install trolling motor in kayak

How To Put a Trolling Motor on a Kayak The Right Way

Is it safe to put a trolling motor on a kayak? This is a question many people ask themselves, and the fact that some kayaks come with motors makes them safe. A trolling motor is a small motor put in your boat and kayak that allows you to move through the waters without paddling and disturbing fish. So, get a trolling motor if you are looking for a way to enjoy your time fishing without actually getting tired. Keep reading, and you’ll understand the to put a trolling motor on your kayak.

What Should I consider when mounting a trolling motor on a kayak

When putting a trolling motor on a kayak, there are things you need to consider.

  1. The type of mount that the kayak has
  2. The power you want for the trolling motor on your kayak.
  3. The trolling motors weight and the weight of the mounting apparatus
  4. The size of the trolling motor you need and will match your kayak.

Are there specific motors for certain kayaks?

Some kayaks come with mounts for trolling motors, while others don’t. A kayak without a motor makes it difficult for one to put a trolling motor. When placing a trolling motor on your kayak, you need to be careful about the type of kayak. It is recommended not to add a trolling motor on racing or white water kayaks.

Trolling motors are different, and their power varies from one motor to another. Most kayaks do not need large trolling motors because they are small and light. Every 2 pounds of thrust that a trolling motor has can move 100 pounds. Therefore, even the smallest motors will work perfectly.

Choosing a Trolling motor depending on the Kayaks weight

Kayaks come with different weight capacities. When putting a trolling motor, subtract your weight and the weight of your gear from the kayak’s capacity. The remaining weight is the maximum capacity of the trolling motor the kayak can handle.

How to Mount your Trolling Motor

To mount a trolling motor can be a very easy ordeal if you follow the instructions carefully. When installing the trolling motor, you can purchase a professional motor mounting kit or do it yourself. When purchasing the kit, make sure it is compatible with the motor and kayak. The kit comes with clear instructions, and if you follow them to the latter, you will not have a hard time. If you choose to make the trolling motor yourself, the first thing you ought to decide is where you want to put the motor. You can put it straight off the bow, straight off the stem or side-mounted on the stem.

To install the trolling motor, you will need:

  1. A drill
  2. Screws that are used in the reinforcement materials
  3. A trolling motor
  4. Something to reinforce the mount, e.g. metal or plywood
  5. Your kayak

With all the required equipment, you can start mounting.

1.   Firstly, you need to choose the mounting location. Before buying a trolling motor and all equipment required, you need to know where to place the trolling motor. You can put it on the bow, stern, and gunwales. Mounting a motor on the gunwales makes it easy to access it while sitting. While mounting a motor on the bow or stern, you’ll need a motor with remote control operation or one that you connect the kayak’s foot braces to correct course. However, you need to know that mounting a motor on the side can bring about navigation issues.

2.   Choose a compatible Motor mount. The truth is not all motor mounts will be compatible with your kayak. You need to find one that works on your kayak perfectly. With the various mounts available in the market, you can choose different designs and where they attach.  For instance, if you want the motor on the side, get a mount that fits the width of your kayak. For a motor mount designed to attach to the bow or stern, get mounting clamps or bolts that are compatible with the bow or stern designs of your kayak.

3.   Attach the propeller to the motor. After choosing a suitable mounting mount, attach the propeller to the motor. Most trolling motors don’t come with propellers, but they are essential in ensuring safety. Attaching the propeller is easy and fast. To ensure the propeller is appropriately attached, follow the instructions from the manufacturers. The propeller allows your motor to propel at a faster speed and increases your motor’s thrust.

4.   Mount the motor to your kayak. Having the motor and compatible mount, it is time you mount everything to your kayak. If the mounts contain clamps, you will need to secure the clamps to the gunwales. If the mount is meant for the bow or stern, you can still use clamps to secure it to the molded-in handles.

5.   Build steering Linkages. This step is only applicable if you use the bow and stern as your mounting location. The steering linkages give you control of the trolling motor with the foot pedals. This installation is recommended for sit-inside kayaks that have foot pedals with a skeg and rudder. If your kayak lacks the skeg and rudder, the gunwales mounting is more preferred.

6.   Wiring the motor to the marine battery. This process is not very complicated. You start by removing the cap on top of the motor and expose the wiring. The wire colors vary depending on the motor, so you need to consult your manufacturer to avoid confusion. One wire is ground, while the other one is a hot lead. Mot ground wires are black, but you need to consult the manufacturer’s guide if it comes in a different color.  The manufacturer’s guide and youtube videos will guide you on the whole wiring process.

Final Verdict

Having an enjoyable afternoon fishing in the water is a great way to relax and have an adventure. With a trolling motor, you get to enjoy effortless paddling, and you can get back home without feeling exhausted. Sometimes kayaking comes with too much exhaustion, especially if you are a beginner. A trolling motor will help you get rid of fatigue, and you can enjoy your day out with your loved ones.s

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