For avid lifelong kayakers who believe in the purity of moving around on the strength of your paddling skills alone, the idea of a motorized kayak might seem like an abomination on the surface. But when it comes to kayak fishing, a motorized kayak can actually serve as a very effective tool in some situations, and it would serve many a fisherman to keep an open mind about this type of enhanced kayak.
In this article, we’ll talk about some of the options available when it comes to motorized kayaks as well as some of the benefits and drawbacks associated with each type. We’ll also address some of the modifications you can make to your kayak to increase its ability to handle a motor effectively. By the end, you might find that the idea of a motorized kayak doesn’t sound all that crazy after all.
Motor Options for Your Kayak.
When it comes to your choices for getting yourself a motorized kayak, you essentially have two primary options—an outboard gas-powered motor or an electric motor. Each of these two types brings its own set of pros and cons, and each one can cater to a particular set of needs when it comes to kayak fishing. Let’s talk about each of them and what they bring to the table.
As electric motors have become more popular, they’ve also become more advanced.
Their main selling point is that they’re significantly quieter than their gas-powered counterparts, allowing anglers to get to their position without causing too much of a disturbance to the fish and wildlife in the area.
That being said, they’re generally a bit less powerful than gas motors, and they certainly won’t send your kayak flying down the river with superhuman speed.
But does anyone truly need capabilities like those for a fishing kayak?
Another note about electric motors is that they generally do better on flat, calm waters than on anything with a bit of chop. Electric motors usually won’t be much use when sea fishing, for example, or in rougher waters.
Outboard Gas Engine.
Gas engines have been around for quite some time, but they’re not frequently seen on kayaks. Because kayaks are generally small and lightweight, they often don’t get fitted with big motors. But it can be done. Outboard gas engines bring a level of power that many electric motors can’t match, allowing your kayak to power through uneven water and get where you need to go fairly quickly. That being said, most kayaks can only support engines of a certain power level.
Meanwhile, outboard gas engines are extremely noisy. They can disturb fish and wildlife, and generally cause a nuisance for other fishermen or locals. In the past, they were also known for pouring fumes into the sky. This issue, however, has largely been corrected as the methods of building these engines while making them eco-friendly have improved.
The Price Points.
When it comes to price, the average electric motor will cost less than the average gas-powered motor. While there is of course a range of prices based on quality of features, this rule holds generally true across the board. That being said, less expensive electric motors can be found while pricier options of outboard gas motors do exist. It’s all about finding what works best for you and your kayak.
One thing to keep in mind if considering a motorized kayak is that not all kayaks are built to handle all motors. Some cannot support the weight involved, while others simply aren’t designed to have an outboard motor attached. Other kayaks are designed with motors in mind, which is often recommended as it ensures that the kayak and motor will work well together and function safely long-term.