Everything You Need To Know About Motorized Kayaks

My spouse and I recently ventured to Minnesota’s North Shore along Lake Superior. We embarked on an adventure by renting a motorized kayak from the local marina, resulting in a memorable journey. The conditions were ideal, allowing us to witness Duluth’s skyline and the stunning granite cliffs surrounding Split Rock Lighthouse. Fortunately, reaching the lighthouse didn’t require a mile of paddling and was achieved in just a few minutes. We’re keen on reliving this experience, but next time, our plan is to explore additional islands and observe the diverse birdlife inhabiting them.

Why Motorized Kayaks are a Good Idea

We had always thought kayaks were a great way to explore the wilderness, but only if we had some kind of motor and paddling gear. The problem is that a kayak in decent weather doesn’t move fast enough for most things you might want to do outdoors. That is, if you want to get out for an afternoon of bird watching and don’t have the chance to bring along a spotting scope, then a kayak would be limiting. It would take forever to get to the birds you want to look at. Plus, you probably won’t be able to see as many. Plus, the summer heat can be brutal in the southern states in July and August. Nowadays you can get kayaks that have motor assist. You have to be careful with them, and know the rules. Many people think you have to be 12 years of age or older to operate these motors.

Benefits of Motorized Kayaks

You can also set your own speed on motorized kayaks. You can power through the water and have a great ride. If you want to do some faster and more energetic paddling, you can hook your paddle to the motor for a small cost and have a far greater speed. Since you don’t have to use the strength of your arms, you can make your journey much more enjoyable and relaxing. Most of all, you don’t have to worry about all the energy and effort you have to put into paddling. This will free up time that you can use to spend with your family and friends. The Pros of Motorized Kayaks Speed One of the big reasons why you’ll want to pick up a motorized kayak is because you’ll be able to maximize your speed on the water. A kayak without the power of a motor is going to be incredibly slow.

Advantages of Motorized Kayaks

Ships wheels are not powerful enough to get a motorized kayak up to speed on the waves, and steering is a little bit more difficult when it’s moving through the water. Nonetheless, a motorized kayak does have some advantages when compared to other alternatives to touring. Motorized Kayaks are a little bit less costly than a canoe. We rented ours for a few hours, and it cost $115.00 for the day. I know that most kayak rentals usually cost a bit more than that. If you’re really budget conscious, you can rent a paddle boat or stand-up paddleboard for about $10.00 more. You can move your motorized kayak a little bit faster on the water than you can with a traditional canoe or kayak. There were times when we were taking our paddling trip that we were cruising at speeds of between 3.0 and 4.

What are Some Popular Choices for Motorized Kayaks?

There are many manufacturers who produce motorized kayaks. Some of the best options include Evinrude Outboard, Sunreef, Kayaktrek, and Camper. Here are a few of the most popular options: What are the Pros and Cons of Motorized Kayaks? There are a lot of pros and cons when it comes to motorized kayaks, and I’ll list some of the biggest ones here. I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to figure out why people like motorized kayaks.

What Kind of Motor Can You Put on a kayak?

The motorized kayak market has exploded over the last decade or so with hundreds of models and brands. It really comes down to your personal preferences, but there are a few characteristics to look for when you’re looking to rent a kayak. First off, you’ll want to make sure that the kayak is powered. Some of them have gas motors and others use electric motors. It all depends on how you like to move around the water. Gas motors are more common and are much quieter than electric motors. On the other hand, electric motors are more efficient and can reach top speeds in excess of 25 miles per hour. However, electric motors don’t require a lot of power, so they can run on a portable battery and will not run out of juice if you need to carry them.

How Big of a Trolling Motor do I need for a Kayak?

We rented a motorized 14-foot long Kayak from the Split Rock Lighthouse in Duluth, Minnesota. This is considered a medium size motorized boat because the 8-foot motors allow you to travel on most lakes and most river. The motor has a max speed of 4 mph, but I know that the river we were on could get up to 15 miles per hour. You definitely want to check out the kayak rental option before you purchase your own. How Much Power do I Need? The motorized kayaks have a huge range of power. The 14 foot motorized kayak I rented was powered by a V8 engine, and the only part of the motor that was exposed to the elements was the “brick” that the engine is mounted on. Most boats have covered top parts and sometimes a compartment for the motor.

How Long Does a Trolling Motor Last on a Kayak?

So how long does a trolling motor last on a kayak? A kayak is a fantastic boat for drifting and fishing, but it’s not the best boat for power trolling because of the vibration and rapid stopping and going. Trolling motors can provide around six to eight hours of fishing time, and that’s not a lot of time. That is why the trolling motor you buy for your kayak should be relatively light weight, and have a high torque rating. Most trolling motors come in around 2-400HP, with torque ratings going as high as 700HP. Most beginners can make do with a 300-400HP trolling motor and don’t need to worry too much about having too much power. You’ll want a trolling motor that will last a long time because that will give you peace of mind.

Are Kayak Motors Any Good?

On the other hand, is motorized kayaks really any good? The reality is that some are better than others. There are a number of factors that go into making a motorized kayak work. The main thing is that they have to be relatively stable and that they’re durable enough to withstand the waves that they’re exposed to. Luckily, motorized kayaks have become more affordable over the years, and there are many brands to choose from. I would highly recommend you spend at least a couple of hours going over the specs and watching videos on YouTube. These videos will allow you to see the motorized kayaks in action and compare them to other brands and models. Before you buy a motorized kayak, I suggest you take a trip out on Lake Superior to test drive one for yourself.

Does a Kayak Have to be Registered if it has a Trolling Motor?

Yes, but I’d like to explain a bit about what it means to be registered. When your motor on a kayak is started, the manufacturer is given credit toward your warranty. When I first bought a motorized kayak, I contacted many different companies and was told that if you don’t have a warranty on the motor, that it doesn’t count. To a lot of people, that’s good to hear because the motor is the most expensive part of the kayak. In many cases, manufacturers will cover your motor replacement in case you run it into a dock and break it, but other cases, like mine, are a little bit different.


While they may not be the first idea that comes to mind when someone thinks of getting outside in the great outdoors, motorized kayaks can be a fun, family friendly way to explore an island. There are a few different ways you can use them, from zooming around a lake to floating on a lazy river. Kayak rentals are a great way to test them out, and if you’re ready to take the plunge, then there are a few things you need to do first. Know your ropes While motorized kayaks have similar paddling characteristics as their non-motorized counterparts, they can still be quite different. Know that while a fully loaded boat can go faster, the more weight you add, the slower it will go. They’re also more stable if you’re anchored, but if you’re on the open water you will notice it going more slow.

There are affiliate links in this post. At no cost to you, I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.