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Motor Guide Xi3 trolling motor #14299738 02/28/22 02:02 AM
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Clay34 Offline OP
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Anyone try a Motor Guide Xi3 trolling motor for a kayak? This kayak motor comes with a 36" shaft. My real question for those that own it: does it cavitate water too much with this shaft length?

I would mount it on a PA14 and another angler suggested that I get a longer shaft since this will break the water surface in choppy water too often and a longer shaft would be better. Wanted to see what everyone here thought about that?


Many go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not the fish that they are after. Henry David Thoreau
Re: Motor Guide Xi3 trolling motor [Re: Clay34] #14303087 03/03/22 01:24 AM
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Searsay Offline
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I don't have an xi3 or a hobie

That said - i do have a bow mount PowerDrive + ProNav - where i modified the shaft to 36" and have used it on two different kayaks and a porte-bote. My general rigging on it (when i use it) on "normal" day is to bring the top/highest part of the prop at least 1-2" below the bottom of the kayak. That maximizes both control on my kayak + overall thrust due to the hull styles on both of the kayak's where i have used it. Top of prop is ~ 10" below the water line and I'm left with ~18" of shaft above the lock on the shaft/unit. With this setup in my 12ft kayak the prop starts cavitating only if i'm cranking it full 100% (and even then only due to boat wakes or decent chop)

I use this same trolling motor on a small porta bote - that is almost the same length as my kayak - and it is a very different experience - mostly because it is mounted higher up out of the water by about 6"

Your experience will depend on hull shape, what you consider "rough water" for while your in your kayak, and how your kayak reacts to swells/chop.

I personally haven't found a need for longer than 36" - but then i'm running a slightly shorter (with a deck closer to the water) kayak than a hobie pa14 - I assume your experience would be more like what I get in my porte bote whose deck/mount is about 4" higher - where it works... but not as well (i'd love 6" longer shaft for the porte bote)

I will also say the 36" is a LOT nicer to stow on both the kayak and porte bote - I was a bit indecisive originally on cutting it to 36" and eventually did it... and it was SO much nicer/easier after I did - I've never regretted it. It works for 99% of my on the water scenarios and is 150% easier to work around when I'm not using it.

Re: Motor Guide Xi3 trolling motor [Re: Searsay] #14303741 03/03/22 06:30 PM
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Clay34 Offline OP
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Thanks for the nice detailed response Searsay. The other angler that I was speaking with said that he would only put a longer shaft on the PA 14 and not on the PA 12 just for the same reason that you mentioned: stowing length. When the bow mounted trolling motor is stowed away it will protrude into the kayak further on a PA 12 but the PA 14 has a longer nose and the longer shaft fits good on the 14' boat.

You are right in that the PA sits up slightly higher than many other Kayaks. My "choppy water" comment is really about fishing very large lakes I chase salmon on Lake Michigan 22,000 sq miles of surface area. While I still fish in the harbors, many kayakers go off shore several miles and trolling motor would be a grand addition. Think about using your kayak on Toledo Bend Reservoir.

Just thinking that if the longer shaft stows away alright and the cavitation will be less, it might be something to consider.


Many go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not the fish that they are after. Henry David Thoreau
Re: Motor Guide Xi3 trolling motor [Re: Clay34] #14304717 03/04/22 06:51 PM
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Searsay Offline
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Clay34 - replacement shafts are ~$50 (not super cheap but not expensive by most measures) If you really want to know... buy one with the longer shaft (so you don't have to worry about wiring being to short) test it out ... if you have any issues with stowing or it being to long - pull it out and cut it to 36". Test! if you like it great your set! if you don't like it you can buy a second shaft and now you know what you prefer and how it acts on a hobie pa14. This is basically what i did on my powerdrive - but since i was so happy with 36" i never went back :^^:

Last edited by Searsay; 03/04/22 06:52 PM.
Re: Motor Guide Xi3 trolling motor [Re: Searsay] #14305221 03/05/22 05:10 AM
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Clay34 Offline OP
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Thanks for the good thoughts Searsay.


Many go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not the fish that they are after. Henry David Thoreau
Re: Motor Guide Xi3 trolling motor [Re: Clay34] #14317310 03/16/22 05:02 PM
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Clay34 Offline OP
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I was debating and even leaning toward the longer shaft. Then Cabela's had a sale on the Xi3 with GPS and I snatched that and a quick release mount which was also on sale. If you have a Cabela's card they also give you $100 in store credit. So I will run the 36" shaft for now.

Cabela's sale


Many go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not the fish that they are after. Henry David Thoreau
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