Standard features of electric-powered kayaks include a battery-powered motor, the ability to drive in reverse, a motor mount, and either a control panel on the side or foot controls for steering the kayak. Features and designs vary by model.
Top speeds of electric kayaks typically range from 4 to 7 miles per hour. The driver can use paddles with or without the motor running, but paddling while using the motor adds to the kayak's speed. Operating the motor at its maximum speed significantly reduces battery life. Some electric kayaks use solar power in addition to a battery.
Driving in reverse is useful for fishing and in situations where the kayaker needs to back up quickly. Most human-powered kayaks don't offer this feature, giving electric kayaks an advantage.
The motor mount allows the kayaker to install or remove the motor or use a different motor with the kayak. Many electric kayaks offer foot controls so the kayaker can free up his hands while he steers, but some have a control panel instead.
Standard kayak lengths range from 13 to 16 feet. Shorter kayaks are easier to maneuver, as they have a smaller turning radius, but longer kayaks tend to have higher maximum speeds.
Electric kayaks are available with one or multiple seats. The Old Town Predator XL, for example, offers one adjustable seat with three positions, while the Kayacht Touring 130 offers two seats, one of which is adjustable.