This guide will help you understand if your kayak is compatible with the NK180 Kayak Motor!
- First, check out our NK180 Compatibility Guide.
- Review the setup instructions in our NK180 Manual and NK180 Set-Up Videos on YouTube.
- Buy an NK180 Kayak Motor!
Please continue reading if your kayak isn't in the NK180 Compatibility Guide.
Compatible: Power Pole Ready/4-Bolt Predrilled Sterns
If you have four predrilled holes on the back of your kayak, the stern is flat and is free from obstructions (Ex. raised rudder, handles, or protruded grab bars), the NK180 mount can be bolted to the kayak.
Please confirm your kayak has space for the mount using the measurements below:
- Mount Bracket Dims 14" L x 6" W.
- Minimum Mount Dims 5.5" L x 4.5" W.
- Mounting Hole Locations: 4.75" apart in length and 3.75" apart in width
Do It Yourself
Adaptor Plate Required
Some kayaks will require or perform better with an adaptor plate. An adaptor plate can get the motor beyond handlebars and even over unleveled surfaces. Use our NK180 Compatibility Guide to determine if your kayak requires a mounting plate.
Newport does not sell adapter plates for the NK180. If you do not find your kayak in the guide, please search the websites below:
An example is the Hobie PA14, which requires an adaptor plate to push it beyond the handlebar on the stern. The stern of the kayak has access to the inside of the hull. This will allow you to install an adaptor plate to which the NK180 mount can attach.
Customers are responsible for purchasing additional hardware, mounting accessories, and mounting plates. The NK180 mount is bolted onto a kayak which requires access to the inside of the hull. If you do not have access, you may need to purchase a hatch and install it.
Flat Sterns That Require Drilling
Kayaks like the Wilderness Systems Recon 120 have space on the back for the motor, but they do not come with predrilled holes. This kayak will require drilling, which is possible due to the hatch access. See our NK180 SetUp Video on YouTube to learn how to install an NK180 on the Recon 120.
NK180 on a Wilderness Systems Recon 120
Sterns With Raised Rudders
Some kayaks with rudders have raised plastic on the stern, making an unleveled surface. This is an example of a DIY setup that may require purchasing an adaptor plate and possibly using spacers to lift the mount over a rudder. Please note configurations like this will make beaching a kayak more complicated if the rudder does not have a horizontal stowing position.
An example is the Hobie Mirage Passport 10.5ft, which has a rudder that folds onto the stern. This would require a raised plate to go over the rudder hardware allowing the motor to reach the water. This would also require an access hatch to be installed. See Hobie's YouTube Video for instructions.
A mounting plate like this one* may resolve an unleveled stern for some kayaks. Spacers will lift the mount just over your rudder and enable the NK180 to extend into the water. We recommend nylon, plastic, or rubber spacers.
*Customers are responsible for purchasing spacers and longer bolts. Please note the mount above will not work for all kayaks.*
If you need help determining compatibility, please email us at email@example.com with a link to your exact kayak. Keep in mind the shaft of the motor is 19.7" long, and the propeller should be about 6 inches under the water. The height adjustment collar will allow you to raise or lower the propeller to set the depth.
Not Compatible: Rounded Sterns
Recreational kayaks often have rounded sterns which makes mounting the NK180 more difficult. For some kayaks, this may require a piece of material that meets the exact curve of your boat, drilling, and possibly purchasing a mounting plate.
Even though the mount may fit on the back of the kayak, it can cause the stern to bend when the bolts are tightened. A flat surface is required for the mount to attach correctly. An example is one of Perception 10ft Traditional Kayaks. The rounded stern would make it harder to attach the NK180.
If you are an experienced kayak rigger, you may be able to do this. However, if you are a beginner, we recommend exploring a different motor setup or purchasing a kayak with a predrilled four-bolt mounting system. Essentially, rounded sterns are not designed for this type of setup.
If you have any questions about our NK180, please see our NK180 FAQ Page, Recommended Batteries for the NK180, or our Run-Time Calculator. If you can't find the information you need, give us a call (866) 721-0002 Monday to Friday: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm PST or reach out to us via email at SUPPORT@NEWPORTVESSELS.COM.