Can I mount the trolling motor on my inflatable kayak?

Inflatable trolling motor kayak

If one compartment is punctured, you may still be able to reach shore unharmed if the other two compartments are intact.

The single-seat kayak is the cheapest, but it’s only good for a day on the lake or for children’s entertainment. This offer is pricey, and it does not always strike a good balance between cost, utility, and durability.

Three separate inflatable nylon compartments on the bottom and sides of the Itiwit model zip into pockets.

The zippered pockets are made of extremely durable woven nylon. The bottom of the canoe is lined with a plastic composite sheet that is very strong and has the same composition as truck tarps. This is the essence of canoeing.

Even though he frequently blows it up in the sun for long periods of time, a friend of mine has a Sevylor model that has lasted nine years. An inflatable kayak is the best option if you don’t have enough space to store a fixed kayak or canoe. Our canoe took 5 minutes to pack and weighed 17 pounds.

If I had to do it all over again, I’d go with the Sea Eagle 380x. The price is fair, the technical description claims a motoring-worthy thrust (34 lbs), and it is long-lasting – see the video below.

It’s time to think about choosing and installing an engine once you’ve found a boat you like.

The tractor is designed to power the boat at about 5 mph.

The speed is the same whether you have one, two, or three motors.

The main difference is that you’ll get there faster than you would with a single motor.

The benefit of a kayak trolling motor is that because these inflatable boats are streamlined and lightweight, a low-thrust (and thus low-cost) unit will suffice.

We could try out various positions around the motor mount.

A five-speed shifter is usually built into the steering shaft of less powerful trolling motors. We usually use 4th gear, which is not much slower than 5th gear and consumes 66 percent of the battery’s current when running at full speed. This means it only delivers 20 amps instead of 30 amps, affecting the battery size.

Speed setting thrust (lbs) amperage (amps)

An ESC (Electronic Speed Controller) is built in to act as a soft start switch to increase voltage and prevent current surges, keeping the battery amperage as low as possible. The ESC also comes with a remote control, which is a great feature.

You need to convert your inflatable kayak to install a trolling motor).

Although these inflatable canoes and kayaks are durable, the majority of them lack motor attachments. In my case, Itiwit, I had no choice but to build a trolling motor mount from scratch.

Some are excellent, while others are at an angle that is unsuitable for me. Make something that is sturdy, stable, and simple to work with.

An inflatable boat does not have to be so flimsy that even a novice can assemble it.

How to build a motorized inflatable boat

To begin with, an inflatable canoe’s sides are made up of large inflatable tubes that are wide in the middle and dotted in the front and back. Trolling motors are difficult to connect to this tubular structure.

Following the curve of the canoe sides, the bottom is cut along the width of the canoe.

The plywood must be attached to the bottom with everything falling off to create a stable inflatable motor mount. Then attach the wooden bottom plate and inflate the side tubes.

kayak stern motor

If your kayak has a solid bottom, a vertical bracket for the motor mount can be easily attached. The trolling motor should, in my opinion, be mounted at the stern. Perhaps this is the position that will have the most impact.

Another benefit of mounting the motor in the back is that more space is available for solar panels to charge the battery.

It performed admirably in our tests. We could turn the motor away from us or backwards using the remote controller.

The boat began to pick up speed before settling down to 3 or 4 mph. As a result, we discovered that for distance traveled and battery consumption, 80 percent of top speed (4th gear on a 5-speed manual) was optimal, but more on that in a later article.

This appeared to be a good solution, but it harmed me in multiple ways.

The procedure became a little more difficult. The motor control handle had to be modified, and a control extension had to be connected.

It was a time-consuming task that took far too long.

We finally decided to mount the traction motor on the side after much trial and error, but this proved to be difficult due to the tubes’ width.

It sits on top of the side tube as well. The bottom and sides of the boat keep this horizontal part, which serves as a crossbar for the Minkota motor mount, very stable.

Best trolling motor for inflatable kayaks?

For inflatable kayaks, the 30 pound thrust trolling motor is ideal. The large engine produces a lot of thrust and can reach a cruising speed of 5 mph quickly.

The hull of the trolling motor should be 12 inches (305 mm) above the water’s surface. A commercial trolling motor’s shaft is long enough to fit in a small boat.

A trolling motor can be powered by a car battery, but it is not designed for this purpose. A car battery should only be discharged by 5-10% of its capacity to avoid failure.

Long-cycle batteries can be used in trolling motors because they can discharge up to 80% of their capacity.

Jim Bruce is the author of the DIY Solar Blog and a former solar installer. He holds electrical engineering and education degrees.

7 Best Trolling Motor for Inflatable Boats

Best Trolling Motor for Saltwater – Newport Vessels NV Series

The shaft is made of fiberglass and the trolling motor is made of stainless steel, zinc, and magnesium. This ensures that they are ready for anything that may arise. There’s no need to be concerned about corrosion or salt contamination.

The NV Series is a great trolling motor for a variety of reasons.

There are five thrust levels to choose from, ranging from 36 to 86 lbs. This means that no matter how heavy your boat is, you’ll be able to propel it forward with ease.

Because the trolley’s shaft is adjustable, you’ll always get the perfect length. It also comes with an ergonomic telescopic handle for easy maneuverability.

You won’t have to worry about how much battery power you have left with the NV Series because it has a built-in LED battery indicator. It only takes a quick glance to see how much time is left. It’s no longer necessary to calculate charging times.

This tractor’s only flaw is that it isn’t completely waterproof. The handle and the top of the engine should never be submerged in water. In the event of heavy rain, you should always cover them.

What we find appealing about it

It’s safe to use in salt water.

Powerful and long-lasting motor

There are five different options for pulling force.

shaft that can be adjusted

The battery level is indicated by an LED.

What we don’t enjoy

Waterproofing is not complete.

Best Bow Trolling Motor – Minn Kota Terrova

Minn Kota’s Terrova bow trolling motor is hard to beat if you’re looking for a bow trolling motor.

The bow trolling motor allows you to maneuver your boat with ease. It’s simple to control and can make sharp turns when necessary.

The Terrova has a number of unique features in addition to the benefits of the bow mount. These high-tech features improve comfort on the water significantly.

The fixed point lock function is the most important of these. When the Terrova is turned on, it can use GPS to stay in one place. It is no longer necessary to bring an anchor on board.

The lock-in-place feature can come in handy when fishing. When you’ve found a good spot, activate the lock-in-place feature, and the boat will come to a complete stop. This way, you can focus entirely on catching fish rather than being concerned about being washed away.

The autopilot is another feature. This means you can choose a direction and the trolling motor will automatically push you in that direction. You are no longer required to steer and control the boat.

Furthermore, the engine is simple to extend and retract. With the spring-assisted lift, the engine can be pulled out of the water with little effort.

The Terrova, on the other hand, is only for serious boaters. It comes at an exorbitant cost. It’s not a trolling motor for the inexperienced.

Adapting it to your inflatable boat can be difficult. It’s designed for rigid boats with a flat bow already.

Minn Kota’s Terrova, on the other hand, could easily be one of your best options if you have the time and money.

What good about this …

Rigging for the bow

control of the feet

Function of a wireless remote control

Installation of a GPS signal

Autopilot mode is available.

Storage and deployment are simple.

What’s not very good …

Installing it is difficult.


How to choose a machine for trolling?

When you discover a new trolling machine, you are ecstatic. You can’t wait to get your hands on it and get out on the water with it.

Don’t go with the first trolling motor you come across.

If you do, the motor may be too weak or too heavy to do anything, and the boat will not start. It’s possible that the trolling motor is too short to submerge in the water, or that it drags on the bottom. What factors should I consider when purchasing a trolling motor for my inflatable boat?

Consider these 6 aspects:

  • Pressure

  • Tension

  • The length of the shaft

  • Mounting

  • Unit of control

  • Features

1 – Pressure

What exactly is thrust?

Thrust can be thought of as an engine’s “power.” An engine’s power is proportional to its thrust. More importantly, the more thrust the engine has, the more weight it can carry.

The weight of a thrust is measured in pounds (lbs). The right thrust for your boat is determined by a number of factors, the most important of which is weight.

A good rule of thumb is that 2 pounds of thrust are required for every 100 pounds of boat weight.

You’ll need at least 24 pounds of thrust if your RIB boat weighs around 1,200 pounds (including you and your gear). The engine can comfortably propel the boat at 3 to 4 mph with this thrust.

Conditions are also a factor. If the boat will be driven in rough seas, it will require more thrust than the minimum.

Remember that a 100-pound boat with a 2-pound draft is only suitable for calm seas. In rough seas and high winds, an engine with only minimal thrust will cause the boat to be swept away. Increase the thrust slightly if this is likely to happen.

2 – Battery

To perform to its full potential, the engine requires sufficient power. Unpleasant problems can arise if you don’t have it.

Each tractor’s 12-volt voltage necessitates the use of a battery. The higher the voltage required, the greater the thrust of the engine. If your engine is capable of pushing more than 100 pounds, you should invest in three batteries.

If you intend to fish for an extended period of time, a powerful motor is recommended. You don’t require additional power, but it is critical that your batteries last as long as possible: Three batteries will last you for a multi-day journey.

3 Shaft length

The shaft should be long enough to fully immerse the propeller in the water, but not so long that it causes the boat to slow down.

You will end up with a very inefficient engine if you do this incorrectly. Worse, the motor is incapable of moving your boat.

Although some shafts are adjustable, it’s best to know the correct length before purchasing.

On the internet, you can find a chart that will assist you in determining the correct shaft length for your boat.

4 – Mount

The most popular trolling motors are those that operate from the stern. They are the most affordable and simple to set up. A good mount for a stern trolling motor is easy to come by.

Bow trolling motors are more convenient to use, but they are also more expensive and difficult to set up. Because inflatable boats do not have a flat bow, this is especially true. A plate must be attached before a bow trolling motor can be installed. The outboard motor must be connected to the bow trolling motor (if you have one). This will allow you to switch between a loud and powerful outboard motor and a quiet and maneuverable trolling motor, similar to the one used by the Navy SEALs.

5 – Control

Both have their benefits and drawbacks. The manual controls, for starters, are more responsive. They assist in keeping the boat clean.

The second feature is the ease with which the foot controls can be operated. It also allows me to do other things with my hands.

It’s not a matter of which is superior. It’s simply a matter of personal preference.

6 – Features

It can be used with a regular tractor without issue, but having the extra features is nice.

GPS, battery indicator, and a self-steering engine are all available options. These features will make your journey more pleasant. You can unwind and unwind with these.

You will undoubtedly obtain a good trolling motor if you consider these six factors.

However, there are a plethora of trolling motors to select from. Which one is the most effective?

What you’re looking for will determine this. You are the only one who can decide which option is best for you.

Do I need to register my inflatable boat or kayak?)

At first, I thought registering an inflatable fishing boat was a bit silly. It would fit easily in the trunk of my car and is reasonably priced to begin with. Is it necessary for me to register it?

Is it necessary to register inflatable boats and kayaks as well? Although it varies by state, some states require registration even for inflatable boats without a mechanical engine. Questions about registration should be directed to your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles, but if the boat will be used on state waters, the DNR may have additional requirements. It’s difficult to say whether or not you should register your inflatable kayak. Every state may have its own set of rules and regulations, and every aspect of an inflatable boat may be crucial.

How do I know if I have registered my inflatable kayak?

You should know how to register an inflatable boat or kayak before we go over how to register an inflatable boat. Please familiarize yourself with the following information before proceeding.

the inflatable boat’s or kayak’s length

Whether you’re using a mechanical propeller or not (including motorized trolleys).

On DNR-owned land, if you’re using an inflatable boat or kayak.

Of course, this varies by state, but this information is usually sufficient to determine whether or not you need to register your inflatable kayak or boat. In most states, inflatable boats without a mechanical propeller, such as an electric tug, are exempt from boat registration requirements.

It’s worth noting that this inflatable boat has a stern thruster that can be upgraded to include a trolling motor. The legal status of this inflatable boat might have changed if it had been equipped with a trolling motor.

Note that while the Department of Motor Vehicles in some states does not require registration of inflatable cars, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) may require registration if the inflatable car is to be used on state land, such as a state park. As a result, learn about the waters where you will be operating your inflatable, as there may be specific regulations that require your inflatable to be registered for those waters.