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Up to date Mar 8, 2023 1:13 PM

Kayak motors can flip a ship that excels in shallow water right into a vessel able to dealing with open water situations, wind, and extra. The great thing about kayaks is they’re straightforward to move, might be launched from wherever, and are inexpensive. As well as, they’ve all the time provided anglers a stealthy method into areas different boats can’t attain. The one difficulty is attending to these areas, particularly on huge water our bodies. A current surge of nice kayak trolling motors opens up many choices for anglers, together with some spectacular offshore fashions. These motors allow anglers to maneuver quick, cowl water, and, when the time comes, increase the motor and sneak up on fish. Listed below are our picks for one of the best kayak motors in 2023.

How We Made Our Picks

I’ve spent extra hours paddling kayaks to distant honey holes and marshes than I care to confess. After grueling paddles, I all the time surprise why I don’t have a motor on my kayak. To save lots of my again and get to spots faster, I examined each variation of a kayak motor. These motors needed to get me the place I wanted however keep out of the best way when its time to fish. I evaluated my choices on the next standards:

  • Pace: What’s the prime velocity of the motor?
  • Stowing: Does it stow away to fish in shallow water?
  • Battery Life: How lengthy does the battery life final, and what battery is required?
  • Steering: How do you management the motor?
  • Weight: How heavy is the motor and battery mixture?
  • Sturdiness: Is the motor constructed to resist many fishing seasons?

Greatest Kayak Motors: Evaluations & Suggestions

Greatest General: MotorGuide Xi3 Freshwater Kayak Trolling Motor

Key Options

  • Steering Management: Wi-fi distant
  • Battery Sort: 12-volt system with a lead acid or lithium-ion battery
  • Weight: 40 lbs.


  • Quiet motor
  • Simply managed with a wi-fi distant
  • 55 lbs of thrust strikes kayaks effectively


Conventional trolling motors are gaining reputation within the kayak fishing world. They provide one of the best compromise between velocity and management. The MotorGuide Xi3 Freshwater Kayak motor is constructed like the usual Xi3 however in a kayak-sized package deal. The shaft size is 36 inches lengthy and simple to deploy. It’s the excellent size to function in numerous depths and takes up minimal house when raised. Just like its huge boat counterparts, a easy wi-fi distant operates it. The 5-button format permits customers to steer left and proper, management their velocity, and swap it on and off. Varied batteries are appropriate to energy this 12-volt system however lithium-ion batteries will maximize efficiency. The system can be NMEA 2000 appropriate and able to be paired with constitution plotters for final management.

Greatest Compact: Bixpy Outboard Motor Equipment

Bixpy kayak Motor

Key Options

  • Steering Management: Wi-fi distant
  • Battery Sort: Bixby Outboard Battery
  • Weight: 9 lbs.


  • Light-weight 
  • Could be mounted on nearly any private watercraft
  • Ahead and reverse


  • It runs on a proprietary battery

At simply 9 kilos for battery and motor, the Bixpy is a marvel of engineering. The tiny however highly effective kayak outboard motor runs off an identical lithium-ion battery and generates 30 kilos of thrust. Ahead and reverse speeds are managed with a wi-fi distant (which floats). This robust little unit can be waterproof and dirt-proof. The modular motor can shortly transfer between kayaks or connect to a standup paddleboard. The battery solely powers the motor at full velocity for 75 minutes, however the compact jet will run for 10 hours at a sluggish velocity. Bixpy matches the system with numerous equipment, making it straightforward to put in on nearly any kayak.

Greatest for Pace: Newport NK180 Kayak Trolling Motor w/ Mounting & Steering Bracket Equipment

Newport Vessels NK180 Kayak Trolling Motor

Key Options

  • Steering Management: Rudder steering or paddle steering
  • Battery Sort: 24V Lithium, AGM, or Lead Acid Deep Cycle Batteries
  • Weight: 18 lbs.


  • Simply mounts on quite a lot of kayaks
  • Far vary 
  • Intuitive controls, together with reverse and deploy


  • Requires a 24-volt battery system

Stern mount kayak motors are nice for anglers trying to cowl loads of water shortly. Newport’s NK180 is a strong and inexpensive choice appropriate with most vessels. The set up is comparatively simple; 4 bolts mount the motor plate to the again of your kayak. It’s powered by a 24-volt battery system able to touring as much as 63 miles on a single cost. Anglers can drop in a single 24-volt battery or two 12-volt batteries rigged in collection. Two batteries are heavy, so be certain your kayak is massive sufficient to deal with the additional weight and has the storage for the batteries. Not like conventional trolling motors, the motor will get mounted in a set place. Anglers can use a rudder for hands-free steering or a paddle to manage the boat. Come time to fish, a hands-free pulley means that you can increase the motor with out reaching behind your self.

Greatest for Saltwater: MotorGuide Xi3 Kayak Saltwater Trolling Motor with Pinpoint GPS

MotorGuide Xi3 Kayak Saltwater Bow Mount Trolling Motor

Key Options

  • Steering Management: Distant management
  • Battery Sort: 12-volt system
  • Weight: 42 kilos


  • Saltwater succesful
  • Exact management
  • GPS locking capabilities


  • GPS locking will increase the associated fee

Like MotorGuide’s Xi3 Freshwater motor, the Xi3 Kayak Saltwater motor is constructed with kayak anglers in thoughts. It options the identical 36-inch shaft and runs off a 12-volt battery system. Measurement-wise, it suits most ten to 12 ft fishing kayaks and is easy to function. The GPS locking function makes the distant a bit of extra sophisticated, however you’ll be grateful you could have it. My largest difficulty with kayak fishing is retaining a small boat in place whereas I fish. Even the slightest wind or present makes staying on prime of construction or education fish a problem. The Xi3 permits anglers to click on one button, and the motor will maintain you locked in place irrespective of the situations. This unit is able to pair with Lowrance, Simrad, and Mercury fish finders for these wanting final management. Anglers can navigate by recording tracks and dropping waypoints to anchor on.

Greatest Price range: Minn Kota Endura C2 Transom

Minn Kota Endura C2 Trolling Motor with Battery Meter

Key Options

  • Steering Management: Handheld tiller management
  • Battery Sort: 12-volt system
  • Weight: 25 kilos


  • Inexpensive
  • Moderately light-weight
  • Simple to put in


Most fishing kayaks have a squared-off finish excellent for transom mount motors just like the Minn Kota Endura C2. This motor is an inexpensive technique of protecting massive water our bodies. The mount is a straightforward C-clamp model and might be eliminated with the twist of two bolts. Like most small outboards, this can be a tiller-style motor. The deal with controls the throttle and steering path. This motor comes prepared with ahead and reverse and a built-in tiller extension. On longer kayaks, the extension means that you can function the motor with minimal pressure. At 1 / 4 of the value of most kayak motors, the C2 is a superb choice to get to the areas you intend to fish. As soon as there, I usually fold the motor up and begin paddling.

Issues to Take into account Earlier than Shopping for the Greatest Kayak Motors

Kayaks excel at entering into shallow water areas. Nonetheless, relating to huge water, steering and paddling develop into a burden when the wind picks up. A kayak motor offers you the instruments to navigate open water comfortably with out compromising your shallow water capabilities. Listed below are some issues to contemplate earlier than shopping for:

Kayak Sort

There are two sorts of kayaks in the marketplace, sit-on-top and sit-in kayaks. Whereas sit-in kayaks can be utilized for fishing, they’re finest for paddling. Sit on tops give anglers a steady space to forged from and extra room for gear. As well as, they will deal with the added weight of a motor and battery setup. The one draw back is they’re heavier and will require aftermarket wheels to maneuver round. That stated, any devoted kayak angler ought to look to a sit-on-top fishing kayak.

Battery Sort

With current developments in battery know-how, numerous battery selections exist. The most well-liked are lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries. Lead-acid batteries have lengthy been the usual for trolling motors. They provide respectable battery life at an inexpensive value and are available. Just lately, lithium-ion batteries have flooded the market. This new know-how is just like that of electrical automobiles. The lithium cells provide steady output throughout their vary, important weight discount, and longer run occasions. The one draw back is the value. 

Sure kayak motors include proprietary batteries. These batteries work nice with motors however are a ache to interchange in the event that they ever go down. If I want one in a pinch, I desire to search for motors that may take a variety of batteries.


Kayaks are as small as you will get in boating. This implies total weight capability is one thing it’s essential to take into account. Your kayak could also be near its capability between an angler, gear, and the added weight of a motor and battery. When you’re debating including a motor, guarantee your alternative retains you underneath the restrict. For these trying to purchase a kayak, favor bigger fashions within the twelve ft vary. These can carry greater than sufficient weight for a totally rigged boat.


Q: What dimension kayak motor do I want for a kayak?

Some of the essential concerns for selecting a kayak motor is choosing the right shaft size. Kayaks sit low within the water, and anglers need to chase fish in shallow water, the rule of thumb is to decide on the shortest shaft accessible. A shorter shaft additionally takes up much less deck house when the motor is retracted.

Q: How a lot thrust do you should transfer a kayak?

An electrical motor’s energy is measured in kilos of thrust. Motors vary from 30 to over 70 kilos of thrust to push all the pieces from a kayak to an offshore middle console. Most anglers select a 30-pound motor that may push the kayak at a decent velocity with out shortly draining the battery. Bigger kayaks, loaded with gear and electronics, require a extra highly effective 50-pound motor. The problem is balancing motor energy with battery energy and weight. To fish all day, larger thrust requires a bigger battery. For a gasoline powered outboard, the smallest mannequin accessible shall be greater than highly effective sufficient to push any kayak. Electrical outboard batteries are measured in watt hours; a 915 Wh motor is really helpful for large boats and large fishing plans.

Q: How briskly is a kayak with a motor?

On an excellent day, a paddle angler will common three miles per hour and a pedal kayak might be propelled to 5 miles per hour. Electrical and gasoline motors will push a kayak at over seven miles per hour, with some fashions able to reaching double digit speeds. However the sooner the motor goes, the sooner it drains battery energy or gasoline. The trick is to search out the candy spot the place the kayak travels on the best velocity. Exams have proven that slicing velocity 20 % can enhance vary 80 %. It’s tempting to drop the hammer and zoom at full blast, however you may find yourself paddling house on a useless battery or empty tank.

The Greatest Kayak Motors: Remaining Ideas

Search for a motor that has a pedigree of efficiency and reliability. Then, resolve what dimension motor will finest fit your wants. Calculate how far do you intend to go and the way lengthy the motor will run. Then, match the dimensions of the motor to the dimensions of the kayak. As soon as this equation is solved, one of the best kayak motor will rise to the highest.

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