Easiest electric kayak conversion ever? BOTE and Bixby add a motor to kayaks and SUPs

BOTE is known for its wide array of inflatable watercraft like kayaks and stand-up paddleboards (SUPs), as well as plenty of other inflatables from docks to beach furniture and even beach games. But now with the help of an electric motor system Bixby, BOTE is making it easier than ever to turn a kayak or SUP into an electric boat.

BOTE just announced a new system today that lets its APEX-equipped vessels make use of the Bixby J-2 PowerShroud Motor.

The Bixby is a cute little electric marine motor that offers up to 32 lb of thrust. That’s equivalent to a decent trolling motor, though the Bixby J-2 is a much more elegant solution than any trolling motor.

The system includes the motor, which mounts to a BOTE adapter designed to place it down beneath the boat where BOTE’s APEX pedal drive would normally go.

The motor runs off of Bixby’s outboard battery, which is rated at 378 Wh. That’s enough for 80 minutes of runtime at full throttle, which is apparently capable of propelling boaters up to 9 mph (14.5 km/h or 7.8 knots). For those that can ease up on the throttle, the battery can provide up to 12 hours of thrust at trolling speeds.

There’s a wireless remote with 12 forward speeds and 3 reverse speeds. The remote and battery even float just in case either accidentally winds up going overboard.

As the company explained:

“The kit includes a compact and lightweight motor that can be attached to the rear of a stand-up paddleboard or kayak, providing propulsion for long-distance paddling and making it easier to navigate against strong currents or winds. The motor is also equipped with a rechargeable battery and a wireless remote control, allowing users to easily adjust the speed and direction of the motor. With a maximum speed of 9 mph and a range of up to 12 miles, the Apex Bixpy J-2 Power Motor Kit is a great addition to any BOTE, providing an efficient and fun way to explore the water.”

Together, the entire system weighs just 10 lb (4.5 kg), so it won’t add much bulk to your board or kayak.

At $1,399, it’s actually fairly low-cost compared to most of the electric outboards we’ve seen for kayaks and other small boats.

Electrek’s Take

I haven’t tried BOTE’s kayaks or paddleboards, but I do have a DOCK 10 inflatable dock/platform from the company – and that thing is SOLID. I thought it would feel like the inflatable mattress we keep in the closet for company, but it actually feels so rigid that I was sure the fake teak on top was real. There’s a bit of movement since it is floating on the water and thus moves under you when you jump, but otherwise, it feels like you’re standing on a boxing ring floor – a slight bit of give, and that’s it.

If their boards and kayaks are as good as their dock platform, then this Bixby electric motor is going to be a great addition to creating a compact electric boat setup. Imagine an electric boat that fits in the trunk of your car!

Hmm, maybe I’ll need to look into a few of these Bixby motors for my own electric boat project.

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