website maker

Please follow our instagram and youtube channel. Videos are updated frequently.



Specializing in Small Aircooled Outboard Systems for Kayak, Canoe, Skiff, Sailboat, and Small Watercraft.

Propulsion setups are available from 35cc to 71cc engine sizes and only weigh 23lbs with fuel. Lightweight and easy to install, maintain, and store, these make exceptional small motors for many styles of watercraft. Clients in the paddling, sailing, hunting, safety, and firefighting communities have used these small dependable air-cooled setups to take the burden of propulsion to a whole other level.

Recently we have been dabbling with self-contained electric powerheads with factory battery packs from Echo and the results have been fantastic. As the technology in brushless motors gets better, we will be utilizing all styles of compact power on our engine legs. Stay tuned.

These setups can be stored in small spaces and require a fraction of the maintenance of a traditional outboard. Air-cooled, no impellers, and no worries of your battery adding unneeded weight and cumbersome wiring to the fun.

2 and 4 stroke engines vary based on size and availability. KAYAKBUDDYS is dedicated to custom engine and propulsion configurations. If you have a special requirement, inquire, we can help with the build if you are local or simply point you in the right direction for customization.

* We currently only stock genuine Honda 4 stroke 35cc, along with the larger non-branded 53cc. The 53cc is a high quality clone 4 stroke engine that performs identically to the Honda GXV50 engines that are no longer produced by Honda. The 2 Stroke 71cc engines can be ordered if needed, but there will be a wait for manufacturing. One 71cc engine is usually kept in stock at all times.

** Comparison to traditional Honda 2.3hp outboard.


Nucanoe Frontier 12
Hobie Revolution 13

Powered with a Echo 58v Brushless Motor Setup

The new electric version of the engine leg that can be adapted to a lipo battery powered, self contained, brushless motor powerhead is in the works. Although this started out as a "lets see if this can be done", it is now a reality. Custom driveshafts have been made to bolt up the electric brushless motor head to test the 2 and 3 blade prop configurations.  More testing will happen to see their logevity and survival in the elements, including full salt water usage.

Scroll to see the videos.




*Echo 58V Brushless Powerhead on a Kayakbuddys Engine Leg (Completed)

 This has been something that we have wanted to experiment with and the results of merging a brushless powerhead from an Echo trimmer to a gas lower leg was very surprising. Unlike traditional electric trolling motors that use large motors and need large, heavy battteries, with large capacities to run, this uses a smaller brushless motor on top and a greared lower unit to reduce needed wattage size of the motor and a much smaller battery is then required. This may be leading into utilizing battery packs with high voltage and high efficiency, but only time will tell. Originally slated as a pull motor in front, this can greatly improve propulsion and battery requirements if only a pack is needed for the days outing.

*This is not for sale since this is experimental at the moment. The engine legs can be adapted by the consumer. 

Videos are found on the youtube channel.


Twin Engine Mount for Gas and Electric

On the drawing board is the possibility of a larger, wider motor rear custom mount that can support gas and electric simultaneously and use one steering arm to turn both engine systems. There has been talk of twin electric powerheads on 2 engine legs to up the speed and length of water covered now that the cartridge lipo batteries are a possibility. More to come hopefully soon...


Spring Creek Stabilizers and New Attachable Motor Mounts

Spring Creek has finally released their gas engine capable mount for the Stabilzer series for kayak, canoe, and small watercraft. This snap in module is robust and can certainly handle these outboards.

Spring Creek Kayak Stabilizers and Motor Mounts  


Lifan 35cc Mini 4 Stroke Motor Testing is Underway

With the small engine market not having to many manufacturing choices for powerheads, we are pleased to announce an additional 35cc 4 stroke engine that has a great price point, warranty, and longevity rating.  This is a true Ready to Run (RTR) setup at a great price point. Check out the build video on the RTR version. Order early, they are moving quickly.

* The Lifan manufacturer is looking into the electric option for this version. Hopefully soon we will have a push button start system available. 

2 blade upgrade on the Honda 1.3 hp engine system makes huge gains

After experimenting with various props and pitches, Kayak Buddys has solved the higer RPM speed /torque issue with the smaller hp engine system. Although quite capable with a 3 blade prop, all under 2.0 hp systems tend to lose torque at the higher rpms due to the kayak overall weight and draft. By swapping props to a different pitch and design, the engine produces cleaner RPM's until full throttle with over 30% gains in speed and smoother acceleration. This is a game changer for all smaller outboards.

Performace gains from 3.9 - 5.5 max MPH was a huge change for my heavy Nucanoe Frontier 12. It now performed as intended.  The video below shows the performance difference.  

Order your upgraded engine leg here...


Honda Shipping Promotion on Engines 

Free shipping will be applied to all system and powerhead purchases. No charge for engine shipping will be invoiced. Engine units will only be delivered to the Paypal address on file. Please inquire through the contact page for more information. 


5% off future engine system, engine legs, or accessory purchases for referral program, starts off 2019.

Each customer who refers a new client, and completes a full system purchase from Kayakbuddys  will receive 5% off the total order cost on future purchases, not including shipping.  An invoice will be sent to reflect the discount once the information and purchase is verified. Please inquire through the contact page if more information is needed.

KAYAKBUDDYS engine setups and legs have been successfully mounted and used on the following brands currently and more are coming soon as custom setups are created by you the owner or through our install team. These brands are linked so you may browse their selection of watercraft. Kayakbuddys is not affiliated with these companies, but enjoys promoting companies such as these to help set the bar for the industry. This sport of kayaks for fishing and recreating is just now taking center stage as more people want to experience the water in a different way.

CC Chart with Outboard Engine Specifications - Rating Chart

Engine rating will fluctuate depending on 2 and 4 stroke engine models and fuel. This give a general idea on the CC to HP range and the types of engines suitable for the use on a kayak. These are general estimates and change based on water condition, weight of the kayak and passenger(s) with equipment.

Important details and key points about the engine leg:
●   The small outboard leg that is built of aluminum and stainless steel hardware. The only steel used is the drive shaft, clutch    
      housing and lower unit gears. **No black steel like other vendors and cheap fittings, period.

**There are other vendors selling similiar model designs, but with black steel fittings, pot metal castings, and with inferior engines that won't take the punishment. Honda engines are hands down the best mini 4 strokes money can buy. The other models we carry are built for Kayakbuddys with better fittings and components and are as close as you can get to the real Honda, but with a better price point. Great power and simplicity.

●   All of the fittings are stainless as well to extend the longevity of the leg.
●   Weighs 23lbs with an engine and 12lbs by itself. No electric trolling motor system can match the torque and rough water
      capability from gas propulsion. Runs for roughly 1 hr. on a tank of gas with the throttle fully open using the Honda GX35 engine.
●   Upper most mount position to the center axis of the propeller at its maximum height is 23.5 inches.
●   You can adjust the vertical trim and lockout of the engine. If an obstacle is struck underwater, the engine will pivot upward with
      run unlocked.
●   This is a light weight economical way to guide you through the water using small 2 and 4 stroke engines of your choice.
●   This is not a flipped around weed eater, but a geared actual drive system that uses a centrifugal clutch system.
●   Unlike electric which uses thrust, the gas counterpart works identical to a real boat engine and supplies torque to the prop
     through a splined shaft system gear to take advantage of the high rpms. This is why weed eaters fail and burn up.
●   Uses a kill switch (deadman style) type. So if you need to shut the engine while fishing or diving this is the most efficient method.
***Please don't forget how important it is to break-in new engines and check oil and lubrication points regularly.
Can I Use My Engine?
The answer is not exactly yes. Weed trimmer motors 90% of the time do not fit, period. Using an old or under powered engine will give you some enjoyment until the engine quits or needs parts due to having worked to hard to create the torque needed to drive the craft. My motto is to spend money only once and do it right. Your better brands like Honda always make a higher grade engine in their models. Other off brands are good and do exist, you just need to select a quality unit. We can help you with that. You will need preferably a 30+cc engine or higher to give you the better torque range. Anything smaller will struggle depending on the weight of the boat, gear, and occupant. Only Honda vertical engines are 360 degree engines and can be used in any direction. A weed trimmerr setup will not work in its common format.

Remember this is not a turned around weed trimmer or brush cutter head.
I give credit to the Youtube crowd for being creative with weed trimmers, but these units are not experimental.

*****Robin/Subaru, Kawasaki, Shindaiwa, etc. all no longer producing Mini-4 strokes for the US market. EPA regulations and cost of materials makes this a losing battle for most manufacturers due to the overseas clone market. Patents have expired years ago and the copies now hold their own against the once competitive market.

Order your complete system with upgraded engine leg here...

So just why are these small engines such great fun and so user friendly?

Small and Lightweight

(23 lbs.)

Durable and Dependable

2 and 4 Stroke Adaptable

Easy Maintenance and No Impellers


Get monthly updates and links when new items are developed or clients are featured.