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Can You Put A Trolling Motor On A Kayak?

Kayaking is a popular sport and enjoyed by many people the world over. In times past Kayaking was used mainly by people who wanted to enjoy the extreme activity of river rafting, and as such,

learning to kayak required much training and was reserved for those who were experienced. This was because users had to learn how to flip themselves upright if they went into the water.

Can You Put A Trolling Motor On A Kayak?

In modern times, the world of kayaking has changed somewhat. Lots of different people enjoy kayaking, and you’ll find them on lakes and ponds as well as rivers and seas.

The boats are much cheaper these days and aren’t designed like the older models. You aren’t locked in, and it’s easy to get out if you flip over. This has made kayaking a much more accessible sport for all. 

Because of these changes, it has become a very popular vessel to fish from. It means that those that enjoy a spot of fishing can do so without the expense of investing in a bass boat. It’s still possible to paddle into deep water and not be confined to the shoreline. 

However, you may fancy the idea of a tiny bit more speed as it can take a while to paddle a fair distance from the shore. It also takes a lot of strength in the arms to paddle for a long distance, so why not mount a trolling motor to the Kayak?

To answer the question above, yes this is possible and is in fact a very popular thing to do these days.  Some kayak models come equipped with a special rear area to place a battery for a trolling motor as required. 

Bear in mind that not all kayaks will have this feature, but if you obtain a kayak that is specially designed for angling, it most likely will. If you decide to add a motor to a kayak,

remember that it isn’t a proper boat, so it’s important to keep safety at the forefront of your mind. Never put anything other than a trolling motor on them, and always ensure the kayak has a life jacket on board in case you get into difficulty.

Will The Motor Be Stable On The kayak?

The initial thing you will need to identify before you start the installation process is whether the kayak has mounts that the motor can be affixed to. It isn’t hard to attach a trolling motor.

But you must ensure that the motor is able to clear the kayak otherwise it could break the propeller or tear apart the kayak and you don’t want that in the middle of open water. 

It’s important to have the correct holes in the kayak. If they are the right size, then you can mount your motor within a few hours. You can even test it by hooking up the battery and turning on the motor.

Never be tempted to fill more holes than is necessary or go bigger in order to make something fit. Holes in water vessels are never really a great match, for obvious reasons. 

There are separate troll motor mounting kits available that have been designed specifically for kayaks. It would be useful to do some research and read some reviews to find the best one for your model.

If fitted correctly at the beginning, there is no reason why the motor won’t be stable on the kayak.


When making a decision on whether to install an electric motor on your kayak, you should consider the battery you will need.

Most rolling motors will need a 12-volt battery, and it’s crucial you get a marine battery at around 35 amps. Trolling motors require a deep charge, and normal car batteries will not be up to the job. 

It’s also important to make sure you get a watertight box to place your battery into. This will protect it if the kayak were to capsize. 


It’s perfectly legal to attach a motor to your kayak, but even though it’s small, you must still adhere to nautical safety laws. Generally,

you won’t need to show evidence of ownership, such as with anglers, unless the motor is more than 10HP. However, it’s best to check local state laws on this, as they can differ.

Can You Put A Trolling Motor On A Kayak?


Kayaks are fairly safe vessels. They tend to be designed differently, so you should choose one that makes you feel the most comfortable and secure. 

If fishing is your main objective for having a trolling motor fitted, then you should select a flat bottom boat to prevent slipping out during fishing activity,

especially if you are exerting effort in the event of a large catch. Some practice sessions before heading out for the real thing is a good idea so you can get used to the kayak and its new motor. 

Speed Expectations 

Trolling motors aren’t going to have you speeding along with great gusto like something out of a James Bond movie. Thrust, on the other hand, can be quite powerful and most motors will have a 30  pound or 55-pound thrust motor.

But once you get going, don’t expect speeds of more than 5 miles per hour (ca. 8 km/h). Don’t be tempted to torque full throttle down, take it easy, and the boat will stay stable.

How To Do It

So, now you’ve decided to take the plunge (excuse the pun) and install a trolling motor, how is it done?

As mentioned earlier there are plenty of ‘off the shelf’ trolling motor kits available and these are by far the easiest option. They come with complete instructions and fit really well.

They also look fantastic on the kayak and last for many years. Of course, the downside to this is that they are much pricier than a homemade one, so if you’re on a tight budget this may not be the best option.

Building your own kit comes down to utilizing the existing components as well as parts of your kayak. For example, the rod holders create a useful home for mounting poles and storage at the rear and can be used to store the battery if it’s big enough.

If you are handy at building and making things, it won’t take long for you to find a solution to mounting your motor. 

When constructing your own mounts, you should bear in mind that the mounting must be able to absorb any vibrations that come from the motor, so be sure to choose durable high-quality materials and compatible mounting for your specific kayak. 

So, there is have it  – some useful information on how to install and trolling kit to your kayak, time to head out for some much-needed fishing time!

Hi! My name is Adele Stevens, and I have a big passion for water sports. I love nothing more than traveling to my favorite kayaking spots on my days off and spending hours out on the water.

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