One of the biggest disadvantages to going out on a kayak is its lack of range. In both paddle and pedal yaks your body is the motor; so you’re constrained by your own physical abilities. Five to ten miles on flat water is quite the workout. And if the wind or current are against you than even going 100 meters can feel like a marathon. These issues are compounded in fishing kayaks especially because they aren’t optimized for speed or distance. Motorized kayaks address these problems with Tim the Toolman Taylor’s favorite solution…MORE POWER!
It’s technically feasible to add a motor to any kayak. But you’ll find it’s a heckofa lot easier to add power to a boat that was designed for it. Our list of motorized kayaks includes boats that are easy to outfit using same brand and third party propulsion systems. Transom mounts, pod cavities, or integrated motors differentiate these kayaks from the competition. With a little diy effort you can put down the paddle and get fishing without a single stroke.
Motorized Kayak Stats
There are currently 16 different kayak models, across 6 different brands, we’ve identified that are built to accommodate a motor. With the exception of Old Town models every yak on this list does not come with a motor.
|Statistic||Length (ft)||Length (in)||Width (in)||Weight (lb)||Capacity (lb)||MSRP|
Most Expensive Motorized Kayak
Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot 136
Old Town Canoe’s Sportsman line debuted in 2020 with 11 new models. Without a doubt the standout stars of the next gen OTC lineup are the Sportsman AutoPilot 136 and 120. The AutoPilot’s defining feature is the center mounted 45 lb thrust Minn Kota trolling motor with GPS enabled spot lock technology and wireless controls. Minn Kota’s motor comes with a bluetooth enabled fob that allows the Captain to change thrust and steer with one hand. GPS enabled Spot Lock technology serves as an electric anchoring device comparable to dynamic positioning systems (DPS) found in industrial tankers.
Spot Lock really is a game changer for fishing. In kayak fishing half the battle is finding a great spot and the other half is staying there. With Spot Lock you just press a button and your boat will stay in place; automatically compensating for wind and current in real time to keep you still. And all this accomplished with just a press of a button. There’s no dropping an anchor and drifting into position, or reeling it up when your done. When you’re ready to go just press turn off spot lock, tell Chewie to hit it, and buckle up for the ride.
The AutoPilot 136 is packed with storage, utility, and well thought out design features. The motor and all components are ruggedized for saltwater so you can get out in big water if you’re daring. These features and innovations don’t come cheap. The Autopilot 136 costs $4,000 all in which puts it in the top end of all fishing kayaks. But we can’t think of another kayak that packs as much tech and power in between its gunwales as the AutoPilot 136. If you want a top of the line fishing experience than definitely consider making this your go-to ride on the water.
Most Affordable Motorized Kayak
Jonny Boats Bass 100
Jonny Boats Bass 100 is a speedy 10′ ride that combines the best traits of both kayaks and bass boats. This kayak was designed from the ground up to be motorized and sports some seriously great design features. To begin with the Bass 100 has a planing hull which is a first in modern fishing kayaks. Most kayaks feature displacement hulls that provide a hard limit on top-end speed. The planing hull makes the Jonny Boat one of the fastest kayaks with an outboard motor.
Speaking of motors the Bass 100 is capable of servicing both electric and gas varieties. The stern transom can fit a 2.5 hp outboard motor. Control is made easy with throttle and steering hand controls via the accessory motor kit. The center recess fits a trolling motor in a pod for sneaking up on fish. Once you’ve targeted your quarry you can stand up and cast while using the Uni-Track stand-up bar for extra stability. Rod holders, a height and trim adjustable seat, and gunwale mounted accessory rails round out the Bass 100 as a complete fishing package.
Small & Speedy
If you’re looking for a motorized kayak the Bass 100 is an incredible and versatile compact option. The $899 price tag is extremely approachable and delivers a great value. Be prepared to drop some dough on unlocking the foll potential of this craft though. Once you factor in the outboard, trolling motor pod, stand up bar, battery, and motor kit you’re closer to right around $3,000. A full sized bass boats,without all the bells and whistles, starts at around $20,000. At $899 we think the fully loaded Jonny Boats Bass 100 is pretty darn affordable. And it will still fit in the back of your truck.
Our Pick for the Best Value Motorized Kayak
We had a tough time choosing just a single kayak from this list, because they’re all great kayaks. The NuCanoe Flint wins our pick because of its versatility and light weight.. At 11’3″ the Flint strikes a fine balance between portability and tracking/speed. The open cockpit allows for unlimited configurations and will fit a wide variety of third party gear and equipment. At just 63 lbs you should have no problem car-topping the Flint or carrying it to the water.
NuCanoe models can be paddled, pedaled, or motorized, and the Flint is no different.The transom in the back can fit up to a 2.5 hp outboard motor or electric trolling motor. On the low end a battery, charger, trolling motor, and tiller will run between $300 and $500, putting you all-in at ~$1,500. If, however, you’re looking to keep up with the big boys then you can really trick it out. Add an outboard 2.5, bow mount trolling motor, swivel mount chair and you can cruise in style.
We chose the NuCanoe Flint for our best value because it offers the greatest flexibility in upgrading. The Flint offers extraordinary flexibility that makes it easy to pace your path to power. You could start with a watersnake and transition to the outboard. Or just start from the get go gunning with an outboard and break some wake zones. Either way there is a plethora of both in-brand and third party accessories that can fit the Flint.
Yak Logic Overview on Motorized kayaks
We’ve all reached that point on the water. When a rainstorm pops up out of nowhere and you’re a 30 minute paddle out from dock. Its moments like those when the grace of paddling very quickly evaporates and your first thought is a string of expletives. Your second thought is probably, it’s time to upgrade. Motorized kayaks can bypass tedious paddling in favor of rip-roaring propulsion. While the chugging thump of a two stroke isn’t nearly as graceful as paddling, it sure is a lot faster. Motorized kayaks are one of the fastest growing sectors in kayak fishing and we expect to see more models and innovations continue to hit the market. Be sure to check back for updates and give your fellow yakkers a wave next time you fly by them.