How to Mount a Trolling Motor on a Kayak

How to Mount a Trolling Motor on a Kayak

Trolling motors are a game-changer for salt or freshwater kayaks. The fun part is that you can do the job yourself. Most motors used for kayaks help propel the boat at high speeds for more extended periods. If you were to paddle for so long, your arms would ache out of exhaustion. 

With a trolling motor, you can save the energy you’d spend paddling and use it to catch more fish. These are some of the many reasons many anglers prefer to equip their kayaks with a trolling motor. 

In this post, you will learn how to mount a trolling motor on your kayak. 

Things You’ll Need to Install a Kayak Trolling Motor

Installing a trolling motor on your kayak is usually pretty simple regardless of where you may mount it. In addition, you do not need any special tools to complete the process. In fact, you can mount the motor efficiently in about an hour. 

The tools and gear you may need for installing the motor differ depending on kayak models. In addition, the trolling motor you have and the area where your wish to install the kayak also affects the mounting technique.

The kayak and trolling motor brands vary significantly. Therefore, you should double-check their compatibility to ensure a perfect fit. 

Here is some common equipment you may need to install a trolling motor:

Trolling Motor

Of course, you can’t mount a trolling motor without buying it, right? Thus, picking the right motor for your kayak is critical for the installation process. If you get your hands on the right trolling motor, you can mount it on the kayak in no time. 

Trolling Motor Battery

To run the trolling motor, you need the battery that’s light in weight. If it is bulky, you may overload your kayak and make it unstable. 

Battery Box

Keeping your motor’s battery inside a battery box is the best move to protect it. You can secure the battery by adding straps to keep it in place. As a result, it won’t dare to slide around when you’re trolling to catch fish. 

An Impact or Drill

To insert screws and drill holes, you may require a drill or an impact. However, an impact and drill aren’t necessary for all trolling motors. Yet, it’s nice to have them on hand in case you need them.

Quick-Release Mounting Bracket

Bow mount trolling motors require a quick-release mounting bracket. It allows you to separate the trolling motor from your kayak for transferring it.

Wiring Kit

With less mess and hassle, you can use a wiring kit to wire your motor. Although it’s unnecessary to buy, it can make your work easier. 

Waterproof Sealant or Silicone

Silicone or any form of sealant is excellent for applying to and around the holes and screws. This can ensure the water stays out of your kayak. Just a small tube can be sufficient for prolonged use. 

Steps for Mounting a Trolling Motor on Your Kayak

If you own an excellent fishing kayak, you may have several locations to install a trolling motor. This is because the fishing kayak makers have engineered their boats to be as adaptable as the anglers, making trolling motor installation a breeze.

But, if you own a recreational kayak that isn’t specifically built for fishing, attaching a trolling motor may be a bit tricky. However, you should not worry since no job is impossible for the average handyman. 

Before you buy any trolling motor, you should check if your kayak is compatible. Otherwise, you’ll need to put in a lot of effort into installing the motor. 

Regardless, you can install a trolling motor on your kayak in three main spots. These include: 

  • Stern/transom
  • Motor bracket
  • Bow

We’ll be shedding light on the easiest way to install the trolling motor in this post. 

Installing a Kayak Trolling Motor in the Transom 

You can install a trolling motor on your kayak’s stern in no time if you follow the steps carefully. But first, you must ensure you’ve got the right kit for mounting the motor and that your kayak and trolling motor are a perfect match. 

The majority of inflatable kayaks may need a stern mount motor. However, they are not the only motor you can get for your kayak. To start installing your kayak trolling motor, follow these steps:

1.Place the Motor Firmly

Firstly, you’d need to place your motor’s bracket onto the kayak’s stern. You should ensure that the motor mount is sliding straight down the kayak’s flat rear area. Once the frame is in position, you can tighten the wing bolts with your hands. 

However, you must not tighten one side completely unless you start tightening the other. Otherwise, your motor may sit crooked or recline to a side of the stern.

2.Power it Up

Connect the motor to a power source. If you’re planning to install the batteries in the rear of the kayak, you won’t need to drill holes for wiring unless you’re ready to clean the mess.

In contrast, if your motor’s battery is located, you’ll need to buy a kit for wiring and drill some holes for the plugs. Then, once you’ve run the wires and connected everything, you can test the motor to make sure it’s operating.

3.Time for a Test Ride

Once you’re done with all the steps, your kayak is ready for a test ride. For this, you can go to any nearby water body and ride your newly mounted kayak trolling motor. 

Now, you may wish there was an easier way to lower and raise your kayak into water or alter your steering techniques. However, you can customize your motor in several ways after installing it to enjoy fishing and kayaking at best. 

Final Thoughts

Regardless of what trolling motor you choose for your kayak, you should expect a significant improvement in your fishing experience. If you use an electric kayak, you can avoid paddling all the time and focus on enjoying the fishing trip and avoid fatigue.

You can also mount your trolling motor on other areas of the kayak. However, their installation method is somewhat tricky. If you’re a beginner, mounting the motor on the transom is a great idea. 

Warwick Braith

Warwick Braith is a thrill seeker at heart. He loves getting outdoors and testing his limits in the wild. As a blogger for YapQ, Warwick provides readers with insights and tips on how to get the most out of their outdoor experiences. Whether it's hiking, camping, or simply exploring nature, Warwick knows how to make the most of it.

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