Owning a fishing boat comes with a lot of responsibility, maintenance, and can cost thousands of dollars to outfit and keep up properly. More and more anglers are looking for something smaller, easier to maintain, and easier to haul.
If you have a large fishing boat, not only do you need the expensive and proper boat trailer, but you need a vehicle large enough and with enough power to pull your boat. Again, expensive start-up costs before you even go on your first fishing trip.
The answer? Anglers have been embracing smaller boat setups, including the now-famous twin trolling motor kayak. Let us take a closer look at everything that the twin trolling motor kayak entails.
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Is It Possible to Have Twin Trolling Motor Kayak?
The first question everyone asks is, “is it even possible to have a twin trolling motor kayak?”. The short answer is yes. So, what is required to make this happen? How does it work? How do you hook up the trolling motors properly?
Several videos on YouTube give you step-by-step directions on setting up two trolling motors on your kayak. We encourage you to check them out, but in the meantime, let us break it down for you.
What Kind of Kayak Do I Need to Be Able to Set Up Two Trolling Motors?
The best kayaks to use for a dual trolling motor setup are dual-pontoon or dual-hull kayaks. These kayaks have two pontoons of equal length that run parallel with one another. In the middle sits the cockpit where the passenger or passengers sit.
To set up your twin trolling motor kayak, you would then mount two trolling motors of equal thrust to your kayak by placing one on the back of each pontoon.
If you decide to go with a different kayak that does not have two pontoons, you can place a mounting bar across the back of the kayak and then mount each trolling motor equal distance from the center of the kayak on either side.
What Kind of Trolling Motors Should I Use?
The best trolling motors for kayaks are designed precisely for kayaks. When shopping for your new trolling motor, you can search specifically for kayak trolling motors. They tend to be lighter, have a little bit shorter of a shaft, and less thrust is needed overall.
Once you find a proper trolling motor for your kayak, determine if you will be only freshwater fishing or if you might fish some saltwater as well. If saltwater is in your plans, be sure to purchase a saltwater trolling motor.
Where and How Should I Mount My Trolling Motors?
There are two ways you can mount your trolling motors. One way is to purchase an off-the-shelf kit that is ready and easy to mount. These kits are more expensive than building your own.
Still, they include several features that not only make your life easier but will contribute to the overall smoothness of operation for your trolling motor.
These kits are durable, constructed with rust and water-resistant materials, and will last a long time. Also, off-the-shelf kits will possess shock absorption properties.
Shock absorption is vital to absorb the vibration of your motor. If the vibration is not absorbed properly, your kayak may not run smoothly.
One last good thing about off-the-shelf kits to mention is the fact that you can work with the professional who sold you your kayak to find the perfect mounting kit for your kayak. This will guarantee you will have no issues with trolling motor to kayak capability.
If you are mechanically inclined and find yourself handy, you may want to build your mount for your trolling motors. Again, you will want to consider materials that will be rust and water-resistant, which will absorb vibration.
Consult the internet or a local professional if you have any doubts or concerns and for overall guidance. Also, consider purchasing a kayak with a rear storage compartment that will be ideal for housing the dual 12-volt battery system necessary to power your twin trolling motor kayak.
How Do I Power My Trolling Motors?
Since you will not need as much thrust as a large fishing boat, it would be wise to purchase two 12-volt trolling motors to make powering them as simple as possible. You will need one 12-volt deep cycle marine battery for each trolling motor.
Connect the proper jumper wires from each battery terminal to the corresponding location on your trolling motor. You also have the option of adding a circuit breaker or fuse to protect your trolling motor from power surges, crossed wires, or in the event the battery gets wet.
You may also wire in an onboard charging unit with a solar panel if you would like to step it up another notch. Otherwise, a simple trickle charger waiting for you onshore will suffice.
How Do I Steer My Twin Trolling Motor Kayak?
Steering is where the genius of a twin trolling motor kayak shines. First, make sure you purchase kayak trolling motors that have foot-pedal controls. Place the foot pedals in the cockpit of your kayak in a location that you can reach with your two feet.
Once on the water, you will be able to steer your kayak by increasing the motor speed of one motor while decreasing the other’s speed. For full speed ahead, push down the foot pedals together at the same speed setting. Easy to control and completely hands-free!
Kayak Trolling Motors
Again, you must purchase the right trolling motor for your kayak. Taking into consideration the total weight of you and your kayak, you can then determine how much thrust you will need. Also, measure the distance from your trolling motor to the waterline to determine the shaft length you will need.
Add 12-inches for how deep your trolling motor will go into the water, and add another 6-12 inches for how high above your mount the trolling motor will reach. If your foot-pedals malfunction, you will want to be able to steer your trolling motors from a seated position comfortably with your hand.
Here is a list of kayak trolling motors we recommend for your twin trolling motor kayak and a list of lightweight trolling motors.
Kayaks with Built-in Trolling Motors
If you want to avoid the entire hassle of purchasing your trolling motors separately and then having them installed, you can skip all that and buy a motorized kayak with built-in trolling motors.
Though this option will be more expensive, you will save a lot of time and also ensure that you have all the correct equipment properly installed. These kayaks are professionally manufactured and remove any possibility that you make an error during the installation process.
Here is a list of motorized kayaks with built-in trolling motors we recommend.
Things to Consider for Kayak Trolling Motor Batteries
Once you have purchased the trolling motors for your twin trolling motor kayak, you will need to make sure you have the correct batteries to power your kayak. You will want to purchase a 12-volt deep cycle marine battery. However, how many you need depends on what kind of trolling motor you are buying.
If you are buying 12-volt trolling motors, then you will need one battery for each motor. If you purchase 24-volt trolling motors, then you will need two batteries for each motor. Ensure you have a rear storage compartment for storing the batteries during use or purchasing battery boxes to protect your batteries from water and weather.
Here is a list of marine deepcycle batteries for your boat and a list of lightweight batteries for your kayak.
Are You Ready to Create Your Very Own Twin Trolling Motor Kayak?
Now that you know what it will take to create your twin trolling motor kayak, it is time to make your dream a reality. This kayak setup is ideal for anglers who want to get out on the water but not spend a fortune to do so.
With the dual trolling motor kayak setup, you will be able to move silently across the water while maneuvering into fishing spots that larger boats are unable to. Add in dual foot pedals, and you will be able to steer your kayak easily and hands-free, allowing you to focus your hands on your rod and reel. Happy fishing!
What type of battery do I need for my twin trolling motor kayak?
You will need a 12-volt deep cycle marine battery for your trolling motors. How many you need depends on your trolling motors. If you get 12-volt trolling motors, you will need one for each motor.
How long will my batteries last?
Your battery life depends on your trolling motor’s thrust, how hard you work the motor, and your battery’s amp-hour rate. Check online for tables. For example, a 40lb thrust trolling motor, on medium speed, will draw 20amps per hour. A 100-amp hour rated battery then will last for five hours.
What accessories should I consider for additional purchases?
We recommend you buy battery boxes for your batteries to keep them dry and to increase their longevity. Also, an onboard charging unit with a solar panel is a great addition to increase your time on the water.
How fast will my trolling motors push my kayak?
You should not expect to reach top speeds to much higher than five mph even with two trolling motors.