First it was paddle power. Then, it was pedal foot drives. Is the next step engine-powered kayaks?
Sean Hummel, president of Atlantic Extreme Watersports in Poquoson, Virginia, thinks so. Hummel runs one of the few companies that sell gasoline motor-powered kayaks, but it might be the first to market them for fishermen.
The Jet Kayak features a 9.5-horsepower, electric-start engine capable of trolling at 2 mph, plus much higher speeds that max out near 25 mph. With a run time of two hours at wide-open throttle, Hummel says that's a range of 30 to 40 miles.
"The Jet Kayak is quieter then any personal watercraft out there," says Hummel. "We were using it on the Chesapeake Bay and had a pod of 20 to 30 dolphins swimming on all sides. They weren't disturbed by the noise."
For fishng, the kayak is outfitted with multiple Scotty rod holders and can be rigged to your liking. The JetKayak runs in as little as 10 inches of water. Plus, the jet pump has a weed-cutter at the intake to get you through minor vegetation.
Storage includes an optional 16- by 28-inch rack that snaps to the back of the kayak. It holds two milk crates for tackle storage, or you can put a cooler back there. Plus, there's a dry storage compartment at the front of the kayak and another hatch directly behind the seat.
"The JetKayak handles mild to moderate chop," says Hummel. "Scotty makes inflatable kayak stabilizers you can use if the waters are really rough."
Two scupper holes drain water where the driver sits. The engine compartment stays dry, but has two automatic electric bilge pumps, plus a siphon pump that works off the jet drive, as added precautions.
As a kayak fisherman, it got me wondering if motorized kayaks are the next frontier for offshore kayak anglers looking for more range. Not all anglers have easy access to deep waters offshore. With a two-hour run time at full throttle and the ability to handle up to five Scotty holder mounts, the JetKayak seems pretty versatile. But with a weight max of 260 pounds, the only limiting factor might be the number of dolphin, tuna and mackerel you can bring back to shore.
Base price for the JetKayak is $4,250.