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Motorized kayak - pros/cons

PostPosted:Tue Sep 26, 2006 9:29 am
by Bassass
I realize that motorized kayaks are controversal, but what speed can be gained by putting a 30 lb thrust on my T140 without a rudder, as compared to my leisure speed of about 4 mph paddling? I realize that the added weight will cause more drag, and the fact that the motor will be pushing from the side. I've read several posts concerning how long you can go between battery recharges, but nothing about speed. I also realize that motorized boats must be registered, at least in Texas, but it's just an idea I'm piddling with.

PostPosted:Tue Sep 26, 2006 10:50 am
by gerald
Kayaks and canoes are displacement craft. Normal speed of displacement craft is calculated at 1.34 times the square root of the waterline length. This is theoretically the point at which the transverse wave (those at a 90 degree angle to the bow and stern) equal the waterline length. The V waves the bow makes has little effect on anything. They just look purty. At the theoretical hull speed you kind of plateau out until you apply massive amounts of energy--something that humans can't do. Now--with massive amounts of energy one can begin to plane, which is where you jump over that plateau. A kayak or canoe could plane with enough horsepower, but why? If you want to plane you should get a planing, or at least semi-planing hull if that's what you want. A jon boat is a good example and I like jon boats. However I like kayaks and canoes and other displacement craft as well or better. To answer your question, you shouldn't try to go more than the 3,4, 5, or 9 miles an hour your displacement hull is designed to go. I also like the idea of electric powered displacement hulls--including kayaks. No need to do a lot of research because trolling motors are very good for this kind of stuff. I have a tentative design for a 24' wherry/whitehall type of hull using a trolling motor--one of the big ones. A little trolling motor would work well for a kayak or canoe. The only thing you need to change, at least for a larger displacement hull is the size of the prop...bigger. There are, of course, other motors and setups, but trolling motors are hard to beat for us poor folk. I use to dabble with this kind of stuff and will again in the future. Man--so much to do. So little time....(make that read money)....

Do a search on google for electric power and electric powered boats. You'll find some interesting stuff.

PostPosted:Tue Sep 26, 2006 11:03 am
by greyloon
Kayakfishingstuff.com has some good pictures of kayaks rigged for trolling motors. This seems to be theme running through paddling websites. I've seen four threads on trolling motors and kayaks just the past two days on four separate forums. For some good photos lifted from kayakfishingstuff.com, check out the last couple of pages on the thread here, titowoodys NEW BOAT. Flafish posted some good pictures of different mounts. You might want to get with him as he's rigging a kayak with a trolling motor.

A decent trolling motor is the Minn Kota 30lb thrust one, for a tiller model. I've wondered how one of the wireless foot control ones would work with a kayak. More mone, though.

PostPosted:Tue Sep 26, 2006 11:11 am
by Jerry-rigged
Somthing else to think about - to get to hull speed, you really don't need but maybe 15-20 lb thrust. The rest of the power just makes more waves. Most trolling motors have big resistors in them to control the speed. They do a good jog, but at 1/2 throttle, they are wasting about 1/2 the enegery used (on that resistor) There was a line of trolling motors called Maxxum ( I think) that had a electronic speed controller for the motor - it was WAY more effecent at the lower throttle speeds. A "Standard" 40lb trolling motor lasts about 4 hours at 1/2 speed, the Maxxam motors easly doubled that.

Jerry

PostPosted:Tue Sep 26, 2006 11:23 am
by greyloon
Variable control, or risistor type trolling motors are nice, but difficult to find in tiller models for a reasonable price. I believe Minn Kota used to make one. When I had a trolling motor on my canoe, I usually just set it at a medium low speed and cruised. It would move pretty good, but just cruising was nice. Got tired of lugging the motor and battery back and forth to the canoe from the truck, though. It added extra trips to the too mnay I already make because I forget my sunglasses, or my life jacket, or my paddle, or the cell...that's a good thing to forget. Maybe I'm getting old and need to make a list...probably just forget that too.

PostPosted:Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:40 pm
by Austin Canoe & Kayak
The biggest con I see is the fact you then have to register your kayak.

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishboat/bo ... istration/

While it is only $30 it is a pain, you have to get a title and register it...

ACK
www.austinkayak.com

Get a gas motor instead

PostPosted:Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:56 pm
by scott_home
I have tried both electric-powered and gas-powered canoes. Gas motor is a better choice. Portable gas motor weighs around 25 lbs while a a battery alone weighs 50+ lbs. Also, it is really cumbersome to run the power cable inside your boat.

I use the motor to run from point A to point B. Then I use the paddle to adjust the position of the boat. So the slow speed of a trolling motor does not give me any benefit. But if you decided to use a trolling motor, you should get one with variable speed. Minn Kota has one model called 28 MX (28 pound with Maximizer). It comes up on eBay once in a while. Good luck!


sf

PostPosted:Tue Sep 26, 2006 3:18 pm
by Strider
I guess it has everything to do with what kind of water you intend to fish. One of the hangups I have with the pedal drive system (which would otherwise serve me great) is the problem with shallow water operation. I know you can take it out, but when you're going from deep, to shallow, to deep, to shallow, as in the types of rivers I fish, that would be a lot of taking in and out.

The same problem would exist with a trolling motor, although it would be easier to raise and lower as the situation arose. There's also the issue of noise. One of the great advantages to kayak fishing is the stealth with which fish can be approached. A spinning trolling motor blade hitting a submerged branch or rock makes a lot of noise. Then again, if you were using it only in deep water this wouldn't be a problem.

One other problem I can think of is motor/battery failure. Lets say you run 5 or 6 miles reqularly and then one day lose your motor on the way back. Since you haven't been paddling lately, are you going to have the stamina to paddle back? Add to that the extra weight of the battery and motor.

I admit the idea is intriguing, but my personal view is that it puts you right back in the powerboat bracket, with all of the associated problems. What my grandfather used to call "too much sugar for a dime". My .02.

Kim

PostPosted:Tue Sep 26, 2006 11:46 pm
by greyloon
The motor can present a problem if the shaft or propeller gets hung up. You'be got to be able to lean back and undo it, or even get out. I wouldn't expect that to be common.

PostPosted:Wed Sep 27, 2006 6:37 pm
by Bankshot
I'm still waiting for the X-factor SD (stealth drive) which is suppose to address the most common inconveniences of motorized kayaking.

Re: Motorized kayak - pros/cons

PostPosted:Wed Sep 27, 2006 9:23 pm
by George T
Jim Winton wrote:I realize that motorized kayaks are controversal, but what speed can be gained by putting a 30 lb thrust on my T140 without a rudder, as compared to my leisure speed of about 4 mph paddling? I realize that the added weight will cause more drag, and the fact that the motor will be pushing from the side. I've read several posts concerning how long you can go between battery recharges, but nothing about speed. I also realize that motorized boats must be registered, at least in Texas, but it's just an idea I'm piddling with.


Here's what I did:http://home.earthlink.net/~g.teague/id11.html

And later on I added some more equipment for lake fishin'. This gizmo works great and have had zero problems using it. Read the update at the bottom about catchin' some fish using it. http://kayakfishing.suddenlaunch3.com/index.cgi?board=reports&action=display&num=1157635629

Another little add on. Worked pretty well but need to modify as it cut half mile per hour off of top speed. That's no good, nicht wahr? http://kayakfishing.suddenlaunch3.com/index.cgi?board=kayak&action=display&num=1158953454

I only fish lakes mostly for stripers and hybrid bass. This set up works very well. The downrigger has caused absolutely no problems. Would not use one on a river though. Asking for trouble. My downrigger has a drag setting so when you run your ball into a submerged tree or something it just pays out line til you shut off the motor. This has happened and it worked perfectly. Hardly even tilted the kayak. I have run with two 55 lb batteries. Makes for a 10 hour day of trolling, no problem. I now only use one battery as I need room for a large cooler to keep fish in. Yes, I am a fish catcher/eater. And I do successfully catch fish regularly with this set up. It takes me about 15 minutes to get the kayak off the roof and set it up with all the equipment and take down about the same. Yes it is a hassle to carry the battery about 20 feet to the kayak and back to the garage when I get home to recharge it. But nowhere near the effort it takes to paddle against the wind for two miles in choppy water. No comparison. I have had to paddle home once as my battery was used up. They run the trolling motor powerfully up until they get a little low then they lose power fast. I have now made it a rule to head for the ramp after 5 hours no matter how well they are biting. Yes it was exhausting as I hadn't been paddling much. But I made it and resolved to not let that happen again. I also make it a point to paddle at least 1 mile every time I go out. Doesn't sound like much but I am moving a heavy kayak. I found that with the trolling motor the kayak won't go much faster than you can paddle it. About 4.7 to 5.1 mph (GPS) which is about hull speed for the Twin Otter. I have been on the lake with this kayak in 10 to 15 mph winds. It is a rough ride but only got a little wet and no more water in the kayak than my sponge could handle. I do another "controversial" thing. I wear breathable chest high waders with sock feet and they are great. I wear some cheap water shoes that work well on slanted concrete ramps. Have worn the waders all day on 90 plus degree days and will continue to wear them. I use two belts, one at the waist and one at the chest and of course always have my PFD on. Oh yeah, I have tried two different props that were touted to enhance speed and performance. Neither one did that and actually lost speed. So stick to the stock trolling motor. They are already optimized. The Endura by Minn Kota runs a long time. Highly recommned. If you can handle the weight go with the Group 27 size battery. About 55 libs. You don't save a lot on weight by going with the Group 24 size battery. This is my info for you and will not defend any of it that might be deemed "controversial". Hope this helps.

PostPosted:Wed Sep 27, 2006 9:56 pm
by gerald
Interesting. Nice job. Thanks for posting. Lot of good information there.

PostPosted:Wed Sep 27, 2006 11:50 pm
by greyloon
I've given some thought to a trolling motor on my 9.6' Necky Sky. It has the big rec boat cockpit and the stern deck is flat, ideal for installing a mount. But, don't want to register it.

Re: Motorized kayak - pros/cons

PostPosted:Thu Sep 28, 2006 8:46 am
by gyoung
George T wrote:Here's what I did:http://home.earthlink.net/~g.teague/id11.html


You certainly have more time on your hands than I do... what's your secret?
I love your camper setup! but I prefer to stay out of the RV parks and more rural. I could probably do that with the right battery and solar setup. Only question for you is how loud is your setup (is the air conditioner noisy?). I hate generators as the alway's our loud and noisy... would prefer a more quite environment.

Your wheels looks small for your trailer... run into any problems thier (is it a single axle)?

PostPosted:Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:19 am
by Strider
George T's fishing conditions fully warrant the use of other than human power I'd say, and make for a great example of when power should be be considered. Anyone covering long distances on deep, open water (such as striper fishing requires) would benefit from adding power to their yaks. I'd say to make sure you have a rescue plan just in case any of the equipment craters though!

Great lookin' setup, George T.

Kim

PostPosted:Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:45 am
by George T
gyoung...........I am retired from UT at Austin. Got time on my hands. The air conditioner is not whisper quiet but I have paid big bucks for a hotel room with a louder AC unit. :? It is tolerable, but bottom line is.....it does keep the camper nice and cool. Sometimes during the day I leave the back door to the camper open and it knocks the temp down to tolerable in the attached Sportz tent. At night you have to turn it down. No problem towing and no problem with wheels, stock tires and bearings. If you are interested in this type of trailer for dry camping visit this site:http://www.mikenchell.com/forums/

Strider......Safety is always an issue. I always take the time to pray before I go on the water. Pray for safety on the water, security of my parked vehicle, security for my wife and daughter back home, and of course for a successful (cooler full) fish catching day and that I keep my line out of my trolling motor prop. :wink: A couple of weeks ago I set out and trolled for 5 hours at Canyon Lake. I parked in a fairly active launch parking lot. When I came back I discovered that I had left my hatchback upper door wide open. :oops: Tow vehicles were parked on either side and all around. There were some expensive small items in the car in plain sight. Nothing was missing. I attribute that to answered prayer. Additionally, I didn't mention that I have oversize bow and stern float bags installed. :D

PostPosted:Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:55 am
by greyloon
GeorgeT's rigging is well thought out, one of the best trolling motor driven rigs I've seen. the Twin Otter is a good candidate for that type of set up. Its wide and stable, and, like most Old Town kayaks, tracks pretty true. Old Town makes the Predator K140 that's oriented to the waterfowl crowd as well as fishermen. Its the Twin Otter in camaflouge and set up for solo paddling. A duck hunter or fisherman needing/wanting a motor operated kayak couldn't do better than to follow GeorgeT's example.

PostPosted:Sat Sep 30, 2006 10:35 pm
by titowoody
George T

Job well done sir. Can't wait to follow your lead on my future SOT.

Thanks for great pics.

Titowoody

Re: Motorized kayak - pros/cons

PostPosted:Sun Sep 27, 2020 4:54 am
by jessicaherron
Consider your problem is simplified. I'm using an electric fishing kayak for months that is able to provide speed up to 7 miles per hour. Wondering? Well, the model I'm using is the Fissot Newest 1-Person Folding Canoe Fishing Jet Plastic Kayak. Then it comes to the battery capacity. I'm really satisfied with it's more than 3 hours of backup. In spite of being equipped with a speed controller, it is able to provide a decent cruise speed. Well, note some of the dark sides of this model- the price is competitively high from the modern electric kayaks and not all the storages are waterproof.