The best trolling motors for pontoon boats are electric motors that move slow-moving boats. Most fishing boats, including inflatable pontoons, make use of trolling motors because they allow them to traverse water without disturbing fish nearby.
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Table of Contents
Best Pontoon Boat Trolling Motors
All the trolling motors we’ve listed as the best are great for moving your pontoon boat more quietly through different bodies of water and environmental conditions.
They’re all exceptional in different kinds of weather and give you a lot of power and torque. Check them out!
1. Newport Vessels NV-Series Electric Trolling Motor
The first on our list is the Newport Vessels NV-Series, which is a trolling motor for saltwater boats that are small to medium in size. It can push up to 55 pounds as maximum thrust, has 8 speeds, and has an ergonomically designed 6-inch telescoping handle that makes it easier to control. This comes with a deep cycle 12-volt lead-acid battery.
In addition, the NV-Series has a composite fiberglass shaft that’s 30 inches long and is made to last and guaranteed to resist corrosion. The motor has a transom engine mount that’s adjustable, so the height can be customized to your personal preference.
A two-year warranty is included in the purchase of this particular trolling motor to give you peace of mind about its quality and protect your purchase as well should the engine break down.
For decades, Newport Vessels has been making some serious trolling motors for a reasonable price. We like that they have great customer service whenever you need help or encounter a problem. It shows that they care and are dedicated to their customers.
- Efficient Power: 55Lb Thrust – This 12V Electric Trolling Motor Provides Excellent Power And Efficiency For Any Boater. The High Quality Build Allows The Motor To Run All Day Long Without Overheating, Or Making Noise To Spook Fish
- Features: This Motor Features A 30 Inch Shaft, A 5 Led Battery Meter, A 6 Inch Telescoping Tiller Handle, And 3 Blade Propeller. The Mount Angle, Height, And Direction Can All Be Adjusted And Locked Into Place When Needed
- Speed: This Motor Has 8 Speeds, 5 Forward And 3 Reverse. The Motor Is Designed For Trolling, So The Top Speed Of This Motor Is About 4Mph, But Depends On Your Boat Shape, Weight, Water, Wind, And Other Factors. Our 3 Blade Propeller Gives The Motor Great Low End Torque To Get The Boat Moving
- Battery: The Nv 55Lb Motor Requires One (1) 12V Lead-Acid Deep Cycle Or Lithium Deep Cycle Battery (Battery Not Included), 50Ah Recommended. The Motor Also Includes A 50Amp Circuit Breaker Which Is Recommended At All Times To Protect From Battery Voltage Surges. Max Amp Draw: 52A
2. MotorGuide 940700160 Xi3 Bow Mount Trolling Motor
One of the popular motors currently on the market is the MotorGuide Xi3 bow mount trolling motor, and it’s for a very good reason. The Xi3 can push up to 55 pounds (maximum thrust) and has digital variable speed controls. It also has a 3-blade “Machete” propeller that makes it easy to get through kelp beds. It has a 12v deep cycle lead acid or lithium battery.
The Xi3 trolling motor also has a 36 inches long composite shaft that’s made to last and resist rusting. This motor is made to run throughout the day without getting too hot or making disturbingly loud noises that will scare the fish away.
It’s easy to put away as well, which saves you both time and effort. You just need to step on its secure step lever, then the motor will fold down so it can be stored in any small space.
That’s not all. It also has an LED dashboard screen that shows how the propellers are working, the GPS status, as well as how much battery life is left. It’s a great option if you’re looking for an innovative and removable trolling motor for a pontoon boat.
- Wireless remote control lets you precisely operate the motor from anywhere on the boat
- Innovative mount features easy-to-read LED dashboard that lets you quickly check the status of four key functions in any light conditions
- Efficient motor provides best-in-class quiet operation that’s up to 40 percent quieter than the leading competitor
- SecureStep system lets you stow and deploy the motor safely and easily by stepping on the release lever from a comfortable standing position
- Freshwater motor delivers 55 pounds of peak thrust and has a 48-inch-long composite shaft with a 3-blade Machete propeller
3. Watersnake Venom Electric Motor
Next on our list is a 34-lb motor with a 2-blade propeller. The stainless-steel weedless propeller makes for a smooth and quiet ride across the water, whether you’re trolling or just standing still in the water to cast.
The 34lb model has a 30-inch shaft and it is great for pontoons, canoes, kayaks, and inflatable boats. There’s also a 55-lb thrust model with a 3-blade propeller, which is perfect if you have a larger boat.
All Venom SXW motor shafts are made of a composite material that’s extremely strong and made to be used in both fresh and saltwater. The tiller handles can be extended to give you more options, comfort, and control.
A saltwater electric motor that’s lightweight, relatively cheap, and built to last like the Watersnake Venom is definitely one of the best trolling motors for pontoon boats. This motor is safe to use in freshwater, brackish water, or saltwater because it has a protective coating and is made of stainless steel and composite parts that don’t rust.
- STURDY SIMPLE DESIGN: Our Watersnake Venom SXW electric motors provide saltwater anglers with a versatile range of tiller-steer transom-mount motors that are loaded with clever features. The shafts on all Venom SXW motors are an extra-tough composite constructed specifically for use in saltwater marine environments. The tiller handles are telescopic for versatility, comfort and control.
- CONTROL + FEATURES: The 34lb motors have a two-blade propeller. The 54lb motors each run a three-blade propeller. All propeller shafts are stainless steel and the props have a weedless design, so you can push the boundaries during your next adventure. All the motors run on 12V power and operate with 5 forward and 3 reverse speeds, which are controlled with the tiller handle throttle.
- ELECTRIC POWER: 54 lbs thrust, 12 Volt motor, 13-54 Amps / 34 lbs thrust, 12 volt motor, 7.5-34 amps. Battery Not Included. Each motor is suited to boats ranging from small tenders and tinnies up to dedicated estuary and inshore sportfishing boats.
- VERSATILE TRANSOM MOUNT: The compact and stylish new Venom motor head design incorporates a new thicker ergonomic grip for the tiller handle. The new head design also includes a digital voltage meter display, so you can keep track of your battery’s condition. The grips on the alloy transom mount have also been upgraded, making it even easier to attach and secure the motor before you utilize the fast multi-tilt positioning bracket.
- SATISFACTION GUARANTEE: Necessity is the mother of invention. Created by anglers to be used by anglers. If you’re not satisfied with your Watersnake Electric Motor, contact your distributor to be taken care of.
4. Minn Kota 1358737 Trolling Motor
Minn Kota 1358737 Powerdrive is yet another solid choice if you want an ergonomic freshwater trolling motor suitable for small to medium size pontoon boats. This particular model has a 55-lb max thrust and a 54-inch shaft. It’s capable of starting and running 2,500-lb boats easily even when fully loaded.
Take note: This unit isn’t cheap at all, but that’s because it has a lot of incredible features and extras that will make fishing fun and easy.
One of the features is an easy-to-use foot pedal with a cord that’s 18 inches long so you can position the pedal wherever you want on the boat. The pedal is made to make it a lot more convenient and easier for you to move your boat around. It has a variable speed setting that lets you change the speed from 0 to 10.
The motor already comes with nuts, bolts, and washers for a quick and easy setup. It needs two 12v batteries and they don’t come with this motor’s purchase so buy them separately.
- 54″ Shaft, 12v, 55 lbs Thrust
- Deploy-Assist Lever: Get in and out of the water easily. Just depress the lever to deploy your trolling motor and when it’s time to move, it stows easily and securely
- Side-To-Side/Electric Foot Pedal: Control speed, steering, and momentary and constant on/off with the PowerDrive foot pedal, which is waterproof and features an 18′ cord. Note: the foot pedal is not included with i-Pilot models
- Digital Maximizer: Provides up to 5 times longer run time on a single battery charge. These variable speed trolling motors let you dial in your exact speed, and they deliver only as much power as you need, helping to conserve your battery for a full day of fishing
- Weedless Wedge 2 Prop: With swept-back flared blades to power through anything without battery-draining chopping and hacking, the Weedless Wedge 2 is one of the most trusted props in fishing
5. Pexmor Electric Trolling Motor
This 46-lb thrust trolling motor has a lot of power, a very detailed indicator for battery life, and a nylon bracket.
The 46-lb Pexmor Electric Trolling Motor may be a little more expensive than some of our other top picks, there’s so much to like with this one, especially its unique and rugged design. Not to mention the powerful force it’s able to generate.
Everything about this trolling motor, from the adjustable handle to its aluminum head, looks and feels very well made. It certainly looks like Pexmor has done everything they could to make the trolling motor perform and last in saltwater.
As an added bonus, its 3-blade propeller ensures efficiency in traveling across water, plus the LED energy supply display tells you a lot more about your trolling motor battery’s health than other models in the same price range.
- 【EFFICIENT POWER】- 45LB Thrust,This 12V electric trolling motor provides excellent power and efficiency for any boater. The High Quality Build Allows The Motor To Run All Day Long Without Overheating, the trolling motor runs stably with less noise and will not disturb the fish
- 【VARIABLE HANDLE】-Comes with 6″ telescoping adjustable handle. You can use it as long or as short as you want. Also,comfortable handle, 5 forward speeds and 3 reverse speeds is for you to take a smooth and easily control
- 【ADJUSTABLE DEPTH AND ANGLE】-Adjusting the shaft angle by press the button can adapt to different sailing conditions according to your surfing demands. Also, you can also adjust the depth of the machine in the water at will with a knob
- 【UNIQUE DESIGN】- PEXMOR Electric Trolling Motor is equiped with three bladed propeller, which can enhance motivation and effiency. Three sharp blades make it easy to get rid of seaweed. In addition, we have an additional two and three bladed propeller in the 36/45 and 55/86 thrusters respectively
- 【LED BATTERY INDICATOR】- 1-10 LED light indicator let you keep track of the battery’s capacity. The red and green lights will give you a big hint. 1-3 red lights indicate low power to remind you of the left capacity of battery. (Battery not included)
6. Aquos Haswing Black Trolling Motor
The Aquos Black Haswing Bow-Mount Trolling Motor comes with both a foot pedal and wireless remote control. It’s an electric trolling motor that can be used in both fresh and salt bodies of water. The engine can push up to 55 lbs. as max thrust and can go at different speeds.
The AQUOS Haswing is available in both black and white and has a 54-inch composite shaft that protects the metal parts with a sacrificial anode. This ensures durability and resistance to corrosion.
As mentioned earlier, one of the best features of this trolling motor is the wireless remote control that lets you control it even when you’re 160 ft away.
There’s also a depth collar, which you can use to quickly change the depth while keeping the trolling motor right where you’d want it to be. The only thing we thought was an issue with it is the very limited warranty.
- AQUOS Haswing Cayman B (NOT GPS) 12V 55LBS 54inch Bow Mount Trolling Motor is designed and engineered to run quieter than ever before. With variable speed will let you dial in your desired speed and provide more precise, smoother adjustments plus improved control. Moreover the variable speed is the lower power consumption of the motor, it can increase battery life quite a bit at any speed. Also the trolling motor suitable for boats weighing up to 2750LBS, Max boat length (suggestion) 18ft.
- The remote control fits into the palm of your hand easily or can be attached around your neck with a lanyard. Conveniently control the motor on the boat or shore-side with the farthest 164 ft distance, meanwhile the remote can be recharged with a USB cable on power bank when necessary. Quick release bracket can help you to install/remove the motor easily. The 14.7 ft cable wired foot control, can not only release your hands when fishing but also provide precise, easy operation.
- Cruise control (NOT SPOT LOCK) keeps your boat at the desired speed by using remote control to press on the speed up or down button then you can focus on fishing all the way, but you might have to manually correct the direction from time to time due to wind or current, meanwhile you can adjust the speed when you need. And if you turn the motor 180 degrees of rotation and it will push the boat in reverse direction.
- AQUOS Haswing Cayman 55LBS 54inch shaft bow mount trolling motor can be set up both in fresh water and salt water, it is designed to have excellent corrosion resistance, using a sacrificial anode that protects important metal components. The 54-inch Aluminum Alloy Shaft (available 44.3 inch) makes it easy for different types boat, meantime please hold on the motor shaft before adjust motor depth to avoid slide.
- Comfortable to carry the motor with the ergonomic lifting handle, makes you take the motor off the car or boat effortless in every using time. And the stow and deploy pedal can be depressed with a single hand or foot and makes transitioning between in the water and on the boat quickly, so you can save more strength to reel in the big ones. The easy-to-use depth collar lets you change depths quickly, simply, securely. When you find depth, locks in tight to keep your motor right where you want it.
7. Cloud Mountain Electric Trolling Motor
This electric trolling motor for pontoon boat has every quality and feature a good motor should possess. The Cloud Mountain has a thrust range of 36 to 86 lbs. and can be used on small to medium boats. The fact that its hardware can be used in salt water makes it even more worth considering.
On fresh or saltwater, you can rely on it because of how well it was built. But, it’s good practice to run fresh water over the motor every time you’ve used it in the ocean.
This motor is very durable with the Reinforced Nylon Bracket that’s well-built and resistant to ablation. The motor will last longer than the aluminum head. The adjustable and rust-resistant shaft is manufactured out of a fiberglass composite material.
The shaft is relatively short, being only 28 inches long. It’s best to use it only in shallow waters. You won’t run out of power in the middle of the ocean because of the 10-point LED battery life indicator.
- 【Powerful and Durable】: Reinforced Nylon Bracket kayak trolling motor 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.
8. Techdorm Electric Trolling Motor
Last on our list of the best trolling motors for pontoon boats is the Techdorm Trolling Motor, specifically engineered by the manufacturer to operate well even in the harsh conditions of the sea. It has an extendable handle and LED battery life indicator. The motor also has an aluminum head and a copper core that keep it from rusting.
The motor has 8 speed options plus the 6-inch telescopic and ergonomic handle makes every ride much easier to control. The 10 lights on the LED dashboard show how much power on the battery is left. Take note: the motor doesn’t come with its required 12v battery.
We particularly like that the angle and depth of the Techdorm trolling motor can be changed just by pressing a button. This means you can change the angle of the shaft to better fit different water conditions.
The guaranteed satisfaction warranty is a great add-on to the purchase. Should the trolling motor fail in meeting your needs and expectations, you can simply ask for a refund.
- Sturdy Material & Great Power： Trolling motor is made of all copper core, which make Boat motor durable and more effective energy saving than normal motor. All aluminum head can be adapted to saltwater, ensure good corrosion resistance. 55LBS trolling motor equipped with innovative and powerful 12V motor, providing excellent propulsion for various boats.
- Various Speed & Telescopic Handle： 5 forward speeds and 3 reverse speeds 6-inch telescoping handle puts total control at your fingertips for a smooth and easily controlled ride. Moreover, the variable speed means the lower power consumption of the motor, increase battery life quite a bit at any speed.
- LED Battery Indicator & Three-Blade Propeller: 10 LED light indicator give you a big hint how much electricity is left. Please choose battery with 12V output to fit 55LBS motor (battery not included). Techdorm Electric Trolling Motor is equiped with three bladed propeller, which can enhance motivation and effiency even through underwater grass and marsh.
- Adjustable Angle and Depth: Adjusting the shaft angle by pressing the button can adapt to different sailing conditions according to your surfing demands. Also, you can adjust the depth of the motor in the water anytime with a knob.
- Note & Warranty: In order to extend the service life of Boat Fishing Motor, the motor must be disconnected with the batteries when only 3 red indicator light left. If Trolling Motor fails to live up to your expectations, simply return it for a full refund. Customer Satisfaction is our TOP priority. if you have any problem, please feel free to contact us.
How to Pick the Best Trolling Motors for Pontoon Boats
If you bear these factors in mind when purchasing a pontoon trolling motor, you won’t be disappointed:
Pontoon Motor Shaft Length
Measure the length between the waterline to where you plan to install the trolling motor to determine the right length of your pontoon motor shaft. After that, add 18 inches.
If you want the motor to be at the bow, measure the distance from the bow to the waterline to determine the ideal motor shaft length. Add 22 inches since the bow is much higher than the rest of the boat, necessitating a longer shaft.
Consider the conditions of the body of water you’re in as well when you’re choosing between the best trolling motors for pontoon boats.
You don’t need the longest shaft length if you’re traveling on lakes, rivers, and ponds that are typically serene the majority of the time. For choppy waters, though, a quite lengthy motor shaft is the ideal option.
Type of Control
If you want to buy a trolling motor but don’t know exactly where to start because you’ve never bought one since, remember that one of the crucial aspects to consider is the type of control.
The type of control may be by hand, foot, autopilot, or co-pilot. You can select which one to purchase based on your individual needs and budget.
Small boats, such as skiffs, rowboats, and Jon boats, use hand-controlled motors. Large boats, on the other hand, require foot-controlled motors.
So, the form of control will depend on what kind of motor your boat should be using. Hand-controlled motors cost the least and are the easiest to use. The other types cost a lot, but they have more high-tech features.
Weight of Your Boat
When determining the pontoon boat trolling motor most suitable for you, you should also think about how heavy your boat is. How much thrust a pontoon boat needs will depend on how big it is.
Big ones need more thrust than small boats do. If you don’t know your boat’s weight, you can’t be sure what kind or size of trolling motor to buy. The weight must include how many people your boat can hold (carrying capacity).
If you have a pontoon boat that weighs 3,000 lbs. when it’s full, the general rule is to divide the said weight by 100 and then multiply the quotient by 2.
How much power the pontoon boat needs is based on how big and heavy it is. The power will depend on the size and voltage of the battery.
There are three configurations for the power of trolling motors: 12v, 24v, and 36v. One battery runs a 12-volt motor, two batteries run a 24-volt motor, and three batteries run a 36-volt motor.
A 24v or 36v motor is needed to move a big boat e.g. a fishing boat. A 12v motor is enough for small boats e.g. inflatable pontoons, canoes, and kayaks. Because 24v and 36v motors are more powerful than 12v motors, they cost more.
Saltwater or Freshwater
If you want to fish or cruise on both fresh and salt bodies of water, you need a trolling motor made for saltwater. Mostly because it’s made with parts that don’t rust or break down when exposed to saltwater.
You can’t use a motor made for freshwater use in saltwater; however, you can use your trolling motor made for saltwater in freshwater. If you want to buy a trolling motor for saltwater, you have to know it will cost more than one that’s for freshwater as it will have more rugged construction and durable materials.
Saltwater motors for trolling are made with materials that don’t rust or corrode and are coated for added protection. It’s because of these safety and protective features that they cost a lot.
The best trolling motors for pontoon boats are ones that are multi-purpose. Although you may need to invest, they are worth every penny as they are guaranteed to last.
Even though the handle might not seem like a big deal, if you’ll be out for the whole day, you’ll have to steer a lot. When that happens, the handle starts to matter and has a big effect on how the prop moves underwater as well.
Most handles have a body that can be stretched out and collapsed. Make sure that it’s easy to manage and comfortable for you to hold. The most comfortable ones are those that are ergonomically designed
You may be wondering, what’s the best trolling motor mount for pontoon boats? It is you who have to decide where to mount your trolling motor.
Which one you choose will depend on how long your pontoon boat is and how much space it has. Each type of trolling motor has its own set of pros and cons.
Keep in mind, though, that pulling a pontoon through water is easier than pushing it. It’s also easier to move the bow from side to side than it would be to move a pontoon’s stern.
So, a bow-mounted trolling motor is better for boat control than motors that are mounted on the back or of the boat.
A bow mount is set up on the front part of the boat, which is called the bow. Anglers like a bow-mounted trolling motor because it lets them control the boat more precisely.
This is the best type if your boat is over 14 feet long and has available space on the bow. This kind is controlled by a hand tiller, a hand-held remote control, and in some cases, a foot pedal.
Bow-mounted motors may, unfortunately, be not the best choice for you compared to transom-mounted motors because they are much harder to install, plus they cost more.
Also, this kind of trolling motor for a pontoon takes up more space on the deck than similar motors that are mounted on the transom.
When you use a transom-mounted trolling motor, you clamp it to the back of the boat.
If your boat is less than 14 feet long, like an inflatable pontoon or canoe, choose a trolling motor that attaches to the transom. Sailboats, which use sails as their main source of thrust, also use transom mounts a lot.
Anglers who make use of the basic trolling method can get a lot of use out of an electric transom motor. Because of this, this kind is commonly seen on fresh bodies of water where only electric motors are allowed.
This kind of trolling motor goes on the cavitation plate that’s on an outboard motor, as its name suggests. The best trolling motors for pontoon boats that are engine-mounted can each fit on the lower unit of an inboard motor.
With an engine-mounted trolling motor, you can control an outboard with more accuracy. To steer, you can use the wheel or your hands. You use a wired remote to set the thrust and change the direction of the motor.
Choose this kind of trolling motor if your boat is multi-purpose and doesn’t have sufficient space for the traditional trolling motor. With this motor, you don’t have to worry about extra drag as it’s only submerged whenever the engine is switched off.
Due to how the motor moves the boat, this particular type tends to be more challenging to manipulate than the others. It also costs more and has fewer features to offer than a bow mount motor.
The best trolling motors for pontoon boats are awesome because they can turn your boat into one strong, fast-moving marine vessel.
When you do find one suitable for your own pontoon boat, you’ll always look forward to fun and exciting fishing trips.
If you want to enter fishing tournaments, it can be very helpful to have a good trolling motor that you can count on. The best one we’ve found is the Newport Vessels NV-Series as it offers both reliability and performance.
Never skimp on quality when it comes to trolling motors. You might end up with an inferior product that will only last you a couple of seasons instead of years on end.