Best Saltwater Trolling Motor


As an avid angler and boating enthusiast, I am always looking for ways to improve my fishing experience. One piece of equipment that has made a significant difference in my saltwater adventures is the saltwater trolling motor. A trolling motor not only provides precision control and maneuverability but also offers the peace and quiet needed to get close to your desired fish species. In this blog post, I'll guide you through the essential aspects of a saltwater trolling motor and suggest some of the best models available in the market.

Importance of Choosing the Right Saltwater Trolling Motor

Selecting the best saltwater trolling motor is crucial for several reasons:

  1. Corrosion Resistance: Saltwater can be harsh on your gear, causing rust and erosion. A trolling motor designed explicitly for saltwater usage has components that are resistant to corrosion, ensuring that your investment lasts longer.

  2. Better Performance: Saltwater trolling motors are specifically designed to handle saltwater environments' challenges, providing better overall performance when compared to freshwater models.

  3. Safety: A high-quality saltwater trolling motor reduces the risk of equipment failure or damage, ensuring your safety while out on the water.

Key Features to Consider

Power and Thrust

The power or thrust of a trolling motor is measured in pounds (lbs). It is essential to choose the right motor power suitable for your boat size and type. Keep in mind that saltwater often brings added challenges, such as currents, wind, and waves, so you may need a higher thrust motor than you would for freshwater fishing.

Battery Life

A saltwater trolling motor's battery life is another critical factor to consider. Longer fishing trips require a motor with a longer battery life. Opting for a motor with advanced power management features can help extend battery life while maintaining optimal performance.

Shaft Length

The motor's shaft length should be appropriately sized for your boat's transom or bow height. A shaft too short may result in inadequate motor submersion, causing a loss of power and control.

Control Options

Modern trolling motors offer various control options, such as hand, foot, or wireless remote control. Choose a control method that you find most comfortable and convenient for your fishing style.

Best Saltwater Trolling Motors

After considering the essential features, here are some top-performing saltwater trolling motors available:

1. Minn Kota Riptide Terrova

The Minn Kota Riptide Terrova is one of the best saltwater trolling motors on the market. It offers 112 lbs of maximum thrust and an i-Pilot GPS system, providing precise control while navigating challenging saltwater environments. The Auto Stow and Deploy feature enables effortless launching and stowing, ensuring safer operation and minimal damage to the motor.

2. MotorGuide Xi5 Saltwater

The MotorGuide Xi5 Saltwater motor offers a maximum thrust of 105 lbs and features a wireless handheld remote for convenient control. Its Pinpoint GPS technology provides remarkable accuracy when it comes to boat positioning. The digital variable speed control enhances efficiency and extends battery life.

3. Newport Vessels NV-Series

The Newport Vessels NV-Series offers saltwater trolling motors ranging from 36 lbs to 86 lbs of thrust, suitable for various boat sizes. These motors come equipped with a 30-inch adjustable fiberglass shaft, five forward and three reverse speeds, and an LED battery-meter. The NV-Series offers a comparatively budget-friendly option without compromising performance.


Choosing the best saltwater trolling motor is a vital decision for an enjoyable and successful fishing experience. Consider factors such as power and thrust, battery life, shaft length, and control options before making your purchase. I hope this blog post helps you in finding the perfect trolling motor for all your saltwater fishing adventures. Tight lines, fellow anglers!

Choosing the Right Saltwater Trolling Motor: A Comprehensive Guide

So you're looking for a saltwater trolling motor to up your fishing game? That's great! Selecting the perfect trolling motor for your boat can be a game changer when you're out on the water. In this guide, we'll address all your questions and help you make the best decision for your specific needs.

What is the rule of thumb to determine the required thrust for my trolling motor?

The general rule of thumb when choosing a saltwater trolling motor is that you need at least 2 lbs. of thrust for every 100 lbs. of fully-loaded boat weight (people and gear included). This is the minimum amount of thrust required to move your boat efficiently through the water. However, if you often face windy conditions or strong currents, you might want to opt for a trolling motor with a bit more thrust to ensure your boat moves smoothly in those conditions.

What additional factors should I consider when choosing a saltwater trolling motor?

Apart from the required thrust, you'll want to consider a few additional factors, such as:

  • Voltage: Saltwater trolling motors come in 12V, 24V, and 36V varieties. Higher voltage motors offer more power and longer runtime, but also require more batteries. Choose one based on the space available for batteries and the desired runtime.

  • Shaft length: This is an important aspect to consider, as selecting the wrong length may cause your motor to underperform. Measure the distance from the mounting point on your boat to the waterline and then add 18-20 inches to determine the right shaft length for your trolling motor.

  • Mount type: Trolling motors can be bow-mounted, transom-mounted, or engine-mounted. Bow-mounted motors offer better maneuverability as they pull the boat rather than pushing it, while transom-mounted motors are easier to install and ideal for smaller boats. Engine-mounted motors take up less deck space and are less intrusive but may require professional installation.

  • Speed control: Saltwater trolling motors generally come with either variable speed control or a fixed 5-speed system. Variable speed control allows for smoother operation and better energy efficiency, while fixed 5-speed control can be more affordable, albeit less precise.

  • Saltwater-friendly design: Be sure to choose a trolling motor specifically designed for saltwater use, as freshwater trolling motors will corrode and have a significantly shorter lifespan in saltwater conditions.

What are the top saltwater trolling motor brands?

Some popular and reliable trolling motor brands for saltwater fishing include:

  • Minn Kota: Known for their high-quality, durable, and efficient trolling motors, Minn Kota offers a wide variety of saltwater-specific models.

  • MotorGuide: MotorGuide offers an extensive line of reliable and efficient trolling motors that are well-suited to saltwater fishing.

  • Newport Vessels: Newport Vessels offers budget-friendly trolling motor options suitable for both saltwater and freshwater conditions.

When choosing a trolling motor, consider your budget, desired features, and the required thrust to select the right brand and model for your needs.

How do I maintain my saltwater trolling motor?

To keep your saltwater trolling motor in top condition and prolong its lifespan, follow these maintenance tips:

  1. Always rinse your motor with fresh water after each use to remove any salt, sand, or debris that could cause corrosion.
  2. Keep the motor shaft clean and lubricated to ensure smooth operation.
  3. Check electrical connections regularly and clean with a wire brush if necessary. Make sure all connections are tight and protected from saltwater.
  4. Inspect your propeller for damage or debris, and remove any fishing line or vegetation that might be tangled around it.
  5. Store your trolling motor in a cool, dry place when not in use to protect it from extreme temperatures and moisture.

With this guide handy, you should be prepared to choose the perfect saltwater trolling motor for your boat. Good luck, and tight lines!

Additional Questions

Can you use any trolling motor in salt water?

A quick answer to this FAQ would simply be a straight ‘yes’. However, while using any trolling motor in salty water isn’t really prohibited, it isn’t highly recommended as well. This is because various freshwater trolling motors, even the ones which are considered to be of high quality, aren’t specifically designed to resist the harsh corrosive nature of saltwater, leading them to deteriorate over time. Moreover, these motors may also fail to feature special seals that protect their electrical connections against saltwater intrusion. Therefore, while you can technically use any trolling motor in salt water, doing so might not be the best idea, especially if you want to prevent it from being damaged earlier than expected.

Can I use my Minn Kota in saltwater?

Minn Kota is known for manufacturing motors that are primarily designed for freshwater boats. These motors boast of not just advanced technologies and superbly intuitive controls but also a level of durability like no other available in the fishing field. However, the downside is that while this high level of resistance works incredibly well for freshwater, it might not be enough to protect your Minn Kota from saltwater damage. Therefore, although possible, it is not advised to use your freshwater Minn Kota motor for saltwater fishing. Concerning your product’s warranty, one should also note that using a freshwater Minn Kota motor in saltwater may serve as grounds for invalidating the manufacturer’s warranty.

What is the most powerful trolling motor available?

When it comes to trolling motors, the Lowrance Ghost and Garmin Force definitely rank among the ones packing the most power, delivering a sheer 120 lbs of thrust via a 36-volt configuration. Minn Kota’s Terrova and Ultrex series aren’t left far behind either, as they also impress with performance capabilities of their own, providing a total of 112 lbs of thrust through a similar 36-volt setup. These powerhouses are among the most excellent choices for serious anglers who need reliable propulsion for their trips out on the water.

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