How Fast Can a Trolling Motor Go?

How Fast Can a Trolling Motor Go?When it comes to trolling motors, the need for speed takes a backseat. These motors are designed to provide optimal performance in the slow and steady world of recreational fishing. With a maximum speed of around 5 mph, trolling motors excel in delivering a smooth and controlled experience on the water.

While they may not match the speed and power of gas motors, trolling motors offer a range of advantages. One key benefit is their quiet operation, which ensures a peaceful fishing experience without disturbing the tranquility of the surroundings. Additionally, electric trolling motors are efficient and environmentally friendly, making them a popular choice among eco-conscious boaters.

So, while a trolling motor may not set any speed records, its performance shines in its ability to provide anglers and boating enthusiasts with a reliable and enjoyable means of propulsion.

Understanding Trolling Motor Thrust

The thrust of a trolling motor is a crucial factor in determining its power and efficiency. Measured in pounds (lbs), thrust refers to the force generated by the motor to move the boat through the water. The size and weight of the boat, as well as its hull design, play a significant role in determining the appropriate thrust level. It is important to select a trolling motor with adequate thrust to ensure satisfactory performance, maneuverability, and run time on the water.

When choosing the right thrust for your trolling motor, it’s essential to consider the weight of your boat. The weight includes not only the boat itself but also any additional gear, passengers, and fuel. A boat with a heavier weight will require more thrust to maintain optimal performance. On the other hand, a lighter boat may require less thrust but could benefit from a smaller motor for better maneuverability.

Factors such as wind, current, and water conditions should also be taken into account when determining the appropriate thrust for your trolling motor. Rough waters or strong currents may require a higher thrust to counteract the resistance and maintain the desired speed. Additionally, the hull design of your boat can impact the thrust requirements. Boats with a flat or v-shaped hull tend to have lower resistance in the water compared to boats with a deeper v-shaped hull, which may require more thrust.

Overall, choosing the right thrust for your trolling motor is an important decision that will directly impact your boating experience. It’s recommended to consult the manufacturer’s recommendations and consider the specific factors mentioned above to ensure you select a trolling motor with the right amount of thrust for your boat’s weight and usage requirements.

Table: Trolling Motor Thrust Recommendations

Boat Type Recommended Thrust (lbs)
Bass Boats 70-100
Flats Boats 45-70
Pontoon Boats 55-80
Canoe/Kayak 30-45

Factors Affecting Trolling Motor Speed

Trolling motor speed can be influenced by several key factors, including the voltage rating of the motor and the weight of the boat. Let’s take a closer look at these factors:

1. Voltage Rating:

The voltage rating of a trolling motor plays a significant role in determining its speed. Trolling motors are commonly available in 12V, 24V, and 36V variants. Higher voltage ratings typically result in greater thrust, which can potentially lead to higher speeds. However, it’s important to note that regardless of the voltage, the maximum speed of a trolling motor is typically around 5 mph.

2. Boat Weight:

The weight of the boat can also impact the speed of a trolling motor. Heavier boats require more power to achieve optimal performance, which can affect the overall speed. It’s important to consider the weight of your boat when selecting a trolling motor to ensure it has enough power to provide satisfactory speed and performance.

3. Other Factors:

While voltage and boat weight are the primary factors affecting trolling motor speed, other factors such as propeller design, water conditions, and motor efficiency can also have an influence. These factors can affect the overall performance and efficiency of the trolling motor, which may indirectly impact the speed.

Overall, when selecting a trolling motor, it’s essential to consider the voltage rating, boat weight, and other relevant factors to ensure optimal speed and performance. Understanding the impact of these factors can help you make an informed decision and choose the right trolling motor for your boating needs.

Choosing the Right Trolling Motor for Your Boat

When it comes to selecting the perfect trolling motor for your boat, several factors need to be considered to ensure optimal performance on the water. One of the key considerations is matching the motor’s thrust to your boat’s weight. The thrust of a trolling motor refers to the force it generates to propel the boat through the water. It is crucial to choose a motor with adequate thrust to provide sufficient power and maneuverability.

The recommended thrust level for your boat depends on its type and size. Bass boats, for example, typically require motors with 70-100 lbs of thrust, while flats boats may only need 45-70 lbs of thrust. It’s important to consult the manufacturer’s recommendations or consult with a knowledgeable professional to determine the appropriate thrust range for your specific boat. Choosing a trolling motor with the right thrust will ensure efficient and reliable performance.

Considerations Beyond Thrust

While matching the motor’s thrust to your boat is crucial, there are other factors to consider as well. The hull design and fishing conditions are also important considerations. The hull design can affect how the boat responds to the motor’s thrust, so it’s important to choose a motor that is compatible with the specific hull design of your boat.

Fishing conditions, such as wind and current, can also impact the motor’s performance. If you frequently fish in windy or rough conditions, you may need a trolling motor with higher thrust to counteract the external forces and maintain control over your boat. On the other hand, if you primarily fish in calm waters, a motor with lower thrust may be sufficient.

Summary of Trolling Motor Selection

When choosing the right trolling motor for your boat, the following steps can help guide your decision:

  1. Determine the weight and type of your boat
  2. Consult the manufacturer’s recommendations or seek expert advice to determine the appropriate thrust range
  3. Consider the hull design and fishing conditions
  4. Weigh the advantages and disadvantages of electric trolling motors versus gas motors
  5. Make an informed decision based on your specific boating needs and preferences

By taking these factors into account, you can select a trolling motor that matches your boat’s requirements, providing you with a reliable and efficient propulsion system for your fishing adventures.

Boat Type Recommended Thrust Range (lbs)
Bass Boats 70-100
Flats Boats 45-70
Jon Boats 30-45
Kayaks 20-30

Electric Trolling Motors vs. Gas Motors

When it comes to choosing the propulsion system for your boat, the decision often boils down to electric trolling motors or gas motors. Each option has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and understanding these differences can help you make an informed choice.

Advantages of Electric Trolling Motors:

  • Quieter operation: Electric trolling motors run silently, allowing you to enjoy a peaceful and undisturbed boating experience. This is particularly advantageous when fishing or navigating in calm waters where noise can easily scare away fish.
  • Efficiency: Electric motors are known for their energy efficiency. They use battery power to generate thrust, resulting in longer run times and less frequent battery replacements.
  • Environmental friendliness: Electric motors produce zero emissions, making them a greener and more sustainable choice. They help preserve the beauty of nature and ensure cleaner waterways for future generations.

Disadvantages of Gas Motors:

  • Noise and vibrations: Gas motors tend to be louder and produce more vibrations compared to electric trolling motors. This can be bothersome for anglers looking for a quiet and serene fishing experience.
  • Emissions: Gas motors release carbon monoxide and other pollutants into the environment, contributing to air and water pollution. This can have a negative impact on the ecosystem and aquatic life.
  • Maintenance requirements: Gas motors require regular maintenance, including fueling, oil changes, and tune-ups. This adds to the overall cost and effort involved in owning and operating a gas-powered boat.

Ultimately, the choice between electric trolling motors and gas motors depends on your personal preferences, boating needs, and environmental considerations. If you prioritize quiet operation, energy efficiency, and eco-friendliness, electric trolling motors offer a compelling solution. On the other hand, if you require more speed and power and don’t mind the noise and emissions, gas motors may be a better fit for your boating adventures.

Electric Trolling Motors Gas Motors
Noise Quiet operation Louder and produce vibrations
Efficiency Energy efficient Less fuel efficient
Environmental Impact Zero emissions Produce emissions
Maintenance Low maintenance Regular maintenance required


Trolling motors are a valuable asset for anglers and boating enthusiasts, providing a reliable and controlled speed for fishing and navigation. Despite their maximum speed being limited to around 5 mph, these motors excel in their efficiency and environmentally friendly operation. When selecting a trolling motor, it is essential to consider factors such as thrust, boat weight, and fishing conditions to ensure optimal performance.

Electric trolling motors offer numerous advantages, including quiet operation and reduced environmental impact. Models like the Torqeedo and ePropulsion utilize advanced technology and high-end lithium batteries to deliver higher torque and speed. On the other hand, gas motors provide greater speed and power but come with the drawbacks of noise, emissions, and maintenance requirements. The choice between electric and gas motors ultimately depends on personal preferences and specific boating needs.

In summary, trolling motors offer a valuable solution for anglers, combining slow and steady performance with efficiency and environmental friendliness. By considering the factors affecting trolling motor speed and power, as well as the recommended thrust for your boat type, you can make an informed decision when selecting the right motor for your needs. Whether you choose an electric trolling motor or a gas motor, each option has its own advantages and considerations to keep in mind.

Richard Dodds

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