Kayak Trolling Motor Mount: How To Install a Kayak Motor

Anyone can do a trolling motor mount for a kayak, and it’s a game-changer. Kayak anglers frequently install or mount a trolling motor on their kayak. It’s also an excellent approach for someone who wants to cover a lot of ground quickly without lifting their kayak paddle. In this blog, I will discuss trolling motor mount ideas.

What Is a Kayak Trolling Motor Mount? 

kayak trolling motor mount
Kayak trolling motor mount

A trolling motor is a miniature motor that lets you move your boat over the water without paddling and disturbing the fish or other wildlife. Trolling motor mounts for kayaks are used for fishing, and some kayakers prefer to have one on hand in case they become weary of paddling.

Although many trolling motors are battery-powered, some run on gasoline or diesel. Most of them feature a simple hand or foot control, and a few include a remote control.

There are a few things to note with the kayak trolling motor mount.

  • Kind of mount (if any) that the kayak has
  • The size of trolling motor you require and prefer for your kayak
  • Trolling motor and mounting apparatus weight
  • The amount of power you want for your kayak’s trolling motor

If you’re looking to update your adventures with a brand new kayak, here are some of the different types of kayak to try out.

1) With a Kayak Trolling Motor Mount Size Matters

The power of a Kayak Trolling Motor Mount is measured. The greater the trolling motor, the more thrust it will have.

A kayak’s rear area is not designed to handle a sizeable kayak trolling motor mount. Because a kayak isn’t extremely heavy, it doesn’t require a powerful motor.

Every 2 pounds of thrust can drive 100 pounds. This means that a 200-pound person carrying 100 pounds of gear with a 50-pound kayak only needs 7 pounds of power. A small trolling motor with a 30-pound push will be enough for your kayak.

2) Mounting Systems to Know About

Some include a kayak trolling motor mount, while others do not. You’ll want to look at it before figuring out how you’ll mount your kayak.

Ultimately, you may discover that some motors operate better with your specific mount.

3) The Weight of The Motor

motor mount kayak
Kayak with a motor mount

You’ll want to acquire the lightest kayak trolling motor mount feasible if you want to carry your kayak and motor to the water. This is especially true if your kayak isn’t designed to carry much weight.

4) The Power System

You’ll need a battery to power a trolling motor since it runs on electricity. When picking a kayak trolling motor mount, remember to factor in the weight of the battery.

  • Power Systems for Trolling Motors

A 12-volt battery powers the majority of trolling motors. Typically, this battery is a marine battery, which can be pretty heavy.

However, because you’ll be mounting your battery on a kayak, you’ll want to pick the lightest battery feasible.

Types of Kayak Trolling Motor Mount

Different kayak trolling motor mount types
Different kayak trolling motor mount types

The kind and power of the kayak trolling motor mount you intend to use and the type of boat you have will determine the kayak trolling motor mount you’ll require. You can purchase a motor mount kit or build your own. Different types of mounting for inflatable kayaks are commonly available. Because you can’t drill into an inflatable hull, you’ll probably be limited in where you can put a motor.

Many kayak trolling motor mount types are transom mounts, which means the motor is attached to the back of the kayak. Bow mounts are also available, allowing you to attach your trolling motor in front of your yak. The location of your mount is frequently determined by the type of your boat, mounting space availability, and personal choice.

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Compatibility

Purchasing a kayak trolling motor mount for some motors can be a safer alternative because they are designed for that purpose and are usually rated to handle a motor with specific power or thrust rating. So make sure the kayak trolling motor mount you choose is appropriate for the power of your motor.

Not all mounts are suitable for all boats. Because of how it’s attached to the vessel and the difference in the form or size of the hull, a mount for an inflatable yak may not be compatible with a standard kayak.

Kayak Trolling Motor Mount Features

The security of your vessel is an essential element of a trolling motor mount. If it isn’t, you risk losing your motor. Stability will undoubtedly be required to maintain complete control of your motor without the mount shifting.

Is It Possible to Mount a Trolling Motor on Any Kayak?

Sea kayaking
Sea kayaking

A kayak trolling motor mount may already be available on some kayaks. Others aren’t. You can mount a motor on either kayak, but it will be more difficult without one.

Furthermore, trolling motors are not recommended for racing kayaks or kayaks explicitly intended for whitewater use. Any consumer or recreational kayak, on the other hand, should be able to accommodate a trolling motor.

What Trolling Motor Size Do I Require for My Kayak?

Trolling motors have a thrust rating that indicates how powerful they are. Because kayaks are small and light, they do not require huge trolling motors.

A trolling motor with 2 pounds of thrust can move 100 pounds. An engine with 8 pounds of thrust would suffice for a 250-pound person with 100 pounds of gear and a 50-pound kayak. With roughly 30 pounds of thrust, even the smallest trolling motors will be too powerful for your kayak.

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How To Mount A Trolling Motor On A Kayak?

Kayak Motor Mount: Choose Mounting Location

Before you go out and buy a trolling motor and all of the accessories that go with it, you’ll need to figure out where you want to mount it on your kayak. Kayak trolling motors can be mounted on your kayak’s stern, bow, or gunwales.

The advantage of mounting your kayak’s motor on the gunwale is that you’ll have easier access to it while still sitting comfortably on your seat.

Assume that the motor is mounted on the bow or stern of the top fishing kayaks. You’ll almost certainly need a motor with remote control or the ability to connect to your kayak’s foot braces to correct course while on the water.

However, in some circumstances, having a motor mounted on the side of your kayak can cause navigational challenges.

Because your kayak’s motor provides greater thrust on one side than the other, changing your motor to make it move straight or in the direction you desire may take some practice.

Choose A Compatible Motor Mount

The reality is that you’ll need a compatible motor mount to install a trolling motor on a kayak. The trolling motor is held in place by the motor mount, which attaches to your kayak.

There are several different mounts on the market. Some are meant to attach your kayak’s bow or stern, while others allow you to attach your trolling motor to the side.

However, compatibility with your trolling motor and kayak is crucial when choosing a motor mount. If you want to install your motor on the side of your kayak, for example, you’ll need a mount that suits the width of your kayak.

If you choose a motor mount designed to attach to the bow or stern of your kayak, make sure the mounting clamps or bolts are suitable for your kayak’s bow or stern design.

Attach the Propeller To The Motor

Whitewater kayaking
Whitewater kayaking

Unfortunately, most trolling motors do not come with a propeller. This is mainly for safety and to protect the propeller from damage during shipment to your area.

Installation of a kayak trolling motor mount should be pretty simple if your purchase trolling motor comes with a compatible propeller. The best way to ensure proper installation is to refer to the motor’s manufacturer’s instructions.

However, a propeller is not included with every motor. Some need you to find and install a compatible aftermarket propeller on your own.

Mount Motor To Kayak

Now that you have your motor and compatible mount it’s time to mount everything to your kayak. If your chosen kayak trolling motor mount comes with clamps, you’ll need to secure them to the gunwales of your kayak to keep it in place.

You might be able to use clamps to secure it to a molded-in handle if you choose a mount that attaches to the bow or stern of your kayak. However, it’s more likely that you’ll need to drill holes in your kayak to secure the mount.

You’ll then secure your mount to the bow or stern of your kayak with bolt-and-nut combinations.

Build Steering Linkages

Kayaking in lakes
Kayaking in lakes

If you choose to mount your kayak trolling motor on the bow or stern, proceed to the following step. You’ll be able to steer your motor with your hands if you choose a gunwale mounting location. There will be no need to attach steering linkages.

Mounting your motor on the stern or bow of your kayak is the ideal way to go if you want hands-free operation for kayak fishing or other uses. However, you will need to construct the necessary steering linkages.

Wire Motor to Marine Battery

Now it’s time to wire your motor to your deep-cycle marine battery so you can test it out before putting it out on the water. Fortunately, these motors’ wiring isn’t overly complicated.

  • Remove the cap (or ‘head’) on the top of the motor to reveal the wiring and other electrical components.
  • The internal wires will be colored differently depending on the motor you choose.
  • To locate the two wires you’ll attach to your marine battery, you’ll need to consult the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • One wire will be used as a ground, while the other will be used as a hot lead. While black is a typical ground color and red is often associated with a hot lead, it’s important to note that both colors might vary according to the manufacturer. So, when working with electricity, don’t neglect any needed reading!

If the verbiage in the instruction manual that came with your motor leaves you confused, look for YouTube videos explaining your particular motor’s wiring process. This is a great way to obtain a visual aid for the wire installation.

After you’ve connected all of the appropriate wires and checked the motor’s functionality, make sure everything is watertight.

Take your trolling motor out and test it after you’ve mounted it to your kayak. Before declaring your project complete, double-check that everything is working as it should. You can go further and take more gear with a trolling motor on your kayak than ever before. Fortunately, adding the motor is a simple and quick task.

Advantages of Using a Kayak Trolling Motor Mount

kayak trolling motor mount and accessories
kayak trolling motor mount and accessories

1. Great For Covering More Areas

If you’re fishing or kayaking on a vast lake, a troller motor can carry you and your kayak faster than paddling from point A to point B.

When fishing from a kayak, you can explore different areas of a larger body of water, such as a lake, and save time going to and from your destination.

2. Easily Get Upstream

Paddling upstream can be exhausting at times, as anyone who has spent time kayaking knows.

Fighting an active current is a great workout, but if your primary motivation for reaching upstream isn’t fitness, it can be a long journey chevalier.

Adding a kayak trolling motor mount eliminates the hassle of moving your kayak upstream quickly. Many individuals enjoy paddling upstream with their trolling motor, then drifting downstream to fish, paddle, or simply relax.

3. Spend Less Energy

Kayaking on flat waters
Kayaking on flat waters

Kayaking is a terrific way to get some exercise. However, if you’ve been paddling all day in the scorching sun, you might need to take a rest.

Using a trolling motor to supplement paddling sessions can save you energy during a long kayak trip.

4. Haul More Gear

Kayak in a lake
Kayak in a lake

Packing a kayak with many camping or fishing supplies is a challenge. In the water, the more gear you have in your kayak, the more cumbersome and slow it will be.

This means that paddling to your destination may require significantly more time and effort. If you have a lot of extra gear to lug, a kayak trolling motor will be a huge help.

Before you go, check out the best kayak accessories that will make your kayaking adventures a blast!

Conclusion

If you want to fish or have more control over the water, a trolling motor might be a valuable addition to your kayak. Even so, you’ll almost always need a motor mount before you can attach the motor.

Remember to consider the type of mount you’ll require for your engine’s power and whether or not the mount is suitable for your kayak. Regardless of how you mount your trolling motor, it will vastly improve your fishing experience. Instead of paddling all day, use an electric kayak to reduce fatigue and spend more time on the water.

If you want to find out more about boats or what it’s like on the water, or if you have any questions any other SUP boards, feel free to leave a comment and follow us on our Facebook and Instagram pages. We’re always happy to help! 

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Review written by: Tom

Hi! My name is Tom. During the year I try to be on a paddle board as much as possible. By reading this blog you'll stay updated on everything I test on the water :)