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Trolling motor size

6/1/20 @ 11:32 AM
One shot one kill
MEMBER since 8/12/02

How do figure how large a trolling motor to get ? I have a 17 foot pontoon.  I have a small transom one , but want a larger bow mount with a foot control . The same battery would also start the 25 hp engine and depth finder .


11/30/20 @ 7:59 AM
User since 4/17/07

I would add another battery instead of using your cranking battery. Is there room in the front of the boat for one or two batteries? 

It comes down to if you want a 12 or 24 volt system. 24 is much stronger and will last alot longer. It depends on what you want to use it for. If its just a little use on small lakes the 12 volt would be fine. If you fish rivers or plan to use it a lot I would get the 24 volt. 

I upgraded my boat to a 24 volt last year and wish I would have done it years ago. I hardly get bogged down in the weeds anymore and can power upstream against the current now. I sold my old 12 volt and looked for a deal on a used 24 volt, when it was all said and done I was only out $100. 

11/29/20 @ 3:09 PM
User since 6/13/09

Minnkota trolling motor chart reccomendations: 

11/28/20 @ 9:13 PM
User since 5/8/02

I was always told that if you're going to have a trolling motor, that should have its own deep cycle battery. Everything else that is in the boat, including electric start on your motor should go on the starting battery, since most engines charge that battery when they are running. For a small pontoon, you may need to go a step larger than a 55lb trolling motor.

11/28/20 @ 6:53 PM
User since 11/7/20

Besides the previous questions you might ask before getting a motor beforehand, other thoughts might shape your decision before reaching the engine best suited for your aluminum boat.

Check the manufacturer’s limit on the motor size. They may have a preferred motor size, so prior to buying one, read on the boat’s manual or capacity plate.

The weight of the boat is sometimes a consideration before buying one. Aside from the usual length related to the motor size, professionals consider the boat’s horsepower per pound.

Fuel consumption will also cross your mind. The motor uses fuel to let the boat move around its course. The amount of power is also related to the horsepower of your engine.

6/4/20 @ 7:58 AM
User since 8/24/07

How big a hassle is it to outfit a boat for a 24V system? I'm guessing on a pontoon it's a little easier due to the available space. The only one I've seen up close is my dad's, and it seems the boat was designed for it since he has a hatch in the floor of his 94 Lund with both batteries in one spot. I'm assuming they need to be grouped together for wiring purposes, correct?  I have our old family boat (78 Starcraft) and it currently has a 12V model with (sufficiently gauged) wires run to the rear deep cycle battery. 

6/1/20 @ 11:08 PM
User since 2/11/19

I have 18' pontoon with a 105# Thrust motor guide With the long shaft And don't regret one bit going that big. It would really suck To be on a Lake you can't have a gas motor and have the wind pick up and not be able to get back to the landing Another thing that I did to mine I bought a removeable mount And reversed the front gate to swing out

6/1/20 @ 3:39 PM
User since 1/7/02

I have a Mercury 25 hp 4 stroke on my Jon boat, with electric start. It has a pull start but takes a lot of pull to do it. Had my shoulder replaced a few years ago so I went with electric start. I have a group 27 deep cycle battery in the boat that powers running lights and bilge pump. It also runs a Minn Kota power drive 55 lb thrust. I river fish with this boat and seldom use the trolling motor any more. It is more for getting back home if the outboard failed. Shouldn’t have to worry about that now with a new outboard motor. 

6/1/20 @ 1:47 PM
One shot one kill
MEMBER since 8/12/02

Yes  , I forgot to mention the engine is a 25 Mercury  with a pull start also.  Never tried it  , suppose I should test it sometime to be sure .

6/1/20 @ 12:56 PM
User since 1/7/02

If you are using the single cranking battery to power the trolling motor also you will be limited to a 12 volt motor. I think the most thrust available from a 12 volt system is 55 lbs. Minn Kota makes a 55 lb thrust power drive unit. They also have a pontoon boat model motor that is like that power drive unit. I don’t know what difference there is in those units. A 55 lb thrust motor should meet the minimum needs for a smaller pontoon. If you don’t have room for a second battery dedicated to just the trolling motor I would upgrade your cranking battery to a group 31 dual purpose cranking/deep cycle. You can further that upgrade by going to an AGM or a Lithium Ion over a lead acid battery if that’s in your budget. Does your outboard have a pull start also and can be started easily that way? Is so that is a good plan B if your trolling motor runs the cranking battery down. If the pull start isn’t an option consider carrying an emergency jumper pack with you. If your cranking battery is at the transom and your are tapping into it for a bow mount trolling motor make sure you size and use the proper gauge wire to run power that far, an undersized wire will put strain on both the trolling motor and battery. 

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