Newport Vessels Kayak Series 55lb Thrust Transom Mounted Saltwater Electric Trolling Motor
Newport Vessels Kayak Series 55lb Thrust Transom Mounted Saltwater Electric Trolling Motor is a strong and lightweight trolling motor designed for kayaks, pontoon, and other similar smaller vessels.
Newport Vessels Kayak Series 55lb Thrust Transom Mounted Saltwater Electric Trolling Motor features short and adjustable shaft, LED battery indicator, 3-blade prop, 8 speeds, long cables, and other features making it one of the most popular units in its class.
Newport Vessels Kayak Series 55lb Thrust Features and Specifications
Newport Vessels Kayak Series 55lb Thrust is intended to be powered by 12V deep cycle or marine lead-acid (wet/flooded, AGM, Gel-Cell) battery.
Trolling motor comes with an LED battery indicator with 5 levels of battery charge - in order to avoid any confusion, the use of lithium-ion batteries is officially not recommended.
Note: while both lead-acid and lithium batteries feature nominal voltage of 12 volts, actual voltage is higher, with lithium-ion batteries 'usually' featuring slightly higher voltage than lead-acid batteries, leading to the stronger current and thus larger thermal and physical load on the motor and other parts.
Shaft is made of fiberglass and is 24 inches (~61 cm) long and features 1.15 inches (~3 cm) diameter. Its height is adjustable, allowing the user to set it to the most comfortable height. Shaft is designed to bend and not to shatter when the motor hits underwater obstacles - good to know, but highly recommended to avoid such activities!
The whole unit weighs 23 pounds (~10.5 kg) and can be easily carried around.
6 inches (~15 cm) long handle ensures accurate direction setting, but also help the user drive the motor at desired speed - unit features 5 forward and 3 reverse speeds, which is almost a 'standard' for such motors.
Personally, I prefer continuous speed control for even more finer power regulation.
Newport Vessels Kayak Series 55lb Thrust Transom Mounted Saltwater Electric Trolling Motor is recommended for kayaks up to 16 feet in length (~4.9 m) - maximum estimated speed for the 7.5 feet (~2.3 m) long boat is 4 mph, but this depends on many factors.
Propeller is three-bladed and features a diameter of 10 inches (~25 cm) - prop features balanced design between efficiency, speed, power consumption, and thrust. Also, prop can slice through the grass when used in shallow water, but thick grass can stop or slow down the prop enough to force the motor to draw excess current, causing the circuit breaker to shut-off the motor.
The maximum current draw is 52 Amps - unit comes with 50 Amps circuit breaker intended to protect the motor and the battery from too large currents.
Trolling motor comes with 5ft 6in (~1.77 m) 10 AWG cables for connecting the motor with the battery.
Unit is built using saltwater corrosion-resistant materials including stainless steel, a sacrificial zinc anode, fiberglass composite shaft, and a fiberglass reinforced nylon propeller - this trolling motor is designed for both saltwater and freshwater use, with a 2-year warranty.
Also, the unit's head with the handle is designed to be resistant to light rain, but if sprayed directly or even submerged, it will leak, causing the unit to malfunction.
How to Power Newport Vessels Kayak Series 55lb Thrust Electric Trolling Motor
According to the manufacturer, the minimum recommended battery is a deep cycle/marine 50Ah battery - such battery is able, again according to the manufacturer, to power the motor for 1h at speed 5 continuously and 3 hours at speed 3.
Personally, this is too optimistic - if the maximum current draw is ~50 Amps, then one needs a battery that features 50 Ah 1h capacity and NOT 50Ah 20h capacity.
For example, Universal Power Group UB12750 12V 75Ah Sealed Lead Acid Battery is able to provide 42 Amps for one hour (down to 9.6 volts), and Universal Power Group UB121000 12V 100Ah Sealed Lead Acid Battery is able to provide 57 Amp for one hour (down to 9.6 volts).
Whenever dimensioning lead-acid batteries for electric trolling motors (or other similar loads), always keep in mind 'effective' capacity and not just 20h capacity.
In order to protect the batteries from water, wind, sun, etc. it is highly recommended to place the battery in the smart battery box power center.
One of the most popular models is Newport Vessels Trolling Motor Smart Battery Box Power Center with USB and DC Ports - it features external battery ports, it comes with dual integrated circuit breakers (10 Amps and 60 Amps), it features USB charging port, 12V accessory port, LCD battery meter, etc.
Also, Newport Vessels Trolling Motor Smart Battery Box Power Center is large enough to accept Group 24 (typically 75-85 Ah) and Group 27 (typically 66-110 Ah) batteries.
Note: Newport Vessels Trolling Motor Smart Battery Box Power Center does NOT feature battery and battery charger - battery and battery charger must be purchased separately.
Long Story Short: Newport Vessels Kayak Series 55lb Thrust Transom Mounted Saltwater Electric Trolling Motor is strong and durable, yet lightweight, electric trolling motor for kayaks and similar vessels.
It is a very versatile unit, and may be used in the shallows and for the ocean-going fishing kayaks - just be sure that the weight of the equipment is properly distributed in the boat/kayak. Trolling motor features battery LED meter optimized for lead-acid batteries, so be sure not to rely on it if the lithium battery is used.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check Newport Vessels Kayak Series 55lb Thrust Saltwater Electric Trolling Motor and Newport Vessels Trolling Motor Smart Battery Box Power Center Amazon links (links open in the new windows).