How To Attach A Trolling Motor To A Canoe

Who doesn’t like canoeing? The fresh air, the pure water, and the evergreen bliss of nature are all irresistible. But you must hate it when you have to paddle throughout. A trolling motor that would move the canoe or boat would turn out to be a blessing in such situations.

Wondering if you can put a trolling motor on a canoe? The answer is yes. You can easily put a trolling motor on your canoe if you follow the steps mentioned in this article. For those who are unfamiliar with or want to learn more about installing a trolling motor on a canoe, here is all the information you need.

Types of trolling motors for a canoe

A trolling motor is essentially a small motor mounted on canoes when fishing, kayaking, or paddling. It is very quiet, which helps to keep the fish from fleeing due to the noise.

Basically, trolling motors come in 2 varieties: Gas and Electric.

Where electric trolling motors are lightweight, safe for the environment, and offer exceptional performance, gas trolling motors last longer.

Canoe owners often use electric motors because they offer great performance and are much lighter than gas-powered trolling motors.

Equipment required to install trolling motor on a canoe

Other than the motor and controls which come included with the trolling motor, here are some other equipment you’ll need for installation.

  • Batteries – the number of batteries you will need will depend on the voltage of your trolling motor. Trolling motors usually have power levels of 12 volts, 24 volts, and 36 volts. One battery for every 12 volts of power is the standard measurement.
  • Battery charger – these are needed to power up your batteries when they’re completely used.
  • Terminal ends – these are required to connect the positive and negative leads to their respective terminals
  • Jumper wire – since 24 volts or above trolling motors have their batteries arranged as a series instead of parallel connections; you will need a jumper wire for their configuration. For 12 volts motors, they are not required.
  • Circuit breaker – helps prevents accidents when in contact with water
  • Extension wires – power leads typically have small wires. Thus, an extension wire can help you cover the distance required from the mounting location to the batteries.

How to put a trolling motor to a canoe?

Trolling motors usually have two mount types which are bow mount and transom mount. Serious fishermen always use a bow mount since it has the most features and can effectively pull the boat in the water. Regardless of which type of mount you use, here are some general instructions on putting the trolling motor on a canoe.

  1. Choose the appropriate size and power for your motor engine, depending on how frequently you will be using the canoe.
  2. Next, you need to figure how much shaft length will be needed for your canoe. If the shaft is too short, say less than 12 inches, it would be a herculean task to submerge a portion of the canoe in the water. Hence, make sure that you choose the correct size.
  3. Figure out where you want to mount the motor – bow, transom, or engine.
  4. Attach the motor to your canoe with some screws. Then, you should place the mount over the mounting bracket. After this, make sure that the mounting bolts are tightened against the mounting bracket.
  5. Ensure that the bolt clamps secure the canoe well

And with that final step, your trolling motor is attached to your canoe.

Things to consider before putting the trolling motor on a canoe

Here are few things you need to consider before putting the trolling motor into your canoe.


Determine the size of the motor

Larger size usually means larger thrust and, therefore larger power. Hence, it is best to buy a larger trolling motor but make sure the motor’s size is compatible with the size of your canoe.

Type of mounting

For larger boats more than 14 foot, choose bow mount, and for smaller boats, opt for transom mounting.

Weight of motor

Unlike size, when it comes to weight, less weight is better. So go for the lightest motor you can find. If the weight increases, it will be difficult for the canoe to move through the water.

Power options

Since most people use electric motors, it is recommended that you store a backup battery that can be used when the motor runs out of power. Check for small and light batteries that will help move your canoe efficiently.

Which trolling motor is best to put on a canoe?

Bow mount trolling motors and transom mount trolling motors are the most commonly used ones.

Depending on your canoe and your requirements, which trolling motor will be best for your canoe would vary. However, here are some suggestions to help you decide which type of trolling motor to buy.

If you are a regular fishing enthusiast, then it is better that you use a bow mount trolling motor. It is also best for boats and canoes that are larger than 14 feet.

Since bow mounts essentially pull your boat in the water, it offers far more flexibility in movement, hence better controlling the canoe and helping you to fish more easily. A bow mount trolling motor would also require sufficient space for it to be installed.

For boats smaller than 14 feet, it is recommended to get a transom mount trolling motor. It is clamped onto the stern part of the boat and is generally recommended for smaller boats and dinghies. They offer easy trolling applications, while the general positioning of the motor is also much better.

How will a trolling motor on your canoe benefit you?

  • Since trolling motors are very quiet, they won’t scare the fish away and keep them in the water.
  • It allows you to have a comfortable fishing experience because you won’t have to tire yourselves out by paddling all the time.
  • You also get better control and positioning of your boat or canoe, thus offering minimal trouble to the user.
  • The angler’s movement can be better controlled by the fisherman, thanks to the trolling motor.
  • Since trolling motors are very powerful, they can easily be used even in saltwater, where boats usually have a hard time positioning themselves in a single place.
  • With an efficient trolling motor, you can be the king of the sea as you efficiently conquer freshwater, saltwater, shallow waters, as well as deep waters.
  • Since these motors do not involve any oil spills, they are completely safe for the environment too.

These are some of the much-loved benefits of installing a trolling motor on your canoe.

Wrapping up

We’re sure that by now, you know how much your fishing experience will get better thanks to the trolling motor. Even putting it on your canoe is easy, so get one at the earliest—happy fishing from us.

If the information was useful to you, let us know in the comments below.

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