Can You Put A Motor On A Kayak? Detailed Guide – 2022

It is also called a paddle-assisted device that uses an electric motor to generate thrust for propelling a kayaker or small boat through the water. The most common type of paddle assist device used by recreational anglers and boaters in rivers and lakes is the electric trolling motor.

Can you put a motor on a kayak? Yes, It’s technically possible! But you need to consider many factors mentioned below.

An electric trolling motor is a battery-powered motor located inside the hull of the kayak. Electric trolling motors provide a stable ride capable of traveling quickly across large expanses of open water. These features have made them popular among canoeists, kayakers, sailors.

Without further ado, let’s take a closer look about the types of motors used in the kayak and what things you need to consider.

Types Of Motor Used In Kayaks

There are two main types available:

1. The standard electric motor which runs at around 2kW, provides enough thrust to get you moving in water up to 4mm in thickness. As well as being able to run on batteries, some models even have a rechargeable battery compartment so they last all day. However, these are typically slow and heavy and therefore unsuitable for most kayaking purposes.

2. The high-performance electric motors provide more than double the speed of their lower-powered counterparts and are lighter. They also last longer, but when used for extended periods can become quite hot. To cope with this heat build-up the manufacturers recommend keeping the unit out of direct sunlight during use. The high-performance versions are generally only suitable for water depths between 0 – 3m.

Where Can You Put A Motor On Your Kayak?

All kayaks come equipped with an internal space where the motor fits. But there’s no standard size, so you must decide whether you want a paddle assist inside your kayak or outside it using a mounting bracket that is lighter and easier to transport.

To add a motor to a smaller kayak requires a few extra steps. First of all, you’ll need to remove the cockpit hood. Next comes adding the motor, then fitting the brackets, and finally fitting the new components back together.

How Do I Know Which Type Of Motor Is Right For Me?

Looking for a motor that has been designed specifically for kayaking. If you’re planning on taking your paddle to assist on land trips, then a high-performance motor is ideal. But if your only interest lies in exploring shallow waters then a normal electric motor is probably sufficient.

Next, determine which type of motor you’re going to buy, Low-cost electric models are cheap upfront, but can be unreliable and may overheat quickly. High-performance models usually offer better value but are expensive to purchase outright.

Can You Really Use Paddle Assisted Trolling Motors?

Yes! Using a paddle-assisted trolling motor is a great way to help steer the craft while paddling. This allows you to keep more of your energy reserves for forwarding propulsion instead of powering the engine. Also, when you let go of the paddle while using the motor, the motor takes care of steering automatically.

As long as you don’t try to push the boat too fast you can easily propel it with your paddle. Just hold the handle firmly at one end as you pull to the other. Don’t use too much force — the paddles are meant to be used lightly and efficiently.

Another advantage of using a paddle motor is that it improves your balance during your paddle strokes. In fact, the steering system of a conventional kayak tends to become awkward when you paddle hard enough to reach top speed. With a paddle motor mounted on your kayak, you can use it as a rudder, allowing you to maintain a good center of gravity.

Can You Put A Motor On A Kayak Or Multiple Paddle Assist Devices In Kayak?

Yes, you can! There are many different types of paddle-assisted devices available, from single-paddled units to ones with two paddles on opposite sides of the kayak, which allow the user to move both hands around the gunwale, thus increasing maneuverability.

These devices will not always reduce wind resistance, however, and the additional weight can affect speed. So, unless you plan on paddling continuously, these devices should be used judiciously.

Paddle-assisted devices can also be powered by internal or external motors that can run either off battery power or an AC/DC adapter. As mentioned above, there are several different sizes available ranging from very small devices that sit flush against the hull to larger models that have mounts to attach them to the gunwales and deck area.


In the end, I hope you get the answer to your question; can u put a motor on a kayak? Putting these paddle-assisted devices in your kayak can dramatically increase your ease of movement and improve the enjoyment of your kayak. If you like my article, please leave a comment below and share it with your friends.

In the end, we hope that now you know about can you put a motor on a kayak?


1. How To Turn On The Motor?

Turning on your motor is pretty much the same as turning on any other electrical device: plug it into an outlet, turn the switch on, and wait for the green light. When all is well, you can start pushing.

2. Can I Start And Stop The Motor At Will?

Of course. Depending on how sophisticated the unit is, some may even allow you to select speeds. That being said, if you want to stop the motor without removing the trigger you need to press the button twice in quick succession. Once stopped, pressing again turns the motor back on.

3. What Are Some Pros & Cons Of Using A Paddle Assist Device?

Well, first of all, you lose momentum when switching modes, but you gain more stability and overall performance than your non-assisted version. Plus, it’s far less expensive than buying a new kayak.

4. Where Do I Attach My Boat Motor?

The most common place is under the gunwale where it doesn’t interfere with your ability to steer effectively. Make sure you drill holes large enough so water cannot enter the cockpit. Most boats have a hole drilled near the bow. 

5. Can I put a gas motor on a kayak?

No, you cannot put a gas motor on a kayak. It is not safe and it is not allowed in most places. You can, however, put an electric motor on a kayak.

6. Is it worth it to put a trolling motor on a kayak?

It depends on what you will be using the trolling motor for. If you plan on using it to travel long distances or in rough water, then it may be worth it to put a trolling motor on a kayak. However, if you just want to use it for fishing or leisurely paddling, then a trolling motor may not be necessary.

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