Time spent on the water can either be entertaining and memorable or stressful and annoying, and it all depends on you. While paddling may be fun and seen as a form of exercise, doing it for a long time can take up valuable time and also result in a pair of sore arms and shoulders. Just imagine a scenario where all you have to do is steer your boat to the right spot, reduce the speed, prime your fishing rod
and cast it overboard and start fishing. After fishing, you pack up, start your motor and steer safely back to shore. No paddling, no wasted time, and no sore arms or shoulders.
If you're done imagining, welcome back to reality. That’s exactly what a boat motor does for you. A boat motor is a small motor that can be easily attached to small and medium-sized boats, kayaks
, canoes and even larger boats via the stern to power and keep them running. There are several types of boat motors and they can be electrically or petroleum powered. The noise level of a boat motor is usually minimal and this encourages its use on fishing boats. With a good boat motor that suits your boat properly, you can cover the whole length of a large lake with ease.
There are different factors that must be considered before purchasing a boat motor, and they are all equally important. It is important to consider the thrust of the motor and its power system. If you overlook this, the chance of you getting stranded while trolling increases by 100 percent. It is also important to consider the point of attachment of the motor. There are three typical mount positions and each one has its advantages and disadvantages. However, the precision, control and maneuverability of the motor usually depend on where it is mounted. You can also check out any extra features that increase the function of the motor.
At the end of the day, the ideal boat motor should be able to take you anywhere and return you to your starting point. While selecting the right boat motor for your boat may seem tedious, we've done the hard part by narrowing it down for you. Now, all you have to do is read this guide carefully. However, if you decide to skip this guide, don’t forget to pack a good paddle
and a life vest, because you will definitely need it.
As a general rule, the more power a boat motor generates, the more expensive it will be. There are also other factors that may affect the cost of a boat motor, such as the optimal performance of the motor, versatility and the presence or absence of extras, like battery gauge and digital displays. A boat motor that produces an optimal performance and can be used in both salt water and fresh water will be more expensive than one which can only be used in fresh water.
In our research, we came across a wide range of boat motors with different prices. But, after narrowing it down to those that generated sufficient power while delivering optimal performance, the price fell between $150 and $1000. We, however, decided to stay away from the ‘cheap’ boat motors that fell below that price range, because of their likelihood to leave you stranded while fishing.
Keeping your boat running after powering it is the most important function of a boat motor. So, before selecting a boat motor for your small boat, kayak or canoe, it is important to look out for the features that ensure you are not left stranded while fishing or carrying out other boating activities. These factors include:
- Boat motor type
- Boat motor power – thrust and voltage
- Shaft length
- Versatility – fresh water and/or salt water
- Extras – battery gauge, silent operation, speed control
Let’s break it down below…
Construction and Design
Before purchasing a boat motor, it is important to consider what type of motor will suit your boat, kayak or canoe. Just as we have different types of boats, there are also different types of boat motors. Basically, we have three types – engine mount, transom mount and bow mount, and they describe how the motor attaches to the boat. A boat motor with engine mount is one that attaches to the cavitation plate of the boat. While it doesn’t require stowing or deploying and offers space-saving benefits, this type of boat motor is usually more expensive and cannot be easily maneuvered.
On the other hand, a transom mount boat motor can be described as one that attaches at the rear of the boat or the stern. It is smaller in size, offers more precision, and is more affordable when compared to the engine mount boat motor. However, when compared to the bow mount boat motor, it is less precise and doesn’t maneuver as easily. The bow mount boat motor attaches to the front part of the outboard. It is better than the transom and engine mount motors when it comes to precision and maneuverability. Fishermen actually prefer this boat motor type because it allows them to catch more fish. However, it is quite expensive and not as popular as the transom mount boat motor.
As stated earlier, the main function of a boat motor is to power and keep your boat running when required. If the aim is to go fishing or carry out other activities on water, the boat motor you select should be able to generate enough propulsion power to take you to and from your destination. That is why you need to carefully consider the thrust it generates and the battery voltage required.
The thrust is described as the quantity of power that a boat motor generates for propulsion of the boat, and it is measured in pounds. To avoid unnecessary expenses, you should select a motor that can propel your boat. If you have a heavy boat, you should go for a motor with a higher thrust. One way to calculate the amount of thrust needed to propel your boat is to use this rule of thumb: every 200 pounds of the weight of your boat equals 4 pounds of thrust. Thus, a boat weight of 4000 pounds would require a boat motor with the power to generate 80 pounds of thrust. However, the more power a boat motor generates, the more expensive it will be. Another important factor to consider is the power system that will generate the thrust required to propel the boat. While gasoline engines don’t require batteries, it is advisable to carry extra gasoline to avoid getting stranded. For electric-powered motors, a battery is required. Most batteries come in 12V, 24V and 36V sizes. If you intend to spend a long time offshore, it is important to carry multiple batteries to avoid running out of juice while trolling.
Performance and Ease of Use
For optimal performance, you need a boat motor with the right shaft length. If the shaft length is too long, you will have a huge problem when trolling on shallower waters, and if it is shorter than necessary, the performance output will be limited, especially during unfavorable conditions such as wind and rain. If you're attaching it to a kayak, you should go for a short shaft length. But if you are attaching it to a larger boat, you need to select a shaft length that is longer than the bow or stern’s height.
Don’t forget that not all boat motors can function in all marine environments. Some boat motors are constructed with materials that can only be used on fresh water, while others can be used on both salt water and fresh water. It is important to note which water best suits the motor before purchasing it. Using a boat motor on the wrong water can lead to damage and corrosion of the motor.
There are some additional features present in some boat motors that make them more functional than others. An example is the battery gauge, which indicates the amount of power left in the battery. Some motors also have different lengths of handles that can either be telescoping, tilting or standard, for varying degrees of control. Another example is the weed control key and circuit breaker, which allow the propeller to disengage from weeds successfully and shut down to prevent damage to the electrical parts when in contact with sea particles, respectively.
There are numerous types of boat motors, and selecting the wrong one could totally affect your marine experience negatively. If you’ve read this buying guide properly, selecting the perfect boat motor that suits you will definitely be a walk in the park.
Minn Kota is a reputable brand that is well known for boat motors, shallow water anchors, battery chargers and accessories that are innovative and affordable. With more than 80 years of experience, Minn Kota remains relevant by equipping the fishing community and the marine world at large with only the best powerful motors that ensure the time spent on the water is productive and memorable.
A good boat motor basically propels the boat but, aside from doing that, it can also contribute to speed control and steering. If you're searching for a boat motor that encompasses the above description, then the Minn Kota Endura C2 Boat Motor is the answer. It features a 6-inch telescoping handle that allows you to easily and comfortably steer the boat. The motor’s Tilt Twist Tiller™ has an ergonomic grip design that also allows you to control the speed of the boat while steering. Speed control is quite important, and this motor offers you 5 forward and 3 reverse speed settings. So, whatever speed setting you instinctively choose, you retain control and command of the boat.
The propeller (MKP-2), which is connected to the end of a 36-inch shaft, utilizes a 12V battery and creates 40 pounds of thrust power. This power is appreciated when there's need to propel through water with heavy vegetation. The boat motor is transom mounted and attaches easily to the boat via a lever-lock bracket. The bracket has 10 positions for coming together and the lever-lock feature quickly releases for easy mounting and removal. The lock bracket is also built with composite materials that ensure there's no warping, ultraviolet damage or flexing when in use.
Another part of the boat motor that is constructed with composite materials is the shaft. This 36-inch shaft is actually stronger than steel and doesn’t corrode, kink or break. If you intend to attach this motor to your fishing boat, you can rest assured that this motor is designed with a special bearing system that makes it quiet and prevents any noise that can spook the fish. Lastly, this motor features large windings and commutators that minimize heat, resulting in battery power extension, elongation of motor life and cooler operation. The Minn Kota Endura C2 Boat Motor is also backed by a 2-year warranty.
Newport Vessels manufactures products such as inflatable boats, trolling motors and stand-up paddle boards that provide outdoor enthusiasts with the opportunity to experience and enjoy life on the water. All of its products are constructed using only the highest-quality and heavy-duty materials that ensure they are built to last. To keep increasing its customer base, Newport Vessels continually reviews the efficiency and effectiveness of all its products and sets up systems to ensure quality and performance are not compromised.
There are few electric boat motors that deliver optimum performance when required and the Newport Vessels Electric Trolling Motor is one. If you are searching for a versatile boat motor that features a high-quality material construction, is powerful and suitable for all inflatable boats by Newport Vessels, kayaks, fishing and other inflatable boats, tenders, dinghies, etc., then this is the perfect motor for you. It is a sturdy, nylon, transom-mount motor for small boats and is capable of running for longer times without any compromise to its performance and reliability.
It features a 30-inch, fiberglass composite shaft that is strong and a 6-inch, telescoping handle that increases the ease of use. Unlike other boat motors that are restricted to fresh water, this Newport Vessels Boat Motor can be used on both salt water and fresh water. This is because it is fabricated with stainless steel, zinc and aluminum components, which allow it to perform optimally, especially in salt water. Aside from that, it also ensures that this unit has an increased lifespan and reduces its risk of corrosion or damage.
You can easily control and achieve a smooth ride with this motor, as it boasts an 8-speed control system – 5 forward and 3 reverse speeds. If there's one thing the boating world continues to rave about, it is the remarkable power of the 5th speed of the motor. It also features a two-blade propeller, which measures 8.9 inches in diameter and has the capability to conserve power. This motor generates 36-pound thrust and is designed to run on a 12V deep cycle or marine battery, although the battery isn't included. To bolster your purchasing confidence, Newport Vessels offers a 1-year limited warranty on this trolling motor.
Sky has a knack for producing quality boat motors that can be used on inflatable boats, yachts, fishing boats, sailing boats and other small outboard boats. Apart from being easy to use, all boat motors from Sky deliver high performance and are built to last. Sky is also committed to innovatively creating new products and improving its existing product categories in a bid to meet and surpass the expectations of its ever-increasing customer base.
If you’ve got an inflatable boat, small yacht, sailboat or fishing boat, and you're looking for the perfect boat motor for it, look no further than the Sky Fishing Boat Motor. It is an engine mount trolling motor with a rated output power of 5.0 kilowatts. It is designed to be economical in the long run and its compact structure allows it sit pretty on different sizes of boats. This motor is safe, bears the CE certification marking and strictly follows the health and environmental protection standard for electronic products.
This boat motor features a single cylinder engine, which is usually simple to use and weighs less than most multiple cylinder engines. The hot parts of the engine are cooled by the flow of air directly over them. It starts by recoiling and has a displacement of 196 cubic centimeters. Although this is an engine mount trolling motor, it produces little noise, and this is an advantage especially when used on a fishing boat. Aside from fishing, you do not want your motor disturbing the peace and calm of the lake and other boaters.
Another feature that makes the Sky Fishing Boat Motor outstanding is its anti-corrosive construction. The shaft, propeller and the rest of the motor are designed to withstand the effects of both salt water and fresh water. The throttle control is highly maneuverable and has a grip that can be safely and easily twisted. In order to bolster your purchasing confidence and assure you of the durability and quality of the motor, it is covered by a one-year warranty, and this includes provision of replacement parts.
We liked Newport Vessels’ products so much that we decided to feature a second boat motor from them. Newport Vessels equips the marine industry with stand-up paddle boards, inflatable boats and boat motors that are made using some of the highest construction materials available. Most of its products have been described as fast, durable and efficient by enthusiasts. They are also easy to use and offer optimal performance when in use.
If you're looking for an affordable boat motor that can combine power and efficiency with optimal performance, then look no further than the Newport Vessels Electric Boat Motor. It is a transom mount boat motor that is suitable for small and medium boats, other Newport Vessels’ inflatable boats, dinghies and kayaks.
It is a well-known fact that not all boat motors are compatible with salt water, but the Newport Vessels Electric Boat Motor is compatible because all parts of the motor, except the shaft, are made of stainless steel hardware. This high quality preserves the nature of the motor and prevents it from rusting. The construction material of the 30-inch shaft is also of high quality. It is made of a fiberglass composite that’s quite strong and durable. The shaft length is also fully adjustable and doesn’t corrode when exposed to different marine environments.
When it comes to performance, this motor, which can be powered by a 12V battery, creates a 55-pound thrust. It also features a 10-inch propeller (3 blades), which results in power conservation and optimal performance. The 8-speed control system (3 reverse and 5 forward speeds) ensures a smooth ride and gives the boater full control of the boat while in motion. Attached to this motor also is a telescoping handle that measures 6 inches. This increases the ease of handling and also improves the quality of the ride. It also has a standard control head, but it requires a 50 AMP manual reset circuit breaker that would automatically cut off power when the propeller gets caught on weeds or other sea particles. The power cut off prevents damage to any electrical part of the boat motor.
Intex, with over 40 years of experience, is a reputable brand that manufactures products such as toys, inflatable boats, airbeds, furniture and above-ground pools, which offer quality outdoor experiences to the whole family at large. Also known for combining innovation with durability, Intex ensures that all of its products are affordable and manufactured with the highest construction materials available. Most importantly, they are also safe and comfortable for the family, and deliver uninterrupted fun.
If you’ve got an inflatable boat with mount fittings on the rear, and would love to expand its capability, the ideal addition would be the Intex Trolling motor. It is an efficient transom mount motor that is suitable for most boat models from Intex, including the Mariner 3 and 4 boats, the Excursion 3, 4 and 5 boats, the Challenger 3 boat and the Seahawk 2, 3 and 4 boats. It offers a quiet operation and is suitable for fishing because it doesn’t disturb the stillness of the lake nor spook the fish. It also features a water cooling system that allows the motor to run for a longer time and a control module that digitally maximizes the speed and supplies the necessary motor power, allowing the boater to effectively regulate the speed of the boat in different marine environments.
The boat motor features a control panel which has the following controls: a battery meter that indicates the battery level, a dry operation and overload protect that increase the efficiency and power of the motor, a weed escape key that automatically frees the motor from weed tangles and the speed control for the handle (5 forward speeds, OFF and 3 reverse speeds). This is a versatile trolling motor that can be used on both salt water and fresh water. It has a shaft length of 36 inches and an adjustable handle that tilts upward (0, 15, 30, 45 degrees) and downward (0-75 degrees). This handle also extends up to 6 inches long and ensures that the motor handling isn't difficult.
While using a 12V DC battery, a 40-pound thrust and 420W maximum power are generated. Although the battery is not included, a mounting bracket (adjustable), which features a depth collar that can be quickly released, clamp screws, steering tension knob, lever arm and a tilt lock lever are included.
By now, it is our hope that you already have a pretty good idea of which boat/trolling motor suits you. Do not hesitate to purchase it, knowing that it will help you enjoy fishing and other marine activities even more.