Best Trolling Motor for Canoe

Best Trolling Motor for Canoe

Canoes are lightweight boats that are mostly used for recreational purposes.

They are propelled using water paddles, and they are not expensive.

But the downside is that paddling is a tiresome activity.

You can only go too far before your hands start tiring.

For this reason, many canoeists install trolling motors on their canoes to boost speed.

So if you already have a canoe and you are looking to install a trolling motor on it, there are a few things you should know first.

One, there are two types of trolling motors: bow trolling motors and transom trolling motors. Bow motors are designed for smalls boats like canoes, while transom motors are designed for big boats.

The best type of motor to install on a canoe is a transom motor. This is because they are lightweight and small in size, which makes them perfect for small boats

Two, the size and weight of your canoe is going to determine what type of trolling motor to buy. Small boats don’t need a lot of power to move, so you don’t need a big trolling motor.

Having said that, finding the right trolling motor for your canoe is no easy task. To help you out, check out our top 5 best trolling motors for a canoe.  

Top Pick

Minn Kota 1352255 Endura C2 55

Minn Kota 1352255 Endura C2 55

  • Lever Lock Bracket
  • 6-inch Telescoping Tiller
  • 5 Fwd/3 Rev Speed Settings

Trolling Motors for Canoe Comparison Chart

PhotoProductFeaturesPrice

Minn Kota 1352255 Endura C2 55

Minn Kota 1352255 Endura C2 55Thrust: 55 lbs
Shaft Length: 36 inches
Propeller: 2-blade
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Newport Vessels 23M1000203 NV

Newport Vessels 23M1000203 NVThrust: 55 lbs
Shaft Length: 30 inches
Propeller: 3-blade
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Goplus Electric 8 Speed

Goplus Electric 8 SpeedThrust: 46 lbs
Shaft Length: 36 inches
Propeller: 3-blade
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Newport Vessels 23M1000402 Kayak

Newport Vessels 23M1000402 KayakThrust: 36 lbs
Shaft Length: 24 inches
Propeller: 2-blade
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Watersnake ASP 18

Watersnake ASP 18Thrust: 18 lbs
Shaft Length: 24 inches
Propeller: 2-blade
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5 Best Trolling Motors for Canoe (as of November, 2020):

1. Minn Kota 1352255 Endura C2 55 – Best Electric Trolling Motor For Canoe Review

Minn Kota 1352255 Endura C2 55

The Minn Kota 1352255 Endura C2 55 is a 55-pound thrust motor that has a 36-inch shaft.

It comes with a digital readout that measures how much battery life you have left.

Now, you cannot always trust the readout to give you accurate measurements.

So when you go out fishing for more than 5 hours, charge the batteries of your trolling motor after despite what the readout says.

It could show that the battery has a full charge or has used very little charge, but in reality, the battery charge could have dropped to less than 60%.

Another great feature is the 6-inch telescoping handle that comes with the motor. It is ergonomically designed for easy access, use, and comfort.

It has speed settings from one to eight. Five forward speeds and three reverse speeds that have audible clicks.

This variable speed feature is quite handy when you need to stay in a particular spot or ease your boat into a tight spot.

The motor is pretty sturdy. The shaft and blades on the motor’s propeller are strong. The blades can cut through heavy weeds easily. So you can go fishing in areas that are full of weeds and not worry about the weeds getting caught in the propeller. 

Minn Kota 1352255 Endura C2 55 Review, Pros and Cons

If speed is a priority when choosing a trolling motor for your canoe, the Endura can do two and a half miles per hour. And this is when your canoe is fully loaded. So it is quite impressive, to say the least.  

The other thing we liked about this motor is how incredibly quiet it is. Trolling motors that make loud sounds scare away the fish. So the quietness of this motor is a huge plus point.

Main Features

  • Solid 10-Position Bracket
  • Quick-Release Lever Lock
  • Indestructible Composite Shaft
  • 6-inch Telescoping Tiller
  • 5 Fwd/3 Rev Speed Settings
  • Power Prop
  • Cool, Quiet Power
  • Easy, Comfortable, Intuitive Operation

Pros:

  • Comes with a digital readout to measure battery charge
  • Comes with a short shaft which is ideal for canoes and kayaks
  • Variable speed feature
  • It is easy to install
  • Extremely quiet

Cons:

  • Some users find it is heavy
  • Not ideal for saltwater fishing

2. Newport Vessels 23M1000203 NV – Best Saltwater Trolling Motor For Canoe Review

Newport Vessels 23M1000203 NV

The Newport Vessels 23M1000203 NV 55 pound thrust motor designed for saltwater is one of the best trolling motors for canoes.

You can also install it on kayaks, inflatable boats, dinghies, and small and medium-sized boats.

It is designed using steel and other rust-resistant materials. So you can feel confident using it in saltwater as well as freshwater.

The motor has a shaft that is made of fiberglass and is 30 inches long. The shaft length is great for small boats and the fiberglass material is resistant to corrosion and rust.

It comes with a telescoping handle that has a speed setting that ranges from zero to eight.

The forward speeds are five and the reverse speeds are zero. You just need to turn the handle to get the setting you want and with every turn, there is an audible click.

There is an LED battery meter to help monitor your battery power. This feature is great because it shows you how much of your battery charge you have used.

Newport Vessels 23M1000203 NV Review, Pros and Cons

So based on how much battery charge you have, you can estimate how long you can cruise or fish on your canoe.

The motor uses a single 12-volt battery, which you need to buy separately as it does not come with the motor. The company recommends using deep cycle marine batteries instead of lithium-ion batteries.

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Another great feature is the quietness of the motor. You can move through the water without barely making a sound. And this is great because you won’t scare the fish.

Another plus point is the price tag. This motor is quite affordable. So if you are on a budget and looking to buy an inexpensive trolling motor for your canoe, the Newport NV-Series is an excellent choice.

Main Features

  • Ultra-Quiet, Cool & Efficient
  • Stainless Steel Hardware for Saltwater
  • Composite Fiberglass Shaft
  • For Proper Depth Placement In All Water Conditions
  • Ergonomic Extendable Handle
  • 5 Forward Speeds & 3 Reverse Speeds Puts Total Control
  • 5-Point LED Battery Meter
  • 3-Blade Propeller
  • Maximum Amp Draw: 52

Pros:

  • It is quiet
  • It is affordable
  • It is saltwater and freshwater compatible
  • It has a 3-blade propeller for improved performance
  • It uses a single 12volts deep cycle battery
  • Ideal for canoes, dinghies, and kayaks
  • It has a strong fiberglass shaft that is resistant to rust and corrosion
  • It has an LED battery meter to monitor battery charge
  • It has a Variable speed feature
  • It comes with a 2-year warranty

Cons:

  • The motor head is not completely waterproof
  • Some users find it heavy

3. Goplus Electric 8 Speed – Best 36-inch Trolling Motor For a Canoe With Handle Review

Goplus Electric 8 Speed

The Goplus Electric 8 Speed is an affordable 46-pound thrust trolling motor that is built to give you years of service. 

It comes with a 6-inch handle that makes it possible to steer your canoe in any direction with ease.

On the handle, there are 8 speeds. 5 forwards speeds and 3 reverse speeds.

The speed feature is quite convenient when you need to get to a specific spot. Plus it has audible clicks.

On the motor head, there is a digital readout to help you know how much battery is left.

This feature is quite useful because it can help you estimate how long you can stay on the water. And if the battery charge falls below a certain percentage, it will give you blink warning that the battery is at low charge.

Goplus Electric 8 Speed has LED battery meter

The GoPlus motor is a saltwater motor. The motor of the head is made of aluminum, which is resistant to rust and corrosion. It is also durable and lightweight.

The shaft is made of fiberglass which is also resistant to rust and corrosion. And it is strong enough to cut through weeds with ease. So you don’t have to worry about getting stuck out there because weeds are tangled in the propeller.

Goplus Electric 8 Speed Review, Pros and Cons

The motor uses a 12volt battery, which does not come with the motor. So make sure to buy the appropriate battery to run the motor. We recommend getting an AGM deep cycle battery because it lasts long and it’s leakproof. 

When it comes to weight, the motor weighs about 19 pounds. You can find trolling motors that weight more than that so this particular one is reasonably light. But some users may find it heavy.

Main Features

  • 6-inch Telescoping Handle
  • 5 Forward Speeds & 3 Reverse Speeds
  • Reinforced Nylon Bracket
  • Fiber Glass Composite Shaft
  • Durable Aluminum Head
  • Unique Design of 3-Blade Propeller
  • Smooth Movement Through Underwater Grass & Marsh
  • 10 points LED Lights Battery Indicator
  • Easy to Install
  • Single 12volt Battery

Pros:

  • Three-blade propeller for better performance
  • Made with rust-resistant materials for saltwater and freshwater performance
  • Uses a single 12volt battery
  • LED battery meter to help monitor battery power
  • 6-inch handle that is easy to use and access
  • Easy to install
  • 36-inch rust-proof shaft
  • It is inexpensive

Cons:

  • The speed feature is not very reliable

4. Newport Vessels 23M1000402 Kayak – Best Trolling Motor For Canoe & Kayak Review

Newport Vessels 23M1000402 Kayak

We are not exaggerating when we say that Newport trolling motors are superb.

The company does make high quality trolling motors, which is why this particular one made it one our list.

This series has two models: 36lbs and 55lbs thrust motors.

The Newport Vessels 23M1000402 Kayak 36-pound thrust motor is the best for kayaks and canoes because it’s small in size and delivers adequate power to move a small boat.

It comes with a telescopic handle for easy steering. It is easily accessible and easy to use. The handle comes with speed settings that range from zero to eight. Three reverse speeds and five forward speeds.

Newport Vessels 23M1000402 Kayak Review, Pros and Cons

When you turn the handle to a speed of your choice, you are going to hear an audible click. This is extremely useful at helping you know the speed you are moving at.

There is an LED battery meter on top of the motor head that displays how much battery charge is left. This is a useful feature because it warns you when your battery is on low charge.

On top of that, the unit is made of materials that are resistant to rust and corrosion. The motor head is made of aluminum, and the rest of the body is made of zinc and stainless steel.

The shaft is made of fiberglass and it has a 2-blade propeller that is also made of fiberglass. So you can use this motor in saltwater without worrying about corrosion and rust. 

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The motor uses a 12volt deep cycle battery that you need to buy separately. All in all, this is an affordable motor that delivers excellent performance.

Main Features

  • 6-inchTelescoping Handle
  • 24 inch Adjustable Fiberglass Shaft
  • 36lbs of Thrust
  • 5 Forward Speeds & 3 Reverse Speeds
  • 2 Blade Propeller
  • 5′ 6″ Battery Cables
  • 5 LED Battery Charge Indicator
  • Corrosion & Rust Resistant
  • Easy to Install
  • Single 12volt Battery

Pros:

  • LED battery meter to monitor battery power
  • Corrosion and rust-resistant
  • Easy to install
  • Ideal for kayaks and canoes
  • Adjustable 24-inch shaft length
  • Utilizes one 12 volt battery
  • It’s easy to use
  • 5 forward speeds and 3 reverse speeds
  • Decently priced

Cons:

  • The motor head is not completely waterproof
  • It is heavy

5. Watersnake ASP 18 – Best Lightweight Trolling Motor For a Canoe Review

Watersnake ASP 18

Most trolling motors are heavy, but the Watersnake ASP 18 small in size and if you are looking for a super-light trolling motor, this is it.

And not only is it easy to carry, but it’s also easy to install.

Because of its size, it can fit it a canoe, kayak, floating boat, and a small dinghy. So it is pretty versatile.

Besides that, it is rustproof. This small motor is constructed with materials that are resistant to rust and corrosion. So you can use it on saltwater as well as freshwater. 

Unlike other motor systems on this list, this one does not have a variable speed feature. It has a speed control feature, which you switch from low speed to high speed. The switch is also for moving forward and reversing.

When your canoe is at high speed, the motor can draw 17 amps and 7 amps at low speed. So with this motor, you can reserve your battery because you know how many amps you are drawing at high speed and low speed.

The other thing is that although the motor comes with a tilt handle, it is not equipped with a digital readout. So it’s hard to monitor your battery power.

The other issue is that the handle turns too freely. There is no resistance, so you have to have your hand on it to keep it it under control.

Watersnake ASP 18 Review, Pros and Cons

But on the positive side, the motor comes with two handles, a short one and a long one. The short one is a spring-loaded handle that pops out at the push of a button. So if you are tired of using the long one, you can use the short one.

Lastly, this is one of the most affordable trolling motors you can get for your canoe or kayak. So if money is tight and you want to spend as little as you can on a decent motor, then this would be a great choice.

Main Features

  • Universal Design Suitable For Most Kayaks & Canoes
  • Lightweight & Portability
  • High & Low Speed Control
  • Forward & Reverse Switch
  • Extendable Handle For Easy Steering
  • Anti-Impact Clip System In the Mount
  • Optional Bracket For More Mounting Options
  • Adjustable Transom Mount Fitting
  • Weedless 2 Blade Propeller
  • Min/Max Amp Draw 7-15 Amps

Pros:

  • Made of rust and corrosion-resistant materials for saltwater performance
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Very easy to install
  • Super affordable
  • Ideal for kayaks, small dinghies, and canoes

Cons:

  • It does not have a digital readout or variable speed feature

Buyer’s Guide

How to Choose the Best Trolling Motor for Your Kayak or Canoe

Choosing a trolling motor for your kayak or canoe is not all that easy. There are a few factors you need to consider before purchasing one. So let us take a look at some of these factors.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Trolling Motor for Canoes or Kayaks

Mounting Systems

There are two main types of mounting systems: bow mounts and transom mounts.

Bow mounts are designed for large and medium-sized boats like bay and bass boats. Transom boats are made for small boats like canoes and kayaks.

These two different mounts are controlled differently. Transom mounts are hand-controlled while bow mounts are foot and/or remote-controlled. Bow mounts come with advanced features like GPS systems, but transom mounts don’t.

So if you own a kayak and you want to install a trolling motor, it would not be a good idea to install a bow mount.

Why?

Because they are not designed for small boats, and they are larger in size than transom mounts. Bow mounts take a lot of space that a kayak does not have.

So when choosing what style of trolling mount to buy, it would have to be a transom mount

Thrust

Thrust is the amount of power your kayak or canoe needs to move through the water. The golden rule is to have 5 pounds of thrust for every 400 pounds.

This is just a minimum requirement, you need at least 40 pounds of thrust to move a kayak or canoe. Kayaks and canoes are not meant for high-speed driving, so you don’t need a trolling motor that delivers a lot of power. 

Weight

Weight is a key consideration when choosing a trolling motor for any type of boat. May it be a kayak or a bass boat. It’s the weight of the boat that determines what trolling motor to buy.

Kayaks and canoes are small boats that don’t need much power to move through the water. So they don’t need large trolling mounts.

But before you purchase a trolling motor for your canoe or kayak, know how much it weighs when fully loaded. This should help you know what size of trolling motor to buy.

The size determines the weight of the motor and the number of batteries it needs to run.

So it’s not just the weight of the motor system you need to consider, but also that of batteries as well.

Control

You can control a trolling motor by hand, foot, or remote control depending on the style of the motor. Bow motors are controlled by foot, and they are designed for large boats.

Transom motors are controlled by hand, and they are ideal for kayaks, canoes and other small boats.

Foot-controlled motors are not ideal for kayaks or canoes because they are large and take up a lot of space. Plus they have a high power output that is adequate to move a large boat but is too much and unnecessary for a small boat.

Hand controlled motors are the best option for small boats because they don’t take much space. Plus they deliver adequate power to move a small boat easily and smoothly.

Battery Power

Trolling motors come in 12v, 24v, and 36v power configurations. 24volt motors use two batteries and 36volt motors use three batteries.

So installing a 24v or 36v on a kayak or canoe would not make sense. For one, there is not enough space for the batteries, the mount, and the trolling motor. And two, you don’t need that much power to drive a small boat.

A 12volt battery that uses only one battery is more than adequate to drive a small craft like a kayak or canoe.

Shaft Length

Kayaks and canoes, unlike bass or bay boats, don’t need trolling motors that have long shafts. And while it is easy to figure out the shaft length required for a large boat, it’s not for a small boat like a kayak or canoe.

What you need to do is to measure the distance between the waterline and where you’ll mount your motor. Then add 12 inches.

That is going to give you an estimate or an exact figure on how long the shaft should be. If you plan on being on rough water, add another 3 or 4 inches on top of the 12 inches.

Fresh or Saltwater Fishing

There are trolling motors designed for saltwater and freshwater. Trolling motors for saltwater are designed using materials that are resistant to rust and corrosion like stainless steel. This is because saltwater speeds up rusting.

So if you install a freshwater motor and drive your boat on salty water, then wash the motor thoroughly after use. But it is not recommended that you use a freshwater motor on saltwater.

A saltwater motor costs more than a freshwater motor. But the trade-off is that you can use a saltwater motor in fresh and saltwater without worrying about corrosion or rust.

Legal

It is illegal in some states like California to operate an engine-powered boat without registering it. So check to see if in your state this is a requirement before installing a trolling motor. 

The registration process is simple and straight forward. You may need to pay a small fee after filling up the registration form.

Also, ensure that when you take your form, you also go with the sales receipt of your canoe or kayak to show that you paid the sales tax

In some states like California, if you don’t produce this receipt, you’ll be forced to pay the tax again. So check to see what are the requirements for registering an engine-powered boat in your state.  

Conclusion

We hope that the information we have provided in this review is helpful. Make sure to do your research before buying a trolling motor for your canoe.

There are other quality trolling motors out there we have not discussed in this review. You just need to find the right one that fits your boats and needs.

Best Trolling Motor for Canoe

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