Kayak Motor Conversion
We tell you how to take a cheap trolling motor and create a custom front console controlled kayak motor steered with the rudder foot pegs. Massive thanks to Sean Russell for telling us how he did it on his Beast 12X Kayak. Can also be done on any other kayak with similar rudder attachment.
Convert a trolling motor into a neat front-console operated motor.
Sean originally posted about this on the BEAST Owners Club Facebook page [opens in new window].
Traditionally an electric trolling motor is attached on the side of the kayak behind the seat. It is connected to the kayak by a bracket. This method is fine – but can be a bit awkward and requires a lot of twisting of the torso that is not particularly healthy for your back.
Anyway, without further ado…
The Nitty Gritty
Step 1 – Split shaft into two pieces
First remove the top of the motor and carefully disconnect the cables. Then cut 100mm off the top of the shaft (turn bottom section with propeller motor upside down so no metal dust falls into the motor).
Step 2. Attach motor to kayak
Remove the rudder assembly (leaving the steering cables), then cut the front off the motor mount so it can hug the tail. I used my leftover Railblaza screws and some marine silicon to strongly and safely secure the motor to the rear of the Beast.
Step 3 – Customise steering tabs on rudder assembly
Cut tabs off rudder assembly and put a small 45 degree bend so that they can be re-used as steering cable mounts. I’ve done it this way so that the height of the shaft can still be adjusted. I then removed toe steering off foot control and drill a small hole and fitted cables through to make sure its secure
Step 4 – Attach the control console
Drill a 10mm hole between the existing brass inserts for a Starport on the side of the Beast. This is to guide the holesaw.
Then use a 25mm holesaw to drill through the centre of the Starport mount and push the motor control and 100mm shaft into.
Once mounted, feed the extended cabling through hole and up shaft to control console. New crimp connectors will be required or you could solder the new cables to the existing pins.
Step 5 – Connect conduit to motor assembly
Extend all 4 control cables that were previously removed from top of the motor to a suitable length.
Then use a 25mm conduit elbow and some 20mm split tubing to safely run cabling down to a 10mm hole in starpoint that i mounted on the tail of the Beast.
Everything is now wired internally through the hull to make it cleaner and easier to use.