Trolling motor on a small kayak?

I am 1-2 weeks of lazy work away from finishing my 6yo daughter's wood duckling (just added the 3rd coat of epoxy on the deck, and it looks amazing).  When I updated her on progress the other day, she happily informed me that she'll enjoy it a lot - as long as it has an electric motor!  I nearly choked.

Although I strongly prefer that she paddle the boat and realize that adding a trolling motor and battery would probably make it miserable to paddle (with the motor off), I will consider adding a trolling motor at some point if she otherwise refuses to use the kayak.  The duckling must be particularly ill-suited to being saddled with a trolling motor since it's obviously small and has an official max payload of just 100 lbs (kiddo is currently ~50 lbs but is, you know, growing).

Thoughts?  I found a wimpy trolling motor that weighs less than 5 lb (, but the battery would probably weigh a lot more.  The risk of a battery fire, however remote, concerns me too.

Thanks for entertaining my absurd question.  :-)

9 replies:

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RE: Trolling motor on a small kayak?

You're right, a trolling motor on a Wood Duckling would suck big time.  Even that one. What you need is the Torqeedo Ultralight Kayak Motor ( It's under 18 lbs with the battery, swings up and out of the way for paddling and claims up to 60 miles range.

Just be sitting down and have had a stiff drink before you click on that link. There's some healthy sticker shock there.

So how much do you feel like spoiling The Princess?


RE: Trolling motor on a small kayak?

   Laszlo, Thanks for the link. Pretty sure I won't be dropping $1k on a trolling motor any time soon. I might just have to break the bad news that paddling will be required.

RE: Trolling motor on a small kayak?

 Maybe a more realistic solution to mid-trip sore arms is a tow rope to connect the bow of the kiddo's kayak to the stern of dad's kayak. Then I could mount a trolling motor to a big beefy chesaapeake or similar or just savor the arm pain. :-)

RE: Trolling motor on a small kayak?

   Adding "mechanical" propulsion to your kayak in Florida makes it a power boat. You would need registration, title, $$$, numbers displayed, etc. The operators born after 1984 would have to have a training card certifying training.......does daughter have those things?

RE: Trolling motor on a small kayak?

   Oh my, yes I've had a 6 year old old daughter who is now 30. I remember when we were shoveling snow she walked up to me, put down her shovel and declared, "I am not a worker girl, and outside is not my world."

As adorable as it was, I had to be the firm adult.

But, this isn't a parenting forum, so if you feel the need to give her a Barbie Jeep that goes on water, you go.

RE: Trolling motor on a small kayak?

I appreciate the frank/cutting feedback.  I didn't mean to make this a precious thread about bowing to the whims of a spoiled young person - apologies if it came off as such.  I did firmly reject the idea of adding a motor, but it later occurred to me that it might not be as crazy as it sounded and piqued my interest in ensuring we get as much fun as possible out of the kayak in the coming years.

I live in WA state, and though state regulations require a boater education card for pretty much every operator (regardless of whether the craft is solely human-powered), they do not appear to require registration and a title for small (<= 16') kayaks even if motorized (only required only for 15+ hp, as far as I can tell).  I will confirm.  Obviously safety is a big consideration for kids, though.  I do see the wisdom in the implications that a trolling motor on such a small kayak for a young kid would be a bad idea on several fronts.

I will become the paddle power proselytizer (especially since encouraging exercise was my main goal) and will revisit this idea only if the boat gets little use in the next few years.


RE: Trolling motor on a small kayak?

   I'm sorry - I was going for funny and it came off as cutting. Sounds like a fun project and I'm sure your daughter will treasure it, motor or not.

RE: Trolling motor on a small kayak?


No need to apologize.  I needed some realistic feedback and, like I said, was grateful for it.  I wasn't offended - just re-thought my posting style a bit, I guess.

Your story about your daughter's refusal to help with shoveling the snow was hilarious!  Thanks for sharing.

I did some more reading last night and saw that carrying a tow line for a kiddo's kayak is pretty standard practice - that's my plan for now.

RE: Trolling motor on a small kayak?

   Bixpy makes a motor that attaches to the rudder and battery is about the size of a laptop computer.

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