What Size Trolling Motor for a 17FT Boat?

What Size Trolling Motor for a 17FT Boat?Are you unsure what size trolling motor to select for your 17ft boat? Choosing the right motor can make all the difference in the performance of your vessel. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the factors to consider and provide expert recommendations for the ideal trolling motor size for a 17ft boat.

Whether you’re a seasoned boater or a novice just starting out, understanding the basics of trolling motors is crucial to making an informed decision. So, let’s dive in and explore the different types of trolling motors and their features, including thrust power and voltage options, to help you select the ideal motor size for your 17ft boat.

Before making your final choice, it’s important to consider additional factors such as the weight of your boat, the type of water conditions you’ll be navigating, and any additional accessories or equipment that may affect motor performance. We will guide you through the process of calculating the ideal motor size based on your boat’s weight and size, ensuring that your motor can handle the demands of your vessel.

Follow our expert tips for installation and maintenance to keep your trolling motor running efficiently. We will also explore additional accessories and techniques that can enhance the overall performance of your trolling motor beyond just the size.

So, whether you’re fishing or cruising, selecting the right trolling motor size for your 17ft boat is essential. Let’s ensure you make an informed decision for optimum performance on the water.

Understanding Trolling Motors

Before selecting the ideal trolling motor for your 17ft boat, it’s important to understand the basics of trolling motors. Trolling motors are electric motors that power your boat at a controlled speed, allowing you to navigate through the water quietly and efficiently. Unlike traditional boat motors that are mounted on the transom, trolling motors are mounted on the bow of the boat, providing better control and maneuverability in the water.

There are two main types of trolling motors: freshwater and saltwater. Freshwater trolling motors are designed for use in freshwater bodies such as lakes, rivers, and ponds, while saltwater trolling motors are designed for use in saltwater bodies such as oceans and bays. It’s important to choose the correct type of trolling motor based on the type of water you’ll be navigating.

Another important feature to consider when selecting a trolling motor is the thrust power. Thrust power is the amount of force that propels the boat through the water, and is measured in pounds. The larger the boat, the more thrust power is required to efficiently navigate through the water. It’s important to choose a trolling motor with the appropriate amount of thrust power for optimal performance.

Finally, voltage options are an important factor to consider when selecting a trolling motor. Trolling motors are available in 12, 24, and 36-volt options, with higher voltages providing more power and longer battery life. The voltage option you choose will depend on the size of your boat and the level of power and efficiency you require.

Overall, understanding the different types of trolling motors, their features, and the importance of thrust power and voltage options is crucial in selecting the right trolling motor for your 17ft boat. Continue reading to learn more about the factors to consider when selecting a trolling motor for your boat.

Factors to Consider

When selecting a trolling motor for a 17ft boat, it’s important to consider several factors to ensure optimal performance on the water. The size of your boat is just one consideration, but it’s not the only one. Here are some other crucial factors to consider:

By taking these factors into consideration, you’ll be able to select a trolling motor that can handle the demands of your specific boat and water conditions.

Example Table:

Boat Size Boat Weight Recommended Motor Size
16-18 ft 1,500-2,000 lbs 45-55 lbs thrust
18-20 ft 2,000-2,500 lbs 55-70 lbs thrust
20-22 ft 2,500-3,000 lbs 70-80 lbs thrust

Calculating the Ideal Motor Size

Choosing the right size trolling motor for your 17ft boat requires some calculation. Here is the step-by-step process to determine the ideal motor size based on boat weight and size:

Boat Size Boat Weight Trolling Motor Thrust Power
Less than 14ft Less than 1,400lbs 30 to 40lbs of thrust
14-16ft 1,400-1,800lbs 40 to 55lbs of thrust
16-19ft 1,800-2,500lbs 70 to 80lbs of thrust
19-21ft 2,500-3,000lbs 101 to 112lbs of thrust

As shown in the table above, for a 17ft boat, the ideal motor size would be around 70-80lbs of thrust power, considering an average weight of 1,800-2,500lbs. However, it’s important to note that the exact calculation may vary depending on additional equipment and accessories on board.

When determining the motor size calculation, it’s also crucial to consider the voltage options. A 12-volt trolling motor is suitable for freshwater fishing in calm to moderate conditions, while a 24-volt motor is ideal for larger boats or saltwater fishing in harsher conditions.

Keep in mind that a trolling motor with too little thrust power may strain when moving the boat, while one with too much power will drain the battery faster and may spook fish in shallow water. Therefore, it’s essential to get the motor size calculation right for optimum performance on your 17ft boat.

Recommendations for a 17ft Boat

After considering all the factors to choose the ideal trolling motor for a 17ft boat, industry standards and expert opinions recommend a motor size of 70-75lbs of thrust power. This motor size provides the necessary power to handle the demands of a 17ft boat and is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater conditions.

Trolling Motor Model Thrust Power Voltage
Minn Kota Edge Bow Mount Trolling Motor 70lbs 24V
MotorGuide Xi3 GPS Saltwater Bow Mount Trolling Motor 70lbs 24V
Lowrance Ghost Freshwater Trolling Motor 75lbs 24V

While these models are some of the top recommended trolling motors for a 17ft boat, it’s important to consider your specific boating needs and preferences before making a final decision. Always ensure the motor is compatible with your boat’s weight and size, and take into account any additional equipment or accessories that may impact performance.

Installation and Maintenance Tips

Proper installation and maintenance of your trolling motor are essential for long-lasting performance on the water. Follow these tips to ensure your motor is installed correctly and well-maintained over time.

Motor Installation

When installing your trolling motor, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Make sure all wiring connections are secure, and the motor is mounted firmly to the boat.

Pay attention to the installation location, ensuring the motor is positioned correctly for optimal performance. If possible, mount the motor as close to the boat’s centerline as possible to ensure balanced weight distribution.

Double-check all bolts and screws, ensuring that they are tightened securely, but not overtightened, which can cause damage to the boat or motor.

Maintenance Tips

Regular maintenance is crucial for keeping your trolling motor running smoothly. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Inspect the motor for any signs of wear and tear, such as frayed wires or damaged propellers, before each use.
  • Clean the motor and all wiring connections with a soft cloth after each use, removing any dirt, debris, or saltwater residue that could cause corrosion or damage over time.
  • Check the battery regularly, ensuring it is fully charged and in good condition. A dead or weak battery can cause your trolling motor to malfunction or even fail.
  • Store your trolling motor in a cool, dry place, protected from the elements when not in use.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your trolling motor is installed and maintained correctly, providing long-lasting performance on your 17ft boat.

Enhancing Trolling Motor Performance

Choosing the right size trolling motor is only the first step in optimizing your 17ft boat’s performance. There are a variety of additional accessories and techniques that can improve maneuverability, battery life, and overall efficiency on the water.

Additional Accessories

Adding additional accessories to your trolling motor can enhance its performance and make your time on the water more enjoyable. Consider adding a GPS system to help navigate and mark favorite fishing spots. A wireless foot pedal can improve maneuverability and allow for hands-free operation. A battery monitor can keep track of the motor’s power usage and alert you when it’s time to recharge.

Techniques for Optimal Motor Performance

  • Properly position your motor in relation to the waterline to reduce drag and improve efficiency.
  • Regularly check and adjust the motor’s depth to ensure maximum performance in different water conditions.
  • Use a weedless propeller to prevent tangled fishing lines and vegetation from slowing down the motor.
  • Keep your boat weight balanced and distribute weight evenly to avoid overloading the motor.
  • Consider upgrading to a higher voltage battery to improve motor performance and speed.

Regular Maintenance

Maintaining your trolling motor is crucial to ensure optimal performance on the water. Clean the motor regularly and check for any signs of wear or damage. Lubricate the motor and keep all moving parts well-maintained. Check the battery regularly and replace it as needed to avoid running out of power while on the water. By taking these steps, you can prolong the life of your trolling motor and ensure peak performance for all your boat adventures.


Choosing the right size trolling motor for your 17ft boat is a crucial decision that can impact your overall performance on the water. By considering factors such as boat weight, water conditions, and expert recommendations, you can confidently choose a motor size that meets your needs.

Ensuring proper installation and maintenance procedures are followed can also extend the longevity of your trolling motor. By regularly performing maintenance tasks such as checking the propeller and battery, you can prevent issues before they arise and keep your motor running efficiently.

For those looking to further enhance the performance of their trolling motor, additional accessories and techniques can be explored. Items such as quick-release brackets and foot pedals can improve maneuverability, while the use of a battery power center can extend battery life.

In conclusion, selecting the right trolling motor size and implementing best practices for installation and maintenance can provide a seamless and enjoyable boating experience. Remember to always prioritize safety and adhere to local boating regulations to ensure a fun and safe time on the water.

Richard Dodds

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