Stability: The Key To Good Fishing Kayak Design

A new article on Micronautical, the kayak design magazine, discusses the importance of stability in fishing kayaks, and how to design a kayak for greater stability.

It’s an interesting read for elderly anglers, as well as for those who suffer from balance impairement and other disabilities that make paddling kayaks and fishing from them more challenging.

The subject goes also to fly fishing from kayaks, since this technique is best practiced standing up when paddling and scouting for fish, or when sight fishing.

Needless to say that stable kayaks are safer anywhere, whether inland or offshore, and that there is no such thing as too much stability when motorizing your fishing kayak is concerned.



Motorizing Your Fishing Kayak – Why, What, and How

Let’s face it – being a senior kayak angler can also mean that you’re not in the best shape, and you either don’t feel like, or are physically incapable of paddling long distances.
This leaves you with a rather limited range of operation in terms of fishing, and could get frustrating, at times, as well as hazardous, in case bad weather or a strong, fast current prevent you from getting back to the spot from which you had launched your kayak.
Another way to look at it is saying that time is fishing, and you don’t necessarily want to spend your precious time paddling to your favorite fishing hole, if you can get there faster, and back from there without cutting your fishing trip short.
Pedal driven fishing kayaks fail to offer any true solution, which leaves you with the option to motorize your kayak, and a series of questions about the technical feasibility of such project, how much you’d need to invest, safety, utility, and much more.
In many cases, an electric trolling motor can do the trick for you, and in other cases it won’t, and you could find yourself disappointed and frustrated, and wishing for more power and speed, a longer range of operation, and less weight. This is where outfitting your fishing kayak with an outboard gas engine becomes a solution worth considering, but there’s only one kayak out there that’s suitable for this type of project.
To learn more, this article about motorized fishing kayaks discusses these issues in breadth and in depth.
And watching this movie may make you want to learn more:

All About Motorizing Your Fishing Kayak

Well, I can’t say I know much about motorizing fishing kayaks, but I do have some observations to make:

The first is that electric motors (AKA Trolling Motors) don’t seem to cut it. In other words, whether you carry a heavy deep cycle battery, or spend a ton of money on a high-tech system with a Li-On battery, you’re going to be limited to short fishing trips. I know some  kayak anglers who simply stopped using their electric trolling motor systems because of this.

The second observation is that American anglers are still in love with outboard gas motors, simply because they’ve learned to rely on them for long fishing trips. Nothing beats gasoline as far as storing energy is concerned, and also when it comes to firepower – literally: Gas delivers more horsepower than electric batteries do. Period.

Third, not too may people appreciate paddling long distances just to get to a fishing hole. Many prefer to get there faster than paddling or pedaling allows them, and they prefer spending time fishing than paddling… AND not too many people seem to like big motorboats that demand a trailer, and launching ramp, and lots of cash to spend on maintenance, fuel etc…

Ideally, there would be a motorboat that’s small and lightweight enough to car top, comfortable and dry enough for long hours of boating and fishing, stable enough for stand up fishing, mobile enough for launching anywhere… but I’m just wasting my time here, and my readers’ as well, since such thing DOES exist, as you, dear reader, are welcome to see for yourself:

Amazing, isn’t it?
It doesn’t necessarily mean that an outboard motor would fit your fishing kayak – It won’t, unless you own a W500. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that if you own a W500 you’d want to outfit it with an outboard gas engine – Chances are you’d be satisfied with an electric trolling motor, or just paddling! 🙂
Anyways, since you probably have many questions unanswered by this blog post, here’s a serious article on the subject of motorizing your fishing kayak >>

Motorizing Your Fishing Kayak – A New Approach

Electric trolling motors are not always useful, especially when the battery goes flat, and you find yourself a long way from your launching spot, and having to paddle your fishing kayak back against wind and/or current, with a heavy batter on board. On top of that, a propeller tends to get entangled in fishing lines and seaweed, as well as get stuck in underwater obstacles, especially in shallow water, where you happen to like to go fishing with your kayak…

Small, 2 cycle outboard gas motors tend to be unreliable, and difficult to start, and they are particularly stinky, and often excessively noisy. Such motors are problematic as well, when taking your fishing kayak in shallow water is concerned.

Needless to say that one doesn’t get stronger with age, and many elderly anglers find they can’t go fishing from kayaks because they lack the strength needed to paddle long distances and in adverse conditions, such as against the wind, or current.

Such senior kayak anglers may be interested by a new approach to motorizing fishing kayaks and other small craft, which involves a gas engine producing a powerful stream of air, rather than rotating a propeller in the water. In addition, the motor used is a modern, 4-cycle (4 stroke) engine that’s easy to start, easy to maintain, requires no mixing of oil and fuel, does not create stinky and nauseating fumes, and is quieter – all of this without being heavier than a 2 stroke engine of the same size:

You can keep paddling while this motor is running, and providing your fishing kayak with extra power. There’s no need to hold the tiller (steering handle) if you’re going forward, and you can use your paddle for steering, and make occasional adjustments in the tiller’s position.

The new motor setup is lightweight enough to allow for you to cartop your fishing kayak, and most importantly, this setup is using a converted backpack leaf blower that costs $200, so it wouldn’t be very expensive to rig your fishing kayak with one.

How to Save Big Bucks When Buying a Fishing Yak?

How to Save Money When Buying a Fishing Kayak?

I’m pretty much stating the obvious here, but fishing kayaks can be expensive, and when you start adding the cost of accessories you find they cost you even more.
When you buy a Wavewalk fishing kayak you save a lot of money on accessories:

* Rudder: The W fishing kayak needs no rudder.
* Kayak Seat: W Kayaks are yak-back free, and don’t require a special seat on top (pun).
* Kayak Rack: W kayaks are easy to cartop and would fit any car rack. You don’t need a special kayak rack, and you save big.
* Outriggers: The W500 series is stabler and safer than other kayaks that feature outriggers, so you don’t need outriggers, even when you outfit your yak with an electric trolling motor.

Rudders are a real pain to operate, and they slow you down, plus they limit your performance in shallow water and weeds.

Kayak seats make you miserable by inducing back pain and other problems, and they can turn your kayak fishing trip into a nightmare. In the long run, kayak seats are likely to get you to quit kayak fishing.

You need to install kayak racks on top your car rack, and when those special racks on your car top you can’t use it for carrying other things.

Outriggers are a real pain to install, they slow you down, obviously, and they limit both your mobility and maneuverability. They’re also one more bulky thing to carry.

The bottom line is that rudders, kayak racks and outriggers are annoying, and kayak seats are bad for you, and on top of this you have to spend a lot of money on them, so it’s very convenient to have a fishing kayak that doesn’t require any of these accessories.