Gas Motorized Kayak


I’ve owned this Gamefisher 1.2 horse power motor for a decade. I’ve used it on several boats I’ve built in the past. It only weighs 15 pounds and sips gas. It works like a dream, when it wants to. On the day I tested out this set-up, the motor was successfully  started at home, but not so on the maiden launch.  I thew it on the ground and forgot about the whole idea. Two weeks later I got over my frustration, pieced the motor together, cleaned out the carb and had this lovely day trying out my creation.

I wasn’t surprised by its 7-8 knot top speed. Unlike my short boxy fluted plastic boats, my rotomold kayak, with its long slender hydrodynamic hull, tends to scoot with little effort.

I’m into quick prototypes, usually starting with materials I have on hand, such as these two shelf brackets. The placement didn’t disturb the pull rope or drain plug.

Here’s a fuzzy view of my accelerator pull mechanism. I used a bicycle brake bolt that has a hole thru it for the cable. A return spring was also added.

I drilled a hole partially thru the wood transom a bit larger than the accelerator ferruled end. a slot was cut for the cable from above and ends in the middle of the hole.

Here is a better view of the  black steel 1/2″ diameter tube brackets I added to help secure the transom from bouncing around.

Here you can see how I wrapped the 1/4″ nylon steering line around the cowling lip. Notice the steering line is crossed behind me.

I found a place for the starting rope. Here too is the accelerator, which is an old bicycle gear shifter (non indexing). I cut off an old handle bar for the mount.

I also placed it  away from the lip so the steering line can be added and come off without obstruction.

I added Carabiners to the line for steering handles. Pulling front to back turns the motor.

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