Best Motor Compatible Fishing Kayaks

Want to power up your kayaking adventures? Try motorized kayaks! We’ve reviewed the best models, from budget-friendly to premium options.

Best Motorized Kayak

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Sometimes dipping a paddle in the water isn’t enough. Whether you’re traveling long distances or just love the flexibility an engine provides, a growing market of motor-compatible kayaks has made the sport more versatile.

But selecting the best motorized kayak for you and your angling goals isn’t always easy. A lot depends on what sort of motor you want to install (or maybe you’d prefer if one was included), what storage space you have available, and how far you intend to kayak.

In this article, we’ll take a deep look at our favorite motorized kayaks in various categories. And we’ll point you in the right direction to get you on the water, fishing rod in hand, as fast as possible.

Our Top Picks

If you’re in a hurry, here are our top picks. Or continue scrolling to see our full list with in-depth reviews.

Best Overall: Old Town Sportsman Autopilot 120

Length: 12′ | Width: 37″ | Weight: 119 lbs | Capacity: 558 lbs

Old Town Sportsman Autopilot 120

Everything you’ve ever wanted in a motorized fishing kayak is packed into a 12-foot hull. The Old Town Sportsman Autopilot 120 comes with a saltwater-ready motor that can be connected via Bluetooth for hand’s free navigation. 

The Autopilot moniker comes from a Bluetooth hookup that can adjust the motor’s speed and direction to keep you on course without the need to use a paddle. 

Meanwhile, you can monitor your direction from a screen that doesn’t get washed out on sunny days. Once you arrive at your fishing spot, the autopilot will help you maintain your position and prevent you from drifting away.

But the Autopilot 120 offers plenty besides the fancy navigation features. You get all the add-ons and qualities you’d expect in a high-end fishing kayak. 

The rudder is controlled with foot braces, keeping your hands free to cast. Four rod holders keep your poles secured in transit, and multiple accessory tracks let you bring a camera, GPS, and whatever else you feel is necessary. The Autopilot 120 is also compatible with most fish finders, complete with thru-hull wiring.

The kayak is big and beefy, with a large 37-inch width that provides superb stability in various conditions. It is a sit-on-top kayak, so be prepared to get wet if you find yourself in some chop, and the overall performance isn’t at its best in really dynamic water. But it should be more than enough for most water conditions you’ll want to fish in.

  • Huge load capacity
  • Good sized open-air stern hatch
  • Comfy seat with high and low setting
  • Lack of dry storage space
  • Very heavy

Best Value: Wilderness Systems ATAK 120

Length: 12′3″ | Width: 35″ | Weight: 85 lbs | Capacity: 400 lbs

Wilderness Systems ATAK 120

A simpler model than the Autopilot 120, the Wilderness Systems ATAK 120 provides excellent quality at a reasonable price. Dimensions are similar, giving it comparable on-water performance. It’s reasonably lighter at 85-pounds, but still a challenge for most kayakers to carry on their own. 

You get more dry storage space with the ATAK 120. I wouldn’t consider any of the dry hatches massive, but they provide plenty of versatility. The bow storage space, while open-air, has an innovative cover on the front, which helps protect gear from splashing waves or rain. The stern hatch is also self-draining to prevent water from pooling.

The chair is similar to a lawn chair, complete with mesh seating that’s adjustable in three different directions and is extremely comfortable. There are plenty of included goodies for a kayak in this price range. For example, there are not one but two tacklebox holders along with four gear mounts that can house cameras, fishing rods, and your other toys. 

The ATAK 120 is compatible with the Helix MD Motor Drive, but unlike the Autopilot 120, it’s sold separately.

  • Decent amount of dry storage for a sit-on-top
  • Adjustable and padded foot braces
  • Plenty of potential add-ons for a value kayak
  • Too heavy to carry solo
  • Motor not included

Best Budget: Pelican Catch PWR 100

Length: 9′9″ | Width: 39″ | Weight: 78 lbs | Capacity: 450 lbs

Pelican Catch PWR 100

Another well-priced kayak that’s not lacking in features, the Pelican Catch PWR 100 is one of the stalwarts of the kayaking industry. However, it’s much shorter than the two models mentioned above, measuring less than 10-feet. This limits the PWR 100’s speed, making it better as a day boat or for those whose fishing spots are closer to home.

The boat carries everything you’d want from a fishing kayak. It features another cushy seat mounted on sliders, enabling you to find a comfortable position regardless of how long your legs are. The seat can even pivot 360-degrees, which can be a great asset when you’ve got a fish on the line.

A quartet of rigging tracks allows you to customize your PWR 100 however you see fit. Four rod holders and additional accessory eyelets round out the custom features. It’s impressive how many options Pelican has squeezed into a boat this size.

The built-in transom and battery compartment are ready for most 2.5 hp motors. The kayak also comes pre-wired to easily connect your battery-powered engine. The PWR 100 can also accommodate gasoline-powered engines if you’d prefer. 

  • Built-in transom ready for an engine
  • Rich array of ways to customize 
  • Plushy seat that can pivot 360-degrees
  • Shorter hull limits speed and performance
  • Wide width can make it challenging for newcomers to maneuver

Best Tandem: Sea Eagle 437ps Paddleski

Length: 14′4″ | Width: 48″ | Weight: 67 lbs | Capacity: 855 lbs

Sea Eagle 437ps Paddleski

Inflatable kayaks get a bad rap sometimes as being poor performing and flimsy imitations of their hard-sided cousins. That’s certainly not the case with Sea Eagle’s lineup of inflatable kayaks, and the 437ps Paddleski is no exception. 

The 437ps is set up to take advantage of just about any method of propulsion you want. So, in addition to paddling, it’s ready for an engine or a sail with little difficulty. 

Add in the massive 855-pound load capacity (that’s not a misprint), and you’ve got yourself a boat ready for extended adventures. The kayak can handle up to a 6 hp engine, giving you a potential top speed of 16 mph at a reasonable 20 miles per gallon. 

You won’t get the same performance from an inflatable as you would in a hard-sided kayak. Still, the tough fabric and five independent air chambers provide reassuring durability in case you hit any underwater obstacles. 

The 437ps Paddleski doesn’t have the same custom options for cameras and fish finders as you would find in some of the other models listed above. But I do like the included canopy to help keep the sun off during those sweltering summer days.

  • Massive load capacity
  • Durable design with multiple air chambers
  • Great top speed with an engine
  • Not the same performance as a hard-sided kayak
  • No included rod holders or other accessories

Best Inflatable: Sea Eagle 385fta FastTrack Angler Series

Length: 12′6″ | Width: 36″ | Weight: 45 lbs | Capacity: 635 lbs

385fta FastTrack Angler Series

Another standout from Sea Eagle, the 385fta FastTrack feels more like a cozy fishing boat than it does a kayak. With an inflation time of just seven minutes and the capability of holding a 15-pound engine, the 385fta provides you with an unmatched combination of speed and flexibility, all while being able to be stored in a tiny space. 

Durability isn’t an issue, thanks to the quadruple overlapped seams and tough reinforced exterior. As a result, the kayak can handle almost as many bumps and bruises as a hard-sided vessel. The load capacity may not be as massive as the Paddleski mentioned above. However, the 385fta can still handle an incredible 635-pounds.

It’s also a kayak built with fishing in mind. The hull includes specific holders for rods, hooks, lures, and extra tools, so you have everything on hand when you need it. There’s even a built-in fish ruler.

Stability is excellent with the ability for anglers of all experience and comfort levels to stand and cast with confidence. And the interior provides large amounts of storage space that can hold up to three paddlers or all your gear. 

  • Included nylon carry bag
  • Hull material is described as “tough as crocodile hide”
  • Can be paddled solo or tandem
  • Sits lower in the water, which increases the chances of getting wet

Motorized Kayak Buying Guide

Each kayak has unique characteristics that will affect its performance and what water conditions it functions best in. This list of variables includes the materials, kayak length, width, storage space, and other features that need to be considered to make sure you select the best kayak for you.

In this buying guide, we’ll take a close look at the important features you ought to consider before purchasing a motorized kayak.

Kayak Type

A sit-on-top kayak is a preferred design for fishing since these give you more room to move and are much easier to cast from. There are a few sit-in models that are designed for fishing. Still, these are very limited in the motor compatible space. We strongly suggest you choose a sit-on-top for most of your angling adventures.


Within the five sit-on-top kayaks we’ve recommended, there are two different material types.

The first of these is polyethylene, a hard plastic that is rigid and durable while requiring very little maintenance. It’s heavier than more expensive materials like fiberglass, but it’s cheaper and easier to produce, which reduces the cost and makes it the most popular kayaking material on the market today. 

The Catch PWR 100, ATAK 120, and Autopilot 120 are all made of polyethylene. While some companies market their own in-house plastic, they’re all quite similar. As a result, you can expect competitive performance levels from all three as far as material is concerned. 

Inflatable kayaks have seen a marked improvement in their performance and durability in recent years. Many higher-end models from companies like Sea Eagle produce reliable kayaks made of stitched nylon or similar materials that are difficult to damage. 


For kayaks that are outboard compatible, the potential speed will depend heavily on the make, model, and size of the motor you select. The kayak’s design does still have some influence on the boat’s speed and efficiency, though.

Longer keeled boats have an advantage and can move across the water faster. As a result, hard-sided kayaks like the ATAK 120, which measures over 12-feet long and has a narrow, plastic hull, provides one of the better top speeds. Meanwhile, the lower-priced Pelican PWR 100 is shorter by more than two feet and is more of a plodder on the water.

Inflatable kayaks also don’t paddle quite as efficiently. So even though the Sea Eagle Paddleski is as long as some touring kayaks, don’t plan on keeping up with hard-sided kayaks of similar length if you don’t have your engine running. 


Shorter, narrower kayaks are often the easiest to maneuver since the shorter keels provide less water resistance. You may not go anywhere fast in the Pelican Catch PWR 100, but once you arrive, you’ll be able to make sharp turns and squeeze in and out of tight fishing holes with little problem.

The massive Paddleski handles more like a raft in some situations, and it will take a skilled paddler to navigate narrow waterways. I’d suggest practicing in a controlled environment before taking it out to new territory to ensure that you feel comfortable handling it.

This can all change of course if you have an engine installed. A motor will significantly aid your maneuverability and can close the gap between the longer and narrower boats. Steering with a motor can be a challenge, though, so some practice in this department wouldn’t go awry either.


Today there’s no reason to resort to kayak seats made of cheap plastic that can’t be adjusted. Fishing kayaks have always seemed to put a little extra effort into making their seats as comfortable as possible, and this lineup is no exception. 

While the PWR 100 is marketed as a budget kayak, it has the most innovative seat on this list and can turn a full 360-degrees along its slider system. 

Not only is it well padded and provides excellent support for paddlers of all heights, but it makes casting and reeling fish much more effortless. No more worrying about bringing your boat around and putting unnecessary tension on the line.  

I’m also a big fan of the Autopilot 120’s mesh-covered seat that wicks away moisture and helps keep you cool on hot days. The chair is designed like a lawn chair and can be adjusted easily, ensuring on-water comfort for hours. 

Stability & Tracking

In addition to comfortable seats, fishing kayaks are also prized for their excellent stability. Since they’re usually sit-on-top kayaks, they need to be wider to ensure they won’t tip, and all five kayaks on this list feel solid underneath. 

These are boats meant for relatively protected water, though. So you’d want to be a competent and practiced paddler before taking them out into dynamic conditions. I’d suggest you avoid rough ocean conditions and strong currents altogether.

While they feel very stable underneath, this is known in the kayaking world as primary stability. Their secondary stability, referring to how stable they feel when edging or leaning side to side, is poor. Which is a common trait for sit-on-top kayaks. In large waves, where your weight can shift unexpectedly, they can feel unwieldy and easy to capsize

Like speed, tracking is related to how long the keel is. Therefore, the longer kayaks on this list should do a solid job of maintaining their course without too much extra effort.

In more challenging water or conditions with crosswinds or waves, it can become much harder to keep a straight line without the aid of a motor. The shorter PWR 100’s tracking can be poor in a wider range of situations and can be frustrating if you’re not well acquainted with a few basic paddle strokes


The rigid plastic on the hard-sided kayaks is difficult to damage. Even an accidental drop or hard landing on the rocks probably won’t be enough to cause long-term damage. Besides storing your kayak out of direct sunlight to minimize UV exposure, there’s little maintenance necessary to preserve their durability. 

A well-made inflatable kayak is more durable than you’d think, and Sea Eagle has emerged as one of the best inflatable companies out there. The rigid exterior and drop-stitch kayak floor provide a strength that can handle collisions with underwater obstacles.

However, you’ll undoubtedly need to be more careful with an inflatable, especially when landing on rocky beaches or in the surf.

You’ll also need to be sure to completely dry your inflatable kayak before folding and storing it so that mildew doesn’t get a foothold. 

Portability & Storage

Big, stable, and wide polyethylene fishing kayaks tend to be on the heavy side, and that weight only increases when you add on a motor. 

The heaviest of these is the Autopilot 120, thanks to the included motor and console that allows you to steer with your feet. Unfortunately, it’s challenging to move as it tips the scales at over 150 pounds (with the motor installed). Therefore, you’ll likely need another pair of hands or a heavy-duty kayak cart to safely move it to and from the water. It has well-designed carry handles, but it’ll still be a heck of a portage, even for stronger paddlers.

Even the inflatable kayaks on this list can’t be considered lightweight fishing kayaks. The Paddleski is over 60-pounds, and the 385fta tops 40. While much more reasonable, it may still be more than you want to try to manage on your own. However, you do have the bonus of carrying them deflated in the trunk of a car.

For storage and load capacity, it’s hard to beat the massive Sea Eagle Paddleski. There’s not a lot of dry storage in this model which is typical of inflatable kayaks. Still, the sheer quantity of gear you can bring allows you to stay in the field indefinitely.

On the hard-sided front, the Autopilot 120 has a similar set-up with a considerable load capacity but not as much dry storage space as you’d hope. I like the bow covering on the ATAK 120, it’s far from watertight but will at least keep splashing waves from soaking your gear which is a common ailment for sit-on-top models. 

The Verdict

While more expensive, it’s hard to quibble with the grab-and-go design of the Autopilot 120. The built-in motor saves you an extra purchase and installation, and the foot-controlled rudder is an innovative way to keep your hands free to cast. However, it is exceedingly heavy and will require considerable dedicated storage space and a large vehicle to safely transport.

If that’s not the sort of commitment you’re looking for at this time, I’m impressed with how many goodies have been crammed into the PWR 100 despite being less than ten feet in length. Even more easy to transport and store are the two Sea Eagle models that can fit comfortably in a modestly sized closet when not in use.

With their excellent stability and included fishing accessories, one of these five kayaks should be able to fit your lifestyle well, getting you on the water quicker and keeping you out there longer. We look forward to seeing you motoring across the water soon.