Trolling motors are incredibly useful no matter what type of boat you have. Unlike many other motors, they are also lightweight enough to use on kayaks, allowing you to travel faster and without the effort of paddling.
Instead, you can spend more time fishing or enjoying the views. A trolling motor is simple to use alongside a kayak, but you will need to know how to mount it so that it doesn’t come loose in the middle of a body of water.
You can purchase mounts for your trolling motor, but some kayakers prefer to make their own. This is due to the fact that there is no guarantee that a trolling motor mount will fit perfectly with your motor or kayak.
Every kayak is different in both shape and length, so making your own trolling motor mount for a kayak can be a safer bet.
Stern Mounting or Side Mounting?
Many kayak owners prefer to mount their trolling motor on the stern of the vessel so that the position of the motor is more efficient and convenient to reach. The motor will also generate a higher speed in this positioning, and the battery life will be preserved so that you can go for longer on the water.
However, stern mounts do often need to be custom-made due to the fact that most kayaks have different lengths of sterns.
Alternatively, you could mount your trolling motor onto the side of your kayak. You’ll be able to control the motor easier, and you won’t have to be sat in an uncomfortable position to reach the motor.
That being said, mounting your trolling motor to the side of your kayak is less effective for speed and the motor will drain its battery much quicker than if it was mounted to the stern. If you’re only using it for quick excursions on the water where speed isn’t important, side mounting might sound the best option for you.
Making Your Own Trolling Motor Mount
We personally find that stern mounting is best for kayak owners and have always had success with using this method. So, today we will be focusing on making your own stern trolling mount.
It is possible to get your own stern mount custom-made online, but these can be much more expensive than making your own. Alternatively, you can opt for a universal mount, although some have found that these do not work with their individual kayaks and trolling motors.
What you will need:
- 1 ¼ inch PVC pipe - 6 foot long
- 2 x 1 ¼ inch PVC Cross with plugs
- 2 x PVC Elbow with a 1 ¼ inch reducer
- 2x4 plank of wood
- 2 x long screw
- PVC pipe cement
- Spray paint (optional)
Measuring Your Kayak and Trolling Motor
Every kayak is different, so we cannot give you accurate measurements here for you to follow. We’ve used 1 ¼ inch PVC pipe, but this might be too big or too small for your kayak holes. Measure these before getting the correct pipe width for you.
You’ll also need to measure the height of your trolling motor to ensure that the mount is not too high. Bear in mind that you can cut off additional length after finishing the mount, but you cannot add it back.
Finally, you’ll need to know the correct width of your kayak to accurately make the mount’s crossbeam. Again, you can remove length but not add it back, so be cautious here.
Step One: Getting the PVC Pipe Ready
Measure your PVC pipe to the measurements of your kayak and use a saw to accurately cut it into three pipes. You’ll now have two PVC pipes of the same length and one slightly shorter for the crossbeam. The longer two will be used as the height of your mounts and will attach to either side of your kayak.
Cut a slit down the middle of the pipe on one side so that you can adjust the tightness later. Use a small hand saw for this to ensure that you don’t cut the other side of the pipe at the same time. Cut the slit so that it’s around half the length of the pipe.
Step Two: Attaching the Pieces
Take your PVC pipe cement and apply a generous amount of the end of your PVC pipes. This will be the side of the pipe that does not have a slit cut into it. Fit the glued end of the pipe into the receiving end of the elbows.
On the other end of the elbow, attach the cross without the cement. Make sure that the cross is flat and the sides with the plugs are pointing horizontally rather than vertically. You can now attach the crossbeam to the other ends of the crosses, leaving you with a U-shaped pipe structure.
Step Three: Finishing the Mount
Measure and cut your 2x4 plank of wood to the correct measurement for your kayak and motor. Make sure that the wood has a sufficient amount of length at the end so that you can strongly mount it onto your kayak.
Measure where the crosses sit on the wood and drill two holes ready for your screws. If you wanted to paint your mount, do this before you attach the wood to the PVC pipes.
Step Four: Attaching the Mount to Your Kayak
Along the stern of your kayak there will be two holes in which the PVC structure can slot into. The slits will allow the structure to slot in perfectly. Adjust the crosses so that they are positioned horizontally and cement them.
Take the wood with the long screws through it and feed them through the crosses. Use washers to secure the screws tightly so that the wood is completely secure to the PVC structure.
Step Five: Attaching the Trolling Motor
Your trolling motor should have tightening screws on it where they can attach to the mount.
Fit the longer piece of wood into this section of the trolling motor and tighten the hardware so that it is securely on your mount.