Best Trolling Motor For Canoe


As a seasoned canoe enthusiast, I've experienced firsthand the importance of having the right equipment. One such piece of equipment that many canoe lovers often overlook is the trolling motor. For those long days out on the water, a trolling motor can make a significant difference in your overall experience. In this blog post, we'll explore the best trolling motor for a canoe, as well as the factors you need to consider before making a purchase.

Why use a trolling motor on a canoe?

Trolling motors are an excellent addition to your canoe because they provide efficient, quiet propulsion. This allows you to:

  1. Cover long distances – Canoeing can be physically demanding, and a trolling motor helps with reducing fatigue during extended trips by providing steady propulsion.
  2. Maneuver easily – Particularly in tight spaces or crowded waters, a trolling motor helps you safely navigate and avoid obstacles.
  3. Approach wildlife – A trolling motor's quiet operation allows you to get closer to birds, fish, and other wildlife without disturbing them.
  4. Fish effectively – The slow, steady movement provided by a trolling motor is perfect for covering trolling or casting lines during fishing trips.

Top factors to consider when choosing a trolling motor

Before diving into our list of the best trolling motors for your canoe, let’s first discuss the main factors you should consider when evaluating which trolling motor is right for you:

1. Motor power and thrust

Trolling motors are available in various power levels, measured in pounds of thrust. It's crucial to choose a motor with adequate power for your canoe's size and the typical load you'll be carrying. Generally, a 40-55 lbs thrust motor is suitable for most canoes.

2. Battery life

Trolling motors are powered by 12V, 24V, or 36V batteries. To avoid running out of power while on the water, opt for a motor with ample battery life. Pay attention to the battery's amp-hour capacity (Ah) when considering battery life.

3. Shaft length

Choosing the correct shaft length is essential for maintaining control and stability. To determine the appropriate shaft length, measure the distance between the mounting point and the waterline. Generally, the shaft length for a canoe trolling motor ranges from 30-42 inches.

4. Control options and features

Trolling motors offer various control options, such as hand/foot controls or wireless remote controls. Consider your preferences while selecting a trolling motor. Additional features like variable speed control, reverse mechanism, and battery indicator can also enhance the user experience.

Best trolling motors for canoes

Now that we've covered the features to look for in a trolling motor, here's a list of the three top trolling motors for canoes:

  1. Minn Kota Endura C2 – This reliable, durable, and easy-to-use trolling motor offers 30-55 lbs of thrust, making it suitable for most canoes. With a 6-inch telescoping handle, variable speed control, and a battery indicator, it's a versatile option for avid canoeists.

  2. Newport Vessels NV-Series – The NV-Series trolling motor has a 30-86 lbs thrust range, excellent for larger canoes. With its 30-inch composite fiberglass shaft and 36 lb-thrust motor, it's perfect for maneuvering in tight spaces and heavy loads. The NV-Series also features eight-speed control and a 5-point LED battery indicator.

  3. MotorGuide Xi3 – For those looking for advanced features, the MotorGuide Xi3 is an excellent option. With wireless remote control, GPS capabilities, and a durable composite shaft, this motor provides convenience and efficient performance. However, note that this high-quality option comes with a heftier price tag.

Final thoughts

Finding the best trolling motor for your canoe depends on your preferences and canoe's specifications. By considering factors like power, battery life, shaft length, and control options, you can make an informed decision that will enhance your canoeing experience for years to come.

Remember, safety should always be your top priority out on the water. Ensure you have all necessary safety equipment and are familiar with your trolling motor's operation before venturing out. Happy canoeing!

What is the best size trolling motor for a canoe?

A 30″ electric trolling motor shaft is perfect for most canoes. This will allow you to get the motor and propeller far enough into the water to use the full thrust of the engine.

Can you use a trolling motor on a canoe?

Absolutely! Trolling motors can be a great addition to your canoe for fishing, leisurely cruising, or exploring your favorite waterways. Trolling motors are quiet, efficient, and environmentally friendly. To mount the motor, you'll need a canoe motor mount or a trolling motor bracket designed specifically for canoes.

What size battery do I need for my canoe trolling motor?

Battery size and capacity depend on the size of the trolling motor, the amount of thrust/power needed, and how long you intend to use the motor in a day. A 12V deep cycle marine battery with at least 80-100 amp-hour (Ah) capacity is a good starting point for most canoe trolling motors. Remember that larger battery capacities provide more extended use but may also add significant weight to the canoe.

What is the ideal thrust level for a canoe trolling motor?

The ideal thrust for a canoe trolling motor will depend on your specific needs and the size of your canoe. As a general rule of thumb, you'll need approximately 2 lbs of thrust for every 100 lbs of weight (including the canoe, gear, and passengers). For example, if your fully loaded canoe weighs 500 lbs, you should look for a trolling motor with around 10 lbs of thrust.

How do I mount a trolling motor to my canoe?

The best way to mount a trolling motor to your canoe is by using a canoe motor mount or a trolling motor bracket. These are specially designed to fit the contours of canoes and can be easily installed and removed. Simply attach the motor mount or bracket to the desired location on your canoe (typically the stern or the bow) and then clamp the trolling motor to it, following the motor's installation instructions.

Can you put a gas motor on a canoe?

While it's possible to use a small outboard gas motor on a canoe, it may not be the most practical or safest option. Gas motors tend to be louder, heavier, and less eco-friendly than electric trolling motors. Furthermore, the motor's vibration and noise may disturb your peaceful paddle experience, and they can also alter the stability of your canoe, posing a safety risk. Trolling motors are a more versatile and environmentally friendly option for canoe propulsion.

Do you need a special motor mount for a trolling motor on a canoe?

Yes, it's crucial to use a motor mount or trolling motor bracket specifically designed for canoes. These mounts are contoured to fit the shape of canoes and ensure that the motor is positioned correctly in the water. Using a suitable motor mount will also help protect your canoe from potential damage caused by the motor's weight, thrust, or vibrations.

Additional Questions

What size trolling motor is a good fit for a canoe?

When considering what size trolling motor will serve your canoeing needs, there are several factors to consider. These include the size and weight of your canoe, the nature of the waters you plan to explore, and any specific requirements you might have in relation to activities like fishing. In general, less is more when it comes to trolling motors for your canoe. A compact, streamlined trolling motor will be sufficient for most canoeing needs and will allow you ample space for your battery and other equipment. If you find yourself battling strong currents regularly during your canoeing adventures, you might want to consider a trolling motor in the 30-40 lb thrust range. This will provide the additional power you need without the extra bulk that can quickly overwhelm your canoe.

Is a trolling motor a viable addition to a canoe?

Anyone thinking of adding a trolling motor to their canoe should know that this could be a beneficial addition. A trolling motor will give you the advantage of maintaining a consistent speed and course while enjoying your canoeing activities. There’s no doubt that some canoeists still prefer the traditional approach of paddling, and it certainly has its appeal. However, a trolling motor can make the experience significantly more relaxed, especially for activities like fishing, allowing you to concentrate on your casting and catching instead of maneuvering. You’ll want to ensure that you choose a trolling motor that aligns well with your canoe’s dimensions and your personal needs.

What speed will a 55 lb thrust trolling motor deliver for a kayak?

These days, kayaking isn’t just about paddling. More and more kayaking enthusiasts are considering adding a trolling motor to their setup, enhancing the overall experience. So, if you are thinking about a 55-pound thrust electric trolling motor, like the Newport Vessels Kayak Series, what kind of speed can you expect? In calm water conditions, a 55-pound thrust trolling motor will provide a speed of approximately 4-5 miles per hour. This allows for a steady and comfortable ride, ideal for a relaxed day of kayaking or exploring waters where smooth and steady travel is desired.

Recent Posts