Newport Vessels is showing off its latest electric motor kit, this time designed to turn kayaks into electric boats. The easy-to-use NK300 motor is designed for fishermen, outdoors enthusiasts, and anyone who wants to go further on their kayaks than their arms will take them.
Newport is known for their electric trolling motors, but the new NK300 electric motor is a specialized version designed specifically to mount on kayaks.
It runs on a 36V system, allowing the tiny motor to offer 1,300 watts of electrical power. The company tells us that it is equivalent in performance to a 3 horsepower gasoline outboard.
It’s apparently enough to get a kayak up to 6.5 mph (10.5 km/h) on the water, though going that fast significantly reduces the range of the setup.
When paired with the company’s 36V and 30Ah lithium iron phosphate battery, the entire kit is said to offer a maximum range of 66 miles (106 km) in low-power trolling mode. A more modest range of 17.7 miles (28.5 km) is achievable at around 25% throttle. Going wide open on the throttle at max speed will drop the range to just 6.8 miles (10.9 km).
The company offers a 40Ah battery with 1,440 Wh of capacity that should increase those range figures by around 33%. That would put the maximum range at trolling speed closer to 88 miles (142 km). Of course, that would be a day and a half of continuous use, essentially turning a kayak into a water camper.
For those who want to go fast without compromising range, adding a second battery is a simple way to double the motor’s run time.
The NK300 electric motor uses a remote throttle system so that the user doesn’t have to keep a hand on the tiller. That’s going to be a major plus for anglers who need both hands free to work their rod.
The forward and reverse throttle includes a digital screen to provide power and battery readouts, allowing operators to keep an eye on charge level. It also has a magnetic kill switch to prevent the kayak from sailing off into the sunset if the operator ever slips overboard.
Cable controls allow the prop to be remotely raised and lowered, and the kayak’s existing foot pedals for rudder controls can be adapted to the motor to allow for easy hands-free steering.
The NK300 kayak motor is priced at US $1,299 and is expected to begin shipping in March 2023. The 30Ah battery is already available for US $849, while the 40Ah battery costs US $949.
The Newport NK300 kayak motor follows on the heels of a similar electric outboard launched by the company, the Newport NT300.
The Newport NT300 has similar specs with a performance rating approximately equal to that of 3 horsepower combustion engine outboards.
A step-up from a traditional trolling motor, the NT300 uses a tiller handle with throttle control but is also compatible with the remote throttle option (with included magnetic kill switch) from the NK300 motor kit.
Low-power electric outboard motors have become an increasingly competitive market recently after several interesting new launches.
Honda just showed off a new electric outboard prototype that uses its swappable electric scooter batteries for power.
Mercury recently revealed a new line of varying power electric outboards starting with the Avator 7.5e.
Along with the Newport NT300 and NK300, all of these motors fall in the roughly 3 hp-equivalent category, making them useful for jon boats, small skiffs, inflatable boats, and kayaks.
I’m loving all of these new lightweight electric boats and electric outboards. My dad and I use a DIY electric kayak that required significant modification to get a trolling motor to work with it. Something like this Newport NK300 kit would have been a much more elegant option.
All of these lightweight marine motors and sealed lithium batteries are making it easier than ever for casual boaters to get out on the water while enjoying the benefits of quiet and emissions-free electric drive. There’s a lot to love. Less noise. Less maintenance. Less breathing in exhaust fumes. Less scaring off the fish. Basically, less is more. And I love it.
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