outboard motor for canoe

When it comes to maximizing the potential of your canoeing adventures, the choice of an outboard motor for canoe can make all the difference. Paddling across serene waters and navigating through captivating landscapes becomes even more effortless and enjoyable with the right outboard motor.

You will need to look for many things when searching for a good motor canoe, like trolling or outboard, what size, bow-mounted motor or stern-mounted motor or which steering type would suit you.

These are only the basic question that comes to a person’s mind. We have addressed many more questions and even mentioned some of the best motors from our experience. Stay with us till the end to clear all your doubts! 

Key Takeaways On Motor for Canoe

Why Mount a Trolling Motor on a Canoe – The first benefit you will get from installing a trolling motor is that you will no longer need to paddle, which will save you energy for the rest of the trip.
Mounting a trolling motor on a canoe enhances maneuverability, eases navigation against elements, extends travel range, and aids fishing by maintaining a steady speed for focused angling.

What Size Trolling Motor for a Canoe – The appropriate size of a trolling motor for a canoe depends on the canoe’s length, width, weight, and intended use. Generally, for a standard canoe (12-16 feet long and less than 36 inches wide), a trolling motor with 30-55 lbs of thrust should suffice.

What is the strongest and best outboard motor for a canoe – An outboard motor like the Coleman Powersports 2.6 hp Outboard Motor could be a good option for strong and powerful propulsion. It provides reliable propulsion for canoes.

What is the best outboard canoeing motor for fishing, or hunting – An electric trolling motor is often preferred for fishing or hunting due to its quiet operation and precise control. The Minn Kota 1358733 PowerDrive (Bow Mounted) and the PARKHO HASWING Electric (Bow Mounted) could be suitable for fishing or hunting.

Which are the best and most famous brands/manufacturers of outboard canoe motors– Prominent canoe outboard motor brands: Minn Kota (trolling motors), Newport Vessels (marine range), and Watersnake (trolling motors). They are noted for quality and innovation in the marine sector.

Top 4 Canoe Motors in 2023

FeatureMinn Kota Endura C2 30Watersnake TracerMinn Kota 1358733 PowerDriveNewport NV-Series
Thrust (lbs)30305536
Voltage (V)12121212
Shaft Length (in)30364830
Mount TypeTransomTransomBowTransom
Control TypeTelescoping HandleFoot PedalFoot PedalTelescoping 
Propeller TypeWeedless Wedge 23-BladeWeedless Wedge 23-Blade
Battery MeterNoNoYesYes

Types of Outboard Motors (Which Can Be Mounted On a Canoe)

Gas and Oil-Powered Motors:

Gas and oil-powered motors are suitable for long expeditions and trips that require hauling a lot of equipment. They are powerful and can provide a lot of canoeing speed, making them a good choice for larger canoes and when navigating larger bodies of water.

Electric Outboard Motors:

Batteries power electric outboard motors and are environmentally friendly, producing no emissions or fumes. They are quieter than gas motors, making them a good choice for fishing in calm waters or to avoid disturbing fish.

Outboard Trolling Motors:

Outboard trolling motors are designed for smaller boats like canoes. They are typically mounted on the transom or the side of the boat and provide propulsion when paddling becomes too difficult or when you’re trying to quickly cover a lot of ground.

Freshwater and Saltwater Canoe Motor:

Freshwater and saltwater canoe motors differ in their material composition, power source, corrosion protection, and price. 

Saltwater motors are designed to withstand the harsher saltwater environment and are typically composed of materials more resistant to corrosion, such as stainless steel and anti-corrosive coatings.

Best Outboard Motors For Canoe (Freshwater Motor)

1.  Minn Kota Endura C2 30 (Transom Mounted) – Affordable Price

Product Overview

The Minn Kota Endura C2 30 is a reliable, budget-friendly transom-mounted trolling motor for small boats and canoes. Its durable build and easy-to-use features make it a popular choice for beginners and experienced anglers. 

The motor offers smooth and quiet operation, making it suitable for fishing in various water conditions.

Specification table in detail

Motor TypeTransom Mounted Trolling Motor
Thrust30 lbs
Shaft Length30 inches
SteeringHand Steer
Speeds5 forward speeds, 3 reverse speeds

Prominent Features:

This trolling motor incorporates advantageous features that optimise its functionality. It offers adaptable performance for diverse situations with 5 forward and 3 reverse speeds. 

Its noise-minimizing design ensures a quiet operation, adding to the tranquillity of fishing endeavours. 

The telescoping handle, designed for comfort and convenience, provides easy and precise control. The motor’s durability is bolstered by a sturdy composite shaft capable of withstanding varying water conditions.

Enhanced manoeuvrability is achieved through the efficient performance and design of the power propeller, collectively making this motor a versatile and efficient choice,

Rating table for different aspects

Shaft Length4/5


  • The hand tiller is intuitive and has a six-inch adjustment.
  • It’s cheaper compared to other trolling motors.
  • Built for long-term, dependable performance.
  • Comes in a range of thrust options from 30-55 lbs.


  • The battery is not included and needs to be purchased separately.
  • It is not suitable for larger boats or rougher water conditions.
  • The motor may need to be more powerful for some users.

My Honest Opinion

The Minn Kota Endura C2 30 (Transom Mounted) Trolling Motor is a reliable and affordable angler option. The ergonomic handle and enhanced grip make steering comfortable and easy. 

It is ideal for small boats or kayaks in calm, freshwater conditions. Generally, customers appreciate its reliability and ease of use, making it a popular choice for beginners.

2.  Watersnake Tracer (Transom Mounted)

Product Overview

The Watersnake Tracer is a transom-mounted trolling motor that combines efficiency and versatility. 

Designed for small to medium-sized boats, it balances power and affordability. The motor is suited for various water conditions and is a reliable companion for fishing and leisurely cruises.

Specification table in detail

Thrust30 lbs, 44 lbs, 54 lbs
Shaft Length30 inches, 36 inches, 42 inches, 48 inches, 54 inches
ControlFoot Control
Propeller2-blade, weedless design
Speeds5 forward speeds, 2 reverse speeds

Prominent Features:

This trolling motor offers adaptable thrust options with two variants catering to diverse boat sizes and conditions. Its efficient 2-blade propeller design guarantees seamless movement while reducing the risk of snags. 

The extendable ergonomic handle facilitates comfortable control and precise manoeuvring. Furthermore, a corrosion-resistant composite shaft ensures the motor’s longevity, highlighting its durability and robust performance.

Rating table for different aspects

Ease of Use4.3/5
Value for Money4.4/5


  • Lightweight and easy to install.
  • Low power consumption.
  • Comes with an extendable handle.
  • Offers a variety of speed options, including five forward speeds and two reverse speeds.
  • Watersnake trolling motors are considered as good as other famous brands.


  • The Watersnake Tracer is a freshwater motor unsuitable for saltwater use.
  • Some users have reported issues with the motor’s durability over time.

My Honest Opinion:

The Watersnake Tracer is a reliable and versatile transom-mounted trolling motor for freshwater boating. 

It is suitable for small to medium-sized boats in freshwater fishing situations. Customers find its quiet operation and affordability appealing, though some note occasional durability issues.

3.  Minn Kota 1358733 PowerDrive (Bow Mounted)

Product Overview

The Minn Kota 1358733 PowerDrive is a cutting-edge bow-mounted trolling motor designed to elevate your boating experience. 

With a focus on innovation and performance, this motor offers precision control and seamless technology integration, making it an excellent choice for avid anglers and boating enthusiasts.

Specification table in detail

Thrust70 lbs
Shaft Length60 inches
ControlFoot Control
PropellerWeedless Wedge 2
SpeedsVariable speed forward and reverse

Prominent Features:

This trolling motor features advanced control compatibility, allowing seamless integration with i-Pilot or i-Pilot Link for improved navigation and autopilot functions. 

Accurate steering is assured by the Weedless Wedge 2 propeller and responsive controls. A durable composite shaft offers corrosion resistance, and a built-in battery meter provides real-time power monitoring. 

Variable thrust options accommodate different boat sizes and conditions, enhancing its versatility.

Rating table for different aspects

Ease of Use4.2/5
Value for Money4.1/5


  • Maximum thrust of 70 lbs, providing sufficient power for most boating needs.
  • Shaft length of 60 inches, suitable for various boat sizes.
  • Redesigned foot pedal for improved control and manoeuvrability.
  • Deploy-Assist Lever for easy deployment and stowing of the motor.
  • Bluetooth connectivity for wireless control and integration with compatible devices.


  • Some users have reported issues with the motor’s durability over time.
  • The motor may be relatively expensive compared to other trolling motors.
  • Limited to freshwater use and unsuitable for saltwater environments.

My Honest Opinion:

The Minn Kota 1358733 PowerDrive is a reliable and versatile bow-mounted trolling motor for freshwater boating. It offers a powerful thrust rating and a long shaft length for efficient and precise manoeuvring. 

It is designed for larger boats and anglers needing advanced control. Its features and durability receive positive feedback, but some users mention a steeper price point.

Best Outboard Canoe Motor (Saltwater Motor)

1.  Newport L-Series (Transom Mounted) –

Product Overview

The Newport L-Series is a versatile, budget-friendly transom-mounted trolling motor to enhance boating adventures. 

With a focus on simplicity and practicality, this motor caters to recreational boaters and anglers seeking an affordable and reliable propulsion solution.

Specification table in detail

Thrust62 lbs, 36 lbs
Shaft40 inches
Control5 forward speeds, 3 reverse speeds
Propeller3-blade, weedless design
Battery IndicatorLED

Prominent Features:

This trolling motor presents adaptable thrust choices, enabling users to select from two levels to match diverse boat sizes and conditions. It boasts 5 forward and 3 reverse speeds, ensuring versatility in manoeuvring. 

The telescopic handle, adjustable for convenience, facilitates comfortable control. A corrosion-resistant composite shaft reinforces The motor’s robustness, guaranteeing durability across varied water conditions.

Rating table for different aspects

Ease of Use4.2/5
Value for Money4.3/5


  • Powerful and efficient with 62lb thrust options.
  • Quiet operation for a more enjoyable boating experience.
  • Suitable for use in both saltwater and freshwater environments.
  • Comes with a two-year limited warranty.
  • Ideal for use with sailboats due to its 40″ shaft motor


  • Issues with the motor’s durability
  • It may be unsuitable for smaller boats due to its larger size and power.
  • The motor may be relatively expensive compared to other trolling motors.

My Honest Opinion

The Newport L-Series is a reliable and efficient transom-mounted trolling motor suitable for freshwater and saltwater use. The multiple speed settings also provide precise control for different boating needs.

It is intended for leisure cruising in calm waters. Customers appreciate its simplicity and affordable cost, though there are occasional reports of performance inconsistencies.

2.  Newport X-Series (Transom Mounted) –

Product Overview

The Newport X-Series is a versatile, dependable transom-mounted trolling motor that enhances your boating experience. 

Tailored for users who value performance and reliability, this motor combines functionality and affordability, making it an appealing choice for recreational boaters and anglers.

Specification table in detail

Thrust40 lbs
Shaft Length36 inches
Control5 forward speeds, 3 reverse speeds
Propeller3-blade, weedless design
Battery IndicatorLED

Prominent Features:

This trolling motor offers user-friendly controls through its telescopic handle, enabling easy adjustment of 5 forward and 3 reverse speeds. The built-in battery meter ensures convenient power monitoring. 

A corrosion-resistant composite shaft upholds The motor’s durability, ensuring reliable long-term performance. Its balanced 3-blade propeller design facilitates efficient propulsion and manoeuvrability, enhancing overall operational efficiency.

Rating table for different aspects

Ease of Use4.5/5
Value for Money4.5/5


  • Newport Vessels trolling motors are electric and can be used in saltwater and freshwater applications.
  • The X-Series trolling motor is available in a 40lb thrust option.
  • The motor is durable, quiet, and efficient, making it suitable for various small craft, including kayaks, canoes, and dinghies.
  • Comes with a two-year limited warranty.


  •  Lacks advanced features such as GPS integration or variable propeller designs.

My Honest Opinion

The Newport X-Series is a reliable and efficient transom-mounted trolling motor suitable for freshwater and saltwater use. 

Its powerful motor and weedless propeller design are notable features that enhance performance, and the LED battery indicator simplifies battery monitoring.

It is geared towards recreational boating and fishing. Users find its balance between features and price attractive, but there are mixed reviews regarding long-term durability.

3.  PARKHO HASWING Electric (Bow Mounted) –

Product Overview

The PARKHO HASWING Electric is a high-quality bow-mounted electric trolling motor designed to elevate your boating experience. 

With a focus on innovation and performance, this motor offers advanced features and precise control, making it an excellent choice for anglers and boaters who demand excellence.

Specification table in detail

Shaft Length54 inches
Speed ControlDigital technology with variable forward and reverse speeds
Control TypeHand Control
FeaturesSacrificial anode and encapsulated electronics

Prominent Features:

This trolling motor boasts potent thrust options of 55 lbs for optimal performance. Its advanced control features wireless remote navigation with GPS functions, ensuring precise manoeuvring. The digital display facilitates seamless speed adjustment. 

The efficient Power Prop, complemented by its weedless design, enhances propulsion. A 54-inch composite shaft is tailored for larger boats and deeper waters, ensuring versatile functionality.

Rating table for different aspects

Ease of Use4.5/5
Value for Money4/5


  • Efficient and smooth variable speed control for improved motor adjustments and control.
  • Quieter operation for a more enjoyable boating experience.
  • Suitable for use in both saltwater and freshwater environments.
  • Comes with a wireless remote control for added convenience and ease of use.
  • Easy to install and lightweight.


  • The control type is limited to hand control.
  • The voltage and thrust are relatively low compared to other models.

My Honest Opinion

The PARKHO HASWING Electric Trolling Motor is a good option for those who need a reliable and cost-effective motor for their fishing boat. The digital technology provides precise speed control, and the wireless hand control adds convenience.

It is suited for anglers needing precise manoeuvrability. Its wireless remote control stands out, but some users have reported issues with the remote’s range.

4.  Newport NV-Series (Transom Mounted) – Affordable Price

Product Overview

The Newport NV-Series is a budget-friendly transom-mounted trolling motor that balances affordability and functionality. Geared towards recreational boaters and anglers, this motor aims to provide essential features without breaking the bank.

Specification table in detail

Thrust36lb or 55lb
Shaft Length30 inches
Battery IndicatorLED battery indicator
Speeds5 forward, 3 reverse
ControlTelescopic handle
Propeller3-blade design

Prominent Features:

The NV-Series trolling motor provides flexible thrust choices, ranging from 36 lbs to 46 lbs, enhancing versatility. 

With 5 forward and 3 reverse speeds, manoeuvrability is facilitated. The telescopic handle guarantees comfortable control. The composite shaft’s corrosion resistance suits diverse water conditions. 

Designed for affordability, the NV-Series is an excellent option for budget-conscious individuals.

Rating table for different aspects

Ease of Use4/5
Value for Money4.5/5


  • Affordable price compared to other trolling motors.
  • Suitable for both saltwater and freshwater use.
  • Easy trim adjustment for convenience.
  • LED battery indicator for monitoring battery life.


  • Limited options for thrust power compared to other models.
  • The battery indicator may need to be more accurate.

My Honest Opinion

The Newport NV-Series caters to boaters seeking an entry-level trolling motor without sacrificing reliability. While it lacks advanced features, its affordability and essential functionalities make it a practical choice for recreational boating. 

It is meant for nighttime fishing and navigation. Users like its built-in LED lights for low-light conditions, but occasional complaints about the lights’ durability have occurred. 

Best Gas-Powered Canoe Motor – Coleman Powersports 2.6 hp Outboard Motor

Product Overview

The Coleman Powersports 2.6 hp Outboard Motor is a compact and reliable option for small boats and watercraft. Designed with simplicity and portability, this motor offers basic functionality for leisurely outings on the water.

Specification table in detail

Engine Type4-stroke, 1-cylinder, OHV
Maximum Horsepower2.6
Shaft LengthShort
Ignition SystemTCI ignition
Starting SystemManual pull start
Gear ShiftForward-neutral gear shift
Fuel Tank Capacity0.29 gallons

Prominent Features:

Characterized by its lightweight and compact build, this outboard motor ensures effortless transport and installation. Its simple start feature incorporates a manual pull-start mechanism, simplifying ignition procedures. 

With a 2-stroke design, the motor delivers efficient fuel economy, ideal for shorter journeys. The short shaft configuration caters to small boats and watercraft with limited transom height.

Rating table for different aspects

Ease of Use4/5
Value for Money4.5/5


  • Two fuel system options, including an internal tank, make it versatile and convenient.
  • The compact and lightweight design makes it easy to transport and store.
  • Reasonably quiet operation for a gas-powered motor.
  • Suitable for use in shallow water.
  • Produces up to 2.6 horsepower of thrusting power.


  • It may not be as powerful as other gas-powered motors, making it less suitable for larger boats or rougher water conditions.
  • Gas-powered motors are generally less environmentally friendly and require more maintenance than electric motors.

My Honest Opinion:

The Coleman Powersports 2.6 hp Outboard Motor is a good option for those looking for an affordable and reliable motor for their small boat. The 4-stroke engine design provides quieter operation and meets EPA and CE standards. 

It is designed for small boats and inflatables. Its portability and ease of use are appreciated, although some users mention minor performance variations.

Structure/Parts of a Canoe Outboard Motor

There are two types of canoe trolling motors: electric and gas. The parts of each type are explained below.

Electric Canoe Trolling Motor Parts

  • Motor: The motor is the main component of the electric trolling motor. It generates the power needed to propel the canoe through the water.
  • Propeller: The propeller is attached to the motor and is responsible for creating the thrust that moves the canoe forward.
  • Battery: The battery is used to power the electric motor. It is typically a deep-cycle marine battery designed to provide a steady stream of power over an extended period.
  • Mount: The mount attaches the electric trolling motor to the canoe. It is typically a clamp-style mount that can be easily attached and removed.

Gas Canoe Trolling Parts

  • Motor: The motor is the main component of the gas trolling motor. It generates the power needed to propel the canoe through the water.
  • Fuel Tank: The fuel tank is used to store the gasoline that is used to power the gas-trolling motor.
  • Propeller: The propeller is attached to the motor and is responsible for creating the thrust that moves the canoe forward.
  • Mount: The mount attaches the gas trolling motor to the canoe. It is typically a clamp-style mount that can be easily attached and removed.

Difference Between Outboard Motor and Trolling Motor

An outboard motor is a self-contained propulsion unit with an engine, gearbox, and propeller, typically used for larger boats. A trolling motor is smaller, electric-powered, and designed for manoeuvring, especially in fishing scenarios, often mounted at the bow or stern of a boat.

  1. Power and Speed: 

Outboard motors are generally more powerful than trolling motors and can move a boat faster and over longer distances.

Trolling motors are typically smaller and less powerful than outboard motors, making them better suited for fishing in smaller bodies of water or for slow trolling.

  1. Mounting:

Outboard motors are mounted on the transom or the back of the boat, while trolling motors can be mounted on the bow or the stern.

Trolling motors are often mounted on a specialized bracket or a bow mount, allowing greater manoeuvrability and control.

  1. Control: 

A steering wheel and throttle control outboard motors, while trolling motors are controlled by a hand-held remote or foot pedal.

Trolling motors offer greater precision and control, which is important for fishing or navigating shallow waters.

  1. Battery: 

A battery powers trolling motors, while outboard motors typically run on gasoline.

Trolling motors require a separate battery installed on the boat, which can add weight and take up space.

  1. Noise: 

Outboard motors are generally louder than trolling motors, which can be a disadvantage when fishing or navigating through shallow waters.

Trolling motors are designed to be quiet and stealthy, which is important for fishing and not scaring away fish.

What Things to Check in an Outboard Canoe Motor Before Purchasing?

Several important factors must be considered when purchasing an outboard motor for a canoe. Here are the key things to check before purchasing:

  1. Power Output: 

The motor’s power output, measured in thrust, must match the canoe’s size and weight and the intended usage conditions. Properly aligning power output with specifications and weight capacity ensures optimal performance and safety.

Thrust (lbs)Best Use
30-40Ideal for small canoes and lightweight boats. Suitable for calm lakes and slow-moving rivers. Great for short trips and minimal gear.
45-55Suitable for medium-sized canoes and small boats. Provides good power for lakes, ponds, and slow rivers with moderate gear.
60-70Appropriate for larger canoes and small boats. Offers more power for navigating moderate currents and carrying substantial gear.
75-85Well-suited for bigger boats and heavy loads. It is effective for larger bodies of water, including rivers with stronger currents.
90+Designed for larger vessels and substantial loads. It is ideal for moving swiftly on larger rivers, lakes, and other sizable bodies of water.
  1. Speed and Acceleration: 

Consider desired speed and activities (fishing, leisurely cruising) to determine appropriate speed and acceleration capabilities. Larger motors offer higher speeds and acceleration but might demand more power and fuel.

Coleman Powersports 2.6 hp Outboard Motor offers the most speed.

  1. Range/Endurance: 

Assess the motor’s range based on distance and trip duration. Factor in the motor type—gasoline or electric—to gauge its ability to meet your needs.

Thrust (lbs)Range/Endurance
30-40Short distances (up to 5 miles
45-55Short to moderate distances (5-10 miles)
60-70Moderate distances (10-15 miles)
75-85Moderate to long distances (15-20 miles)
90+Long distances (20+ miles)
  1. Noise Levels: 

Noise impacts the boating experience, especially in quiet settings or during fishing. Gasoline motors are louder than electric ones, which provide a more serene and enjoyable experience.

  1. Cost (Initial and Operating): 

Calculate upfront purchase costs and ongoing expenses like fuel or batteries. Gasoline motors need regular fuel, while electric ones rely on charging or battery replacement.

  1. Fuel/Power Source: 

Choose between gasoline and electric motors, considering power, range, and environmental impact. Gasoline offers power and range but emits emissions, while electric motors are quieter and eco-friendly but may have limitations.

  1.  Shaft Length: 

Shaft length refers to the distance between the mounting point of a motor and the propeller, which is crucial for proper submersion and efficient propulsion in watercraft.

Ensure the motor’s shaft length suits the water depth you’ll navigate. Longer shafts are for deeper waters, and shorter ones are suitable for shallower areas.

  1. Battery Capacity: 

Check battery capacity for runtime and power output alignment with your boating activities. A larger battery capacity means more operating time and power.

  1. Handling and Maneuverability: 

Test steering responsiveness, control ease, and acceleration smoothness for a satisfying boating experience.

  1. Weight, Material, and Balance: 

Motor weight, material, and balance affect transport, installation, durability, and performance. A lightweight, well-balanced motor constructed with durable materials is ideal.

  1. Ease of Installation: 

Choose motors with straightforward installation processes, including user-friendly mounting systems and clear instructions.

  1. Availability of Spare Parts: 

Opt for reputable manufacturers that offer easily accessible spare parts. This ensures timely replacements, minimising downtime and prolonging motor life.

Yamaha, Mercury, and Minn Kota are renowned for their strong reputation in providing readily available spare parts for both trolling and outboard motors.

  1. Compatibility with Boat Types/Sizes: 

Ensure the motor aligns with your canoe’s specifications, including shaft length and horsepower. Purpose-built motors for canoes ensure top-notch performance and efficiency.

What Features An Outboard Motor for Canoe Should Have?

Variable Speed Control: 

Utilizing variable speed control grants the flexibility to adjust motor speed to match your preferences. This feature allows you to smoothly switch between cruising at a leisurely pace and attaining higher speeds with accuracy. Moreover, it conserves battery life by enabling extended operation at lower speeds.

GPS Functionality: 

Incorporating GPS functionality enhances navigation and tracking. Real-time data on position, speed, and distance covered aids in planning routes, locating sites, and ensuring safety during canoeing ventures.


The SPOT-LOCK feature employs GPS to precisely anchor your canoe, eliminating the need for traditional anchors. This innovation provides stability, convenience, and precision, especially during fishing or when remaining stationary in a designated area.

Sonar Integration: 

Sonar integration allows connecting the motor with fish finders or depth sounders. This enriching feature offers insights into underwater structures, fish location, and water depth. It significantly elevates the fishing experience by identifying potential fishing spots and enhancing catch success.

Digital Display: 

Equipped with a digital display, the outboard motor presents critical data like battery charge, speed, RPM, and engine diagnostics. This convenience offers immediate feedback, simplifies operation monitoring, and aids decision-making while operating the motor.

GPS Anchor: 

A GPS anchor feature facilitates marking and returning to specific locations on the water. Storing and revisiting waypoints eliminates manual navigation, ensuring precise returns to designated spots.

Depth Adjustability: 

Adjusting motor depth optimizes performance based on water conditions. This adaptability prevents damage, ensuring efficient operation across various water depths.

Anti-Ventilation Plate: 

The anti-ventilation plate above the propeller enhances overall motor performance by mitigating cavitation’s negative impact. This enhancement results in improved acceleration, speed, and fuel efficiency.

Hydrofoil Stabilizer:

Attached to the cavitation plate, the hydrofoil stabilizer enhances stability, reduces porpoising, and refines handling and control, particularly in turbulent waters.

Battery Meter: 

A battery meter visually indicates the remaining power, enabling real-time battery monitoring and ensuring sufficient energy for a safe return to shore.

Remote Control: 

Remote control capability facilitates motor operation from a distance, enhancing ease and comfort, especially during manoeuvres or adjustments.

Tiller Handle: 

The tiller handle, a direct and intuitive control mechanism, simplifies motor speed and steering adjustments, ensuring responsive and straightforward control during canoe navigation.

What Size Trolling Motor for a Canoe?

For canoes, a 30-inch trolling motor is typical for the biggest ones, but size varies with canoe size and weight. Beginners should opt for a less powerful, smaller electric trolling motor.

When selecting a trolling motor for a canoe, the size of the motor is an important consideration. 

1) 30-40 pounds of thrust: Trolling motors with 30-40 pounds are suitable for smaller canoes, such as solo or lightweight models. 

These motors are ideal for calm waters and can provide sufficient power for manoeuvring the canoe. 

The benefits of using a 30-40-pound thrust motor include

  • Adequate power for smaller canoes.
  • Suitable for calm water conditions.
  • Lightweight and easy to handle.
  • Efficient use of battery power.

2) 40-75 pounds of thrust: Trolling motors with 40-75 pounds are suitable for larger canoes, typically ranging from 16 to 18 feet in length.

These motors provide more power and are suitable for navigating larger bodies of water or dealing with currents. 

The benefits of using a 40-75 pound thrust motor include

  • Increased power for larger canoes.
  • Suitable for various water conditions, including moderate currents.
  • Improved manoeuvrability and control.
  • It can handle additional weight from gear and passengers. 

Thrust to Canoe Length & Width Guide 

Canoe Length (ft.)Canoe Width (in.)Recommended Thrust
Up to 12Up to 3630-40

Bow-Mounted Trolling Motor vs Stern-Mounted Trolling Motor

When choosing a trolling motor for your boat, one of the main decisions is whether to go with a bow-mounted or stern-mounted motor. 

Advantages of Bow-Mounted

  • Better control and precision for precise positioning.
  • Improved steering, especially in windy conditions.
  • Easier boat positioning, ideal for tight spaces and current control.
  • Improved visibility of underwater terrain and potential obstacles.
  • Enhanced trolling capabilities in varying water conditions.

Disadvantages of Bow-Mounted

  • Higher cost due to complex installation and additional equipment.
  • More challenging installation on the bow.
  • Higher cost due to complex installation and additional equipment.
  • Potential interference with fishing lines or gear.

Advantages of Stern-Mounted

  • Lower cost with simpler installation.
  • Easier installation on the accessible transom.
  • Suitable for larger boats with greater power and cargo capacity.
  • Better weight distribution, particularly for larger loads.

Disadvantages of Stern-Mounted

  • Less control and precision in manoeuvring.
  • More challenging steering, particularly in windy conditions.

Electric vs. Gas Trolling Motor – Which one to prefer?

Electric Trolling MotorGas Trolling Motor
Low maintenance compared to gas-powered enginesRequires regular maintenance
Quiet operation, producing little to no noiseCan be noisy and produce exhaust fumes
Environmentally friendly, producing no emissionsProduces emissions and contributes to air and water pollution
Suitable for family leisure trips, protecting the health of passengers and the environmentMay pose health risks to passengers due to exhaust fumes
Requires a battery, which may lose power over time if not used regularlyDoes not require a battery, but may require fue
May have lower upfront costs compared to gas trolling motorsOften more expensive upfront compared to electric trolling motors
Suitable for fishing, especially for small bass boatsSuitable for fishing, offers higher horsepower models
Suitable for hunting, especially for duck huntersSuitable for hunting.

Disadvantages of electric trolling motors:

  • Requires a battery, which may lose power over time if not used regularly.
  • May have lower upfront costs compared to gas trolling motors.

Disadvantages of gas trolling motors:

  • Requires regular maintenance.
  • Can be noisy, produce exhaust fumes and may heat up.
  • Produces emissions and contributes to air and water pollution.
  • May pose health risks to passengers due to exhaust fumes.
  • Often more expensive upfront compared to electric trolling motors.

Freshwater Trolling Motor vs SaltWater Trolling Motor – What are the differences?

  1. Material Composition:

Trolling motors for saltwater and freshwater differ in construction materials. Saltwater models use corrosion-resistant materials like stainless steel and coatings, while freshwater ones rely on stainless steel, aluminium, and zinc for protection against corrosion and saltwater’s effects.

  1. Power Source:

Freshwater trolling motors run on 12-volt or multiple batteries for freshwater navigation. Saltwater ones also use such batteries but are sturdier for harsher saltwater, often needing extra power to tackle resistance..

  1. Corrosion Protection:

Saltwater trolling motors have more corrosion protection than freshwater trolling motors. This is because salt water is more corrosive than freshwater and can cause damage to the motor over time. Saltwater trolling motors are typically designed with features such as stainless steel hardware and sealed electrical components to prevent corrosion.

  1. Price:

Saltwater trolling motors are typically more expensive than freshwater trolling motors. This is due to the additional features and materials required to make the motor suitable for saltwater environments.

  1. Compatibility:

Freshwater trolling motors attach at the boat’s rear for small-medium freshwater vessels, whereas saltwater versions offer transom and bow mounts. Bow mounts enhance control, ideal for larger boats navigating saltwater bays and coastal areas.

Why Shouldn’t I use FreshWater Trolling Motor in saltwater and vice versa?

 Using a freshwater trolling motor in saltwater or vice versa is not recommended for the following reasons:

Corrosion Resistance

  • Saltwater is highly corrosive, making saltwater trolling motors more resilient against corrosion.
  • Freshwater trolling motors lack the necessary protection, leading to corrosion and motor damage in saltwater.


  • Saltwater trolling motors are crafted to handle challenging saltwater conditions, including strong currents and waves.
  • Freshwater trolling motors struggle in saltwater, causing diminished performance and potential motor harm.


  • Saltwater trolling motors’ corrosion-resistant design enhances their overall durability.
  • Freshwater trolling motors used in saltwater become less durable, risking a shortened lifespan.
Freshwater MotorSaltwater Motor
Suitable for use in rivers, lakes, and freshwater bodiesDesigned for use in saltwater environments such as oceans
Typically has open cooling systems that pull water into the motor for coolingEquipped with closed cooling systems to prevent saltwater corrosion
Less resistant to corrosionSpecifically designed to resist rust and corrosion caused by saltwater
Can be used on boats for freshwater boating activities like standing in canoeUsed on boats for fishing, cruising, and other saltwater activities
May require less maintenance compared to saltwater motorsRequires regular maintenance to prevent saltwater corrosion
May have lower upfront costs compared to saltwater motorsOften more expensive due to specialised features for saltwater use

Installation/Mounting an Outboard Motor

Outboard Motor Installation on a canoe demands careful consideration and adherence to safety guidelines. Follow these steps for a successful installation:

  1. Weight Distribution Assessment: Ensure your canoe can handle the additional weight of the outboard motor. Check the canoe’s weight capacity and stability to avoid compromising safety.
  2. Mounting Bracket Attachment: Securely attach the motor’s mounting bracket to the canoe’s stern (rear). Use marine-grade hardware to ensure the bracket is positioned at level and aligned with the canoe’s centerline.
  3. Transom Reinforcement (if needed): For added support, reinforce the canoe’s stern with a transom board or motor mount kit. This distributes the motor’s weight and reduces stress on the canoe’s structure.
  4. Motor Attachment: Lift the outboard motor onto the mounting bracket. Ensure the motor’s propeller is positioned below the waterline to prevent cavitation. Secure the motor using appropriate bolts and hardware.
  5. Adjusting Tilt: Set the motor’s angle so the propeller is parallel to the water’s surface. This ensures efficient propulsion and prevents damage to the motor.
  6. Stabilisation: Use stabiliser floats or pontoons to enhance stability, especially if the motor adds significant weight. These attachments improve balance and reduce the risk of tipping.
  7. Throttle and Shift Control: If applicable, install throttle and shift controls following the motor’s manual. Ensure cables are securely connected and allow for smooth operation.
  8. Fuel and Oil Connection: Attach the fuel line and ensure proper ventilation. Connect the oil reservoir according to the manufacturer’s guidelines if using a two-stroke motor.
  9. Testing: Start the motor on land to ensure it operates smoothly. Check throttle response, gear shifting, and overall performance.
  10. Water Testing: Launch the canoe in a safe water area. Start the motor and observe its behaviour on the water. Test various speeds and steering responsiveness.
  11. Safety Precautions: Always wear canoe life jackets and ensure everyone onboard is familiar with safety procedures. Carry essential safety equipment like a whistle, emergency paddle, and emergency kit.
  12. Regular Maintenance: Inspect and maintain the motor and mounting components to ensure safe operation.

What equipment and accessories are needed for canoe motor installation?

Here are some equipment or accessories you will need for a canoe motor installation

Mounting On Stern

  1. Canoe Motor Mount
  2. Outboard Motor
  3. Transom Plate
  4. Motor Propeller
  5. Throttle Control

Mounting On Bow

  1. Bow Motor Mount
  2. Trolling Motor
  3. Battery
  4. Battery Box
  5. Trolling Motor Propeller

Which Steering Style Canoe outboard motor Is Suitable for You?

When selecting a steering style for your trolling motor, several options exist.

Electric-steer motors

A foot pedal or remote control controls electric steer motors. They offer precise control and are easy to operate, making them popular among anglers. The benefits of electric steer motors include:

  • Precise control and manoeuvrability
  • Easy to operate
  • It can be controlled remotely

Hand-control motors

Hand-control motors are operated by a tiller handle mounted on the motor. They are simple to operate and provide good control, making them a popular choice for smaller boats. The benefits of hand-control motors include:

  • Simple to operate
  • Good control and manoeuvrability
  • Suitable for smaller boats

Cable-steer motors

Cable-steer motors are operated by a steering wheel or a tiller handle connected to the motor by a cable. They offer good control and are suitable for larger boats. The benefits of cable-steer motors include:

  • Good control and manoeuvrability
  • Suitable for larger boats
  • It can be operated with a steering wheel or tiller handle.

Ultimately, the choice of steering style will depend on your specific needs and preferences, as well as the size and type of your boat.

FAQsoutboard motor for canoe

Who shouldn’t install a canoe trolling motor?

Inexperienced individuals or those unfamiliar with watercraft should refrain from installing a canoe trolling motor due to safety and control concerns.

What kind of motor can I put on a canoe?

Electric trolling motors are common. Gas outboard motors can be used but it requires careful consideration.

Which shaft length is preferred for different activities and which one length is ideal?

Short (15-20″) for calm waters, long (30-36″) for choppy or deep waters. 24″ is versatile for various activities.

What size electric motor is best for a canoe?

30-55 lbs thrust is common. Choose based on canoe size, load, and water conditions.

How much thrust does a canoe need?

Around 30-55 lbs thrust for efficient propulsion. Adjust based on load and water conditions.

What is the recommended thrust-to-weight ratio for an outboard motor to ensure optimal performance on a canoe?

A thrust-to-weight ratio of 2:1 is generally recommended for optimal performance of an outboard motor on a canoe.

Which is faster, 12V or 24V?

24V provides more power and speed than 12V, but it depends on the motor and battery setup.

What are the advantages of 24v over 12V?

Greater power, longer runtime, and improved speed with 24V. Ideal for larger canoes or rough waters.

Are there any tips for optimizing fuel efficiency and range when using an outboard motor on a canoe?

To optimize fuel efficiency on a canoe with an outboard motor, maintain a steady, moderate speed, distribute weight evenly, keep the motor well-maintained, and choose calm waters for smoother, more efficient operation.

What kind of maintenance is required for an outboard motor on a canoe, and how does it differ from other boats?

Regular maintenance for an outboard motor on a canoe includes checking fuel, oil, and cooling systems. Lubricate parts, inspect the propeller and clean after use. Maintenance is similar to other boats, but scale and complexity may differ due to the smaller size and simpler design of canoes.

Are there any legal regulations or restrictions I need to be aware of when using an outboard motor on my canoe?

Before canoeing with an outboard motor, it’s vital to know local laws on motor size, noise, canoe registration, and safety gear. Avoid unintentional violations by researching and consulting authorities for compliance.

What if my outboard motor gets wet while paddling or capsizing?

If tipped canoe or wet, drain water, dry spark plugs, and inspect for damage. Seek professional help if needed.

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