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Canoes Or Kayaks With Trolling Motors - More Fun Boating
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Canoes Or Kayaks With Trolling Motors  -  More Fun Boating

Paddling a kayak or canoe into the wind or rough choppy water can be very tiring especially if you are not very fit. This can take the fun out of being on the water and many people have now started using an electric trolling motor to help them get to those normally difficult to reach places.

Trolling Motor

It is easy to fix a small transom to the boat if it does not have one and although simple to construct many marine stores sell ready to install units. Getting a popular 30 to 55 pound thrust electric trolling motor is the way to go and they can push your kayak or canoe at speeds of between 2 to 4 knots, depending on the conditions.

With these transom trolling motors you will need a 12 volt, heavy-duty, deep cycle sealed marine battery with a minimum 105 amp hour rating. If affordable, invest in a low cost power centre with an installed 60 amp circuit breaker for safer and easier handling and it will also help to efficiently maintain the small, lightweight trolling motor.

Transom Mounts

Many canoes and kayaks have a transom moulded into the stern where you can mount the trolling motor. If not then it is quite simple to construct your own one to suit your needs with a piece of 20mm plywood and 40 - 50 mm square aluminium tube that has a 3mm thick wall. This is then fastened in place with u bolts, cross ways, gunnel to gunnel. If you look online you will find many examples of innovative ways people install their electric trolling motors as well as manufactured versions. When the motor is mounted on the side of the boat as in the picture, it easier to hand steer.

Built-in Rudder

If you have a kayak that has a rudder installed which you steer with foot pedals then all you do is clamp the motor in place so it is parallel with the fore and aft line of the kayak, set the speed, and off you go. If there is no rudder then you will have to hand steer.

Remember to keep the motor perpendicular to the water so that you get maximum forward drive. If the motor is in the water at an angle there will be a lot less forward thrust because the motor is then, depending on the angle, either trying to push the nose up or drive it down.

Don't Drown The Prop

If you want good performance keep the motors propeller submerged by only about 12 inches. This results in less drag produced by an otherwise long submerged shaft. Most trolling motors allow you to set the depth of the propeller. By doing this it will also help to avoid making contact with rocks on the bottom if cruising in shallow waters.

Tie Downs

It is important to tie down most of your items. If you do accidentally capsize then not much gear will be lost and most of it can be easily recovered. Try to keep the items you use most often such as the tackle box, your anchors and also paddles close at hand. This will contribute to reducing noise when fishing and helps to keep the boat steady.

Stay in Contact

Setting off on an excursions with a well sorted out canoe or kayak on rivers, lakes and calm seas whether to go fish or exploring is an absolutely wonderful way to spend time outdoors with nature. You should always wear a life jacket as well as store a cell phone in a waterproof bag or container for use in an emergency. It is good seamanship before leaving to tell someone of your intentions as a precaution just in case something goes wrong.

Now get out there before summer has passed you by.

Street Talk

This sounds like a blast, I miss fishing and need to get out more.

  about 9 years ago

Great info, especially that on how top adapt a canoe for motor use if not designed for it.

  about 9 years ago
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