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I recently purchased, fitted and used the Watersnake Kayak Trolling Motor Mount kit. I have mixed thoughts about this product. I purchased the complete “kit.”
But, you can buy them on their own and I recommend that you consider this if you decide to buy one. I’ll explain in detail my reasons for this thinking below.
I’m relatively new to kayaking. No, I’ll rephrase that…
I’m an absolute newbie to kayaking and kayak fishing.
As I suffer from chronic asthma having a motor in addition to paddling seemed logical to me.
So, I looked around at a variety of brands and settled on the Watersnake T24 electric motor.
According to the spec’s, this is sufficient to propel an average-sized kayak at around 5kmh.
While there is an infinite number of Youtube videos on DIY mounting brackets most employed the standard transom mount that comes with the motor.
I found the “Watersnake Kayak Trolling Motor Mount” kit and figured that it made sense. Given it was made for the purpose and patented by Watersnake themselves.
There are in fact two ways of buying the mount. The “kit” includes the motor and the bracket. I recommend *not* buying the kit. Buy the motor and the mount separately. Lest you run into the issues I outline below.
Now, the downer. Things really didn’t work out as planned. To be fair, not all the manufacturer’s fault. It was partly my own in that I bought the boat and motor together. Taking a big box store salesperson at their word (do not do that!!) “…no worries mate, it’ll fit fine.”
The problem was the gunnel (side of the kayak – see photo below) wasn’t wide enough to take the mount.
That is, without sacrificing a rod holder. Which I couldn’t afford to lose.
In the photo I’ve included you can see how it’s supposed to go.
But, sadly, not on my kayak.
This is a problem as buying the Watersnake Kayak Trolling Motor Mount “kit” means you do not get the transom mount.
It leaves you stuck. Sourcing a transom mount separately has so far been fruitless.
You start to think some of the other commercial and DIY options would have been a whole lot easier, to begin with!
I know I quickly began to wish I’d just bought the standard transom mount unit.
Let the weird contrivances begin!
After a lot of messing around with trying to mount it without the mounting foot (just the bar) onto a PVC pipe rod holder, I rigged up, I soon realized, was not going to work for this mount. The bar really needed more bracing than the PVC offered.
So phase two saw me buying a cheap PVC cutting board from The Reject Shop (Australian “dollar store”) and trying to make a platform with that. Attaching the base to the cutting board in the way intended when putting the mount on the gunwale.
I’d bask in the radiance of pure genius – if it’d actually worked. Thing is, this wasn’t going to work either. Simply not enough support – again due to my thinner than “average” gunnel.
In the interim, I’d made another purchase I’d been intending to build/buy.
Adapting The Mounting Bracket With Kayak Outriggers
By this time I’d done enough research to know my much to small kayak, quite stable when paddling, needed help when a motor was attached. So I’d consumed hours and hours of Youtube videos and Pinterest posts on training wheels “outriggers.”
I decided to buy mine, not being impressed with the pool noodle and PVC pipe DIY jobs I’d seen.
I ended buying a set of well-made outriggers available here (not an affiliate link) and as seen in the photo.
So it’s on the cross-bars that mount the outrigger that I ended up attaching the plastic chopping board. Using U-bolts to hold it on. With the U-bolts, I was able to use the steel bar that comes with the kayak motor mount. Sliding it and tightening it up using wingnuts. Basically – a DIY transom board.
Crikey!! Talk about the long way around.
Overall the concept is a good one and certainly well thought out.
However, in my opinion, more attention to detail on the strength of the fittings is required.
Also, Watersnake claim “fits most kayaks” and I think this is true of high-end kayaks the fact is many budget end (below $1000 kayaks) have thinner gunwales which will make mounting challenging.
Several customers have reported, on some sites, that the mount keeps slipping when in use. I’ve not found this to be the case as yet.
It’s certainly very flexible to use, once mounted. The number of variations you can use to adjust it is excellent.
To repeat – I recommend buying the mount separately to the motor. It doesn’t cost much more and you get the ability to change the mount to the standard transom mount if you need to do so.
If you’d like to find out more I recommend checking it out here. KAYAK MOTOR MOUNTING BRACKET ONLY (WATERSNAKE)