6 Best Trolling Motors For Pontoons: Features To Look Out For and Buying Guide

 

It is pivotal to have a sturdy trolling motor whether you wish to enjoy a relaxing time on the pontoon boat or catch a fish or two. With the best trolling motor for pontoon boat handy, you can easily have your boat moving gently. You can also use this when you wish to lure a fish by employing a trolling motion with a  bait by the side of the boat.

 

Now, the real problem is when you go around looking for the best trolling motor for pontoon boat, you will come across an array of options. So, our guide with the six best trolling motors for pontoons will indeed come in handy for you. Hopefully, with our guide, you can understand the kinds of motors available, how to make them work for you, and the right way to use them.

 

 

Table of Contents

 

Before we get to the list of best trolling motor mount for pontoon, you need to understand two crucial things. Let us address them one by one.

 

What Is A Pontoon Boat?

A Pontoon boat is way different from your everyday boat. It comes with a fattish deck, which is mounted on the flotational device known as pontoons. The boat can be powered by deep cycle lead batteries, water paddles, or an electric trolling motor. The best trolling motor mount for pontoon assures incredible calmness and stability in choppy waters and navigates the waterway with a breeze.

 

More so, it has a spacious deck, which makes it quite a pick for rod fishing or sunbathing in the deep blue waters.

 

 

What Is A Trolling Motor?

To help you make a pick from the best trolling motors for pontoons, you need to know what a trolling motor is first. So, trolling motors or trollers are self-contained devices fitted with a propeller, controls, and an electric motor. These can be annexed to the best of kayaks, an angler’s boat, or a canoe. The motors can lower the drag when the boat’s primary engine is in operation. This can lead to quicker and smoother navigation, thereby enabling the angler to approach and catch the fish without spooking them.

 

 

Best Trolling Motors For Pontoons Compared

ProductRatingBuy Now
Our Top Pick

Newport Vessels NV-Series 55lb Thrust Saltwater Transom Mounted Trolling Electric Trolling Motor

4.7

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Runner Up

Minn Kota Endura Max in Shaft Thrust Trans MNT

4.5

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MinnKota Edge Bowmount Foot Control Trolling Motor with Latch and Door Bracket

4.5

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Best Budget Buy

Cloud Mountain 8 Speed Electric Trolling Motor

4.4

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Best For Choppy Waters

Minn Kota Powerdrive V2 Pontoon Boat Trolling Motor with Quick Release Bracket

4.2

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Motorguide 940200060 Motorguide X3-45Fw Fb 45″ 12V Foot-Operated, Black

4.5

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1. Newport Vessels NV-Series 55lb Thrust Saltwater Transom Mounted Trolling Electric Trolling Motor

Our Top Pick

 

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Speaking of the best trolling motors for pontoons, number one on our list is the Newport vessels pontoon trolling motor. It is a 55-pound thrust option that caters to almost all kinds of fishing needs. If you are a phantom user and aspire for the best trolling motor for pontoon boat that you can take anywhere and do anything, this can be the best pick for you.

 

It is composed of stainless steel materials, which enable it to stay functional and active even in the most extreme conditions. Its zinc and magnesium coatings only assure better protection. It’s the best electric trolling motor for pontoon boat which functions well with three reverse and five forward speeds that guarantees maximum control. It also has a 30-inch fiberglass shaft, which comes with it.

 

The Newport vessels pontoon trolling motor’s top comprises a 6-inch ergonomic handle, which has a five-point battery meter. This design enables you to move the motor around in different directions to cater to your steering needs. It is a simplistic unit, which does not take much for you to employ or control. It also has a 5 LED battery meter that helps you keep a tab on the power level. It can be used with a marine battery or a 12-volt deep cycle.

 

With this, you get yourself a top-notch motor with a fiberglass shaft, stainless steel hardware and available zinc. This makes it one of the least expensive saltwater-capable best electric trolling motor for pontoon boat on the market.

 

 

Key features

  1. 12v electric trolling motor offers phenomenal efficiency and power for any boater
  2. High-quality build
  3. The motor can run all day long without overheating or making noise
  4. The motor also includes a 50amp circuit breaker
  5. Max Amp Draw: 52A
  6. Newport motors are made to high-quality stainless steel, magnesium, and zinc hardware to withstand fresh water and saltwater environments
  7. 2-year warranty

 

Pros

  • Suitable for both fresh and saltwater use
  • A fully covered motor is coated to prevent corrosion or damage.
  • Ultra-quiet motor
  • The handle makes steering easy.
  • Dedicated customer support.

 

Cons

  • It can only be mounted onto the transom that is susceptible to breakage.
  • No foot pedal or remote control
  • It is only available with a 30-inch shaft.
  • The bracket needs careful tightening for it to work.

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2. Minn Kota Endura Max in Shaft Thrust Trans MNT

Runner Up

 

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At number two on our best trolling motors for pontoons is the Minn Kota pontoon trolling motor. Minn Kota is indeed one of the most prominent names in the world of trolling motors. Minn Kota’s versatile motor is always up to the mark and is unquestionably the best trolling motor mount for pontoon, and Minn Kota Endura Max is no less.

 

This transom best trolling motor for pontoon boat comes with a more robust lever lock bracket than any traditional bracket, thanks to its exquisite composite material. The Endura Max best trolling motor for pontoon boat can offer you long-lasting reliability by getting rid of the two central problems that you experience with the electric trolling motors – battery life and durability. It has a digital maximizer that insulates the internal components, thereby lowering the heat during operation and accentuating the motor’s life. This Pontoon boat trolling motor mount employs top-notch materials assuring better operation while needing little power. With 10-speed settings (5 forward & 5 reverse), 55 lbs of thrust, easy to use lever lock mount, and a telescoping handle, you will be on the water in no time and enjoy your day-out fishing.

 

Key features

  • Variable Speed Control
  • Comes with a Digital Maximizer
  • Lever Lock Bracket delivers a rock-solid mount
  • Ergonomic, six-inch telescoping handle that lets you achieve an easy and comfortable steering

 

Pros

  • 10-speed setting options
  • Effective power prop
  • Long period of use with cooler temperatures
  • Digital optimizer that controls the power and curtails power loss
  • Easy to set speed with its variable speed control.
  • Non corrosive material
  • It comes with a battery meter that allows you to know the battery life
  • It comes with a resistant trolling motor bracket
  • Its telescoping handle is simple and provides with easy steering
  • Extended life of unit increases reduces replacement costs

 

Cons

  • Not recommended for saltwater
  • The motor is louder than other similar models
  • Some chemicals used in this item can cause health hazards

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3. Minn Kota Edge Bowmount Foot Control Trolling Motor with Latch and Door Bracket

 

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Next on our best trolling motors for pontoons list is the Minn Kota edge motor. It is a heavier bow-mount motor with an indestructible 52-inch shaft, which is perfect for medium and small boats. For some, the bow height from the water level may be the issue, but its solid and strong latch & door bracket holds onto it firmly when you work with the motor. You can remove it without any difficulty. This best trolling motor for pontoon boats is available with a highly responsive foot pedal made with high-impact composite material.

 

To install the foot pedal, you need adequate space. This best trolling motor for pontoon boats works well even past the vegetation and grass. You can find the motor for different shaft sizes and thrusts.

 

Key features

  1. Five forward speeds
  2. Weedless Wedge 2 (mkp-32); Voltage:12 V
  3. Heel-toe/ Cable-Steer foot pedal
  4. Latch and door mount for easy removal

 

Pros

  • Supremely powerful and almost indestructible.
  • Has the right composition to overcome anything that you encounter
  • Super-easy to use
  • Assures maximum control
  • Easy to mount with the employment of the included hardware
  • Produces minimum sound
  • 2-year warranty
  • A foot pedal and speed control for better use of the motor
  • Bracket-style is strong and easy to handle
  • 52 inches shaft is long enough to be set on the pontoon boats or other boats

 

Cons

  • The power cord is super short.
  • The plastic handle is not of that good quality as expected.
  • Handle does not extend either.
  • Recommended for freshwater and not for saltwater
  • Plug is not included

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4. Cloud Mountain 8 Speed Electric Trolling Motor for Fishing Boat

Best Budget Buy

 

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Cloud Mountain is a fine pick for you if you need the best electric trolling motor for pontoon boats. This comes with a reinforced nylon bracket that offers high strength, ablation resistance, and good dimension stability. Further, this best electric trolling motor for pontoon boat also comes with a fiberglass composite shaft, which has immense tensile strength and is highly corrosion-resistant. This makes it ideal for both saltwater and freshwater.

 

One of the other reasons why we have included this in our best trolling motor for pontoon boats list is that it has eight variable speeds, that is, 5sp forward and 3sp reverse.

 

Overall, this Cloud Mountain trolling motor is the best trolling motor for pontoon boats for someone who is on a budget. It is versatile and comes with abundant options for thrust power, thereby allowing you to select and choose what best works for your watercraft. Unfortunately, this otherwise best trolling motor for pontoon boat has some plastic hardware, which is not right when trolling motors. You may either have to shop for your own mount or modify the one you get with this.

 

Key features

  1. Reinforced Nylon Bracket ensures high strength, good ablation resistance, and good dimension stability
  2. 8 Speeds and 6-inch telescoping adjustable handle
  3. Durable all-aluminum head
  4. Smooth and easily controlled ride assured
  5. High tensile strength and corrosion resistance flexible shaft that ensures proper depth placement regardless of the water conditions
  6. 28” shaft is more suitable for sitting.
  7. 10-Point LED Battery indicator
  8. The battery indicator protects the batteries and makes it convenient to observe how much electricity is left
  9. The battery has to be bought separately
  10. Saltwater compatible hardware makes the motor run perfectly in saltwater or freshwater

 

Pros

  • Abundant variation in thrust capacities
  • Suitable for many small watercraft, including inflatables
  • Saltwater trolling motor
  • Super Easy to Set Up and Operate
  • Telescoping handle up to 6-inches with a rubberized grip
  • Different models for 36-pound, 40, 46, 50, 55, 60, and 86-pound thrust
  • Speed Settings are Responsive
  • 10-level LED battery monitor

 

Cons

  • Made with plastic parts, which are not very durable.
  • The shaft is just 28-inches, which is not ideal for some boats
  • Bolts aren’t stainless steel and could rust faster as a result

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5. Minn Kota Powerdrive V2 Pontoon Boat Trolling Motor with Quick Release Bracket

Best For Choppy Waters

 

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Given its deploy-assist-lever feature, this Minn Kota trolling motor for pontoon boats can be stowed securely in rough waters. This is a clear assurance of its durability. So, if you have to fish in choppy waters, this can be one of the best trolling motors for pontoons. It deploys the engine as fast as it stowed it away for a super-fast and simple transitioning.

 

One of the most likable things about this best trolling motor for pontoon boats is the troller’s unique bearing system. It lowers the noise by reducing friction. Additionally, the motor is compatible with efficient and innovative accessories, such as Universal Sonar 2 System and the Autopilot. With Autopilot, you can seamlessly point the boat in the direction where you wish to go. Its Minnkota Universal Sonar 2 System gauges the water temperature and has the dual-beam tech, which provides it with unobstructed underwater views.

 

Unfortunately, there is one problem with this otherwise best trolling motor for pontoon boats. You will have to twist the shaft to get into the position for deployment or stow. Also, please bear in mind, you will have to shop for the batteries separately. So, this means that there is an additional expense involved.

 

Key features

  1. Unique bearing system which reduces the friction and noise
  2. Digital Maximizer technology helps the battery run five times longer on a single charge
  3. 3-year warranty
  4. 44 lbs. weight and 18” cord on its foot pedal
  5. Weed-free propeller
  6. Ultra-quiet trolling motor with 68 pounds of thrust and 48-inch shaft
  7. Side-to-side steering foot pedal with a precise speed control knob
  8. Quick-release lever for fast motor deployment

 

Pros

  • Generous three-year warranty
  • Variety of speed controls
  • Reduced noise and friction
  • Ergonomically designed foot pedals
  • Super easy installation

 

Cons

  • Batteries need to be purchased separately
  • Unstable quick-release mounting

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6. Motorguide 940200060 Motorguide X3-45Fw Fb 45” 12V Foot-Operated, Black

 

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The last one on our best trolling motors for pontoons list is the Motor Guide x3 motor. When you need the best trolling motor mount for pontoon at a bargain price, then this one can be the best pick. The brand is a top-seller in producing trolling motors. However, shopping for this one means buying a motor with no unnecessary bells and whistles. However, despite that, there are absolutely no concerns in this motor when it comes to quality.

 

Unlike the X5 model, it is not a GPS trolling motor for pontoon boats or the remote control trolling motor for pontoon boats you’ve been looking for, but it does have some necessary features, which justify its low cost. Its Patented Variable Ratio Steering (VRS) can assure smooth sailing for even the most inexperienced operator and efficiently counter the negative implications of higher currents or winds. Its adjustable shaft length allows for simplistic use on a bunch of watercraft.

 

Lastly, its composite construction is abuse and weather-resistant. The aircraft-grade and stainless steel aluminum are corrosion resistant. So, even though it is not the remote control trolling motor for pontoon boats like Motor Guide’s more innovative models, it will conveniently last you many, many years. Further, the lifetime warranty that comes with it only makes it better. However, one fundamental problem that anglers may face is that it is only freshwater compatible.

 

Key features

  1. Variable Ratio Technology
  2. Precision Response Steering
  3. Composite Locking Pins
  4. Good for freshwater use
  5. New Rugged Composite Shaft
  6. Ultra-quiet on the water
  7. Rigid aircraft-grade aluminum mount and stainless steel bushings ensure dependable performance
  8. Foot-control unit with heel/toe design and directional indicator

 

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Precision response steering that gives better control
  • It can be used on a variety of vessels
  • Its new bow mount design makes installation easier.
  • Composite shaft, locking pins, and mount are stronger and more corrosion resistant than previous designs.

 

Cons

  • No saltwater compatibility
  • Has only 45 lbs of thrust, so not capable of performing well on larger boats

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Bonus Models: Some Other Excellent Pontoon Trolling Motors

Each of the six motors mentioned above is incredible for your pontoon boats. However, we would recommend two additional motors for you, in addition to the two mentioned above, as they are just as good. These include the:

 

  1. Aquos White Haswing Cayman remote control trolling motor for pontoon boat
  2. Haswing Anchor Control GPS trolling motor for pontoon boat 55 lbs

 

 

How To Shop For The Best Trolling Motor For Pontoon Boats?

There are certain features that you should know before you shell out the cash and shop for a motor. Here, we will address some of the features that you should know before you go out shopping for the motor for your pontoon boats.

 

a. Brand selection

One central factor that can base your brand decision is if you already possess a fish finder. The best fish finder and the trolling motor manufacturers often collaborate to ensure that the technologies of the two are compatible. It can be quintessential, especially when you are shopping for a more advanced  GPS trolling motor for pontoon boats. When you look for a GPS trolling motor for pontoon boats, your fish finder can chart out the trolling motor plots.

 

It can control the trolling motor with an on-fish fish finder control panel. It can come in handy if you are working around the boat. For an angler who owns the Lowrance fish finder that interfaces with a trolling motor, you can opt for the Motor Guide remote control trolling motor for pontoon boats. On the other hand, if you possess the Humminbird fishfinder, we recommend the Minn Kota trolling motor.

 

 

b. Model Selection

1. Mount Location

The very first step towards the model selection is deciding where you will mount the trolling motor. Typically, you have three options: the engine mount, transom or rear mount, and the bow mount. Each of these options comes with its share of negatives and positives. If you are going to do the trolling with your trolling motor, you should opt for the bow mount trolling motor.

 

2. Shaft Length

When you shop for the trolling motor model just out of the store, you will have to pick a shaft length. In most of the boats, it is not hard to make the right choice. However, when it comes to the pontoon boat, making a choice can be a bit tricky. It is probably because of the high pontoon boat’s deck. The apt shaft length that you can opt for, in most cases, is 60″.

 

3. Trolling Motor Thrust for Pontoon Boats

How can you skimp out on power? It can be your biggest mistake when it comes to the trolling motor purchase. The pontoon boats are bigger in size, and they do not have the hydrodynamics of a V-hull boat. Thus, it is best to go as strong as possible. Traditionally, to find the correct amount of thrust, you will have to divide the boat’s total weight in pounds by 100. Next, take this result, and multiply it by two.

 

Typically, a 22′ pontoon boat loaded with gear and gas and many people will come out to be around 3000-pounds, which after the formula would imply that you need a 60-pound thrust trolling motor.

 

However, in our view, this traditional calculation is not the best for most pontoon boats because of hydrodynamics. Trust us when we say this, as a boat owner, you will be much more content with a 65, 70, or even 80-pound thrust trolling motor, together with a 24v or 26v (2 or 3 battery) system.

 

4. Features

Compare the features before making a pick!

Suppose you intend to go with Motor Guide Xi5 remote control trolling motor for pontoon boats. One thing that we particularly enjoy about it is that it offers remote control trolling motor for pontoon boats. So, this implies that you can control the trolling motor from anywhere on the boat.

 

In this case, you should also know that today even Minn Kota makes trolling motors, which possess more or less similar features with some tweaks on technology here are there. So, if you are interested in the Motor Guide Xi5 remote control trolling motor for pontoon boats, we would also recommend you to check out the MinnKota Terrova with iPilot and compare both of them.

 

 

c. Additional factors

1. Water condition

When selecting the motor, this is one of the critical concerns. There are outboard motors, which are suitable only for freshwater. But, certain models are compatible with saltwater too. In general, those motors, which work on saltwater, can also be used on freshwater. For running on the saltwater, the trolling motor needs high-end engineering. So, ensure that you check the manufacturer’s guidelines to confirm this.

 

2. Handle

Although you may think that the handle is not the biggest concern, you need to engage in a lot of steering when you are out there for an entire day. This is when the handle becomes a primary concern. It widely influences the prop’s movement underwater as well. Usually, the handles in the market are available with the telescoping body shape. Do ensure that your handle is comfortable to hold. The ergonomic handles are the most comfortable ones.

 

3. Warranty

Lastly, the trolling motor’s warranty might not be something that anglers usually think about. However, it is important to take note of it when you spend your money on a motor. It would help if you opted for a motor with a few years of warranty on average. The warranty covers only those things you do, which the manufacturer recommends to be done with the motor. If you do not do as advised, you will void the warranty.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Ques 1. How big of a trolling motor do I need for a pontoon?

Ans. Typically, a 22′ pontoon boat loaded with gear and gas and many people will come out to be around 3000-pounds, which after the formula would imply that you need a 60-pound thrust trolling motor.

 

Ques 2. Can an electric trolling motor handle intense water conditions?

Ans. Not every trolling motor can handle intense currents or harsh waves. You will require a larger electric engine ready on the ponton if you have to sail through challenging water conditions.

 

Ques 3. Can a trolling motor really be a full replacement for traditional oars?

Ans. Although a trolling motor can work according to your demands, it helps to get a few oars on the board for your pontoon to be safe. It is because it helps to get adequate propulsion in the event wherein the battery linked to the motor dies out. Of course, it does help get a few spare marine batteries on board to be safe. However, having oars on hand at least aids you out if you are hit by a worst-case scenario when nothing is working at all.

 

Ques 4. How to mount a trolling motor on a pontoon boat?

Ans. You can install the motor in the stern or the bow. The deck and hull design is vital to add a mounting platform or an extension for some trolling motors.

 

Ques 5. What size trolling motor do I need for a 20-foot pontoon boat?

Ans. You need a minimum thrust of 70 lbs for a 20-foot pontoon boat.

 

Ques 6. What size trolling motor do I need for my 24-foot pontoon?

Ans. You need a minimum thrust of 80 lbs for a 24-foot pontoon boat.

 

Ques 7. Where is the best place to install a trolling motor on a pontoon?

Ans. The trolling motor must be installed as close to the stern’s center as possible without intervening with the main motor’s operation if there is one. The mounting bracket’s top should be flush with the stern’s top.

 

Ques 8. How fast can my pontoon boat go with a trolling motor?

Ans. Typically, a pontoon boat can reach a speed between 18-30 mph. However, this speed primarily depends on many factors, and the pontoon’s load is indeed a vital factor.

 

Ques 9. How deep should a trolling motor be in the water?

Ans. As a general rule of thumb, the motor’s top section should be submerged 12″.

 

Ques 10. Can the same trolling motor work on an inflatable boat and a pontoon?

Ans. As such, there is no reason why a trolling motor for one kind of boat cannot work for another type. The idea is that the motor you pick must be powerful enough to properly train different types of boats while working without any additional disruptions. Regardless of what you choose, you must see that the mounting materials employed keep the motor in check and are carefully designed with the correct layout. You might require additional effort to get the motor mounted carefully enough on the surface.

 

Wrapping Up

We want to conclude by saying that the best trolling motor for pontoon boats will be the one that rightly fits your demands and is easy to install. Knowing how you can get out of the motor can be detrimental when you have a great plan in place to make it all work according to your requirements.