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Electronic Dance Part#3 - Electric Trolling Motors (bow-mount)


In this installment of The Electronic Dance I am going to explain how you can choose the best electric trolling motor for your boat. Not long ago I was out in the market to buy a new trolling motor for my boat and realized that there was little useful information available on the Internet so for all of those looking to buy or upgrade there electric motors, this article is for you. 

First of all, everyone wants to know how much thrust do I need to push my boat. Here is my advice based on experience and information from fellow anglers: 

12-16ft Aluminum 40-55 lbs thrust
14-16ft Fiberglass (runabout) 50-80 lbs
17-20ft Fiberglass (runabout) 75-100+ lbs
16-20ft Bass Boat 50-75 lbs 

Although these numbers are good guidelines it is always better to buy as big a motor as you can afford. In heavy winds or heavy current you will be happy you went with the larger motor.  

Another thing you must think about when buying an electric trolling motor is the battery voltage. You can buy 12volt, 24volt, and even 36volt motors. Basically the more lbs of thrust you get, the more voltage is required. Now what does this mean to you as a buyer? With a 12volt motor you need one battery, while with a 24volt motor you need two batteries, with a 36volt motor you will need three batteries. And the more batteries you have, the more money you have to shell out. And these arenít cheap 50 dollar car batteries. These are deep cycle marine batteries which can run you $100+ per battery. 

Shaft size is the next thing that you will need to know to buy the proper trolling motor. This can by easily achieved by taking the measurement from bow to water line and adding 20 inches. But remember it is better to go too deep than too shallow. Most trolling motors will allow you to lift the motor up but they are limited to only going down as far as the shaft allows. When your bow starts to bob in waves, similarly to the thrust issue, you will be glad you bought the bigger trolling motor. 

One more thing I would like to mention before I close up this article: I bought a wireless steering and speed control unit for my trolling motor and am more than impressed by the functionality of the system. Being able to control your electric motor from anywhere in the boat is something that any angler would appreciate.



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