What Size Trolling Motor is Suitable for a Pontoon Boat

Last Updated on July 31st, 2020

A trolling motor is fishing equipment that can be attached to several parts of a pontoon boat. The primary purpose of a trolling motor is to propel the boat at a steady speed when navigating the fishing hot spot.

A silent and effective trolling motor makes the boat undetectable for the target fish beneath. You can instantly up your fishing game by installing a trolling motor in your pontoon boat. This post will help you pick the right size trolling motor.

Related Post: Mounting A Trolling Motor On Aluminum Boat

How to Choose the Correct Size Trolling Motor for Your Pontoon Boat

The size of a trolling motor is a crucial determining factor for a pontoon boat. Unlike a kayak or a canoe, a pontoon boat stays high above the water surface. This makes it challenging to safeguard the trolling motor from getting damaged due to rocks or other objects beneath shallow water. Also, choosing an inappropriately sized trolling motor can affect the performance of the pontoon boat.

Here are some factors you need to consider when picking a trolling motor of correct size:

1. Horsepower Requirements of the Boat

Trolling motors are only to be used when maneuvering through the water in fishing hotspots. The size of the trolling motor depends on the horsepower rating of the boat. Horsepower is the unit of power. It indicates the amount of work done by an engine.

The horsepower requirements of the pontoon boat are not explicitly specified by the manufacturer. You must talk to an expert to find out the power ratings of your boat model. The higher the power ratings, the bulkier will be the trolling motor.

2. Boat Weight

The weight of a pontoon boat is clearly specified by the manufacturer. Although, the manufacturer might only mention the unloaded weight. It is the boat owner’s responsibility to measure the weight of a loaded (based on the number of passengers on board) vessel. Once you find loaded and unloaded boat weight, you can look for a trolling motor that fits the bill.

3. Mounting Style

Trolling motors designed for pontoon boats come in a variety of mounting styles. You should have a clear idea about mounting options.  Each style has characteristics that aid the purpose of the vessel. Some of the common mounting styles are:

  • Bow Mounts
  • Transom Mounts
  • Engine Mount Motors

To conclude, measure the height of the bow or transom before purchasing a trolling motor. Pick the one that fits snugly. For engine mount trolling motors, you must measure the cavitation plate’s dimensions of an outboard motor.

What Size Trolling Motor for a 20-Foot Pontoon Boat?

A 20-foot pontoon boat is generally used for recreational or touring purposes. Installing a trolling motor would allow you to get more out of your investment. A 20-foot pontoon boat is suitable for fishing in open waters (both saltwater and freshwater).

Hence, you will need a trolling motor that offers the thrust and horsepower required to push your vessel forward. For a 20-foot pontoon boat, you must look for a trolling motor that provides 70-80 pounds of thrust.

Generally, trolling motors with a low power rating are sufficient for recreational fishing. It’s another thing if you are sailing in a small lake or a calm river, but you will need more thrust for fishing in an ocean. Hence, I suggested a trolling motor with a medium-high power rating.

Summary

To pick a right-sized trolling motor for a pontoon boat, you must take into account the power requirements, vessel weight, and mounting style of the trolling motor. Also, note that some trolling motors are equipped with a gasoline-powered outboard, which might add to the unit’s size. Alternatively, you can go for a 12/24V electric trolling motor powered by a deep marine cycle battery.

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