Kayaks and canoes with electric motors in trial

EXTRA GEAR: Kayakers and canoers will be able to fit a small electric motor onto their vessel without a permit under a trial that will run all year.

VICTORIAN paddlers who want to fit a small electric motor to their kayaks or canoes will not be required to register their craft or hold a marine licence, as part of a trial exemption in 2018.

The trial aims to reduce red tape for low-powered vessels travelling up to five knots.

The trial will run between January 1 and December 31, 2018, and is for kayaks and canoes with electric motors of up to 40 pounds thrust (or 1 horsepower or 750 watts).

The trial is in response to a recommendation from the Red Tape Commissioner to bring Victorian requirements closer to New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania.

The benefits of motor use are that kayakers and other paddlers can conserve energy and have some assistance in getting home after their trip.

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