Espo66

Kayak Owners with Trolling Motors

17 posts in this topic

Thinking seriously about getting one

 

  • Overall, are you happy or disappointment you went this route?
  • Does it add to the effort to paddle(or peddle) when not actively using

 

 

Purpose:

I bought a Jackson Mayfly last year, fished some local lakes. I'm very happy with it, but...

 

I have the itch to go out in the salt this year. Trouble is, I'm a hesitant to dip my toes in the ocean. Well, it my case it is Long Island sound, so not really the ocean. It does get fairly rough out there. I would mostly be hugging the shores and such, but my hesitation with the kayak(motor-less) is that I will paddle somewhere and then have trouble if the tides is against me getting back ashore. Plus, it think I would use it a bunch on larger fresh water lakes too..

 

I know I need a Salt/Freshwater model, would like to keep it under $1000. Not really interested in the side mount thing, would prefer control from the cockpit. 

 

Any experience, recommendations, words of advice?

 

Thanks,

 

Larry

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Not sure if your trying to add on an aftermarket to your current yak setup but for 1000 budget it would really be your only option.

 

As far as salt goes, I fish the sound in my yak many many times a season. My advice to you is to go on a nice day to get your "sea legs", observe current, swell, tides, rips, etc...not sure where

you fish but for me, all those play a role at some point depending on my fishing spot. All the safety protocols you would use in a lake or pond are even more important in salt. 

 

For me, it was all about getting my comfort level up in the salt. It is no where as intimidating as it seems once you get out there a bunch. Go out with a buddy so you both can get comfortable. I love salt fishing in my yak. I prefer it over a boat for closer inshore fishing that I do.

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43 mins ago, ijuanaspearfish said:

Not sure if your trying to add on an aftermarket to your current yak setup but for 1000 budget it would really be your only option.

 

As far as salt goes, I fish the sound in my yak many many times a season. My advice to you is to go on a nice day to get your "sea legs", observe current, swell, tides, rips, etc...not sure where

you fish but for me, all those play a role at some point depending on my fishing spot. All the safety protocols you would use in a lake or pond are even more important in salt. 

 

For me, it was all about getting my comfort level up in the salt. It is no where as intimidating as it seems once you get out there a bunch. Go out with a buddy so you both can get comfortable. I love salt fishing in my yak. I prefer it over a boat for closer inshore fishing that I do.

Thanks for the encouragement. Yes, looking at aftermarket. I do not have a pedal yak, so it would be either bow or transom mount.

 

Im on the CT side of LI sound. hoping to launch in Bridgeport.

 

You?

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To make sure you are capable, do a launch in the surf on a windy day on an incoming tide during shark week. Then all trips after that will feel less intimidating. ;) 

 

Do a short trip, have all safety gear, file a float plan with someone that you trust, and know what water to stay out of. Heavy current and waves can move you at all of your resistance (paddle, peddle, power all included). Have a plan for your trip out and back. I have had many great trips planning with the tide and/or wind. This may affect your launch site, destination, and travel route. 

 

Regarding going with an electric motor as aftermarket here are some options:

1. Torqueedo - perhaps the best of the aftermarket options but has a price tag. They have been around for a while and do make some TM kits to custom fit for certain hulls such as some for Hobies as well as for several series of Wilderness System kayaks. Cons: proprietary voltage means you have to use their batteries.

2. Bixby - new company and seems neat but may need to wait for the product to release. Cons: proprietary voltage means you have to use their batteries. Not yet released?

3. Newport vessels. I really like this setup and only $800 but does not come with a battery. Is 24 volt so you can chain 2 12v together and use lead acid or lithium. Cons: 2 lithium batteries will cost you more than this TM package. 

4. Waternake / side mounts with 12v TM - cheap option and can use a single 12v battery. Cons: awkward location of TM. 

 

If you have not bought a kayak yet and asking about that, I would take a serious look at the Old Town autopilots. You are getting a fully rigged and outfitted setup minus batteries. I don't like proprietary batteries and the Minn Kota drives have been around for a long time. The spot lock feature would be killer for fishing. 

 

Otherwise, the Newport Vessels option is likely the next best option that I would consider if I were looking to go electric. 

 

Good luck!

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I have a jackson too,broad and stable in flat water but a barge to paddle and not maneuverable at all.In SW if you have any tide or wind working against you you are in for a serious workout.

Also,lacking a rudder will make you work even harder if the wind or tide are against you.

I also have an OK for the ocean and it would be my choice vs the jackson which is a FW/flatwater kayak,IMO...I've been 10 mi offshore in the OK,made it back through 4-6' waves,the jackson couldn't have done that as the bow is not made for taking any kind of waves.

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if you've caught bigger fish on a yak, you know they run all  around the boat. Seems to me a trolling motor thrown in the mix might be trouble occasionally..

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Motor-equipped kayaks seem to outnumber the padding/peddling variety, based on what I see on the water. Most of us got into trolling motors to save wear/tear on ole joints, be able to cover more ground, spend less time getting to fishing spot, all valid reasons.

 

One does need a bit of mental discipline to not wrap the fishing line around prop. This might mess up motor seals - a non-warranty event, potentially very expensive.

 

After hooking a powerful fish, you might need to maneuver the kayak (and having hands-free propulsion is key here) and/or use longer/stiffer rod to maneuver the line around bow/stern.

 

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I have a bass yaks setup on my Ocean Kayak Prowler 13.  I've been really happy with it so far.  I went with the EH handheld throttle, which added like $350, but I think the standard throttle kit (knob mounted in the kayak somewhere) base price was $499.  I don't notice any issues paddling with the extra stuff on/in the kayak.  I did go with a LiFePO4 battery which saves a lot of weight, but adds to the cost significantly.

 

Also, I'm not familiar with the specs on your kayak.  I went with the 30lb thrust motor, which works great for me, but my kayak is pretty light.  If your setup is heavier, you may want something a little more powerful

Edited by PSUFly

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15 hours ago, NHAngler said:

To make sure you are capable, do a launch in the surf on a windy day on an incoming tide during shark week. Then all trips after that will feel less intimidating. ;) 

 

Do a short trip, have all safety gear, file a float plan with someone that you trust, and know what water to stay out of. Heavy current and waves can move you at all of your resistance (paddle, peddle, power all included). Have a plan for your trip out and back. I have had many great trips planning with the tide and/or wind. This may affect your launch site, destination, and travel route. 

 

Regarding going with an electric motor as aftermarket here are some options:

1. Torqueedo - perhaps the best of the aftermarket options but has a price tag. They have been around for a while and do make some TM kits to custom fit for certain hulls such as some for Hobies as well as for several series of Wilderness System kayaks. Cons: proprietary voltage means you have to use their batteries.

2. Bixby - new company and seems neat but may need to wait for the product to release. Cons: proprietary voltage means you have to use their batteries. Not yet released?

3. Newport vessels. I really like this setup and only $800 but does not come with a battery. Is 24 volt so you can chain 2 12v together and use lead acid or lithium. Cons: 2 lithium batteries will cost you more than this TM package. 

4. Waternake / side mounts with 12v TM - cheap option and can use a single 12v battery. Cons: awkward location of TM. 

 

If you have not bought a kayak yet and asking about that, I would take a serious look at the Old Town autopilots. You are getting a fully rigged and outfitted setup minus batteries. I don't like proprietary batteries and the Minn Kota drives have been around for a long time. The spot lock feature would be killer for fishing. 

 

Otherwise, the Newport Vessels option is likely the next best option that I would consider if I were looking to go electric. 

 

Good luck!

NHAngler,

 

LOL, yeah I will launch during shark week! And I never really did learn how to swim, so it s/b interesting.

 

 

I checked out all those options you listed (thanks!) I really like the Newport setup, but man, the batteries are like 1K. So if I got that and the battery, costs more than my kayak.

Then I made the mistake of checking out the Old Town autopilot. Now I'm trying to rationalize having two Kayaks (Fresh/Salt) and trying to convince myself that my 21 year old son might be able(and want) to join me...then that leads to a trailer...LOL. Maybe this is all a "next year" thing and I need to get out there with the paddle, hug the shore and know the tide tables.

 

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15 hours ago, slip n slide said:

I have a jackson too,broad and stable in flat water but a barge to paddle and not maneuverable at all.In SW if you have any tide or wind working against you you are in for a serious workout.

Also,lacking a rudder will make you work even harder if the wind or tide are against you.

I also have an OK for the ocean and it would be my choice vs the jackson which is a FW/flatwater kayak,IMO...I've been 10 mi offshore in the OK,made it back through 4-6' waves,the jackson couldn't have done that as the bow is not made for taking any kind of waves.

Got me in the mindset of 2 kayaks now...I don't think I would ever be 10 Miles out, but having the right hull is something I didn't think much about when I purchased the Jackson. Course, I wasn't even thinking salt back then, but it makes sense that it wasn't built for inshore and I might be trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

 

 

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17 hours ago, Espo66 said:

Thanks for the encouragement. Yes, looking at aftermarket. I do not have a pedal yak, so it would be either bow or transom mount.

 

Im on the CT side of LI sound. hoping to launch in Bridgeport.

 

You?

I fish niantic mostly but I have fished New London, Bridgeport, saybrook, Norwich, and parts of RI. 

 

Pedal kayaks are a game changer for salt. I started years ago in a paddle yak and it served its purpose. The moment I got into a pedal drive. I never looked back. I can go further with alot less fatigue and my hands are free tonrig in my way to my spot

 

Look into maybe a watersnake trolling motor. 

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19 hours ago, slip n slide said:

I have a jackson too,broad and stable in flat water but a barge to paddle and not maneuverable at all.In SW if you have any tide or wind working against you you are in for a serious workout.

Also,lacking a rudder will make you work even harder if the wind or tide are against you.

I also have an OK for the ocean and it would be my choice vs the jackson which is a FW/flatwater kayak,IMO...I've been 10 mi offshore in the OK,made it back through 4-6' waves,the jackson couldn't have done that as the bow is not made for taking any kind of waves.

I had a Mayfly as well and did 100% salt. Bay boat it was fun to fish and comfortable but was like paddling a dock. No way I would take it where I take my current boat. I kicked around the idea of mounting a motor as there is plenty of room and some potential with existing mounts. I had a moment of "what are you doing" and sold it to go 180 on a boat I can paddle.  Solo skiff or something along those lines would be more fun for a small power craft IMO.

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3 hours ago, Espo66 said:

Got me in the mindset of 2 kayaks now...I don't think I would ever be 10 Miles out, but having the right hull is something I didn't think much about when I purchased the Jackson. Course, I wasn't even thinking salt back then, but it makes sense that it wasn't built for inshore and I might be trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

 

 

I didn't think I'd be 10 miles out either but I broke off and in the time it took to tie 3 knots and re-rig the tide and wind had taken me so far out I couldn't see land.What was predicted to be a day of 1-2' waves fishing near-shore changed into a whole 'nuther thing,was very glad I had an appropriate yak to be riding on,took 4-5' waves like a hot knife through butter,the jackson has a very broad bow,not meant for any kind of waves.

Don't forget a hand held or portable gps,fog,tides and wind can wreck your plans or get you killed in a heartbeat .The ocean,even near/inshore is not to be underestimated if you're coming from a FW environment.I would not go out on open water w/o a rudder as the wind can be hard to overcome if it's blowin hard from one side.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

On 5/3/2021 at 5:46 PM, NHAngler said:

To make sure you are capable, do a launch in the surf on a windy day on an incoming tide during shark week. Then all trips after that will feel less intimidating. ;) 

 

Do a short trip, have all safety gear, file a float plan with someone that you trust, and know what water to stay out of. Heavy current and waves can move you at all of your resistance (paddle, peddle, power all included). Have a plan for your trip out and back. I have had many great trips planning with the tide and/or wind. This may affect your launch site, destination, and travel route. 

 

Regarding going with an electric motor as aftermarket here are some options:

1. Torqueedo - perhaps the best of the aftermarket options but has a price tag. They have been around for a while and do make some TM kits to custom fit for certain hulls such as some for Hobies as well as for several series of Wilderness System kayaks. Cons: proprietary voltage means you have to use their batteries.

2. Bixby - new company and seems neat but may need to wait for the product to release. Cons: proprietary voltage means you have to use their batteries. Not yet released?

3. Newport vessels. I really like this setup and only $800 but does not come with a battery. Is 24 volt so you can chain 2 12v together and use lead acid or lithium. Cons: 2 lithium batteries will cost you more than this TM package. 

4. Waternake / side mounts with 12v TM - cheap option and can use a single 12v battery. Cons: awkward location of TM. 

 

If you have not bought a kayak yet and asking about that, I would take a serious look at the Old Town autopilots. You are getting a fully rigged and outfitted setup minus batteries. I don't like proprietary batteries and the Minn Kota drives have been around for a long time. The spot lock feature would be killer for fishing. 

 

Otherwise, the Newport Vessels option is likely the next best option that I would consider if I were looking to go electric. 

 

Good luck!

NV is sweet! I have it on my outback. Pretty small for its thrust, I can get up to 6mph with tide and about 3.5mph against tide and wind. I actually built a 30ah 29.2v battery with prismatic cells, cost me less then $300

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Edited by Striper46

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