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best trolling motor for pontoon boats

Best Trolling Motor for Pontoon Boat in Fresh and Saltwater [2020 Buying Guide]

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Trolling Motor for Pontoon

Are your trolling motors causing too much noise and vibrations?
Does your motor fail to run frequently or doesn’t it work at a certain speed?
Does your rotor coil keep damaging?

Well, almost all the pontoon boat owners face these problems and many of them spend a lot of money on repairs. However, what they don’t do is to find out the real problem and then invest in it. Be it an inflatable pontoon or a common one, you must find one with good material and motors to escape future troubles. This becomes difficult if you are nouveau boat owner and you have no one to guide. But you don’t need to worry anymore. You are at the right place where you will find a solution to your every problem regarding your pontoon boat.


Here, I will not only give you a brief but in-depth idea about different parts of the trolling motors but also discuss the pros and cons of the popular trolling motors available in the market now. Some common technical problems that you may encounter will also be discussed here so that you can save both your time and money and don’t mess up in the end.

Which is the Best Trolling Motor for Pontoon Boat?

While buying my trolling motor, I have researched a lot of brands and models. Here, I have come up with a detailed review of a few of my favorite brands and models of trolling motors. I hope from this review; you can know which is the best suitable model for your ultimate boating experience.

Minn Kota Endura Transom Mount Trolling Motor

Minn Kota Endura C2 50 Freshwater Transom Mounted Trolling Motor (36″ Shaft)
  • 12-volt freshwater transom-mounted trolling motor with a thrust level of 50 and a 36-inch shaft
  • 6-inch telescoping handle and tilt twist tiller for ergonomic speed control and steering; lever lock bracket offers a rock solid mount
  • Cool quiet power maximizes battery life and doesn’t spook fish
  • 5 forward speeds, 3 reverse speeds for maximum control
  • Indestructible composite shaft backed my a lifetime warranty; two year warranty covers the motor

Whether you go for fishing or spend some fantastic time on the deep blue sea, you will need to be equipped with the proper instruments. One of the most basic types of equipment for your boat is the trolling motor. Choosing the best trolling motor for your boat, you can get a lot of advantages while fishing. And one of the best trolling engines in our list is Minn Kota Endura Transom Mount Trolling Motor.

This trolling motor comes with the perfect length. It helps to maintain the propeller submerging in the different water conditions. It comes with ergonomic designs and superb control system for your boat. As the battery doesn’t make extra sound, fishes don’t get away with the sound of it. For the greater control and grip, it both has forward and reverse speed control. The weight of this trolling motor is not much, so it doesn’t create weight issues on your boat. 

What We Like –

  1. The shaft of this motor is entirely durable. 
  2. The shaft of this motor comes with the proper length for the boat. 
  3. It has a telescopic handle.
  4. It is effortless to handle and control. You will get a very comfortable grip while feeling it. 
  5. The on and off button with this device makes it more suitable to use while fishing. 
  6. It creates absolutely no sound and doesn’t scare the fish away.
  7. With a smooth grip, it is easy to control and direct the boat in any direction.
  8. You can move faster and control the speed of the boat using this trolling motor. 
  9. For the reverse and forward speed, this motor can be called a 360-degree motor. 
  10. You can get this product with a lifetime warranty. 

What we don’t like:

  1. This motor is suitable to use on freshwater only.
  2. The price of this motor is higher than the other motors available in the market. 

Newport Vessels NV-Series 46lb Thrust Saltwater Trolling Motor

Newport Vessels NV-Series 46lb Thrust Saltwater Transom Mounted Trolling Electric Trolling Motor w/ LED Battery Indicator & 30″ Shaft
  • 46lb Thrust – The ultra-quiet, cool and efficient 46lb NV Series allows you to fish all day long without overheating, or scaring away fish
  • 30-inch Composite Fiberglass Shaft – High-strength, fully adjustable shaft allows for proper depth placement in all water conditions
  • 8 Speeds and 6-Inch Telescoping Handle (5 forward, 3 reverse) – Ergonomic extendable handle, 5 forward speeds, and 3 reverse speeds puts total control at your fingertips for a smooth and controlled ride
  • 5-Point LED Battery Meter – Super bright battery indicator provides immediate charge level. Note: The NV 46lb motor requires one (1) 12V Lead-Acid Deep Cycle or Marine battery (battery not included)
  • Saltwater Compatible Hardware – Stainless steel, zinc, and magnesium hardware ensures the motor is ready for fresh or saltwater

If you are someone who loves to stay in the water all day long, you should buy Newport Vessels NV-series Thrust Saltwater Transom Mounted motor with a 46-pounds thrust. This motor can stay cool in the water for a long time. Its noise-free feature has given it the ultimate attention of the fishermen. 

This 46-pound thrust can power the boat in the muddled water and other types of obstacles. The handle of this trolling motor is telescoping kind of and can go out to 6 inches distance. It also has several speed control options making it suitable for any condition in the water. You can also see the charge of the motor on the LED display. It is also ideal for the saltwater as it is made of quality components. 

What We Like –

  1. The operation of this motor is noise-free.
  2. It comes with 46 pounds of thrust. 
  3. It can be operated in the saltwater. 
  4. It has an LED display to show the charge of the battery. 
  5. It has a 30-inch fiberglass shaft. 
  6. For the smooth operation in the water, it comes with a three-blade propeller. 

What we don’t like:

  1. It can be contaminated by the saltwater if not taken care of properly. 

MinnKota Edge Bowmount Foot Control Trolling Motor

This trolling motor is designed for the anglers who need a high-quality motor at a reasonable price. It is a reliable motor that comes with inexpensive up-gradation. It is available in different motor sizes, and all of them provide you five forward and three reverse speeds.

The anodized aluminum arm is used in this motor for rock-solid stowing. You will also get a safe and secure storage option as the latch and door designed, enabling the feature. The ergonomic design of the foot pedal ensures proper speed control for your boat. If you need extra power to push your boat more for getting fishes, you can have this option with this motor.

It comes with a directional indicator that will help you get the direction of the places you are heading. You will also get a lifetime warranty of indestructible composite shaft and two-year factory warranty for all other parts.

What We Like –

  1. The five-speed motor provides superb control on the engine.
  2. The battery runs for a long time, even in the worst weather condition. In heavy rain or windy situation, the motor can run four to six hours.
  3. Installing and use of this motor is quite easy and hassle-free.
  4. You can store this trolling motor easily in any place. It comes with a steady and sturdy mount.
  5. The best feature of this motor is the foot pedals. You can enjoy better control and feel comfortable using this motor.

What we don’t like:

  1. There are some areas where manufacturers can make some improvements.
  2. One might need to add some more components to this motor, which adds more value to the boat. But not everyone wants to make additional investments for the engine only.

Minn Kota Maxxum Bowmount Trolling Motor

MinnKota Maxxum 80 Bowmount Trolling Motor with 5-Speed Hand Control and Bowgaurd (80lbs Thrust, 52″ Shaft)
  • Minn-Kota trolling motor, Mounting hardware, Owners manual, card
  • Bowguard 360 degree mount breaks away on impact
  • Illuminated direction indicator to know right where you’re headed
  • Anodized aluminum mount is built out of extruded adodized aluminum
  • Latch and Door design for easy removal

Minn Kota is one of the leading and oldest manufacturers of trolling motor in the world. Minn Kota Maxxum is their top-quality trolling motor. Those who are looking for a durable and quality trolling motor can go for this. This engine is a bow-mounted and can cut through freshwater without making noise, which doesn’t scare fishes. The driver can run for a long time for the high-quality digital maximizer included in it.

This trolling motor comes with bow guard 360 degrees. It has a dual-density system which helps to eliminate noise. You can now go on a more extended fishing trip without being worried about power usage. It comes with three-speed motors which minimize the power consumption. After setting the speed, a digital maximizer can reserve battery power. 

You will also get a hand or foot control option on this trolling motor. Installation and up gradation of this motor is incredibly easy. You will get a lifetime warranty for the composite shaft and a two-year warranty for the other parts.

What We Like –

  1. It offers better control and easier operation than the other similar models in the market. 
  2. It is a bow-mounted motor that pulls out the boat but not pushes it. 
  3. It comes with extra-large commutators which provide long battery and motor life. 
  4. The motor runs quietly without disturbing the fishes. 

What we don’t like:

  1. It is not suitable for running on the saltwater.

Cloud Mountain LBS Thrust 8 Speed Electric Trolling Motor

Cloud Mountain 36/40/46/50/55/60/86 LBS Thrust 8 Speed Electric Trolling Motor for Fishing Boats Saltwater Transom Mounted with Adjustable Handle
  • 【Powerful and Durable】: Reinforced Nylon Bracket ensures high strength, good ablation resistance and good dimension stability. Durable all aluminum head increase the service life of the motor.
  • 【Ergonomic extendable handle】: 8 Speeds and 6-inch Telescoping adjustable Handle (5-sp forward & 3-sp reverse) puts total control at your fingertips for a smooth and easily controlled ride.
  • 【28-inch Fiberglass Composite Shaft】: High tensile strength and corrosion resistance adjustable shaft allows for proper depth placement in all water conditions. 28” shaft is more suitable for sitting.
  • 【10-Point LED Battery indicator】: Battery indicator protects the batteries, and it is convenient to observe how much electricity is left.(battery not included)
  • 【Stainless steel Hardware】: Saltwater compatible hardware make the motor can run perfectly in saltwater or freshwater.

This is a unique motor suitable for both freshwater and saltwater boat. It comes with a battery indicator which shows how much charge is left for running the boat. This motor is made of high-quality stainless steel, so it is almost corrosion resistant and has high durability. It also has a reinforced nylon bracket, which provides extra strength, resistance, and stability. 

It comes with a 6-inch handle, which is adjustable and provides you a superb grip. It also gives you a great ride. It has a total of 8 speeds where five speeds are forward, and three rates are reverse. You will get complete control in the water with these motors.

What We Like –

  1. The 10 points LED battery indicators to allow you to monitor battery charge from time to time. 
  2. For the stability and abrasion resistance, it has a reinforced nylon bracket. 
  3. It comes with a 3-blade propeller for smooth movement in the water. 
  4. The handle is very comfortable to use in water. 
  5. It is a powerful motor and uses very little power while operating. 

What we don’t like:

  1. Though the motor itself is made with stainless steel, none of the bolts is made of that. So, they rust quickly. 

Newport Vessels Kayak Series Saltwater Electric Trolling Motor

Newport Vessels Kayak Series 36lb Thrust Transom Mounted Saltwater Electric Trolling Motor w/ LED Battery Indicator (24″ Shaft)
  • KAYAK SHAFT: 24-inch fiberglass shaft allows for variable depth placement, while offering a lifetime of dependable performance.
  • VARIABLE SPEED: 8 speeds (5 forward & 3 Reverse) with 6-inch telescoping handle puts you in total control of your ride.
  • SALTWATER RATED: Durable all aluminum motor head w/ corrosion resistant magnesium, zinc, and stainless-steel hardware for saltwater use (Lead-Acid DC 12V).
  • EXTRA LONG CABLES: 5’6″ battery cables allow for versatile battery placement for optimal weight distribution (Battery Not Included).
  • USA & SERVICE: Newport Vessels is based in California with a full in-house customer service team (M-F 9am-5pm PST). For any questions or concerns, contact us directly!

This is an ideal trolling motor that has 30-inch fiberglass. It can be adjustable with proper depth placement in all types of water conditions. The 6-inch handle is adjustable in different depth of water. It allows you to catch fishes comfortably underwater. You can experience a smooth and controlled ride with this motor as it has five forward and three reverse speed options.

It comes with a 5-point LED battery, which indicates the charge level of the battery. It is made of Zink, stainless, and magnesium, which have made the motor most suitable for both saltwater and freshwater.

What We Like –

  • You can get a smooth and comfortable fishing experience with this trolling motor.
  1. The operation and application of this motor are smooth and durable.
  2. It comes with a 30-inch adjustable fiberglass shaft.
  3. The 36lb thrust offers quiet and noise-free operation.
  4. It is manufactured with the kind of materials which are great for fishing in any water.
  5. It comes with warranty and amazing customer services.
  6. Price is quite reasonable according to its function.
  7. This motor is easy to assemble and install.

What we don’t like:

  1. Depending on the motor speed, you might get different read about the battery power at different times.

Minn Kota Terrova 55 Bow-Mount Trolling Motor

Minn Kota Terrova 55 Bow-Mount Trolling Motor with Universal Sonar 2 and i-Pilot, Includes Foot Pedal (55-lb Thrust, 45″ Shaft)
  • Easy to Stow and Deploy
  • Universal Sonar
  • Waterproof, low profile foot pedal
  • Pre-Installed i-Pilot gives you unprecedented boat control
  • Two Year Warranty

This trolling motor is a little bit different than the others. It uses GPS to track down the way of fishing. It comes with active cruise control, which enables us to run advanced autopilot, steering, command of speed, and so on. 

Those who look for the high power, efficiency, and speed on the water can go for this motor. With the help of this motor, you can go to any location without making a noise. So, catching fish is not trouble anymore. This motor can support even the big boat on the water.

What We Like –

  1. To assist breeze, this motor has a one-hand stow and deploy. 
  2. It comes with universal sonar.
  3. It comes with a pre-installed i-pilot which provides a superb boat control. 
  4. The digital maximize and heading sensor provide the best performance. 
  5. It has an in-built battery gauge, and the Bluetooth smartphone app allows the user to track boats from a smartphone.

What we don’t like:

  1.  Though this product is a bit pricey, it meets all the requirements which an angler could ask for. 

Buying Guide

If you are wondering what the best trolling motor for a pontoon boat is or what size trolling motor do, I need for a pontoon boat, here is all the necessary information that can come to your help.


  • Thrust:

Your trolling motor needs to have a strong thrust to move the boat properly. The thrust is measured in pounds and its weight should be according to the weight of the boat itself. For every 100 pounds of the boat the motor needs at least two pounds of thrust. Also, both good materials and sturdy housing are required for thrust and that’s why an aluminum or steel motor is best suited for the motor. Besides, in the case of housing, it should be sealed properly so that water can’t enter it.  


  • Prop:

To propel the pontoon properly, you need this feature which is responsible for handling water and cutting under-water weeds, grasses or marshes, etc. Props may differ depending on the blade they contain. You might find a prop with two or three blades. Sometimes, the blade may also have curves in it so that they become more functional. You can also take these blades off and clean them.


  • Handle:

It is something that might seem less important and most often we tend to overlook this part. But it is as important as any other part of your boat. It is responsible for controlling the whole boat. The handles are found in different materials and depending on your choice you can choose any until it serves your purpose properly.


  • Securing Feature:

Your trolling motors for pontoon boats need to be secured properly either with a clamp or any other fastener so that you can prevent shaking. You can even tighten this up according to your requirements. For this purpose, a series of levers can be useful. To mount the motor properly you need to align it evenly so that it can move down perfectly in the water. You should also check occasionally after the installation so that your boat remains secured.


Mounting Position: Be it a bow mount, motor mount or a transom mount, most of the motors will be set at the transom. It makes sure that the power would move evenly from the motor. Some models can also be installed on the bow but most motors nowadays, are supposed to be at the back of the bat which is known as a transom.  


  • Shaft:

Shaft is that part of the trolling motor which goes under the water from the pontoon of your boat. The shaft needs to be long enough to work properly and its length depends on the distance from the back part of the pontoon up to the waterline. For example, if the distance between transom and waterline is about 10 inches, your shaft should be about 30 inches.


You may also find shafts that are adjustable according to your needs. If you want to use shafts in multiple boats, this can be good for you. Also, remember to check the material before buying the shaft, because the material is also important in this case.


  • Speeds:

When it comes to speed you should know that the trolling motors are capable of handling a limited amount of speed. Most motors can provide you a speed of 10 miles per hour. So, if your motor can handle a speed limit of five forwards and three reverse, then it is perfect for your boat to move.   


  • Voltage:

The pontoon trolling motorboat must be linked to a proper marine battery. The required battery power depends on the voltage readout. But in most cases, this required power is 12-volt. To link the battery to the motor, wires are used which you will get with the motor. In the case of larger motors which have more thrust total, need more voltage. You must place the battery close to the motor so that the connection is easier to handle. You must watch your setup carefully to check if your motor works properly.


  • Water Condition:

You should also consider the water condition when buying a boat because based on the water you should choose the metal of your boat. So, the body of the boat should be good enough to handle both fresh and saltwater. You should check the specifications to know whether the boat is capable of handling saltwater or not.


  • Warranty:

Although most of us know about this fact, still some of us make the mistake of not checking the terms and conditions related to the warranty the company provides with the warranty. In case of a warranty, an average of a few years will work perfectly. But you also need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions so that you can get service from them. For example, if you try to modify your motor, the warranty will not work.

Best bimini top for pontoon

What are the reasons to buy a trolling motor?

Pontoon boats are becoming more popular these days to the people. From fishing to doing any water sport, this boat has a lot of versatility. But before getting the trolling motor, you need to know why you should get it and which purpose it serves to run the pontoon boat.

  • For extending your range

If you don’t want to get along in the sore and want to surf in the whole lake or sea, you should get a trolling motor. Trolling motor will help you go further smoothly. You can get a paddling feature on the kayaking boat, but it will not allow you to go far in a short time. Moreover, you will get tired too quickly for paddling or rowing. So, if you want to extend your range with the pontoon boat, you need to get a trolling motor.

  • For faster movement

You can go to the fishing spot faster if you have got a trolling engine. If you are an early bird but can’t go to the fishing spot on time when the sun rises or sets, you should get a trolling motor. You can reach any place faster if you have a trolling motor installed in your boat.

  • Practicing for a tournament

If you are someone who takes part in a fishing tournament, you will always get the advantage of having a trolling motor. Though the trolling engine is not allowed in most of the fishing tournament, still have it, you can be prepared for the tournament. With the trolling motor, you can concentrate on finding out the point where you want to hit for finding out fishes. It will give you extra benefits on the tournament day.

  • Get a broad idea about the lake

It is essential to know about the lake if you want to get as many fish as possible. Fishing in a new lake is always tricky. To catch fish, you should know about the depth and structure of the lake accurately. Trolling motor makes your task easier.

  • A necessity for the aged angler

Paddling or rowing is severe for the aged fisherman. Trolling motor is much helpful for those who have age and health issues but want to go for fishing because they love to.

  • Managing wind

The wind is a significant issue when it comes to boating or kayaking. Wind can make you not hold on the right position, which is essential for fishing. A trolling motor is the best option for managing wind and control your boat even in the rough weather.

So, these are some reasons you can consider convincing you of buying a trolling motor for your pontoon boat.

Final Verdict

So, a trolling motor is an additional unit which adds to the boat as extra propulsion. For the detailed precision on the boat, this boat is used. With the help of this motor, the angler can reach the exact location of fishing easily. However, the pontoon boat, generally, doesn’t come with the trolling motor. So, the fishermen need to find out the right brand and attach it to the boat for more functionality. Hopefully, our detailed guide will help you to choose the best trolling motor for your pontoon boat.

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Walton Chandler
Walton Chandler

As of: 22 December, 2019

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