Which Mount Works for Your Kayak?
The pleasure and pride of owning a kayak goes beyond just the independence it allows. For anglers and adventurers around, it allows access to places previously inaccessible...an amazing opportunity until it takes an hour or more to paddle there. Whether you're sea kayaking, river kayaking, or paddling a local lake, kayakers fall in love with the minimal impacts such a small and quiet boat has on the surrounding environment. While exercise is a primary part of their appeal, a kayak trolling motor can be a great investment to offer some relief on long paddles. That is, if your kayak allows for easy mounting.
The average kayak is not setup to accommodate a trolling motor and most kayak manufacturers do not offer mounting kits designed for their boats. Luckily, we have scoured the market for universal mounts and compared them below for your reference. We have looked at some garage made quality mounts, Brocraft, Railblaza and some basic DIY motor mount designs that are offered on today's market.
FOUR BOLT STERN MOUNT
Over the last several years, the fishing kayak market has widely adopted the 4 bolt mount popularized by PowerPole Micro Anchors. Although not available on every single fishing kayak, this rapid adoption has made this one of the easiest ways to motorize a fishing kayak. In response to this kayak mount standardization, Newport developed and launched the NK-180S Kayak Motor using this 4 bolt mounting pattern, to ensure a direct fit on the widest number of kayaks available without the need for specialized mounts. Ultimately, this 4 bolt stern mount is the most secure, durable way to motorize your kayak while offering the greatest enhancement in speed, efficiency, and general performance.
LOW QUALITY KAYAK MOTOR MOUNTS
Ranging anywhere from $60 to $200, these mounts look like they were made in your uncles garage, but they can get the job done. These mounts are designed to fit inside rod holders on a kayak that ranges from 26”-36” in width, which can be convenient for existing rod holders on a kayak. For individuals that do not want to drill into their hull, this is an attractive option. Because these kayak trolling motor mounts fit into rod holders, it can work with both Sit-on-top and Sit-Inside kayaks. Depending on the kayak mount, they can be rated to hold up to 55lb thrust trolling motors.
While affordable and easy to install, there are many drawbacks to this style of kayak motor mount. If you do not have rod holders, you will have to install your own. Because it only works with rod holders, there is wiggle and sway, which makes the trolling motor mount unstable. This may cause some concern for users that have a motor hanging over the water. Some of the materials used to make this mount include aluminum and stainless steel, but the down tubes are made from cut PVC that remains unfinished at the ends. If you are looking for the most economical option to get out on the water, and don't care about looks or quality, this kayak motor mount might be a good fit.
RAILBLAZA KAYAK TRANSOM MOUNT KIT
This is our first choice for a kayak motor mount, which is why we offer it as an option when you purchase out kayak motors. This is the best that money can buy and fits on most kayaks. It’s made with quality materials such as: Anodized Aluminum, Stainless Steel and UV Stabilized Reinforced plastics. This kit is extremely durable and built to last for fresh or saltwater use. When this kit is assembled and installed, it is stable and allows very little sway or movement. Not only can you remove the kit if you would like, but the base mounts are compatible with other Railblaza accessories ranging from rod holders to camera mounts. You can switch from paddling to your kayak trolling motor in under 30 seconds!
Installing this kit requires drilling into your kayak to ensure this kit is secure and stable. This requires tools and can be daunting for some people. The mounting surface also needs to be flat for this mount to be compatible.
BROCRAFT KAYAK TROLLING MOTOR MOUNT
A reasonable priced trolling motor mount for your fishing kayak. $135.99 is right between the pricing for your uncles garage model and Railblaza. This isn’t out of the reach for everyone who is considering a trolling motor mount for their kayak. It’s made with marine grade aluminum which is durable and corrosion resistant for use in saltwater. This mount is also adjustable to fit varying kayak widths and is adjustable to work on different mounting angles.
Downside is that this motor mount is only rated for 35lbs of thrust, which doesn’t inspire much confidence in it’s strength and durability. This kayak motor mount won’t be able to support the 55lb kayak trolling motor that many Newport Vessels customers own. This kit also requires you to drill into the hull of your kayak. However, the mounting equipment provided is not enough to provide a secure and stable mount, with only four screws to hold your new kayak trolling motor. If you are going to risk drilling into your kayak hull, might as well get something secure that you know will work.
The price from this option can range from $0+ depending on what you already have and what you need to get. This is a great option because you can customize it specifically to fit your kayak. This option gives you the freedom to make the mount of high or low quality to your liking. You can also add additional items or features.
There are some instructions available online. If you do not have the adequate knowledge or experience, you could end up ruining your kayak or end up with a water filled kayak because your kayak motor mount failed.
To learn more about our favorite kayak trolling motor mount, check out the Railblaza mount kit.