.

Enhancing Your Kayaking Experience

Putting a trolling motor on a kayak requires a thoughtful setup for optimal battery life. The key is to balance power needs with weight. Ensuring proper battery size can greatly improve your kayak’s performance.

The right accessories are crucial for a successful install. Mounting brackets, bolts, and waterproof connectors make the process smoother. It’s best to choose high-quality, durable materials to withstand harsh marine environments.

Kayak fishing benefits greatly from trolling motors. Quiet propulsion lets you sneak up on fish. A well-maintained motor and fully charged battery ensure longer trips without paddling. Keep an eye on your power usage to maximize time on the water.

How to Put a Trolling Motor on a Kayak


Frequently Asked Questions For How To Put A Trolling Motor On A Kayak

Can You Attach A Trolling Motor To Any Kayak?

Yes, you can attach a trolling motor to most kayaks, providing they have adequate mounting points and the structure to support the added weight and thrust of the motor.

Where Is The Best Placement For A Trolling Motor On A Kayak?

The optimal placement for a trolling motor on a kayak is at either the stern or bow for effective control and maneuverability.

Is It Worth Putting A Trolling Motor On A Kayak?

Yes, adding a trolling motor to a kayak enhances fishing efficiency and mobility, allowing for longer trips with less fatigue.

How Fast Can You Go With A Trolling Motor On A Kayak?

A trolling motor on a kayak typically allows for speeds up to around 3 to 4 mph, depending on water conditions and kayak load.


Mounting a trolling motor onto your kayak enhances your fishing adventures and conserves energy for long excursions. With the right tools and instructions, you can achieve a seamless installation. Remember, safety is paramount. Always check regulations and practice responsible kayaking to fully enjoy your newly upgraded vessel on the water.

Happy kayaking!

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