Now I've done the motor thing before. I went out and found a nice trolling motor, came home and made a nice mount for my kayak and then went out and bought a deep cycle battery to power this beast. In theory it's a great idea but the weight combined with the relatively short battery life make this more of a hassle than anything else.
I had all but given up on my hopes of powering my kayak with a motor until iCast 2012 when I met Chad Hoover over at the Torqeedo booth. It was one of those things where initially at the show I looked it over, thought to myself, "that's pretty cool," and walked away without any lasting memory of the motor or the battery.
After getting home I decided to do some research and found that this German company, Torqeedo, has cornered the market on electric motors making everything from full blown electric outboards to their Ultralight 403 Kayak Motor and even powering the Hobie Evolve kit.
I hadn't been able to find many reviews on the product, minus a few YouTube videos and some forum posts with people asking the same questions that I had so I decided to contact Torqeedo directly to see if I could give one a try and see if they could really live up to their claims.
I finally headed down to Estero River Outfitters to pick up a Hobie Evolve kit for my Pro Angler so I could give this thing a shot. After unpacking the motor and battery I was astonished to find that the battery is not only waterproof but weighs an astonishing 6lbs!! Nothing compared to the 50lbs of its deep cycle brother, and the motor itself was right around the 10lb mark bringing the grand total to only 18lbs for motor and battery!!!
Finally after the install, which only included a few holes drilled into the hull of the kayak, it was time to take this bad boy out for a spin. So I picked the windiest winter day I could find and hit the water. The kit fit flawlessly into the slot for the mirage drive and locked into place. From there I was able to control the entire unit from a throttle control placed directly on my right. This throttle control was another thing that I couldn't believe. It gives you the most detailed readings you can think of from speed, battery life remaining, hours remaining and distance until the battery is dead.
I was able to get the Pro Angler completely loaded up for fishing and have it cruising at just under 5 knots. At that speed the battery would last about an hour according to the read out on the throttle display. However I kept it cruising at 2.2 knots and after a full day of fishing I was left with 26% battery life whereas with a deep cycle battery I would've been left paddling back to shore with an added 100lbs of weight in the kayak.
This company definitely has the product, the technology and also great customer service to put them leaps and bounds in front of their competitors. If you haven't checked them out do yourself a favor and visit them at http://www.torqeedo.com/us/