How to Put a Trolling Motor on a Canoe?

How to Put a Trolling Motor on a Canoe?Are you looking to motorize your canoe and enjoy a smoother and more convenient boating experience? Adding a trolling motor to your canoe can offer several advantages, including easier fishing, reduced paddling fatigue, and improved control on the water. In this article, we will discuss the steps involved in mounting a trolling motor on a canoe, whether you choose an electric or gas-powered motor. So, let’s dive in and discover how you can put a trolling motor on your canoe!

Before we begin, it’s important to note that there are two main types of trolling motors commonly used on canoes: electric powered trolling motors and gas-powered motors. Electric motors are lighter, more compact, and easier to install, while gas motors offer more power. The right choice for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences.

Electric Powered Trolling Motors

Electric powered trolling motors are a popular choice for canoers. Their lightweight and compact design make them easy to install and maneuver. Unlike gas-powered motors, electric trolling motors operate quietly, ensuring a peaceful fishing experience. These motors are powered by batteries, providing a smooth and efficient canoeing experience.

Advantages of Electric Trolling Motors

  • Quiet Operation: Electric trolling motors produce minimal noise, allowing anglers to enjoy a serene environment while fishing.
  • Compact and Lightweight: Electric motors are lighter compared to gas motors, reducing the overall weight of the canoe and making it easier to transport.
  • Easy Installation: Electric motors are straightforward to install, with most models featuring simple mounting systems.
  • Variable Speed Control: Many electric trolling motors offer variable speed control, allowing anglers to adjust the speed according to their preferences or the fishing conditions.
  • Energy Efficiency: Electric motors are energy-efficient, providing longer battery life and extended fishing time.

With their numerous advantages, electric trolling motors are an excellent choice for canoers looking to enhance their fishing experience. These motors offer convenience, responsiveness, and quiet operation, allowing anglers to navigate waterways and reach fishing spots with ease.

Model Thrust (lb) Shaft Length (in) Features
Minn Kota Endura C2 30 30 5-speed control, telescoping handle, durable construction
Newport Vessels NV Series 46 36 8-speed control, saltwater compatible, battery indicator
Motorguide R3 40 36 3-speed control, reversible motor head, stainless steel shaft

Gas Powered Motors

Gas powered motors are an alternative option for motorizing a canoe. While they may be larger, bulkier, and heavier compared to electric motors, they offer distinct advantages that make them a popular choice for some canoe enthusiasts. One of the main advantages of gas trolling motors is the increased speed and power they provide. This can be particularly beneficial for those who require more horsepower for longer excursions or when navigating against strong currents.

Another advantage of gas motors is their sustained use. With a full tank of gas, you can enjoy longer periods of uninterrupted boating compared to electric motors, which often rely on batteries that need recharging. However, it is important to note that gas trolling motors can be noisier and messier than their electric counterparts, as they require fuel and produce exhaust emissions.

The Differences between Electric and Gas Trolling Motors

When comparing electric and gas trolling motors, there are several key differences to consider. Electric trolling motors are generally lighter, more compact, and easier to install than gas motors. They are also quieter and produce zero emissions, making them a more environmentally friendly choice. Electric motors are typically powered by batteries, which may have limited run times and require regular recharging.

On the other hand, gas trolling motors are known for their power and ability to handle larger bodies of water. They offer more speed and durability, making them suitable for longer and more demanding trips. Gas motors do require regular maintenance and fueling, adding an extra level of care and responsibility.

When deciding between electric and gas trolling motors for your canoe, it is essential to consider your specific needs and preferences. Factors such as the type of water you will be navigating, the duration of your trips, and the level of power required should all be taken into account.

Advantages of Gas Trolling Motors Advantages of Electric Trolling Motors
Higher speed and power Lighter and more compact
Longer sustained use Quieter and produce zero emissions
Suitable for larger bodies of water Easy installation and maintenance

Where to Mount the Trolling Motor

When it comes to mounting a trolling motor on a canoe, there are three main locations to consider: the stern, the bow, and the transom. The right mounting location will depend on the type of canoe you have and your personal preference. Each location has its advantages and considerations.

Mounting at the Stern

Mounting the trolling motor at the stern, or the rear end of the canoe, is a popular choice for many canoers. It offers better weight distribution, especially if you are using a heavier gas-powered motor. Mounting at the stern provides better control and maneuverability, as the weight of the motor helps to keep the bow down in windy conditions. This location also allows for easy access and control of the motor while seated in the canoe.

Mounting at the Bow

Mounting the trolling motor at the bow, or the front end of the canoe, is another option to consider. This location can be advantageous if you want to have better visibility while operating the motor, as it allows you to face forward and see any obstacles ahead. It can also help with steering and maneuvering, especially when navigating through narrow or winding waterways. However, mounting at the bow may cause the stern to lift in windy conditions, affecting the balance of the canoe.

Mounting at the Transom

The transom, or the flat, vertical surface at the rear of the canoe, is another suitable location for mounting a trolling motor. Some canoes come with a built-in transom, while others may require the installation of a transom mount. Mounting at the transom offers stability and helps maintain balance in the canoe. It also allows for easy installation and removal of the motor. However, it may not provide the same level of control and maneuverability as mounting at the stern or bow.

Mounting Location Advantages Considerations
Stern – Better weight distribution – Can cause stern to lift in windy conditions
Bow – Better visibility and steering – May affect balance with stern lifting
Transom – Stability and easy installation – May not offer optimal control and maneuverability


Adding a trolling motor to a canoe can significantly enhance your boating experience. It offers numerous benefits, including easier and longer fishing periods, reduced reliance on paddling, and enhanced convenience and control on the water. Whether you opt for an electric or gas trolling motor, the mounting process involves selecting the appropriate motor, attaching a mount if necessary, and securing the motor to your canoe.

Consider the size and weight of the motor, as well as the optimal location on your canoe for balance and maneuverability. By following these considerations, you can ensure smooth and efficient sailing with your motorized canoe.

So, whether you’re eager to explore new fishing spots or simply want to glide effortlessly across the water, adding a trolling motor to your canoe is a worthwhile investment. Enjoy the freedom and flexibility it brings, and make the most of your time on the water with a motorized canoe.

Richard Dodds

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