The Best Trolling Motor for Pontoon Boats Reviews and Buyers Guide

Trolling motor
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Pontoon boats are an ideal choice for the summer – they are stable, durable and easy to handle in and outside the water. You can also assemble them with ease and, with an electric-powered air pump, the time you need to inflate and deflate them is cut in half. They provide various ways to get around, such as paddling. However, to get access to a really speedy boat, you should consider equipping it with a strong trolling motor.​

​However, to harness the full power of your pontoon boat you need to have the right trolling motor for easy navigation. With little intel, choosing the right fit can be a daunting task. Luckily, we have simplified things with our comprehensive analysis of what we consider the best 2018 trolling motor for your pontoon boat.

What Is A Pontoon Boat?

A pontoon boat is not your everyday boat – it has a flattish deck mounted on a floatational device called pontoons. This boat can be powered by electric trolling motor, water paddles or deep cycle lead batteries. The boat has exceptional stability and calmness in choppy waters and navigates with breeze any waterway. Furthermore, its spacious deck makes it perfect for sunbathing or rod fishing in the deep blue.

​Best Trolling Motors Product Reviews

​To help you make an educated decision, below you will find our reviews of the best products on the market.

Newport Vessels Kayak Series 36lb Thrust Saltwater Transom Mounted Electric Kayak Trolling Motor with 24″ Shaft

Newport Vessels Kayak Series 36lb Thrust Transom Mounted Saltwater Electric Trolling Motor w/ LED Battery Indicator (24" Shaft)

This is another transom-mounted trolling motor by Newport Vessels that is designed for saltwater use. Highlights include a 24” kayak shaft made from fiberglass that offers a lifetime of dependable performance and allows for variable depth placement. This motor is designed especially with the kayak anglers in mind. The adjustable shaft allows proper depth placement and the long cables mean that the battery placement is very flexible. In addition to that, the 5 LED lights show you how much time you have on your current charge. Like Other Models, This Motor Provides Eight Variable Speeds (3 Reverse And 5 Forward) And Comes With A Telescoping Handle. It is saltwater rated and this is achieved with stainless steel hardware and durable all-aluminum motor. The extra long 5’6” battery cables provide versatile battery placement to ensure proper weight distribution.

Key Features:
  • Kayak trolling motor backed by one year warranty
  • Extra long cable for flexible battery placement
  • Battery indicator to track runtime of current charge
  • Equipped with 2-blade propeller to reduce drag
  • Parts may start to rust after a few seasons

Cloud Mountain 36/40/46/50/55/60/86 LBS Thrust Electric Trolling Motor for Fishing Boats Freshwater and Saltwater Use

Cloud Mountain 36LBS Thrust Electric Trolling Motor for Fishing Boats Freshwater and Saltwater Use

This trolling motor boasts a reinforced nylon bracket that lends increased ablation resistance, high strength and good dimension stability.

​It also comes with fiberglass composite shaft that has high corrosion resistance and tensile strength. We love the fact that the trolling motor allows for eight variable speeds split into two i.e. 3sp reverse and 5sp forward. The fiberglass shaft is very resistant to corrosion, which makes this motor an ideal choice for fresh and saltwater alike. It is a versatile product and you can use it on all kinds of fishing boats, kayaks, dinghies, etc.The twist tiller is basically a six inch telescoping handle and control type. You can choose from six different thrusts and the 1-10 LED lighter power indicators makes it easy for you to track the remaining battery capacity.

This trolling motor is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater use on kayaks, dinghies, fishing boats and inflatable boats.

Key Features:
  • Backed by one year warranty
  • Durable build with reinforced nylon, aluminum and fiberglass
  • Ideal for freshwater and saltwater use
  • Multiple thrusts and speeds to choose from
  • Doesn’t come with a propeller pin

Newport Vessels ​Thrust 55-lb 8 Speed Electric Trolling Motor

Newport Vessels NV-Series 55lb Thrust Saltwater Transom Mounted Trolling Electric Trolling Motor w/ LED Battery Indicator & 30" Shaft

The versatile Newport Vessels 55lbs thrust electric trolling motor is engineered with high quality materials and design concepts. This Trolling Motor Is Made Using Stainless Steel Hardware, Durable Aluminum Head, And Composite Fiberglass Shaft. Its Best Known For Its Adjustable 30 Inch’ Shaft That Is Saltwater Resistant. The Clever Design Of This Motor Allows You To Fish All Day Without A Single Worry On Your Mind. One Reason Why It’s A Top Choice Is That Of The Fact That It Runs Smoothly And Efficiently. It Produces No Noise And It Won’t Overheat, So The Fishes Won’t Even Know You Are There.This trolling motor runs smooth with any 12-volt Deep Cycle battery or Marine battery. The Newport Vessels 55lbs thrust electric trolling motor holds an Amazon star rating of 4.2 with many positive reviews from satisfied consumers.

Key Features:
  • Features 55lb thrust
  • Adjustable 30-inch shaft length
  • Saltwater resistant – made using aluminum, zinc and stainless steel components for a dependable performance in salty waters
  • Features 8 speeds (5 forward and 3 reverse) for a smooth and easy controllable ride.
  • 5 point LED battery meter built directly into the head of the trolling motor.
  • Powered by either a 12V Marine or Deep Cycle Battery.
  • Lightweight and portable.
  • Fits almost all small pontoon boats.
Verdict: The Newport Vessels 55lbs thrust electric trolling motor is not only built to last but designed to be used exclusively on saltwater. It is a great option for people looking for an electric trolling motor.

Newport Vessels NV-Series 36 lb. Thrust Saltwater Transom Mounted Electric Trolling Motor with 30″ Shaft

Newport Vessels NV-Series 36lb Thrust Saltwater Transom Mounted Trolling Electric Trolling Motor w/LED Battery Indicator & 30" Shaft

The NV Series 36lb thrust electric trolling motor by Newport Vessels is built to last. It is engineered with the highest quality materials and design concepts. The adjustable 30-inch shaft length allows the Newport Vessels 36lb thrust trolling motor to fit all Newport Vessels. This motor fits almost all kinds of small boats and provides speed and efficiency without making a lot of noise. This is an excellent choice if you wish to invest in the reliability and performance of your pontoon boat.The eight-speed control system (3 reverse speeds and 5 forward speeds) makes for a smooth and easily controlled ride. The trolling motor comes with a two-blade propeller for optimal performance. This transom mount motor is meant to be powered by a 12-volt DC battery. Has an Amazon rating of 4.3 stars.

Key Features:
  • Maximum thrust: 36lbs.
  • 30inch composite fiberglass high-strength shaft
  • 8 speeds (5 fwd & 3 rvs)
  • DC 12V
  • 5-Point LED battery meter
  • 6-inch telescoping handle
  • Stainless steel hardware used in both freshwater and saltwater.
​Verdict: A good trolling motor that works efficiently on both freshwater and saltwater.

Newport Vessels NV-Series 46 lb. Thrust Saltwater Transom Mounted Electric Trolling Motor with 30″ Shaft

Newport Vessels NV-Series 46lb Thrust Saltwater Transom Mounted Trolling Electric Trolling Motor w/LED Battery Indicator & 30" Shaft

The Newport Vessel NV-Series Electric Trolling Motor offers a 46lb thrust. It is ultra quiet, efficient and cool, allowing you to fish without scaring away the prey. It Comes With A 30” Composite Fiberglass Shaft That Is Fully Adjustable To Ensure Proper Depth Placement In Any Water Conditions. The Motor Housing Is Made Out Of Strong, High-Quality Aluminum. This Makes It Resilient To Corrosion, So It Is Made To Last And Won’t Let You Down. You Can Enjoy Your Fishing And Boating Trips As Much As You Want Without A Single Worry.The ergonomically designed 6” telescoping handle offers comfort and versatility. You get eight variable speeds i.e. 3 reverse speeds and 5 forward speeds.This gives you complete control for a smooth ride. There is a super bright 5-point LED battery meter that gives you immediate charge reading. This trolling motor is specially designed for saltwater use with magnesium, stainless steel and zinc hardware.

Key Features:
  • Ultra-quiet and efficient trolling motor
  • 46lb thrust and eight variable speeds
  • Equipped with 30” composite fiberglass shaft
  • Total control for a smooth ride
  • Comes with saltwater compatible hardware
  • Paint job on the motor housing isn’t very good

Minn Kota Edge 45 / L&D Bow – mount 12V 5 – speed Trolling Motor

MinnKota Edge 45 Bowmount Foot Control Trolling Motor with Latch and Door Bracket (45lbs thrust, 45" Shaft)

The Minn Kota Edge 45 is a bow mount foot controlled trolling motor with a latch door and bracket. It has a shaft length of 36inch and offers a thrust kick of 45lbs. However, Other Shaft Lengths Are Available. Its Shaft Is Guaranteed For Life And Has A Two-Year Warranty. Your Fishing Trip Will Be Very Enjoyable With This Compact Yet Powerful Motor. It Is Foot Operated And The Steering Is Very Easy. Not Only That, The Deep V Bow And 50” Shaft Make Sure That The Prop Is Always In The Water, Even When The Waves Kick In. The Minn Kota Edge 45 trolling motor is made with an impact-resistant composite head and marine-grade, ultra-tough anodized aluminum spine. Overall the Minn Kota Edge 45 Trolling motor holds a steady 4.2 Amazon star rating.

Key Features:
  • Indestructible Composite Shaft that is Guaranteed for Life
  • 5 Forward Speeds
  • Latch and Door Mount for Easy Removal
  • Ergonomic Foot Pedal
  • Two Year Warranty
Verdict: Edge hits the water with relentless durability, uncompromising strength, and an arsenal of features that deliver you speed.

MinnKota Maxxum 80 Bowmount Trolling Motor with 5-Speed Hand Control and Bowgaurd​

Minn Kota Maxxum 70 SC Bow-Mount Trolling Motor with Hand Control and Speed Coil (70-lb Thrust, 52" Shaft)

The Minn Kota Maxxum 80 is famous for its Bowguard 360 mount. This 80lbs thrust trolling motor is perfect for boats weighing up to 4,000lbs. The Unique Tilt Twist Tiller Handle Rotates Up To Make Navigation Easy And More Convenient. The Motor Speed Is Controlled By Tilting The Hand Lever. This Is A Trusted Brand That Produces Reliable Trolling Motors. This Model Is Powerful And Effective And Will Make Your Ride Very Enjoyable. The Steering Is Precise And Easy And The Motor Runs Flawlessly, Even When The Wind And Waves Are Strong. When the Maxxum trolling motor is not in use, the motor is manually removed from the water and rotated into a flat position to store on the deck. The motor shaft has a lifetime guarantee while the remaining components have a two-year warranty. The motor has an Amazon star rating of 4.0.

Key Features:
  • Shaft length of 52 inches
  • Thrust threshold of 80lbs.
  • Variable Speed Motor
  • Digital Maximizer
  • Built-In Direction Indicator
  • Push-to-Test Battery Gauge
  • Includes a bowguard
  • Weedless Wedge Prop
  • Composite Shaft.
  • Compatible with select quick release plates and handle extensions.
Verdict: The Minn Kota Maxxum 80 surely lives up to its expectation.

Minn Kota Endura C2 50 Transom – mount 12V 50 lb. Thrust Trolling Motor

Minn Kota Endura C2 40 Freshwater Transom Mounted Trolling Motor (36" Shaft)

This trolling motor has been tweaked to provide added value and updated performance. It is built to last, explore and operates quietly so you don’t have to worry about scaring away the fish. It Comes With Larger Brushes, Commutators, And Windings That Generate Reduced Noise And Heat. This, In Turn, Helps Conserve Battery Power And Extend Battery Life. This Motor Operates With The Highest Efficiency, So It Doesn’t Tend To Overheat And Produce Noise. It Saves You A Lot Of Battery Life, Which Allows You To Truly Enjoy Your Boat. You get 50lb of sustained thrust, hence more time in the water. The unique bearing system produces high torque while the patented Weedless Wedge 2 Prop takes on the thick stuff without draining battery power. We also love the 6” telescoping handle as it provides comfortable and convenient steering.

Key Features:
  • Available in 30, 40, 45 thrust models
  • Flared blades reduce drag and provide reliable performance
  • Telescoping handle ensures comfortable and convenient steering
  • Unique bearing system that cuts down fish-spooking noise
  • May not last more than 80-100 uses

Motorguide 80FW Xi5 Trolling Motor

MOTORGUIDE 940800270 Xi5-80Fw 45" 24V Fp

The Xi5 series is an upgrade from the MotorGuide Wireless line of motors. While both models are wirelessly controlled, only the Xi5 line offers GPS control and positioning of your boat. Furthermore, The Xi5 Is Offered With Thrust Options Of 55, 80 And 105lbs And In Saltwater Specific Models. This Motor Allows Precise Control With The Installed Wireless Pedal. The LED Indicator Shows The Battery Status And A Glance Is Enough To Determine How Much Time You Have Left On The Current Charge. This 80lbs thrust motor is recommended for boats weighing up to 4,000lbs. Its wireless foot pedal is standard with freshwater models and a hand-held remote is standard with saltwater models. The new quiet MotorGuide Xi5 runs smoothly through all water pathways.

​The MotorGuide Xi5 is also available in the following upgrades:

  • Pinpoint GPS;
  • Advanced GPS-powered boat control;
  • Sonar: Built-in transducer.
  • Key Features:
    • Available in 45, 55 and 75lbs thrust levels.
    • Includes shaft lengths of 45″, 54″ and 60″.
    • Fully Protected Electronics
    • Variable Speed Motor
    • Electric Foot Pedal
    • LED Indicator Lights
    • Two-Blade Prop
    • Composite Shaft
    • Low Profile Mount.

    Criteria For Selecting A Good Trolling Motor

    A good trolling motor for your boat depends on various factors. The brand type plays a key role in deciding which motor is best fits you. Go for motors that belong to the same brand as your fish finder. It is also important to consider your boat’s weight.

    ​Furthermore, you may use the boat length as a guideline, however, it should not be the main determinant for your motor size. You can also consider the battery size – its best to go for a deep cycle battery that ensures you of less worry and more fishing time.

    Remember there are two kinds of trolling motors: saltwater and freshwater motors. However, saltwater motors are more corrosion resistant compared to freshwater ones. Nevertheless, both trolling motors tend to survive more if well rinsed after a drive in the water.

    ​Important note
    As you likely won’t be using your trolling motor continuously, the actual amount of on-the-water time a motor should allow will be significantly longer than times given.Actual motor run time can vary – it is dependent on conditions such as winds, waves, and the type of battery used.

    Facts About Pontoon Boats Trolling Motors

    • The main leading brands purchased by most pontoon boat owners include Terrova or PowerDrive V2. However, Ulterra trolling motors are rising in popularity.
    • It is best to buy a quick release bracket that allows you to clear the deck for recreational needs when done fishing.
    • Go for a motor with i-Pilot functionality for maximum flexibility.
    • The Terrova is the only Minn Kota trolling motor that has the ability to use a foot pedal and a wireless i-Pilot or Co-Pilot controller simultaneously.
    • Co-Pilot and i-Pilot offer unparalleled boat control with GPS and wireless capabilities. The standard wired foot pedal allows hands-free, precision navigation.


    Hope this short list has been of help in discovering a trolling motor that is best for your pontoon boat. Remember, to consider all the criteria listed above when choosing the right one for you. But most importantly, it is best to go with a similar brand same as your pontoon boat type.

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