Total Newbie Project- Sea Kayak Propulsion

Boats, Jet Skis, Kayaks etc., including hovercrafts
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brianz   1 µW

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Total Newbie Project- Sea Kayak Propulsion

Post by brianz » Jun 30 2020 8:30am

I am currently in the process of finishing (had to take a yearlong break to restore a Jeep) on a 16-foot sea kayak. I initially planned on incorporating a human-powered pedal drive (Hobie) but now have been bitten by the e-bug. While I still want to include the pedal drive, I would like to have a drop in electric drive to get me to the fish the fastest. When I arrive, I can swap out the E-drive for the pedal drive to keep me in place and stay on top of the fishing spots.

Unfortunately, since I am totally new and uneducated in this space, I have not found enough information to get me on the right track. There seems to be a lot of info about e-bikes, scooter, go-carts, etc, but cannot find much about human-sized boats. This is why I am reaching out to this sub.

To start off, I am assuming I have to figure out motor/controller/battery requirements. Right now, I am looking at a turnigy motor at HobbyKing with a complimentary controller.

As for the battery, I recently purchased a kWeld and am recycling batteries as we speak. I am using the recycled batteries to practice so when I build the necessary battery for this project, I won't practice on the new batteries.

To start off, what would be the best motor controller configuration to get me the most "bang for the buck"?

I am assuming I want to go with the lowest Kv rating without mortgaging my house to pay for it.
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amberwolf   100 GW

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Re: Total Newbie Project- Sea Kayak Propulsion

Post by amberwolf » Jun 30 2020 2:42pm

Before you buy anything, you need to determine your power requirements.

How fast does it need to go?

How many watts (or HP) does this particular boat need to go that speed, under the wind and water conditions you expect?

How long do you need it to do this for?

These will tell you how big a motor/controller you must have to provide that power, and which prop size/type you need to use, and how much power the battery must put out, and what it's capacity must be, which will tell you what it's physical size and weight must be for a particular cell brand/model.


I don't know enough about boat power levels to say for sure, but I suspect somthing along the lines of hte Minnkota trolling motor systems would do what you're after, without having any numbers from you to base any guesses on.

silentguy   100 W

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Re: Total Newbie Project- Sea Kayak Propulsion

Post by silentguy » Jul 01 2020 9:50am

I put a 12volt trolling motor on my inflatable kayak. Used a marine lead acid battery but was gonna upgrade to lion It went about 6mph


You will need to make sure everything is in watertight containers and waterproof connectors as short circuit by water is always possible.


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motomech   1.21 GW

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Re: Total Newbie Project- Sea Kayak Propulsion

Post by motomech » Sep 28 2020 5:48pm

Those drawings of the kayak are pretty much useless. Do you have a Hobie Revolution 16 or a AI or TI model? If your Kayak doesn't have a Mirage Drive, then it doesn't have a drive-well to drop a motor into. And with the pointed bow and stern, those mounting points are out too. That only leaves a side-mount, not the best for what you want to do. Maybe two small trolling motors, one on ea. side.
I think you might want to ck out how others have built a sea-going electric motor powered kayaks. Just Google that title, lot's of examples out there.
Motomech '11 Motobecane Fathom team, frt. mounted, recycled SWX02 from a Jump rental, 14S (52V nom.) Turnigy LiPoly, PSW Power 9-FET 20A controller. Mean Well HLG-320H-54A, Schwalbe Marathon's, 27 to 28 MPH.

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