How to Install an Electric Trolling Motor on a Kayak

Written by michael roennevig Google
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How to Install an Electric Trolling Motor on a Kayak
A trolling motor negates the need for a paddle. (Kayak 3 image by Vitezslav Halamka from

An electric trolling motor does much the same job for a kayak or canoe as a gas-driven outboard motor does for a larger vessel. They're battery powered, come with a number of different speed settings and are completely waterproof. Like gas-driven outboard motors, electric trolling motors come with a mounting attachment that allows the user to quickly and easily fix the unit to the back of any rigid canoe or kayak.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Drill
  • Rubber rest

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  1. 1

    Determine the dead centre of the back of your kayak. It's important that the motor is fitted in a central position to ensure that the steering mechanism will work correctly when the motor is on and the kayak is in motion.

  2. 2

    Lower the mounting bracket over the back of the boat with the motor shaft angled out of the water.

  3. 3

    Screw the mounting bracket into place, taking care not to over-tighten.

  4. 4

    Hold the motor shaft with one hand and loosen the depth adjustment screw. Alter the length of the motor shaft to the desired length, taking into consideration the depth of the water you're planning to travel on. Make sure that the propeller is not positioned too low because it will be damaged if it comes into contact with the bottom of the river or the riverbank.

  1. 1

    Identify a flat surface at the back of your kayak where you'll be able to fix the mounting ball. This should be at the centre of the vessel unless it has a rudder, in which case it should be slightly to the side.

  2. 2

    Loosen the clamps around the motor boom shaft and lengthen so that the propeller shaft will clear the back of the kayak when secured in place. Tighten the screws when complete.

  3. 3

    Fix the mounting ball to the flat surface at the back of your kayak so that the motor is placed at the centre of the vessel. Drill holes in the back of the kayak and secure it in place. If the motor shaft boom is not horizontal, support it with a rubber rest to correct its level.

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