Although electric motors aren’t primarily made for speed, you can expect a typical top speed of around 5 mph.
The top speed of a trolling motor depends on various factors, including the motor’s power (measured in pounds of thrust or watts), the weight and size of the boat, and water conditions.
But a crude formula to estimate the potential speed of the trolling motor is:
Speed (mph) ≈ (Motor Power (watts) / Boat Weight (lbs) * Conversion Factor) * Efficiency
- Find the power of the motor (watts) and the total weight of the boat (including people and things).
- Divide the power by the weight.
- Multiply the result by the conversion factor (around 5.7) to get the speed in miles per hour.
- Then multiply the result by the efficiency factor. Assume a displaced hull so 0.5 to 0.6.
At a Glance:
1️⃣The typical top speed of electric trolling motors is around 5 mph, depending on factors like motor power, boat size, and water conditions.
2️⃣The voltage of the trolling motor, boat size and weight, and water conditions are critical factors affecting trolling motor speed.
3️⃣Selecting the right propeller type for your electric motor and boat can optimize speed and performance.
Next, we will explore the various factors affecting trolling motor performance and speed and what you can do to ensure your boat is as efficient as possible. Let’s go!
⏩ Factors Affecting Trolling Motor Speed
The voltage of an electric trolling motor plays a significant role in determining its speed. Trolling motor models are available in either 12v, 24v, or 36v.
Higher voltage equates to higher thrust, which can result in higher speeds. Choosing the appropriate voltage for your motor depends on factors such as your boat size and weight.
Boat Size and Weight
The size and weight of the boat are crucial factors affecting the speed of the electric trolling motor.
Heavier boats require more thrust to move, meaning you need to choose a larger-sized trolling motor.
It is essential to select an electric trolling motor with adequate thrust capable of handling your boat’s size and weight to maintain optimum speed.
The condition of the water should be considered when operating your electric trolling motor.
Strong currents: This can cause the trolling motor to work harder to maintain speed or direction.
Rough waves: Choppy water creates resistance, forcing the trolling motor to use more power to maintain position/speed. Likewise, calm water allows the motor to function more efficiently, potentially increasing the top speed.
High winds: Wind can create additional drag, causing the trolling motor to use more energy to maintain the desired heading.
The type of propeller on an electric trolling motor can also affect its speed. Different propellers are designed to handle varying water conditions and boat sizes.
The prop pitch in inches, times motor RPM, times 85% (factor for prop slippage) yields calculated inches per minute.
This value divided by 12 equals calculated feet per minute, and the feet per minute times 60 equals calculated feet per hour. Therefore, selecting the right propeller type for your electric motor and boat can optimize speed and performance.
🚀 Thrust and Speed Relationships
The speed of your boat can be influenced by the size of the electric trolling motor you need. This section will explore the relationships between thrust and speed for electric trolling motors, specifically for 55lb and 112lb thrust trolling motors.
55lb Thrust Trolling Motor
A 55lb thrust trolling motor is a popular choice for many small to medium-sized boats. This size provides a decent amount of power and can reach speeds of up to 5 miles per hour under ideal conditions, with a moderate load, and when correctly sized for the boat.
However, it is important to consider battery power when choosing a 55lb thrust motor (typically requires a 12-volt system with one battery for operation).
This setup can cause the battery to drain quickly if the motor is consistently run at top speed, resulting in shorter outings.
112 lb Thrust Trolling Motor
When it comes to larger and heavier boats, a more powerful 112 lb thrust trolling motor is often necessary.
The specific speed of a 112 lb thrust trolling motor varies due to factors such as boat weight, water conditions, and load, but it generally provides a higher top speed compared to a 55 lb thrust trolling motor.
For a 112 lb thrust trolling motor, a 36-volt system with three batteries is required to power the system so it can cope with the demands. But it’s essential to manage battery usage to ensure optimal performance.
In summary, the speed of your trolling motor predominantly depends on both the chosen motor and its associated pounds of thrust.
A basic guideline to follow is ensuring you have a minimum of 2 lbs of thrust for every 100 lbs of boat weight.
📈 Popular Trolling Motor Brands and Models
In this section, we discuss two popular trolling motor brands, Minn Kota and Newport Vessels, and some of their most popular models.
Minn Kota is a widely recognized and respected brand in the trolling motor industry. Their vast lineup of high-quality products caters to different needs, budgets, and preferences.
One popular model from Minn Kota is the Minn Kota Vantage, a powerful hand-steered trolling motor featuring the unique ability to raise and lower automatically with the push of a button. With a mounting system that breaks away on impact, it offers protection for both the boat and the motor.
Another well-known model is the Minn Kota Endura C2, a reliable and versatile option suitable for smaller boats. The Minn Kota Endura C2 provides smooth and efficient propulsion, with different thrust options available depending on your requirements.
Newport Vessels is another well-regarded brand in the trolling motor market, offering a range of freshwater and saltwater models at different price points.
One standout model from Newport Vessels is the NV Series, a versatile option that delivers performance at an affordable price.
Suitable for smaller boats and often chosen as the best trolling motor for the money, it has a 30-inch composite fiberglass shaft and various thrust options to cater to different boat types and sizes.
Similar to Minn Kota motors, Newport Vessels trolling motors offer a maximum speed of approximately 5 mph, depending on the motor’s power and propeller type.
Scouting your options? Find out more about the speed capabilities of electric outboard motors.
💡 Trolling Motor Applications
Electric trolling motors are an excellent choice for Jon boats, which are often used for recreational fishing activities.
With a trolling motor, anglers can easily navigate calm waters and position their boat to cast their fishing lines more efficiently.
It’s important to select a trolling motor with enough thrust for your Jon boat to avoid being underpowered in stronger currents or windy conditions.
A properly rigged trolling motor on a kayak enables the angler to reach fishing spots faster, especially if they are situated farther from the starting point.
While installing a trolling motor on a kayak, it’s crucial to consider the weight and size of the motor, as this can affect the kayak’s stability and overall performance. A lightweight and compact trolling motor is best suited for kayak fishing applications.
Electric trolling motors play an essential role in fishing, as they offer a quiet and efficient way to navigate through the water, enabling anglers to approach their preferred fishing areas without disrupting the fish.
One of the primary advantages of using a trolling motor for fishing is the ability to maintain slow and steady speeds, which can be particularly beneficial when trolling for species that are sensitive to noise and movement.
The average speed of a trolling motor-powered boat is between 2.7 and 3 miles per hour, which is ideal for many fishing situations.
In addition, electric trolling motors are environmentally friendly, as they produce zero emissions and contribute to a cleaner and healthier aquatic ecosystem, preserving the natural habitat of aquatic life.
🔑 Key Takeaways
In summary, your trolling motor isn’t built for speed or to be your primary means of propulsion. As long as you can stay on top of the fish, then you’ve found the right speed! Let’s recap the key points:
1️⃣ The speed of a trolling motor is significantly influenced by factors such as voltage, boat size and weight, water conditions, and propeller type. A suitable combination of these factors ensures optimal speed and performance.
2️⃣ Two popular trolling motor brands are Minn Kota and Newport Vessels, offering a variety of models to cater to different needs and budgets. These brands typically offer trolling motors with a maximum speed of approximately 5 mph.