Finding the best trolling motor for your pontoon boat can be a daunting task. There are so many different factors to consider, from thrust to battery life to the number of speeds.
Not to mention, most people looking for a motor have never even owned a boat before!
We’ve taken some guesswork out of choosing a trolling motor by putting together this comprehensive guide. We’ll also cover the basics of selecting a trolling motor to our top seven picks for the best trolling engines for pontoon boats.
This article will help you understand the different factors to consider when choosing a trolling motor for your pontoon boat.
A trolling motor is a small electric motor used to propel a boat at slow speeds. Trolling motors are most commonly used on fishing boats, as they allow the boat to travel without disturbing the fish.
It’s awesome for serious anglers who need to make precise movements while fishing. The great thing is that trolling motors can even be used on inflatable boats and kayaks!
A trolling motor is much better than an outboard motor because:
- It’s much quieter, so you won’t scare away the fish.
- You can use it while fishing, as it doesn’t produce any fumes.
- It’s much cheaper to operate than an outboard motor.
- You can use it in shallow waters without worrying about running aground.
- It’s much easier to store and transport than an outboard motor.
There are two main types of trolling motors: transom-mounted and bow-mounted. Transom-mounted motors are mounted on the back of the boat. Bow-mounted motors mount on the front of the boat.
The main difference between the two is the amount of thrust that each type of motor produces. Transom-mounted motors typically produce more thrust than bow-mounted motors.
- Newport Vessels L-Series 86-lb
- Minn Kota Edge 45 Freshwater Bow-Mount Trolling Motor
- Newport Vessels NV-Series 36-lb
- MotorGuide Xi5
- AQUOS White Haswing 12V55LBS
- MotorGuide Xi3
- Techdorm Electric Trolling Motor
The Newport Vessels L-Series trolling motor is one of the most popular motors on the market, and for good reason.
This durable motor is designed for saltwater use, making it an excellent choice for pontoon boats that will be spending time in the ocean. The L-Series has a max thrust of 86 pounds of thrust and variable speed control, so you can customize your speed to match the conditions.
The motor features 5 forward and 3 reverse speeds. The top speed is 4.5 mph. It comes with a 12V lead Acid Deep cycle or Lithium Deep Cycle battery.
The L-Series also has a 40″ composite shaft designed to be durable and corrosion-resistant. One of the best features of the Newport Vessels L-Series is the price. It’s one of the most affordable trolling motors on our list, making it a great choice for budget-minded shoppers.
It also comes with a two-year warranty, so you can be sure it will stand up to the rigors of saltwater use.
- Durable design
- Variable speed control
- Plastic gears may fail over time
The Minn Kota Edge 45 is a freshwater trolling motor designed for small pontoon boats. It has a max thrust of 45 pounds and variable speed control with 5 speeds. It installs with a latch and door bracket that gives you a sturdy hold while underway.
The Edge 45 also has a 45-inch composite shaft that is durable and corrosion-resistant. It comes with a heel-toe cable steer foot pedal for precise control.
It even has a power prop of 1-1/4 motor diameters to help deliver extra power to plow through heavy vegetation.
It also comes with a two-year warranty, so you can be sure it will stand up to the rigors of freshwater use.
- Cable steer foot pedal
- Has a max thrust of 45 pounds
- 1-1/4 power prop
- Features a 45-inch composite shaft
- Comes with a two-year warranty
- Does not come with a weedless wedge
The Newport Vessels NV-Series is a saltwater trolling motor designed for small boats and medium-sized boats. It has a max thrust of 36 pounds with 8 speeds with a 6-inch ergonomic telescoping handle for better control. It comes with a 12V lead-acid deep cycle battery.
The NV-Series also has a 30″ composite fiberglass shaft designed to be durable and corrosion-resistant. The motor has an adjustable transom engine mount, so you can customize the height.
It also comes with a two-year warranty to reassure you of the quality so you can be sure your purchase is protected in the case something goes wrong with the engine.
- Ergonomic telescoping handle
- 30-inch composite fiberglass shaft
- Durable and corrosion-resistant
- Adjustable transom engine mount
- Problems with battery draining fast
The MotorGuide Xi5 is a trolling motor that is designed for saltwater use. It has a max thrust of 80 pounds and an LED dashboard that’s easy to read. Use the dashboard to check the status of the trolling motor effortlessly.
The Xi5 also has a 48-inch composite shaft designed to be durable and corrosion-resistant. The trolling motor is also wireless so that you can control it from anywhere on the boat.
It even has a GPS that allows you to plot your course and track your progress. The motor has 24 volts with a maximum output of 56 amps. Use it on pontoon boats between 17 and 21 feet for optimal performance.
- LED dashboard
- Precise GPS
- 24-volt motor
- 48-inch composite shaft
- Some users found the motor to be underpowered
- Problems with software updates
The AQUOS White Haswing Electric Trolling Motor comes with wireless remote control and foot pedal. It is a trolling motor designed for fresh and saltwater use. The engine has a max thrust of 55 pounds and variable speed control.
The AQUOS White Haswing also has a 38.4-inch composite shaft that uses a sacrificial anode to protect metal components, resulting in more durability and corrosion resistance.
The trolling motor is also wireless and has a remote control to plot your course and track your progress. The depth collar allows you to change depths quickly while keeping the motor exactly where you want it.
This motor has a limited warranty. For more information on the warranty, you will have to contact the manufacturer.
- Sacrificial anode to enhance protection of metal components
- Limited warranty
- Variable speed controls
- Wireless remote control and foot pedal
- Lack of factory and manufacturer support
The MotorGuide Xi3 trolling motor is one of the most popular motors on the market, and for good reason. This durable motor is designed for freshwater use. It’s another excellent option for boating on the ocean.
The Xi3 has a max thrust of 55 pounds and a forward digital variable speed control. It also features a 3bl machete to cut through grass with ease. It comes with a 12V lead Acid Deep cycle or Lithium Deep Cycle battery.
The Xi3 also has a 36″ composite shaft designed to be durable and corrosion-resistant. This motor is built to run all day without overheating or making loud noises that will spook the fish.
It stores easily, which helps to save you time and energy. You have to step on the secure step lever, and the motor folds down to store in small spots.
The LED dashboard monitor shows propeller activity, GPS status, and current battery life.
- Forward digital variable speed control
- Secure step, easy storage
- LED dashboard monitor
- 12V lead Acid Deep cycle
- None to list
The Techdorm Trolling Motor is engineered to operate in saltwater. It has a telescopic handle and an LED indicator for fishing boats and kayaks. It comes with a copper core and an aluminum head that prevents corrosion.
The motor has 5 forward speeds and 3 reverse speeds. It has a 6-inch telescoping handle giving you a more controlled ride. The LED dashboard has 10 lights that indicate how much power is left. The 12-volt battery is not included with the motor.
The Techdorm Electric trolling motor has an adjustable angle and depth, letting you adjust the shaft angle by simply pressing a button to better adapt to different water conditions.
It comes with a guaranteed satisfaction warranty. If the motor doesn’t meet and exceed your expectations, simply contact the manufacturer, and they will give you a full refund upon return of undamaged equipment.
- Satisfaction guaranteed warranty
- Adjustable angle and depth
- Telescopic handle
- 10 LED light indicator battery indicator
- Battery sold separately
Maintaining a pontoon motor is essential to keep it running properly and extend its life.
Here are the best ways to maintain your pontoon trolling motor:
- Check the battery regularly and clean the terminals to prevent corrosion.
- Clean the propeller regularly to keep it running smoothly.
- Inspect the engine for any damage and replace any worn parts.
- Store the motor in a dry place when not in use to prevent corrosion.
- Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule to keep the engine in top condition.
Choosing the best brand for your pontoon motor purchase can be the difference between a dependable motor that lasts for years to come and one that causes lots of problems.
Some brands have a reputation for making long-lasting, high-quality products that will last for years, while others are known for making products that will break down quickly.
Always do your research and read reviews before choosing a brand.
Some of the best trolling motor brands include Minn Kota, MotorGuide, and Haswing.
Minn Kota is one of the most popular trolling motor brands on the market.
They are known for constructing some of the best high-quality products that are built to last.
Minn Kota trolling motors are available in a variety of different sizes and styles to suit any need.
MotorGuide is another famous brand of trolling motors. They offer a wide range of different models to suit any need.
MotorGuide trolling motors are known for being durable and easy to use.
They even offer a wide range of accessories to make using your trolling motor easier.
Haswing is a newer brand of trolling motors, but they have quickly become a favorite among pontoon boat owners. Haswing trolling engines are creating a reputation for being user-friendly and durable.
On top of that, they are one of the first companies to give users the ability to pair their smartphones with their trolling engine. While the motors didn’t make our list, they are still a brand to look further into to see if their products meet your needs.
Here are some frequently asked questions about trolling motors for pontoon boats.
How big of a trolling motor do you need for a pontoon?
The size of the trolling motor you need will depend on the size of your pontoon boat. A larger boat will require a more powerful engine.
Do trolling motors work on pontoons?
Trolling motors can be used on pontoon boats, but you need to make sure your engine is powerful enough to move the boat. You also need to make sure the trolling motor is designed for saltwater to ensure you don’t experience premature corrosion.
What size trolling motor do I need for an 18-foot pontoon boat?
For an 18-foot pontoon boat, you will need a trolling motor with at least 50 pounds of thrust to move the boat and manage the load effectively.
How do I mount a trolling motor on my pontoon?
Most trolling motors come with a transom mount that can be installed on the back of the pontoon boat. Some models also come with a bow mount.
Where do you put the trolling motor on a pontoon boat?
The trolling motor can be mounted on the back of the pontoon boat (transom mount) or on the front of the pontoon boat (bow mount).
Trolling motors are a great way to move your pontoon boat around more quietly in the various water conditions. They are ideal for all weather conditions and will give you plenty of torque and power.
They are easy to use and can be very helpful when you need to move your boat around in a tight space. It is important to choose a reputable brand. Some of the best trolling motor brands include Minn Kota, MotorGuide, and Haswing.
We hope this guide has helped you choose the best trolling motor for your pontoon boat.