electric engine/rudder and mounting on cedar strip kayak

I have a twenty foot double that I want to add a little electric engine to that is part of the rudder system. The speed control will be mounted in the deck, battery midship, but I want the kayak to otherwise hide the fact that I am cheating with a propeller. The engine gives 36 pounds of thrust, but weighs close to 15 lbs. Due to the weight I want to design a simple rudder that can withstand the additional stress of something that size. It will need to be able to swing up to be out of the water of course, which will demand a lot of strength from the mounting. I fear that a stock rudder would not be able to withstand the pressure. Maybe I am wrong. The boat has a sharp stern Anyone have any thoughts on this?

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RE: electric engine/rudder and mounting on cedar strip kayak

My first thought is that a 36-lb thrust motor is going to want about 40 lbs of batteries. Between that very concentrated weight pulling the hull down and the 15-lb motor hanging off the end of the rudder, are you sure that this is a good idea? Especially if you have some waves or wakes to contend with?

You are right to worry about the rudder mounting. You'd probably have to beef up the hull, as well.

Good luck,



RE: electric engine/rudder and mounting on cedar strip kayak

here is a website of a guy I met at the Gravenhurst boat show a couple years ago.  We rented one of his boats for a friend's wedding.  He has experience mounting electric engines in lapstrake boats.  It was a very slick arrangement, might pay to drop him a line for his experience/advice.


 P.S. would love to hear how it works out.

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