What Size Trolling Motor for 20’ Pontoon Boat?

What Size Trolling Motor for 20’ Pontoon Boat?When it comes to optimizing the performance and maneuverability of your 20-foot pontoon boat, choosing the right size trolling motor is crucial. The size of the trolling motor is determined by its thrust, which is the amount of power it generates to propel the boat through the water.

For a 20-foot pontoon boat, it is recommended to use a trolling motor with a minimum of 70 pounds of thrust. This ensures that your boat has enough power to navigate smoothly, even in challenging conditions such as wind or waves.

However, if you want even better performance and stability, opting for a trolling motor with 80 pounds of thrust is an excellent choice. The additional power provided by the higher thrust helps counteract the effects of wind and keeps your boat on track.

When selecting a trolling motor, it is essential not to compromise on quality. Investing in a trolling motor with GPS and remote control features can greatly enhance your boating experience. The convenience of controlling the motor wirelessly and having GPS navigation capabilities makes your time on the water more enjoyable and efficient.

If you’re looking for a popular choice among pontoon boat owners, consider the Minn Kota Terrova with Bluetooth wireless operation. This model offers excellent performance and a range of features that make it a favorite among boating enthusiasts.

Additionally, don’t forget to invest in a deep-cycle battery and a charger to ensure reliable power supply for your trolling motor. The Vmaxtanks battery and the Minn Kota two-bank charger are highly recommended accessories that will keep your trolling motor running smoothly.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Trolling Motor Brand for Your Pontoon Boat

When it comes to selecting a trolling motor brand for your pontoon boat, there are several important factors to consider. One of the key considerations is compatibility with other equipment on your boat, such as a fish finder. Many trolling motor and fish finder manufacturers collaborate to ensure that their technologies are compatible. For example, if you own a Lowrance fish finder, it is recommended to choose a Motor Guide trolling motor, while a Humminbird fish finder is best paired with a Minn Kota trolling motor.

Motor Guide and Minn Kota are competitors in the trolling motor market, and they often introduce similar features in response to each other’s advancements. Therefore, it is important not to assume that a particular feature is exclusive to a specific brand. It is also beneficial to select a trolling motor with GPS capabilities, as this allows your fish finder to chart out plots for the trolling motor and control it from a remote location.

To make an informed decision, it is advised to explore the options provided by different brands and models. Consider factors such as compatibility, GPS features, and technology advancements in order to find the ideal trolling motor brand for your pontoon boat. By choosing the right brand, you can ensure a seamless integration between your trolling motor and other equipment on your boat, enhancing your overall fishing experience.

Choosing the Right Model and Mounting Location for Your Trolling Motor on a Pontoon Boat

When selecting a trolling motor for your pontoon boat, it is crucial to consider the right model and mounting location. The choice of model depends on your fishing needs and preferences, while the mounting location determines how well the trolling motor performs.

The most common mounting option for a pontoon boat is the bow mount. This position offers better control and maneuverability, allowing you to navigate easily through various fishing spots. However, if trolling is not your primary fishing method, a transom or engine mount can be suitable alternatives.

It is important to note that mounting a trolling motor on the bow of a pontoon boat may require modifications to the front gate if there is limited space. This ensures that the trolling motor is securely attached and functions optimally. Additionally, the shaft length of the trolling motor is determined by the mounting location and the height of the pontoon boat’s deck. For most pontoon boat purposes, a 60″ shaft length is recommended to ensure sufficient clearance in water conditions with chop or waves.

Table: Pros and Cons of Different Mounting Locations

Mounting Location Pros Cons
Bow Mount Improved control and maneuverability May require modifications to the front gate
Transom Mount No modifications needed Less control and maneuverability
Engine Mount No modifications needed Less control and maneuverability

Note: The table above summarizes the pros and cons of different mounting locations for trolling motors on pontoon boats.

Determining the Optimal Shaft Length for Your Trolling Motor on a Pontoon Boat

Choosing the right shaft length for your trolling motor on a pontoon boat is crucial for ensuring smooth operation and avoiding any limitations in maneuverability. The optimal shaft length depends on factors such as the mounting location and the clearance needed between the boat’s deck and the water. To determine the appropriate shaft length for a pontoon boat with a bow mount, measure the distance from the mounting location to the water’s surface and add 18 to 22 inches. This additional length accounts for the height difference between the bow and the rest of the boat, providing sufficient clearance even in water conditions with chop or waves.

While most pontoon boats can get away with a 48″ shaft length, it is advisable to opt for a slightly longer shaft length, such as 55″ or 60. Choosing a longer shaft length ensures ample clearance, especially in rough water conditions, and allows for better maneuverability and control. It is important to note that the longer the shaft length, the deeper the trolling motor will reach into the water, which can provide better performance and stability.

To summarize, when selecting the shaft length for your trolling motor on a pontoon boat, consider the mounting location, the height difference between the bow and the rest of the boat, and the water conditions you are likely to encounter. The goal is to choose a shaft length that provides sufficient clearance and allows for optimum performance and control while trolling.

Bow Mount Clearance Recommended Shaft Length
Bow Mount 18 to 22 inches 55″ or 60″

The Importance of Sufficient Trolling Motor Thrust for Pontoon Boats

Pontoon boats have unique hydrodynamics that require careful consideration when selecting a trolling motor. One critical factor to consider is the thrust of the trolling motor. The trolling motor thrust refers to the amount of force it generates to propel the boat through the water. Choosing a trolling motor with sufficient thrust is crucial for optimum performance and maneuverability.

The traditional calculation for determining the trolling motor thrust required is to divide the total weight of the boat in pounds by 100 and then multiply the result by two. However, this calculation may not be suitable for most pontoon boats due to their design and characteristics. As a general guideline, pontoon boats typically require more trolling motor thrust compared to V-hull boats of the same weight.

For a 20-foot pontoon boat weighing around 3,000 pounds, the traditional calculation would recommend a 60-pound thrust trolling motor. However, it is advisable to consider a higher thrust, such as 65, 70, or even 80 pounds, to ensure better performance, especially in challenging conditions like windy weather or strong currents. The additional thrust helps to counteract external forces and maintain stability.

By coupling a higher thrust trolling motor with a 24v or 26v battery system, pontoon boat owners can ensure efficient trolling and maneuverability. It is essential to select a trolling motor with adequate thrust to navigate comfortably and enjoy a smooth fishing experience on a pontoon boat.

Factors Affecting Trolling Motor Thrust on Pontoon Boats

Several factors contribute to the importance of sufficient trolling motor thrust on pontoon boats. One significant factor is the weight of the boat. Pontoon boats are typically heavier than V-hull boats due to their construction and added components. Therefore, they require more power to propel effectively through the water.

Another factor is the hydrodynamics of pontoon boats. The design of pontoon boats creates more water resistance compared to V-hull boats. This resistance can affect the performance of a trolling motor, making it essential to have sufficient thrust to overcome any drag and maintain steady forward motion.

Finally, external conditions such as wind and current can pose additional challenges to maneuvering a pontoon boat. Windy conditions can push the boat off course, especially when trolling at slower speeds. Having a trolling motor with adequate thrust allows for better control and stability, ensuring the boat stays on track and maintains the desired speed.

Notable Features and Accessories for Trolling Motors on Pontoon Boats

Pontoon boats come with various features and accessories designed to enhance the functionality and convenience of trolling motors. These features can greatly improve your fishing experience and make maneuvering your pontoon boat easier. When choosing a trolling motor for your pontoon boat, it is important to consider the following notable features and accessories:

Remote Control Capabilities

Many trolling motors now come with remote control capabilities, allowing you to control the motor from anywhere on the boat. This feature provides convenience and ease of use, especially when you need to make adjustments while fishing. With a remote control, you can easily change the speed, direction, and other settings of your trolling motor without having to be near the motor itself.

Fish Finder Control

If you have a fish finder installed on your pontoon boat, it is beneficial to choose a trolling motor that is compatible with your fish finder. This allows you to control the trolling motor directly through your fish finder’s interface. You can set waypoints, control the motor’s speed, and even follow a specific depth contour or track a school of fish. Having this integration between your fish finder and trolling motor can greatly enhance your fishing capabilities.

GPS Functionality

GPS functionality is another important feature to consider when selecting a trolling motor for your pontoon boat. With GPS, you can precisely navigate your boat and mark specific spots or routes on a map. This allows for easy return to favorite fishing locations or exploring new areas. Some trolling motors even have the ability to automatically follow a course set on the GPS, freeing you up to focus on fishing.

Trolling Motor Feature or Accessory Description
Remote Control Enables control of the trolling motor from anywhere on the boat.
Fish Finder Control Allows integration and control of the trolling motor through a fish finder interface.
GPS Functionality Precise navigation and the ability to mark specific spots or routes on a map.

By considering these notable features and accessories, you can choose a trolling motor that best suits your needs and enhances your pontoon boat fishing experience.

Personal Recommendations and Testimonials for Trolling Motors on 20-Foot Pontoon Boats

Pontoon boat owners have shared their personal recommendations and experiences with trolling motors for 20-foot pontoons. The Minn Kota Terrova with Bluetooth wireless operation and the Motor Guide Xi5 are popular choices among pontoon boat owners. These trolling motors provide sufficient power for 20-foot pontoon boats and offer features like wireless remote control, GPS, and compatibility with fish finders. Users have reported successful performance, even in challenging conditions such as high winds or long-distance travel. The convenience of remote control and the ability to monitor motor details through LCD screens have received positive feedback. It is advisable to consider these recommendations and testimonials when selecting a trolling motor for a 20-foot pontoon boat.

Personal Recommendations

Many pontoon boat owners highly recommend the Minn Kota Terrova trolling motor for 20-foot pontoons. The wireless operation with Bluetooth connectivity allows for easy and convenient control from anywhere on the boat. The built-in GPS functionality enables precise navigation and the ability to chart out plots for the trolling motor. Users have praised the Terrova for its reliability and performance in various conditions, including strong winds and rough waters.

The Motor Guide Xi5 is another popular choice among pontoon boat owners. With its wireless remote control and compatibility with fish finders, the Xi5 offers exceptional convenience and versatility. Users have noted the Xi5’s responsiveness and smooth operation, making it a favorite among anglers. The motor’s ability to hold steady in currents and challenging conditions has received positive feedback.

User Testimonials

I’ve been using the Minn Kota Terrova on my 20-foot pontoon for a few years now, and I couldn’t be happier. The wireless operation and GPS features make trolling effortless, and the motor’s performance in windy conditions is outstanding. I highly recommend the Terrova for anyone looking for a reliable and powerful trolling motor.” – John, Pontoon Boat Owner

“The Motor Guide Xi5 has been a game-changer for me. The wireless remote control allows me to fish from anywhere on the boat without hassle. The compatibility with my fish finder is a major plus, and the motor’s responsiveness has exceeded my expectations. I can confidently say that the Xi5 is the best trolling motor I’ve ever used.” – Sarah, Pontoon Boat Owner

Trolling Motor Features User Rating
Minn Kota Terrova Wireless operation, GPS, Bluetooth connectivity 4.8/5
Motor Guide Xi5 Wireless remote control, fish finder compatibility 4.7/5


Choosing the right-sized trolling motor is crucial for a 20-foot pontoon boat to achieve optimal fishing experiences and maneuverability. It is recommended to select a trolling motor with at least 70 pounds of thrust, ideally 80 pounds, to ensure stability and performance, especially in windy conditions. Features such as GPS and remote control provide added convenience and enhanced control over the trolling motor.

Additionally, investing in accessories like deep-cycle batteries and smart chargers is essential for reliable power supply and proper battery maintenance. These accessories ensure that the trolling motor operates efficiently and remains ready for use whenever needed.

Considering personal recommendations from pontoon boat owners who have tried and tested specific models, such as the Minn Kota Terrova and the Motor Guide Xi5, can offer valuable insights into the performance and suitability of different trolling motors. These firsthand experiences can help you make an informed decision when selecting a trolling motor for your 20-foot pontoon boat.

By taking into account the appropriate size and thrust, as well as considering recommendations and investing in the right accessories, you can enjoy a smooth and enjoyable fishing experience on your 20-foot pontoon boat with a reliable and efficient trolling motor.

Richard Dodds

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