The Best Kayak Motor | Ultimate Guide To The Top Rated Kayak Trolling Motors

You found and bought the kayak of your dreams and now you want to find the best kayak motor to add to it. Many of us love the idea of paddling to the mid-point of a lake or gentle river, enjoying the peaceful serenity of gently rolling water while watching the beauty of nature along the way. You can enjoy a whole day on the water, paddling over the expanse of a lake, then exploring nooks and crannies along the coastline to see what special places you can find.

There are also camping grounds where you can make pit stops, relax for a while, set out your picnic and eat lunch, or walk around for a bit. Then you get back in your kayak and head out for more exploring. At the end of the day, you may have tired yourself out with all the fun you had, so it is time to head home. If you brought your kayak trolling motor along with you, which you should have one in case of emergencies, then you can relax while your trolling motor does the work for you to get you back home. Now that you are convinced that you need a kayak motor, what should you know to make the best choice?

What You Should Know First to Find the Right Kayak Motor

First, you must know the weight of your kayak, including what will go in it as standard cargo. Don’t forget about your bag full of personal supplies, including a medical kit, the ice chest filled with water and snacks, and your body weight.  Yes, you too must get on the dreaded scale. Then get the length of your boat, which is part of your kayak manual that comes with the boat during the purchase. Knowing the length of your boat is the starting point for finding the best trolling motor for your kayak.

Other measurements you should get are: any openings or compartments for depth, width, and length. Your motor battery will need to be placed inside a compartment, safe from water and spray. Measure any outer hull holes on the kayak where poles might be placed as part of the trolling motor installation.

Related: Best Fishing Kayak

Once you have all this information, keep the notes handy as you begin the search for the right trolling motor and the battery you use to power it. You will be glad you did all these measures ahead of time.

Boat Length

Here are some guidelines that will help you in beginning to select the best trolling motor for your kayak. Trolling motors have three different ratings when it comes to the power source: 12V, 24V, and 36V. You can judge initially, aside from the weight, what you need in a battery by knowing the length of your kayak. The table below gives you an idea of what to look for.

Kayak Motor Chart 

A 16-foot length kayak or less, will need a 12V battery, while a 19-foot length kayak must use a 24V battery. Over 22 feet in length, and you must use a 36V battery. Another way to look at this is that the 24V battery represents two 12V batteries, while the 36V represents three 12V batteries.

You will also hear the term Battery groups, which refer to the dimensions of a battery casing, as well as the voltage or V, such as 12V. The groups are 21, 24, 27, 30H, 31, 4D, and 8D. For one example, an 8D battery has the following dimensions: 20.62 inches long, 110.95 inches wide, and 10.17 inches in height, at 12V. Batteries in the 21 group are the smallest at 8.19 inches (L) by 6.81 inches (W) by 8.75 inches (H). The battery group designation is always marked on the battery casing.

Boat Weight

The type of motor is also dependent on, not only the length, but the weight of the boat when completely full. If you have 1,500 pounds or more, you will want a motor that gives 30 pounds of thrust. So, calculate the final weight and then divide it by 50 to get the rate of thrust you need from your trolling motor. If you have a larger boat that weighs 4,000 pounds, divide that weight by 50, which will come to 80 pounds of thrust needed to move the boat effectively. If the boat weighs 2,000, then you need 40 pounds of thrust, and so on. Each motor you look at, will give you the thrust amount, plus it is also labeled on the motor casing, so you do not forget. From that point, you can easily calculate whether you will get the battery power you need for the motor.

Batteries and Classifications

Let’s face it. Without a good battery, you are going nowhere, typically when you need it most. So, invest in a good battery and support it for best performance, such as Deep Cycle (DC) Marine batteries.

There is some debate about what battery works best, but most buyers view a heavy duty or DC marine battery as a good choice. You will want the battery measurements to be slightly less than the compartment you will place it in. Do not forget to brace the battery into place with a small 2×4 piece of wood or other support. This ensures the battery does not move around, even in heavy weather, should a storm suddenly appear. Also make sure that it is sealed away from any water access.

Fully charge your battery every single time before you place it in the compartment.  There is nothing worse than being far away from the dock, and your battery, suddenly, will not start, and you are miles away from your starting point. If you are a survival geek, like some of us are, bring a backup battery for ease of mind. A good idea is to alternate between two batteries to keep them active and functional.

Related: What is a Kayak

The alternative is that paddling the distance back, not only will be tiring, but can be very dangerous if night has fallen and you do not have any running lights. Hopefully, you have one or more flashlights handy, as you may need to signal a larger boat headed your way if it is dark and they cannot see you.

Kayak Motor: Three Battery Classifications

The Wet or Flooded Lead Acid (FLA) battery can work well, so long as you know how to conduct a regular maintenance program on it.  These batteries, when properly cared for, can run for two years. These are the type that you need to check inside by removing the battery caps and checking the fluid according to the fill line shown inside. When the water level is low, refill with distilled water only, not regular water. Use a charging system that is specifically for FLA batteries.

Note that these batteries need a ventilated environment and the battery cannot be stored on its side, due to likely leakage. While these batteries are cheaper than most others, you would be better off choosing another battery if you are storing them inside a kayak compartment.

The Absorbed Glass Mats (AGM) trolling battery provides a constant charge over its lifespan, but cost a bit more than FLA batteries and, with proper care, can last you four years. These batteries, built with the Spiralcell technology, absorb and resist vibration due to tight cell compression, which extends the life of the battery. Pure lead is used in construction and glass-mat separators absorb electrolyte to avoid any acid spills. Most boaters use this type of battery which also come as deep cycle marine batteries. You can check out one example in the link below of these 12V 35AH versions on Amazon, along with a separately bought charging kit.

Deep Cycle Marine Battery

The third battery classification is the Gel battery, filled with a gel-styled fluid that not only powers the battery, but also protects it against vibration and idle discharging, due to thicker viscosity. These are not as commonly sold but check around to see if there is one you like that fits your needs.

Amp-Hour Rating

The last basic piece of information you need to understand when buying a battery for a kayak motor is what amps the battery discharges over a specified period, also known as amp-hour rating (AHR). On a battery label, you will see this as AH or aH. The calculation here would be that if a battery states it is a 35AH, as in the battery example link shown above, then the battery produces 2 amps for 17.5 hours, 4 amps for 8.75 hours, 7 amps for 5 hours, and so on. Added weight in the boat can change those amp-expended numbers significantly as well.

When you calculate the number of amps you expect to be discharged during a routine run, you divide that number into the AH shown on your battery. If you have a kayak that is 16-foot long or less, then a 12V 35AH battery (i.e. 2 amps for 17.5 hours) should work fine. For longer boats, you will need a 24V battery with a higher AHR. This is all part of what you should know to get yourself the best kayak motor for your boat and the corresponding battery.

Best Kayak Trolling Motor

Once you choose your battery and the trolling motor for your kayak, and have it all installed, you can start testing how far you paddle away from your point of entry into the lake or river, against how long it takes to get you back by using the motor at a certain speed and rate of time. That way, you always know what power you have available to get you back to your landing spot, should you have an emergency on the water. One example would be a sudden storm that comes in and you need to get back to shore quickly. You may also meet someone who needs help, due to an accident, so you may be carrying extra weight.

Manual Reset Circuit Breaker

Another point of interest that you want to know about, is that some manufacturers recommend installing a manual reset circuit breaker with the kayak motor leads that connect to the battery. The recommended placement is 72 inches from the battery, installed on the positive line. Typically, manufacturers will include this circuit breaker in the propeller package, according to one such manufacturer, Newport Vessels.

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The importance of installing this is that while trolling along on shallow rivers or at the edges of a lake, your propeller might hit an unseen rock below. The circuit breaker’s job is to cut off the power so that no further damage is done to the propeller and to electrical components that suddenly struggle harder to continue moving parts, when it should not. Once you have struck a rock, fishing lines, or other objects, you want to clear the propeller and shaft from further damage or entanglement, before resetting the circuit breaker and starting the motor again. Be sure to install it according to the directions provided in the package. It will save you a lot of grief later.

Boat Design and Motor Installation

If you have already bought your kayak before deciding to get a trolling motor, consider the design of your kayak first and whether it is a more open body, or a sealed version. Most trolling motors are installed on flat-edged transoms at the rear of any open-styled kayak or canoe. Some kayaks have a tapered squared-off back end, and a kayak trolling motor can easily be installed there. Other kayaks present a design-based installation challenge which can also be overcome with some creative thinking.

A trolling motor can be installed on the side, allowing you to control the rudder and motor speed at will. However, one issue that can happen is that the propeller may not be lowered down into the water far enough, causing some cavitation as you move along.

If you also check on YouTube, you can find rather ingenious DIY methods for installing one on the back end and running control cables up to where the seat is. This allows any operator to easily lower the propeller into the water or pull it back up out of the water while seated, so the paddles can be used instead. How you design any of these installations, will also depend on the design of your boat. Check out the two links here for ideas that may help you with your situation. These are from private citizens who came up with their own designs. There are plenty more to look at besides these two, but they are a great start.

Installation Design One

Installation Design Two

Salt Water versus Fresh Water

Rather than being limited in your fun experiences to one type of water or another, there are many kayak trolling motors geared with the proper non-corrosive materials to accommodate different water types. While you may plan to always be on lakes and smaller rivers, there may be an opportunity to launch in the ocean just off the shoreline. If you think it is a possibility, then definitely buy the kayak motor that can be used in both salt and fresh water scenarios. That way your options are always unlimited.

Our Reviews of the Best Kayak Motor

In this next section, we review five trolling kayak motors for you to look at, so that you can make an educated choice as to which one will suit your needs. Click on the motor name link to see more.

1. Minn Kota Endura C2 30 Freshwater Transom Mounted Trolling Motor (30″ Shaft)kayak motor

This kayak motor is used only in fresh-water scenarios, which may be all you will ever want to experience. The simple clamp installation design on this motor allows you to quickly clip it over the boat edge, either on the back-end transom where you then tighten the screws for a sturdy fit, or on one side of your boat where you can access the twist-tilt tiller with ease. Depending on the design of your boat, you can also mount it on the bow, according to the manufacturer. The transom, however, is usually the best mounting site. The telescoping handle has a height difference of six inches, from the lever lock bracket to its full extended height.

This motor is very quiet, of great importance to those who go fishing and do not want to scare fish away. The MinnKota Endura C2 motor has five speeds moving forward, and three speeds for reverse movement. The 30-inch shaft is made of an indestructible material that has a lifetime warranty, while the motor has a two-year warranty.

Model #: 3005.6987

Amazon Battery and Power Center

On Amazon, this kayak motor is paired with the MinnKota Power Center that holds the battery you buy and, once installed, shows the battery’s current charged state. The power center costs $50.00 and holds group 24- and 27-inch sized batteries. This power center works best with transom-mounted trolling motors for ease of hooking up the charger leads to the power center’s terminals without having to open the center. It is built for those boats without a compartment to store the battery and protects the battery from water splash and rain.

Amazon paired this power center with the economical 12V 35AH Light Trolling Motor Battery Sevylor MinnKota. At a cost of $66.99, it is a combination of sealed lead acid (SLA) and AGM. Battery dimensions are 7.68 inches by 5.16 inches by 7.13 inches. Overall, the combination of kayak motor and suggested power center, along with suggested battery, will work best on smaller kayaks, about 16 feet in length, or less.

Motor Thrust: 30 pounds

Motor Volt: 12V

Motor Price: $94.99 (down from $110.99)

What People Have to Say About this Kayak Motor

This trolling motor has received 4.5/5-star ratings from over 600 buyers. Most have found the motor to be very efficient and easy to set up. Even after the motor is running continuously for four hours, it still has 75 percent of its battery charge left. Even after using it continuously all day, it is not uncommon to still have a 75 to 80 percent charge left. Level 5 speed (highest) moved the boat 3.5 miles per hour (mph). The controls are easy to use, along with the click speed control, tilt shaft, and steering lock/tightening application. This kayak motor can be used on both the inflatable Intex Seahawk 2-person and 4-person boats with great results.

2. Newport Vessels 55 Pound Thrust 8 Speed Electric Trolling MotorBest kayak motor

The Newport Vessels trolling motor gives a 55-pound thrust and is also very quiet, allowing you to get somewhere quickly without scaring the fish away. The telescoping handle gives a six-inch differential in height choice and has an ergonomic handle that allows you to extend it as needed. This trolling motor is ready for both salt and freshwater fishing experiences, with a joint stainless steel, magnesium, and zinc in hardware manufacturing.

The Newport Vessel kayak motor has a 30-inch shaft made from extra-strong composite fiberglass and gives you plenty of room for getting the 3-blade propeller (10-inch diameter) into the right water depth. The trolling motor package also includes a 5-point LED battery meter, so you can check your battery’s charge output at any time. The same 12V battery with power center offered in the first choice, is also paired here with this Newport Vessel trolling motor.

Related: What Size Kayak do I Need?

The total weight of the trolling motor is 22 pounds and is considered a transom mount installation, using a durable nylon mount foundation. This one should last you a long time. It can be installed on inflatable boats with a transom, kayaks, dinghies, and other smaller boats with a transom as part of the boat’s design. The motor also comes with a 1-year limited warranty.

This trolling motor is best suited for boat lengths of up to 12 feet long, possibly to 14 feet.

Model #: 23M1000203

Amazon Battery and Power Center

The 12V 35AH Light Trolling Motor Battery Sevylor MinnKota is $66.99 for the battery, which is a combination sealed lead acid (SLA) and AGM. Dimensions for the battery are 7.68 inches by 5.16 inches by 7.13 inches. Overall, the combination of kayak motor and suggested power center, along with suggested battery, will work best on smaller kayaks, about 16 feet in length, or less. Check the blue-colored table found at the beginning of this article.

The manufacturer recommends using any 12V deep cycle or Marine battery, and the motor has a 50-amp circuit breaker. This requires that the battery and charger show a 50 AHR (runtime) on the label or higher, as listed on the manufacturer’s website.

Motor Thrust: 55 pounds

Motor Volt: 12V

Motor Price: $199.00 for Prime Amazon subscribers

What Users Have to Say About this Kayak Motor

This trolling motor received 4.5 stars from over 290 customers. It’s important to note this manufacture offers excellent customer service for various issues. The original model lacked clicking sounds when changing speed levels, and this made it difficult to know at which speed the motor was on or off. The updated model corrected this issue, giving a big plus to the manufacturer for listening to its customers. Overall, this kayak motor offers a great experience withonly a few isolated incidents.

3. Newport Vessels NV-Series 36 lb. Thrust Saltwater Transom Mounted Electric Trolling Motor with 30″ Shaftkayak motors

This motor is a slightly smaller version of the earlier Newport Vessels NV series of trolling motors and the only differences between this one and the earlier version is the thrust and a 2-pound weight difference between the two. The earlier Newport Vessels trolling motor has a 55-pound thrust, while this one is a 36-pound thrust. This is a transom mount motor that will fit any boat with a rear transom design for motor installation. This version also includes the 5-point LED battery meter, so you can check your battery charge at any time.

One difference to note in using this trolling motor with a 36-pound thrust, is that these motors are better suited for kayaks (and other boats) that are between 8 feet to 12 feet long.

Related: How to Fish From a Kayak

As with the earlier version, this motor is also saltwater-ready if you wish to use on the ocean. This is due to the included stainless steel, zinc, and magnesium hardware. The trolling motor product dimensions are 18 inches by 5 inches by 34 inches and weighs 18.5 pounds when carried.

The Newport Vessels trolling motor has the same 30-inch shaft made with a high-strength fiberglass composite material, guaranteeing a long-term experience. You also have the same 6-inch telescoping rise for the handle, along with the ergonomic extendable horizontal handle. Once the parts are locked into place, there are no vibrations, even at full speed.

While you have the same five forward speed levels, with three reverse speeds, you will move a little less quickly with this motor’s lower thrust, compared to the 55-pound thrust version. The propeller is a two-blade version, with an 8.9 inch in diameter. The motor also comes with a 40-amp circuit breaker.

As with the 55-thrust version, this electric trolling motor installs perfectly on the transoms of inflatable boats, tenders, aluminum fishing boats, dinghies, as well as kayaks.

Model Number: 23M1000205

Amazon Battery and Power Center

The 12V 35AH Light Trolling Motor Battery Sevylor MinnKota is $66.99 for the battery which is a combination sealed lead acid (SLA) and AGM. Dimensions for the battery are 7.68 inches by 5.16 inches by 7.13 inches. Overall, the combination of kayak motor and suggested power center, along with suggested battery, will work best on smaller kayaks, about 12 feet in length, or less.

The manufacturer recommends using any 12V deep cycle or Marine battery, and the motor has a 40-amp circuit breaker. This requires that the battery and charger show a 50 AHR (runtime) on the label or higher, as listed on the manufacturer’s website.

Motor Thrust: 36 pounds

Motor Volt: 12 V

Motor Price: $129.00 for Amazon Prime members

What Users Say About This Kayak Motor

The Newport Vessels NV-Series 36-pound thrust electric motor received 4.5/5 rating stars from over 90 buyers. Most people have had great experiences with this motor. Those who mention problems with speed tend to use a longer boat. If you have a long boat, consider upgrading to a 55-thrust motor. Most users averaged about 4 mph at the highest speed level 5, although reviews do not say how long that speed was run for, and what the carrying weight was.

Both the Newport Vessels NV series 36- and 55-thrust motors are built to last a long time, although you should check the motor as a habit, every time before going out on the water. Some buyers have mentioned problems with screws, which can be an issue with any motor. It is wise to buy back-up hardware in case you need to replace one quickly. The pre-operational visual check, however, is important to catch problems ahead of time.

4. Newport Vessels Kayak Series 55lb Thrust Saltwater Transom Mounted Electric Kayak Trolling Motor with 24″ Shaftbest kayak motors

This Newport Vessels Kayak 12V trolling motor series with 55 pounds of thrust has one big difference from the other two Newport Vessels. The fiberglass propeller shaft is 24 inches in length, rather than the 30 inches of the other two versions. This trolling motor is perfect for shallow waters when you cannot use a longer shaft with the propeller and is specifically designed for kayaks. The shaft can be adjusted for variable depth placement, based on where you are trolling. As with the other two versions, this is also constructed for fresh and saltwater use.

Another difference with this motor set-up is that you also get extra-long cables, 5’6” worth, that lets you place the battery in the center of your boat, or up front. This allows you to balance weight distribution, rather than placing it towards the back area, where it might drag down the back end too much. The manufacturer’s video on this page shows how the kayak owner had installed a boat mount that sits behind the seat, with the motor attached on the left side. With the pole in the right hand, while winding the reel with the left hand, it is easy to lock the reel, and grab the motor handle with the left hand to move and angle the boat if he need to do that.

You can also see the LED motor charge indicator on the top of the motor casing, making it easy to see the current charge at a glance. Some boaters in earlier versions of motors already reviewed, say that they turn that off to avoid loss of charge while spending time fishing.

This trolling motor weighs 23 pounds and can be easily carried whenever you need to remove it from the kayak.

Model #: 23M1000403

Amazon Battery and Power Center

Amazon did not pair a battery and power center with this trolling motor, but you can use the one previously mentioned, so long as it fits in your boat properly. You will need a 12V 55AH battery for this motor. Check out other power centers on Amazon, as you will need this to protect your battery while in a kayak with no storage compartments.

Motor Thrust: 55 pounds

Motor Volt: 12V

Motor Price: $209.00 for Amazon Prime members

What People Say About This Kayak Motor

This trolling motor currently maintains five-stars. Again, the Newport Vessels company gives great customer service whenever there is an issue, such as a propeller falling off. It was replaced quickly at no cost to the customer. The thrust and speed are considered excellent with this motor. As with all the other Newport Vessels trolling motors, these are constructed to be very quiet while in use.

5. Aqua Marina BlueDrive Power Electric SUP Motor DC12V/240WKayak Trolling Motor

You must have a kayak or board with a removable fin underneath, so you can slide the motor into the fin mount. Do not try to alter your kayak yourself if you do not have a removable fin and mount setup already in place. Your motor will slide into the fin mount, moving from the front of the boat to the back. The blue part faces towards the end of your boat (or SUP board) and the reality is that you cannot slide it in any other way.

This is a fun addition to the family of boat motors. While on the more expensive side of trolling motors, the Aqua Marina BlueDrive electric SUP motor is designed for installation on the bottom of your Aqua Marina kayak or SUP paddle board. SUP stands for Stand-Up Paddle board. This motor also fits the fin box for Vilano, Pathfinder, or Zray brands of kayaks, small boats, as well as SUP boards. Be sure to have a locking pin, with maybe a second one handy for back-up emergencies. The motor is constructed for operation in both fresh- and saltwater.

The motor is a 12V deep cell, with 240 watts and provides 2 to 4 hours of cruising experience with your Aqua Marina board or kayak. The battery is placed inside a white waterproof battery case, size 11 inches by 9 inches by 4.8 inches, and is placed in your kayak or on the SUP board at one end (away from your feet) and then secured in place with universal bungee cords.

The red coiled safety leash is attached to the emergency shut-off (kill) switch, which you attach to yourself if using the board. This ensures the board does not move off into unknown regions without you, if you fall off your board or, for that matter, your kayak. Consider also attaching to yourself while in a canoe or kayak, just in case you meet choppy waves, and tip over. You can create a wrap-around collar with Velcro closures, and wear it around your ankle or your belt (a comfortable one). However, be sure that body movement inside the kayak does not pull on the cord and turn off the motor when you are not expecting it.

Finally, your motor is remotely run with a control pad in a clear waterproof case that you wear around your bicep, secured with Velcro straps.  You can change speeds or come to a stop with a tap of your finger on the right sensor button. If you are right-handed, put the pad on your left bicep, and visa versa. One note: if you are fishing and are using your pole in your right hand, then consider putting the control pad around your right bicep instead, so you can access the control with your left hand without having to switch the pole to the other hand. You will eventually work out your most comfortable system of efficient operation for different scenarios over time.

Model #: PF-240

Amazon Battery and Power Center

For this situation, the package comes provided with a light-weight high-capacity lithium ion battery that goes inside the white waterproof case, which you strap to a suitable place on your boat.  The remote control uses a small 12V LR23A battery, so keep a few handy, just in case one runs down while you are out on the water. Always be sure to fully charge your boat battery before going out on the water. A full charge will take five to six hours to complete, so be sure to do this the day before your excursion.

Motor Thrust: N/A

Motor Volt: DC 12V/240W, 31.2Ah/336.96Wh, charger kit also provided.

Motor Price: $649.00 for Amazon Prime members

What People Say About This Kayak Motor

This motor is a fan-favorite because of how it runs crafts. For boats without a fin box, you can get an NRS Fin Replacement Plate which is sometimes sold on Amazon, or you can find it elsewhere. Logically, you must have a flat-bottom base to have it attached. Have a professional do this for you to make sure it will not come loose. You can find a blow-up picture of this replacement plate, with measurements, at the bottom of the motor’s product sales page on Amazon (click the title link).

The cable from the power fin to the white battery case is 34 inches long. It does limit where you can place the battery case because of the short length. You can contact the manufacturer to see if they have a longer cord now.

Another comment made is that the manual is translated from Chinese and sometimes you may have to weed through poorly translated sentences to understand what you need to know. If in doubt, check the Amazon comments or Q & A section to see if your answer is already posted from someone else.

Motor Care

After every lake or river outing, and particularly if you run your motor in saltwater, always wash down your motor after you get home. Once you get your boat or kayak on a trailer, or if you remove the motor and stick your kayak on top of your vehicle, the air passing over motor and boat will dry any salt that remains. Therefore, it is essential to get that salt residue off. You should always wash your trailer, if immersed in salt water, as well as the boat and your motor. Use soapy water to cut through grime and salt. Use a soft sponge for your kayak and motor.

Check your motor, shaft, and propeller for any obstacles that may be entangled in or around the motor, shaft, and blades, such as weeds and fishing lines. Take care in removing them. This is especially important if the blades are encased in a housing unit, such as the Aqua Marina motor mentioned in this post. Make sure you wash all the motor parts, including the shaft, and add a coat of silicon spray to the shaft so it is still easy to adjust up and down. After application, wipe the shaft dry with a cloth.

Make sure your propeller blades do not have dents or have blade warps from hitting any underwater obstacles, such as raised rocks. You may need to replace the propeller if it is badly warped. Hence, the importance of having a kill switch whenever the propeller hits something, which will cause it to turn off automatically, as provided with the Newport Vessels motors.

You always want to check your leads from the motor to the battery to see if cable and wires have any fraying or odd kinks and get them repaired or replaced. Additionally, regularly check your battery terminals for any corrosion buildup and use a terminal brush to clean posts or use a battery wire brush.

Always check any screws, nuts and bolts for looseness and gently tighten where necessary. Do not overtighten, either. Make sure these also get washed, particularly when immersed in saltwater. Some users use their freshwater motors in saltwater, and that might be fine, but only if you religiously wash the motor each time to remove possible corrosion. Follow any maintenance pointers given by your motor manufacturer’s instructions. When in doubt about the condition of your motor, take it to a professional for an expert review and/or overhaul.

Storing Your Motor Unit

There are varying opinions about storing your trolling motor. However, one thing you can do before you put up for the winter and have washed and cleaned it for the last time, is to turn it upside down so that any accumulated water or condensation inside will come out. Most professionals recommend storing the trolling motor where it will not freeze, because if there is still water or condensation inside, it can ruin magnets that are part of the internal construction. Trolling motor magnets are apparently hard and brittle, and easy to chip. If one begins chipping, it can get into the motor and cause havoc. Why take a chance on having this happen?!

One suggestion is to store it in the basement, if you have one, or maybe off to the side in the cloak room by the door, or even the laundry room. Keep it covered/wrapped to avoid the motor and other parts from collecting any dust and lint if you do store it there.

You can find wall storage brackets that will hold your trolling motor out of the way and off the floor, leaving space for other things to be stored in boxes. You can check out this wall bracket on Amazon to see if it will work for you.

Marine Battery Storage

In this last section, we will look at how to store your battery over the off season. Depending on where you live and what climate you have, some boaters like to continue using their boats right up to when the first freeze shows up. For others, it is time to put everything up until the first thaw of early Spring.

The professionals at BLUETOP recommend that you fully charge your battery as you put it up. They also recommend keeping the battery at top charge all year long. Some batteries have small draws on them over time, and this may lead to a fully discharged battery. If it freezes in that discharged condition, it can ruin your battery and you will need a new one for your next boating season. One such suggestion for keeping your battery charged is the OPTIMA Digital 400 and 1200 12V Performance Battery Charger and Maintainers, which will keep your battery in optimized condition. It can also recover discharged batteries, making this a game changer for revitalizing batteries. Check this out if you do not currently have a good charger and maintainer.

You can check with the manufacturer of your battery as to the best procedure for keeping your battery in top shape while it is not being used. They may tell you something different from what is given here, but at least you now have a starting point of knowing what you must do.

Vault Cargo can also help you with suggestions and answers about your kayak and motors as well. Be sure to tap their knowledge as you begin planning your kayaking season. If you are in a warmer climate, then you are likely kayaking year-round.


Whenever you get ready to go out, always consider possible scenarios where you can get into trouble and need something, particularly when you do not have it. Always have a flashlight or two, with an extra set of batteries, all stored in plastic waterproof bags. You may need them to shine your light at an upcoming boat, while evening has arrived, and you need for them to see you. Preferably, you will be back at your landing spot before night moves in.

Consider that while you should be wearing your life jacket, bring another one in case you come across an overturned boat or some other accident and the person needs to ride back in your boat or kayak.             Accordingly, also have a medical kit handy, stashed in a plastic bag. This kit should hold Band-Aids, medical tape, folding scissors or folded jackknife with scissor accessory, matches, sewing kit (needles), medical cream, and large gauze pads for cleaning and packing wounds. Even if you cannot stitch a wound shut, you can close the wound by pulling the tape across for temporary measures. Bring strips of materials that can also act as a tourniquet. You just never know what you will come across while out on your journey.

Bring plenty of water, your sunglasses with an attached strap so you do not lose them, a baseball cap to shade your eyes, and whatever else you need to be comfortable and safe. You can bring your cell phone, but put it in a clear baggie, so water does not get in it or on it. You can still access the screen if you lightly stretch the plastic across. If you need to, bring a very small fully-charged portable charger, just in case you are out longer than you planned on, and need to contact someone with your phone. Keep the charger in a waterproof bag too.

Wear comfortable clothes while out, based on what the temperature is at the time you go out, and what it may be when you get back in. Always keep a fresh set of clothes and a jacket in your car so you have something to change in to when you get back. And most importantly, have fun!