Hobie kayak trolling motor is a great build for any DIYer looking for an alternative to peddling drive or anyone looking for a spare drive for an emergency. There are many version of the kayak motor so the built can be simple or it can be complex depending on the needs of the builder. Considering a retail Hobie Kayak Trolling motor cost over $1200 and a Hobie drive retail $600 – $850, the DIY Hobie motor is a bargain at less than $250.
Materials for Hobie Kayak Trolling motor
- Hobie cassette
- Motor Watersnake Asp (T24 or T18)
- Car Jump Starter Booster Power Bank Battery 12V 82800mAh
- EC5 Female Jack to SAE DC Power Automotive Adapter Connector (1)
- Quick Disconnect Connect 10 Gauge 2 Pin SAE (2)
The motors use to build the kayak trolling motor varies. There is a handful of motors that will work, usually, they range from 18lb-24lb of thrust motors. The two most popular are the Sevylor and Watersnake Asp but there are other motors that will work. Choosing thurst power is not as simple as one would think because the motor only has two speeds slow and fast. So if you are using the motor for trolling you might want the 18lb thrust instead of the 24lb. Or if battery life is your concern you might want the 18lb. But if you are using it for just the speed you might want 24lb thrust.
Two ways to build Hobie Kayak trolling motor
The first way is simply, take the Hobie cassette and drill a hole in the center of the cassette. Then take the head of the motor. There are 4 screws holding the head lid, and one holding the head to the shaft. Remove the 4 screws and remove the lid. Make sure you take a picture of the wiring before you disconnect it. That the motor head off the shaft and put the shaft through the hole in the motor. Then reconnect the wiring, head to the shaft, connect the lid back onto the head. Next find some foam, damper tape, or padding and us it filling in the gap between the front and back of the cassette and the kayak so the motor is pushing against the kayak hull not plastic shaft on the motor because it will break.
The second way requires more work but it will increase its performance when fishing by reducing the vibration.
- Cut the length of the shaft.
- Cut the motor handlebar and glue it in place.
- Drill a hole in the cassette and fill it with spray foam.
- 2 part epoxy the cassette to the motor so it doesn’t move horizontal and verticle. ( Make sure the motor is straight)
- Use a close hanger to make a hook to adjust the prop.
One of the unique features of the motor is the 82800mAh power supply. Use the EC5 to SAE connector to connect to the motor. Wire the power supply to the hull of the kayak so it is not exposed. Simply use the Hobie thru hull wire the motor to connect to the motor inside the kayak.
- When you drill into the cassette do not make the hole bigger than the motor shaft, use a heat gun to help the slide the shaft through the cassette.
- When cutting the motor shaft make sure to protect the wiring, us a PVC pipe or some other tube to protect the wire.
- If you cut the shaft you might have to cut the wire because it might not fit the head of the motor.
- If possible add a fuse to the wiring.
- Don’t run any additional device on the battery, like a fishfinder, when using the motor. There is only enough amp for the motor.