What Size Trolling Motor for Pontoon Boat?

What Size Trolling Motor for Pontoon Boat?Choosing the right size trolling motor for your pontoon boat is crucial for optimal performance on the water. In this guide, we will explore the key factors to consider when selecting the size of your trolling motor, providing you with a comprehensive and informative resource.

As a pontoon boat owner, you understand the importance of equipping your vessel with the right equipment. A properly sized trolling motor not only enhances your boating experience but also ensures efficient maneuverability and control.

In this guide, you’ll learn about various aspects to consider, such as brand selection, model options, important accessories, and the significance of shaft length. We’ll also provide valuable tips on measuring the shaft length accurately and visualizing its placement on your pontoon boat.

By the end of this guide, you’ll have all the information you need to confidently determine the size of your trolling motor, enabling you to make an informed decision that maximizes performance and enjoyment.

Selecting the Brand

When choosing a brand for your trolling motor on a pontoon boat, consider its compatibility with your existing fish finder. Motor Guide trolling motors are recommended for owners of Lowrance fish finders, while MinnKota trolling motors are compatible with Humminbird fish finders. These brands continuously improve their features and technology, so it’s essential to research both options and consider your specific needs.

Motor Guide

Motor Guide is a reputable brand known for its reliable and durable trolling motors. Their motors are designed to work seamlessly with Lowrance fish finders, ensuring optimal performance on the water. Motor Guide offers a range of models with various thrust levels and shaft lengths, allowing you to choose the perfect fit for your pontoon boat.


MinnKota is another popular brand trusted by anglers worldwide. Their trolling motors are specifically designed to be compatible with Humminbird fish finders, providing a seamless integration between the two devices. MinnKota offers innovative features such as GPS technology, wireless control, and quiet operation, making them a preferred choice for many pontoon boat owners.

When deciding between Motor Guide and MinnKota, consider factors such as your budget, specific fishing needs, and the features that matter most to you. Both brands have a solid reputation and a wide range of options to choose from, ensuring that you can find a trolling motor that meets your requirements.

Brand Compatibility Key Features
Motor Guide Lowrance fish finders Reliable, durable, various thrust levels and shaft lengths
MinnKota Humminbird fish finders GPS technology, wireless control, quiet operation

Choosing the Model

When selecting a model for your trolling motor, it is important to consider the mount location and the specific needs of your pontoon boat. There are three main mount options to choose from: bow mount trolling motor, transom mount trolling motor, and engine mount trolling motor.

Bow mount trolling motors are ideal for trolling purposes, providing precise control and maneuverability. They are mounted at the front of the pontoon boat and allow for smooth navigation through the water. Bow mount motors are commonly preferred for their ability to keep the boat steady in windy conditions and offer better overall performance.

Transom mount trolling motors are installed at the rear of the boat and are suitable for fine adjustments and ease of installation. They are a popular choice for those who prioritize simplicity and versatility. Transom mount motors are generally less expensive and require less modification of the boat’s structure.

Engine mount trolling motors are integrated with the boat’s outboard engine and provide propulsion when needed. These motors are typically used as a backup or for situations where additional power is required. Engine mount motors offer convenience and save space on the boat, but they may limit maneuverability compared to bow or transom mount options.

Finding the Right Shaft Length and Trolling Motor Thrust

When choosing the model, you also need to consider the shaft length and trolling motor thrust. The shaft length refers to the distance between the motor head and the propeller. For pontoon boats, a 60-inch shaft length is often recommended due to the higher deck height. This ensures that the propeller sits deep enough in the water for optimal performance.

The trolling motor thrust indicates the power of the motor and its ability to move the pontoon boat. To calculate the necessary thrust, divide the total weight of your boat by 100 and multiply it by two. This formula provides a rough estimate of the minimum thrust required. It is important to choose a motor with sufficient thrust to handle the weight and size of your pontoon boat, ensuring smooth operation and maneuverability on the water.

Summary Table: Trolling Motor Mount Options

Mount Location Description
Bow Mount Mounted at the front of the pontoon boat; provides precise control and maneuverability, ideal for trolling purposes
Transom Mount Installed at the rear of the boat; offers ease of installation and fine adjustments, a versatile option
Engine Mount Integrated with the outboard engine; provides additional power and convenience, ideal as a backup

Considering Accessories and Mounting Options

When it comes to maximizing the performance of your trolling motor on a pontoon boat, it’s essential to consider the right accessories and mounting options. Investing in the proper accessories will ensure the longevity of your battery and provide a seamless boating experience. Additionally, choosing the right mounting option will optimize the functionality of your trolling motor.

Deep-Cycle Batteries

One of the key accessories to consider is the deep-cycle battery. Unlike marine starting batteries, deep-cycle batteries are specifically designed to handle the demands of trolling motors. These batteries provide a steady and consistent power supply, ensuring optimal performance on the water. Popular options include the Optima Blue Top and Vmaxtanks Marine AGM SLA Deep Cycle Battery.

Battery Charger

In addition to selecting the right battery, it’s crucial to invest in a high-quality battery charger. A marine-grade battery charger with appropriate connections is essential to preserve the longevity of your battery. The NOCO Genius On-Board Battery Charger is a popular choice among boaters, offering efficient charging and maintenance functions.

By using these accessories, you can ensure that your trolling motor’s battery remains in optimal condition, allowing for prolonged outings and reliable performance on the water.

Accessories Product Recommendations
Deep-Cycle Batteries Optima Blue Top, Vmaxtanks Marine AGM SLA Deep Cycle Battery
Battery Charger NOCO Genius On-Board Battery Charger

Table: Recommended accessories for optimizing your trolling motor’s performance on a pontoon boat.

Optimizing Shaft Length Selection

When selecting the right trolling motor for your pontoon boat, one important consideration is the optimal shaft length. The shaft length of your trolling motor will depend on various factors that affect its placement, clearance, and performance in different water conditions. By understanding these factors, you can make an informed decision that ensures seamless operation on the water.

Placement and Clearance

The placement of the trolling motor on your pontoon boat will determine the ideal shaft length. If you plan to mount the motor on the bow, you’ll need to consider the clearance between the fencing and the front edge of the boat. Modifications may be necessary to accommodate a bow mount, so it’s important to ensure proper clearance for efficient and safe operation.

Water Conditions

The water conditions you typically encounter while boating also play a role in determining the appropriate shaft length. If you frequently navigate through choppy waters or encounter larger waves, it’s advisable to opt for a slightly longer shaft to prevent any limitations in usage. A longer shaft allows the motor to reach deeper into the water and maintain consistent propulsion even in rough conditions.

By considering the placement, clearance, and water conditions, you can optimize the shaft length selection for your pontoon boat’s trolling motor. This ensures that the motor operates efficiently, avoids any limitations, and provides an enjoyable boating experience.

Measuring Trolling Motor Shaft Length and Visualizing Placement

Accurately measuring the trolling motor shaft length is crucial to ensure a proper fit for your pontoon boat. To do this, start from the bottom of the head and measure to the top of the propeller housing. This measurement technique provides a precise indication of the length required for your motor. It is important to measure carefully and avoid any errors that could lead to a mismatch between the motor and your boat.

When visualizing the placement of the trolling motor, consider factors such as the mounting location (bow, rear, or engine mount) and the clearance between the fencing and the front edge of the boat. For a bow mount, modifications might be necessary to ensure a secure fit. Additionally, take into account the water conditions you will encounter, such as wave size and chop, as these can impact the ideal shaft length.

It is generally recommended to select a trolling motor with a slightly longer shaft length rather than a shorter one. This allows for flexibility and prevents any limitations in usage. By measuring accurately and visualizing the placement of the motor, you can ensure a successful installation that enhances the performance of your pontoon boat on the water.

Trolling Motor Shaft Length Measurement Guide

Step Description
1 Position yourself at the front of the boat, where the trolling motor will be installed.
2 Locate the bottom of the motor head, which is the point where the shaft connects to the motor assembly.
3 Using a measuring tape or ruler, measure from the bottom of the motor head to the top of the propeller housing.
4 Record the measurement in inches or centimeters, depending on your preference.
5 Compare the measurement to the recommended shaft length for your pontoon boat to ensure a proper fit.


Choosing the right size trolling motor is essential for optimizing the performance of your pontoon boat. By considering various factors such as brand compatibility, model options, and necessary accessories, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable boating experience.

When selecting a trolling motor, it’s important to choose a brand that is compatible with your fish finder. Motor Guide and MinnKota are two reputable brands that offer improved features and technology. Researching both options and considering your specific needs will help you make an informed decision.

Additionally, the model and mounting options play a significant role in the overall performance of your trolling motor. Bow mount trolling motors are recommended for trolling purposes, while transom or engine mount options offer ease of installation and fine adjustments. Determining the appropriate shaft length, typically around 60 inches for pontoon boats, and selecting a motor with adequate thrust will ensure optimal power and maneuverability.

Lastly, investing in accessories such as deep-cycle batteries and a marine-grade charger is essential for maintaining the longevity of your trolling motor. Optima Blue Top and Vmaxtanks Marine AGM SLA Deep Cycle Battery are popular battery choices, while the NOCO Genius On-Board Battery Charger is recommended for reliable charging.

By following these guidelines and choosing the right trolling motor size for your pontoon boat, you can enhance its performance on the water and enjoy a seamless boating experience.

Richard Dodds

Leave a Comment