Best Trolling Motor for Pontoon Boat – Reviews & Guide 2021

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Newport Vessels NV

The Best Trolling Motor for Pontoon Boat

If you're looking for a trolling motor for pontoon boat but don't have the time to do your own research and to compare prices, then go for this one.

At this price range, its overall quality and performance is better than most other trolling motors out there.

Nothing can beat pontoon boats when it comes to fishing. These boats are stable, sturdy, and easy to move taking a lot of hassle from you.

To unleash the power of your pontoon boat, getting a trolling motor is worth investing considering the number of benefits you will get from it.

Good quality trolling motor for pontoon boat doesn't produce that much waves on the water and keeps the noise to its minimum; these are 2 primary reasons that highly affect your fishing experience.

Finding the right trolling motor for your pontoon boat can be tiresome. To simplify things, here are the top 4 suggestions that are currently dominating the market.

Top 4 Trolling Motor for Pontoon Boat Review

The products were listed considering their performance, durability, intensive operation, and noise factors.

1. Newport Vessels NV-Series Saltwater Transom Mounted Trolling Electric Motor (Top Pick)

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Newport Vessels engineered this trolling motor with high-end specs and loads of exciting features.

If you are someone who can spend all day long while catching fish, this motor will further enhance your fishing experience significantly.

The motor offers up to 36-86 lb thrust option that makes it very easy to operate regardless of the conditions.

Even if you continue fishing for extended hours, you will still find the motor relatively cooler than its competitors. It produces low noise that doesn’t scare away fishes.

With this one, you don’t need to compromise the durability for performance. Its 30-inches shaft got composite fiberglass construction ensuring high-strength.

You'll also have the option to adjust it for setting appropriate depth no matter what's the condition on the water.

This motor from NV series offers 8 speeds; 5 forward, and 3 reverse, which come super-convenient at controlling the pontoon boat.

Your hand will comfortably rest on its telescoping ergonomic handle. Even if you need to pontoon boat for a long time, you will not feel uncomfortable to hold it.

Also, it features a 5-point LED battery meter that allows you to see the battery level whenever you want.

You are okay to ride the pontoon boat on saltwater. The hardware is mostly made of stainless steel, magnesium, and zinc material that ensures the durability of the motor, whether you use it on fresh or saltwater.

For most people, this one is the right choice.

Pros

  • Efficiently running motor without overheating
  • Adjustable shaft is made of composite fiberglass
  • 5 forward and 3 reverse speed for convenience
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Battery indicator
  • Saltwater compatible

Cons

  • No speed indicator

2. Minn Kota Endura Transom Mount Trolling Motor (Runners Up)

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With a thrust level of 30 to 55, this trolling motor from Minn Kota provides necessary speed regardless of what you load on the pontoon boat.

This 12-volt trolling motor runs on freshwater with high efficiency.

As the motor is equipped with a 30-inches shaft, it efficiently manages to reach underwater for providing you excellent running performance.

If you are concerned with the material of the shaft, know that you will find it even stronger than steel shafts. No matter what’s going on underwater, the shaft will not break, corrode, or kink whatsoever.

For more convenient steering, the manufacturer engineered the motor with a rotatable lower unit that rotates at 180-degrees. In addition to that, its lever lock bracket allows you to backtroll the pontoon boat right away.

The battery of this motor provides 5 times more runtime on a single charge than most convenient motors.

To control the speed precisely, it got a total of 8-speed options; 5 forward and 3 reverse. You can conveniently dial the exact speed and get the necessary power while conserving the battery for fishing the entire day.

Controlling a trolling motor cannot be easier than this one. The unit got a telescoping tiller by which you can steer with great comfort and convenience.

Apart from that, you can also adjust the length up to 6-inches as per the situation demands.

If you have previously owned a Minn Kota trolling motor, you know how cool their motors run. It will not overheat and provide low performance due to this.

As far as the noise is concerned, it manages to run at a relatively low noise, which doesn’t scare the fish. Thanks to its bearing system that helps to reduce the friction to cut the noise.

This one is much costlier than the first one. Performance wise, the first one is a good enough for most people. That's why we put that on first position. But if you want something more hardcore then this one is a good choice too.

This one offer only 30 lb to 55 lb thurst option where the first NV series one offers 36 lb to 86 lb thurst option. If you won't need more than 55 lb thurst and you don't mind spending a higher price then this MinnKota is the right choice for you. For others, the first NV series one is the right choice.

Pros

  • 30-55 lbs powerful motor
  • Adjustable 6-inches telescoping handle
  • 8 ergonomic speed controls
  • Runs at a cool state while maximizing the battery backup
  • Quiet operating noise
  • Rotatable lower unit at 180-degrees

Cons

  • The shaft isn’t sealed
  • Short power cord

Recommended Accessories for Pontoon Boat Trolling Motor:

  • Trolling Motor Battery: 

You will need a good battery to power the trolling motor. You should not use car battery for this purpose. Our recommended battery is: VMAXTANKS MR107-85 12V 85AH.

It's ideal for 30lb-55lb thurst trolling motor. They claim 7-10 hours of running time. Although that mainly depends on how much power your trolling motor is consuming. You might need multiple battery depending on your needs. For more than 55 lbs thrust motor, you must get multiple batteries.

  • Battery Charger: 

You can't use regular battery charger to charge these batteries. You'll need one made specifically for marine usage. 

For 1 or 2 battery, we recommend NOCO Genius GENM2. It's a rugged and waterproof, fully-Automatic smart marine charger. It features spark-proof technology, plus reverse polarity, thermal, ignition, and overcharge protection.

For three or four battery, we recommend Minn Kota Digital. It has automatic temperature compensation and automatic multi-stage charging feature. 

3. MinnKota Edge 70 Bow-mount Foot Control

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If you are looking for a high-end trolling motor, this one from Minn Kota is also worth considering.

The engine features a 52-inches shaft that puts no restriction to your preferred fishing area. This shaft is long enough to go underwater for providing excellent pontoon boating experience regardless of the conditions.

Furthermore, the shaft is made of indestructible composite material that assures you of lifelong usage. It can outstand serious abuses and impacts underwater at ease.

As far as the performance is concerned, it's a performance beast. The shaft is powerful enough to provide you great speed regardless of the weight you put on the pontoon boat. There will be no issue running this motor on shallow water even if there are waves.

With one charge, the battery can pretty much last your entire fishing hours. The hardware is well-optimized to keep power consumption to a minimum level without compromising much of the performance.

Your success in fishing largely depends on the lower unit of the motor. If it's too noisy and vibrates too much, it can scare off fishes.

Minn Kota understands the fact quite well and ended up making this motor that produces relatively less noise than its competitors. You will enjoy a quiet fishing experience once you get the unit.

This motor also features a powerful prop set that can cut through pretty much all submerged grass, weeds, marshes, and other growths, without much trouble. It will not drain the battery significantly, as most conventional motors do.

For more convenient control, there is a manual cable to steer the motor.

Pros

  • Powerful shaft with 52-inches length
  • 5 forward speed options
  • Easy to mount and remove
  • Foot steering option
  • Shaft is indestructible
  • Runs cool and quietly
  • Powerful props take care of hassles underwater

Cons

  • Peddle and cord are stiff
  • Shaft isn’t sealed

4. Minn Kota Ultrex Freshwater Bow Mount Trolling Motor

Another high-end freshwater trolling motor from Minn Kota. This manufacturer is very popular among pontoon boat owners because of their reliable and top-class products.

And this Ultrex mount motor is a very good pontoon boat trolling motor, considering the convenience of use and exciting specs.

Apart from regular features, it comes with some advanced and innovative features as well.

If you prefer foot pedal control, you will love how well this GPS powered motor responds. The GPS i-Pilot takes care of speed, spot-lock, steering, and can retrace and record the path as if it's very natural.

With a touchscreen remote, you will able to control your pontoon boat efficiently and comfortably.

The unit will take your fishing experience to a whole new level. It features the universal sonar 2 imaging transducer that delivers clear images of things that are right below this fish finder.

All the wirings and transducers are adequately sealed so that water cannot get in through.

Ultrex foot pedal makes fishing super-convenient. You can effortlessly tap the spot-lock button to make the pontoon boat stay on a spot without touching any physical button.

Once you take off the foot, you will find the motor head still is pointed towards the direction where you left.

With a shaft length of 45-inches, you will get a high-end performance from this gear. 80 pounds of thrust will provide you great running speed without any compromise. It comes with a 24-volts battery that supports the amount of thrust you need.

You can easily mount this trolling motor to the front of your pontoon boat. It will efficiently pull the water through to provide you easy maneuverability regardless of the water condition.

Pros

  • The i-Pilot advanced control system
  • Sonar imaging to see through underwater
  • Convenient foot pedal
  • 45-inches shaft
  • 80 pounds of thrust
  • Easy bow mounting

Cons

  • Power switch isn’t of good quality

What to Look for Before Buying Trolling Motor?

Different trolling motors come with different specs and features. You need to relate those things to your requirements to be able to get the right one for some enjoyable fishing hours.

Let's have a look at things that are important to consider while buying a motor for your pontoon boat.

Trolling Motor Thrust for Pontoon Boat

To be able to move your pontoon boat forward with much efficiency, a motor with a powerful thrust is essential. The amount of thrust tells you how much load it can handle while running.

According to traditional calculation, for every 100 pounds, 2 pounds of thrust is required to move the pontoon boat forward without compromising the performance. So, here, you have to also consider how much weight you usually put on the pontoon. Determine the load, and then go for thrust amount that suits it.

Sealed Housing

As you are dealing with a trolling motors for pontoon boats that continuously has to run underwater, there is a high chance of developing rust and corrosion. To prevent such a situation from happening, make sure the motor has a solid and well-built sealed housing that prevents water from making its way into. Corrosion resistant is important.

The materials should be of stainless steel metal. It would be best if you go for an aluminum motor that keeps the weight to its minimum while providing great protection from corrosion. There shouldn't be much vibrations that startle the fishing spot.

Handle

Although it might seem that the handle isn't a big concern here, when you are out for an entire day, there will be a lot of steering work. That's when the handle becomes a matter of concern. It greatly influences the movement of the prop in underwater too.

Most handles come in telescoping body shape. Make sure it’s comfortable to hold. The ergonomic ones are the most comfortable ones here.

Shaft

This is the part that goes underwater from the edge of your boat. The shaft needs to be long enough to go in underwater to a perfect position so that the motor can perform smoothly.

If the distance between the waterline and transom is around 10-inches or less, consider getting a motor that has a shaft of around 30-inches. Similarly, if the distance is 16-inches, the shaft should be of 36-inches.

Some motors offer an adjustment feature that allows you to adjust the length as per conditions require.

As this part comes to contact with many submerged objects in the water, you must ensure the shaft is durable enough to outstand impacts. Fiberglass made composite shafts are the most durable ones. This material doesn’t wear that easily.

Battery Voltage

Voltage readout refers to the capacity or power of the marine battery. It's closely related to the thrust power. For more thrust, you need more voltage.

In most cases, a 12-volt marine deep-cycle battery does the thing. However, if the thrust is very high and you use the boat for heavy-duty tasks, consider 24-volt battery.

You will find wires with the motor to link the battery. The battery should be placed close enough to the motor to be able to link them to each other using wires. Make sure there is still enough room for the wires, and there is no problem with the setup.

Speeds

Most pontoon trolling motors offer a total of 8 variable-speed; 5 for forward and 3 for reverse. These numbers of speed control are enough for you to move your boat forward and backward conveniently.

However, you might not be able to push the trolling motor beyond 10 MPH. That’s normal as these pontoon boats motors are designed to provide a decent amount of speed with quick release..

Water Condition

It’s the most primary concern. There are outboard motors made for running on freshwater; some models run on saltwater. Motors that run on saltwater can also be used on freshwater as well.

To be able to run on saltwater, the trolling motors require more advanced engineering. Be sure to check the manufacturer's guidelines to confirm it.

Mounting Position

Most pontoon boats trolling motors fit perfectly onto the transom part of pontoon. Note that the pontoon boat trolling motors must be placed into the middle of the transom to be able to distribute the power evenly. Some trolling motor models are mountable on the bow. Having a kicker trolling motor mount is always better.

What Size Trolling Motor Do I Need?

The motor size basically refers to the thrust power.

Divide total pontoon boats weight by 100 then multiply it by 2. The result is the required trolling motor pound thrust for pontoon boat. It's recommended to buy one with little extra power than required power.

If you go less than that, you might not be able to ride on the pontoon boat with your buddies without compromising the performance. The amount of gears and accessories that you want to load on the pontoon also play crucial matters too. Same goes for tritoon boat too.

Also, check if it has a few year warranty.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What size trolling motor do I need for a 24 foot pontoon boat?

Fully loaded 24 foot pontoon boat weighs around 3,500. Minimum trolling motor thrust is 70 lb. Recommended is 80 lb+.

2. What size trolling motor do I need for a 20 foot pontoon boat?

60 lb thrust trolling motor should do the job. But we recommend getting 70 lb+ thrust motor.

3. How fast can my pontoon boat go with a trolling motor?

Most trolling motors provide around 4 to 10 MPH of speed on average. You cannot expect to get anything more than that.

4. How long can the battery give backup?

How much battery backup you will get depends on the way you run the motor and the battery power rating. If you go too fast and move a long distance, it cannot go beyond a few hours.

5. Can a electric trolling motor handle intense water conditions?

Most electric trolling motors cannot handle excessive waves and intense currents. To be able to handle tough conditions, you will need an electric engine in such conditions.

6. Can you use a trolling motor on a pontoon boat?

Yes. Just make sure to select the right shaft length and thrust.

Final Words

Hopefully, the guide gave you all the necessary ideas that will help you to get the perfect trolling motor for the pontoon boat to enjoy fishing even more. Be sure to consider your pontoon type before pursuing a trolling motor.

If the specs and features of the trolling motor fulfill all your boating or fishing purposes well, only then will it be the right companion to make your leisure time more enjoyable.

Recommended Accessories for Pontoon Boat Trolling Motor:

  • Battery: 

Our recommended battery: VMAXTANKS MR107-85 12V 85AH. 

  • Battery Charger: 

For 1 or 2 battery, we recommend NOCO Genius GENM2

For three or four battery, we recommend Minn Kota Digital

Last Updated on March 9, 2021

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