If you’ve started fishing from your kayak you’ve got access to more fishing spots. Getting to them can be tiring. If you’d like a break from paddling, a trolling motor can save your arms, get you further, faster, and give you more fishing time at your chosen spot. Maybe you’ve already chosen a motor or need to know how to mount it; either way the right mount is essential. Our Buyers Guide and FAQs cover what you need to know about mounting a motor to your kayak, and what you need to take into consideration when choosing a mount. Combined with our reviews of the best 8 kayak mounts that cover ease of installation, specifications and pros & cons, this should help you determine which product best meets your needs.
Trolling Motor Mount
One of the biggest challenges kayak owners wishing to mount a trolling motor experience is finding a suitable surface to attach the mount to. Most mounts require a flat surface, lip or rod holder where hardware can be attached. But not the Watersnake. Like many other units, this model mounts to the hull with a simple four screw base plate. Unlike others, the base plate can be mounted at any angle and still adjusted to allow the motor to sit flush and secure. It is also one of the few kayak motor mounts that can be installed on the bow. The included horizontal handle allows for control of your motor from further away, eliminating the need to change the seating position. Once installed the bracket will accept motors of up to 24lbs of thrust and with a shaft diameter of 25mm.
MAX BEARING: 24 lb. thrust motor
PRIMARY MATERIALS: Aluminum, nylon
INSTALLATION: Minimum tools required. Installed in less than 30 minutes
WORKS ON: Limited to motor shafts no more than 25mm diameter
- Allows mount to be positioned at any angle and still maintain level motor position
- Universal design allows for use on most kayaks
- Easy to remove the motor and mount for storage
- One of the few kayak motor mounts that can be used on the bow
- The included installation instructions are lacking and unclear
- Only suitable for smaller, low-thrust motors
- There have been reports of being unstable at high speeds
The EZ Mount series is a universal mount that functions similarly to a traditional mount by overlapping the gunwale and simply clamps in place. Unlike traditional mounts, it can be attached to a wider variety of places, including unusual contour hulls. No drilling, no using already limited rod holders and its low profile will not interfere with other accessories. Perfect for your favorite kayak. Once in place, it provides a secure location for a wide range of the most popular outboard trolling motors. Plus, it can handle larger engines than its competitors with a maximum weight of 50 lbs. Best suited for sit-on-top models. Installation on models with a cockpit may require modification.
MAX BEARING: 50 lbs.
PRIMARY MATERIALS: Aluminum
INSTALLATION: No tools required. Installs in minutes
- Easy to mount without drilling or other permanent alterations to kayak
- Stainless steel and nylon construction are suitable for use in saltwater
- Can be mounted to almost any kayak and easily moved from one to another
- Large easy to use knobs allow for use when hands are wet or if wearing gloves
- May require a little practice to get it set correctly
- Motor height cannot be easily adjusted once installed.
- May not be suitable for models with cockpits
4. WILDERNESS SYSTEMS
This trolling motor mount is a universal system designed to accommodate a wide range of after-market trolling motors. Unlike many other motor mounts, this system allows for installation on the stern of the kayak, where motors are naturally designed to be placed. The compact size prevents interference with other accessories or paddling when the motor is not in use. The tool-less adjustment points allow for easy installation and modification. As it is constructed from marine-grade anodized aluminum, this system is suitable for use in saltwater. Although originally designed for use with the Wilderness System kayak it can be adapted for use with several other brands with similar hull design.
MAX BEARING: Not Listed
PRIMARY MATERIALS: Anodized aluminum
INSTALLATION: Depends on brand, from 15 10 30 minutes
WORKS ON: Designed for Wilderness kayak, can be adapted for others
- Universal plate accommodates a wide range of aftermarket trolling motors
- Places trolling motor at the stern for better control
- Marine-grade anodize aluminum construction allows use in saltwater
- No tools needed for installation or adjustment
- Will not fit all models of kayaks
- Adjustment knobs are small and may be difficult to operate when hands are wet
5. OLD TOWN
Standard Canoe Motor Mount
Old Town is known for their history of producing quality canoes and in recent years have entered the kayak market as well. So, it comes as no surprise that they offer a motor mount, nor that it made a “best of” list. At first glance this mount does not look like much. An aluminum frame, some clamps and a wooded plate but that is all you need. If you look at many of the other mounts this is the starting point for almost all of them, although Old Town did not proceed with including any additional features once the basics were met. There are benefits to this minimalist design. The reduced weight increases motor efficiency and battery life and there are fewer parts or brackets to malfunction. An additional advantage would be that less bulk would get in the way of fishing and paddling. But do not worry, you are getting more than meets the eye. The rigid aluminum and treated wooden mounting plate are strong enough to securely manage a 3 HP motor. The clamps are easily attached to almost any kayak that includes a gunwale with a lip edge and can be attached without the need for tools. Plus, it can be mounted on either the left or right side.
MAX BEARING: Up tp 3 HP
PRIMARY MATERIALS: Aluminum, wood
INSTALLATION: 5 minutes, no tools needed
WORKS ON: Fits most kayak with a gunwale for attachment
- Minimalist design provides the security you need without unnecessary bulk or weight
- Mounting plate can be placed on either the left or right side
- Installation does not require any tools
- Old Town is one of the oldest, most trusted canoe & kayak manufacturers in
- America so you can trust they will back their products for years to come
- Adjustment knobs are large and easy to use even when wet or wearing gloves.
- Heavier motors can cause the mount to flex, although there are not reports of permanent damage
- Mounting screws are smaller and shorter than some users desire
- Not the most appealing design, especially when used with modern kayak models
Kayak Motor Mount
If you are looking for a trolling motor mount that is easy to install yet able to be customized – Railblaza has just what you need. This mount is simple with only two fasteners needed. It can be installed in minutes and fits almost any kayak. Moving it from one kayak to another or removing for storage is no problem at all. Everything is explained in easy-to-understand instructions and all necessary installation hardware is included. Plus, if you are someone who enjoys customizing your kayak there are plenty of options available. Railblaza offers rod holders, lights, camera mounts and more accessories, which can easily be added to the same hardware.
MAX BEARING: Not Listed
PRIMARY MATERIALS: Anosized aluminum, reinforced fiberglass
INSTALLATION: Approximently 30-45 minutes, must mount brackets and assemble unit
WORKS ON: Adjustable, will with variety of kayak & motor brands
- Simple to use with easy to follow instructions included
- Can be easily removed from storage and is compatible with multiple kayak brands
- Can be customized with additional accessories from Railblaza
- Backed by a 5-year warranty
- This mount is not suitable for use with all trolling motors.
- Some users have reported flexing of kayak when motor is in stowed position.
- Nylon quick connection mounts are prone to wear which may reduce reliability
- An extra set of quick connection mounts are needed for each kayak you wish to mount on to
PA 17 Trolling Motor Mount
Hobie is known for its innovation in kayak propulsion systems including pedal systems and inboard electric motors. However, not every Hobie is equipped with these systems. This motor mount allows a trolling motor to be mounted to most Hobie kayaks without extensive modification. It is so simple to install you will wonder why you waited so long to add it, making an already great kayak even better. The black composite construction perfectly matches the Hobie model and mounts to already existing accessory points. Because it is made by Hobie, for Hobie kayaks – you can be assured you are obtaining the same quality you are accustomed to when it comes to this established manufacturer.
MAX BEARING: 55 lb. thrust motor
PRIMARY MATERIALS: Roto molded polyethylene
INSTALLATION: 10-15 minutes. Does require removing rear handle.
WORKS ON: Suitable for most Hobie models except PA 12 or PA 14
- Designed by Hobie for Hobie – so you know it will fit and function as expected
- Allows mounting of trolling motor to standard paddle model kayaks
- Accepts standard width trolling motors with a maximum thrust of 55 lbs.
- Quick installation requiring minimal tools
- The motor shaft must be at least 42 inches in length
- Will not fit some early models as it may crack the hull due to extra weight
- Rear handle on kayak will need to be removed to install mount, which can be a problem if already corroded
Motor Mount for Track
Like the Brocraft universal mount, this system is designed for easy installation on a wide range of kayaks. The difference being – how the mount is attached. Unlike the universal mount, which slides into your kayak’s rod holders, this mount attaches to the existing track system. This offers several advantages. First, there is more flexibility on where the mount is placed, allowing for easier operation and better control of the motor. Secondly, it does not require you to give up two of your rod holders. Additionally – because rod holders are still included with each unit you gain additional storage space. It is still made using high-quality marine-grade aluminum components so it can be used in salt or freshwater.
MAX BEARING: 35 lb. thrust motor
PRIMARY MATERIALS: Marine grade aluminum, reinforced nylon
INSTALLATION: About 30 minutes to install brackets & put together unit
WORKS ON: Designed to fit most kayak and accept range of popular motors
- Allows the motor to be mounted using the existing track system
- Can be adjusted to allow the motor to be mounted on either side of the hull
- Supports up to 35 lbs.
- Can be used in either fresh or saltwater
- Excellent customer service
- A bit more flexible than one would expect
- When used with other than Brocraft track system adjustments can be a bit more complex
- Does not include required track system
BEST KAYAK TROLLING MOTOR MOUNTS
Having a kayak can open a whole new world to you as both an angler and sportsman. You will be able to explore new areas, access new fishing spots and see things that were previously hidden from you. But there is always a downside and the downside to kayaking is the paddling. Sure, paddling can be fun, and it is a great way to get in shape, but do you want to do it ALL the time?
Adding a trolling motor to your kayak allows you to get places faster, stay longer and travel further. But before you can add a motor you need to figure out where, and how, it will be mounted. You need the right mount. One that fits your kayak, meets your needs and ensures you can operate the motor easily and safely. Traditional trolling motors for larger vessels such as pontoon boats can easily be suited and fixed to a kayak – with the correct universal mount. We have put together a comprehensive guide to assist you in finding the perfect trolling motor to mount on your kayak – Enjoy.
With the many different model options available, selecting a motor mount for your kayak can be confusing. You need to look for specific features before shopping:
What size is your motor?
Before selecting a motor mount, you need to consider what motor you will be using. What size the motor will be determines which mounts are suitable. The weight, thrust and shaft length are all features that will determine if a specific mount is suitable for you. Selecting a motor mount that is too small for the motor used can damage your kayak or the mount. It can also result in the motor becoming dislodged, which can result in loss of motor or serious injury to the user. Many trolling motor mounts will list a maximum thrust limit rather than maximum weight. It is important to follow these restrictions. Even if the mount can hold a larger motor there is the possibility of failure under stress, when running at high speeds.
Where will the motor be mounted?
Are you looking for a bow or stern mount? How about off to the side? Are you left-handed or right-handed? Some mounts are more versatile than others and can be mounted in multiple locations. Others are designed for mounting only in a specific location. Determining where it will be mounted allows you to avoid wasting time on units that will not work.
Before selecting a location to determine which is most comfortable for you – there are some considerations that need to be taken into account. Having a stern-mounted trolling motor can provide increased maneuverability but is not possible with some mount models or on some kayaks. Do not forget to consider how you will be using the kayak.
Notable Point: You want to avoid installing the motor where it will interfere with casting a rod or reaching storage compartments.
Where will you be using the kayak?
If you will be using the kayak in saltwater you must select a mount that is constructed from corrosion-resistant materials. Anodized aluminum and reinforced nylon or fiberglass are the most common for saltwater use. It is important to remember the hardware as well. Proper maintenance of the mount by cleaning it regularly to avoid saltwater damage, is a must.
Does the mount include all necessary hardware?
Having the correct hardware readily available for the actual installation of the mount is a top priority. Most mounts will include this hardware but double-check before making a purchase. It is also important to look at whether this hardware is suitable for long term use under real-world conditions. Are the knobs big enough for use when wet or wearing gloves? Are the materials corrosion resistant? Are they strong enough to withstand the stress they will be placed under? If you purchase a mount designed specifically for your make & model kayak, having the correct hardware is less of a problem than when purchasing a universal mount.
Will additional accessories be needed? Depending on which mount you select, and where you mount the motor, you may need additional accessories before use. The most common accessory needed is an extension for the motor control arm. This will allow you to comfortably reach the motor when sitting in the kayak.
Other possible accessories include a storage box for the battery, replacement rod holders (if the mount uses the existing ones) and even a fire extinguisher just in case.
Additional features may be available. Some motor mounts makers also offer additional accessories, some of which can be installed on the mounting system itself. Additional rod holders, camera mounts, GPS mounts, fish finder mounts, fastening clips to secure a dry bag and even lights are only some of the items available. Many manufacturers will sell both the mount and matching accessories, which helps ensure compatibility. When considering the placement position of the motor it is important to not place accessories where they will interfere with operation of the motor or vice versa.
Some kayak owners may be thinking about building their own DIY motor mount. While this is an option there are a few issues you need to consider before hitting the workshop. First, although this is not a major construction project you may not want it to be your first DIY build. Second, instead of starting from square one and doing everything yourself, consider copying someone elses proven design. Some companies offer plans for a small fee and many DIY enthusiasts share their experiences. Third, consider the overall cost and manpower. It is possible that your DIY project could have a final cost far more than the purchase price of a ready to go kit.
Many states require motorized recreational boats to be registered and or titled. This includes those operated by an electric trolling motor, even kayaks. By installing the motor, you may also find yourself needing to have additional safety equipment on board as well. It is important to remember that these regulations vary from state to state and failure to comply can result in legal action. Remember to check the regulations in both your home state and any other state you may use the kayak in before launching. In most jurisdictions, the wildlife and fisheries agency can advise you as to the legal requirements.
BEST KAYAK TROLLING MOTOR MOUNTS
1. Can you mount a trolling motor on a kayak?
Yes – Mounting a trolling motor on a kayak is not only possible but widely common practice. Most kayak manufacturers design their kayak to easily accommodate a trolling motor installation. Other kayak models can easily be modified to accept one. Remember to consult the manufacturer’s instructions or owner’s manual before purchasing and installing a trolling motor. Using a motor that is too large for your kayak can result in damage to the kayak or motor and even serious injury to the user.
2. How can I make a trolling motor mount for a kayak?
Yes, it is possible to construct a DIY mount for your kayak’s trolling motor. However, great care should be taken when doing so. Although many kayak owners have successfully fashioned DIY mounts for their trolling motors it is not as safe and easy to install as one would initially expect. More importantly, is that the mount must be sturdy and stable enough to allow safe use of the motor at all times. This is important to prevent possible loss of the motor or injury to the user. You must also consider how the mount will be secured to the kayak and whether it will be able to be removed for storage or transportation. If you have never built a motor mount before it is best to learn from others’ success rather than through trial and error.
3. How do I mount a trolling motor on a kayak?
How you mount a trolling motor to your kayak depends on many factors. First and foremost is the type of kayak the motor will be mounted to. Second, is the type of motor you have selected. These factors will determine where the motor can be mounted, what type of mount can be used and what additional accessories may be needed.
4. Where can I buy a kayak trolling motor mount kit?
Trolling motor mounting kits are available from a variety of sources. Many kayak manufacturers offer an assortment of accessories, including motor mounts. The advantage of purchasing from the manufacturer is an assurance that the mount will fit your kayak and function as needed. If you own several kayaks and wish to move the mount from one to the other an after-market supplier is your best choice. These after-market motor mounts are available from a variety of sources including companies specializing in kayak accessories, established online vendors such as Amazon and even trolling motor manufacturers.
As always, we create our content with you, fellow adventurers, in mind. So, how’d we do? Did you find this informative? Did it help you make a decision? Did we miss anything? We’d love to hear from you below. Thanks for reading and we hope your next adventure is a great one!