Ric Burnley
RTM’s Abaco with Torqueedo motor looks fast standing still.

Many kayak manufactures are adding motors to their kayaks to satisfy anglers looking for the ease and accessibility of motor power in a small, light and low-profile craft. French kayak manufacture, RTM has added a light and compact Torqueedo motor to its sleek Abaco 13 kayak. The motor runs off a lithium-ion battery that is the size of a cereal box and weighs less than 10 pounds. The motor attaches to a bracket on the back of the boat and is controled with a remote that displays speed, charge and even GPS location that connects with a smartphone. Direction is controlled with foot pegs and the motor is deployed with cables on either side of the boat. For 2016, RTM added more fish-friendly features to the Abaco. A center hatch and gear pockets offer anglers more storage. A large hatch and flushmount rodholders round-out the fishing package. The boat will travel over six-miles-per-hour and the battery will power the motor for over eight hours. This is possibly the sportiest motor kayak on the market, we can’t wait to take it for a test drive.

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“Thank God my dad wasn’t a podiatrist,” jokes Ric about following in the footsteps of a famous outdoor writer. After graduating from Radford University and serving two years in Russia with the Peace Corps, Ric returned to Virginia Beach and started writing for The Fisherman magazine, where his dad was editor. When the kayak fishing scene exploded, Ric was among the first to get onboard. His 2007 book, The Complete Kayak Fisherman is one of the first tomes to introduce anglers to paddle fishing and hundreds of articles and seminars have brought countless anglers into the fold. When he’s not chasing every fish that swims, Ric teaches English at a school for at-risk teens.


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