THE BASICS 101 ...

The information is comprised of many years of studying the hulls and characteristics that make gas propulsion a common adaption with great success if executed with the proper outboard and gear that make the experience fun and enjoyable.

The following list of essential questions and general information has been put together to help with your critical decisions on how you plan to power your watercraft and what is needed to be successful.    

*This still a work in progress.

Where to start? Ask yourself these questions before you begin the journey.

  • Is my kayak rated for an outboard?
    Most people will answer this with a big "NO". So here where the fun begins. Unless you have a kayak like a Nucanoe, you will be adding or modifying the rear to accept a fabricated mount. Let's understand right off the bat that a plastic mount like a Railblaza or Yakgadget system will not hold up to the torque of a gas engine.

    Weight is a killer on the transom. Our engines weigh in at around 24.5 lbs with fuel and the stainless prop. Traditional systems range from Honda 2.3 at 29.5 lbs, Suzuki 2.5 at 29 lbs, and the Mercury 2.5 which weighs in at 38 lbs. It may not sound like much difference, but the stress can be devastating to the hull. These systems are without fuel.

    Prop pitch, type, and max rotational RPM along with whether it is a weedless design are critical factors when adapting power. It is not just throw an engine on the back and see what happens. You will instantly void your warranty on the kayak and internal and external cracking will appear, it is just a matter of when.
  • How do I plan to mount the engine if it does not have a transom?
    Get a mount fabricated with the ability to brace from underneath or side mount with stabilizers. Side mounting is not optimal, but will still perform very well if set up right and will help balance the craft. Rear mounting is the best option always, but the most damaging to the thin plastics on kayaks without transoms. Adding foam inside does nothing to strengthen the hull. People still think this helps.

    Please do not brace on the T-tracks unless they are aluminum with multiple tie-in points to the hull and the screws are spaced out to spread the load. This is still not optimal.
  • What is the weight capacity of the watercraft and how much weight can the rear hold?
    This is a question that needs serious attention. Rear deck load with weight on top is different than the force applied by an outboard. I almost sank my Vibe Sea Ghost due to pushing the rear down on a makeshift transom. The vertical forces pushed the hull down to the waterline. It wasn't pretty.   
  • How do I plan to control the engine? 
    How do I plan on controlling the throttle and have full horizontal steering has been the topic of many conversations I have had with my clients. In my opinion, you want a clickable twist shifter that locks in positions so fatigue doesn't set in. Most traditional systems are variable and rely on the driver to hold in position. Not a game-changer, but still not convenient. See Throttle types.
  • How do I start the engine from a distance?
    On our systems, the Honda powerhead can be started with little effort due to a valve decompression system built-in allowing for quick starts. There is not a traditional outboard that compares. An added pull cord extension easily ties on to the OEM pull cord for remote starting.
  • Can I modify all horizontal, vertical, and trim angles?
    Traditional engines have a straight forward stick with little angle and horizontal adjustments. So in other words you have to bend your arm and hands to conform to the system not the other way around. Adding a u-joint tiller is by far the best option, but still limits the trim alignment on traditional engines. Height adjustments tend to be somewhat limited as well due to these engines being originally developed for Jon Boat style transom heights. Our system are fully adjustable.
  • How do I plan on stopping the engine?
    Kill switch location could mean the difference from having an accident and surviving without damage or rolling over the boat or even possibly striking an object without being able to control the system. Our system allows for extensions to the kill switch placement so it can be relocated to your seat or dashboard. Having it only located on the tiller handle can be of little use if you can't reach it.
  • How do you plan on refueling the system?
    This has only come to fruition as of late. On-board tanks where the only way to refuel and keep the motor running. Due to the lack of a fuel pump and having pressurized tanks, this was not achievable. Now a simple refuel inlet on the cap on the Honda tank allows for unlimited fuel replenishment from an external tank. I am sure with a bit of creativity a traditional engine could do the same.
  • Can I run in shallow water?
    If you have an impeller then you might run the risk of overheating from blockages. By having a fully air and oil-cooled system this variable is taken out of the equation on our systems. True trim and tilt is right around the corner.
  • Can I do the maintenance on the engine?
    Think about your level of mechanic abilities here. The lesser amount of moving points allows for fewer failure points. No system is perfect, but having centrifugal clutching and a direct drive with no prop spin on start-up is essential. Having to put a system in gear adds another complexity to a system. You want to be balanced and have simple movements to ensure you do not fall out. Be able to maintain your system is what it is all about. Oil and filters are about as hard as it gets.
Honda Powerhead
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Contact Info.
  • Mr. Matthew Pate, Owner
  • 3352 Beauclerc Rd.
  • Jacksonville, Florida 32257
  • mattpate@comcast.net
  • (305) 926-2937

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