deck boat trolling motor

How to Choose a Deck Boat Trolling Motor (Plus 3 Solid Models)

Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day.

Teach a man to fish—he’ll likely invest in a trolling motor!

Trolling motors can revolutionize the way you fish, and even the way you use your boat. Whether you’re boating on large, open bodies of water or winding rivers, your deck boat might truly benefit from a purchasing a trolling motor to call your own.

But what are the keys to choosing a deck boat trolling motor? And what are some of the best models?

Let’s cast out some questions and angle for some answers right here, right now.

How to Choose a Deck Boat Trolling Motor (Plus 3 Solid Models)

Who doesn’t love to fish? It’s peaceful, requires skill, and is an excellent way to reconnect with the great outdoors (particularly during the summertime). And there’s nothing like fishing from a boat. The fish are often bigger and better, the air is crisp and clean, and with a trolling motor you can even kick back and relax a bit.

Let’s say you have the rods, correct bait, and even a deck boat to go with it. Now you need to right motor to recreate the prey’s movements. That’s where your trolling motor comes to play.

Deck Boat Trolling Motors: The Basics

In short, a trolling motor assists you to catch fish by mimicking the way their prey moves about in the water. The term itself is related to the practice where you have multiple lines cast into the water, slowly moving along in hopes of catching prize fish.

Deck boats can be for fishing, but you need a motor with balance: Having the accurate power to disrupt the water, but without scaring away fish. Minimal noise and disturbance in the water, while still being able to navigate your craft (and perhaps being able to navigate it better than ever).

Choosing a Deck Boat Trolling Motor

When it comes down to basics, there are three essential elements to consider when choosing the right motor for your deck boat: Length, power and width.

These three elements form the basis of just about any trolling motor worth its salt. Let’s break down these essential elements into their simplest terms:

The Right Length

First, you need a long enough shaft to reach the water! The standard shaft length in trolling motors is 42 inches. For your boat, measure the distance from where the shaft is mounted, all the way to the water. Then add between 16 and 20 inches, and select the next closest measurement.

Longer shafts, especially for deck boats, help when you are operating in rough, open waters. This way, the propeller can stay below the water’s surface if your boat is pitching and rolling along with the waves.

Avoid any potential disasters, or fishing days ruined, by ensuring you always have the proper measurements.

Plenty of Power

The higher the voltage, the higher your trolling motor’s thrust. Motors, on average, are offered in 12V, 12/24V, and 36V versions.

Depending on your deck boat’s size, you’ll want to ensure you have enough power (but not too much that it becomes pointless and to the detriment of your angling career).

When it comes to your motor, it’s all about having that just-right amount of power.

Correct Width

deck boat trolling motor

A mounting clip is typically the way trolling motors are affixed to a deck boat. Particularly when it comes to larger vessels, you need to ensure you have one large enough to meet your needs.

Consider something like this Brocraft Deck Trolling Mount Motor Bracket (Available on Amazon), which is a universal fit across most deck boats and trolling motors with 36-pounds of motor thrust.

Ensure you have the right clamp to keep your trolling motor on your boat, or you might be in for a nasty surprise.

How to Mount Deck Boat Trolling Motors

There are two options when it comes to mounting your trolling motor:

Bow-mounted motors are particularly useful with deck boats, because they are more helpful in large, open waters (like a lake or a bay).

Transom-mounted motors allow for more height and angle flexibility when being mounted on your boat, which offers overall versatility.
However, when it comes to deck boats, you’re far more likely to consider a bow-mounted operation. It makes more sense for sizable vessels and is generally easier.

Operating Deck Boat Trolling Motors

What about when actually putting the motor into practice? Deck boat trolling motors have two forms of operation: Foot-control and hand-control. It’s exactly what you’re expecting: A foot-controlled trolling motor is pedal-operated, and the hand-control is manually operated.

When it comes to your deck boat, consider the foot-controlled trolling motor. Due to the vessel’s size, being able to control the motor with feet is far more convenient (and replicates perfectly your deck boat’s driving maneuverability).

3 Solid Deck Boat Trolling Motor Models

After learning a bit more about trolling motors, let’s consider more specific models that might help raise your fishing game.

1. Newport Vessels (Available on Amazon)

deck boat trolling motor

This trolling motor offers plenty of thrust with a 30-inch shaft. The bonus? It’s saltwater compatible (if taking your boat in all types of water). This makes it a strong, versatile model, and good value for the money.

The key to this motor style comes down to the noise. Your trolling motor should have a soft purr, so as not to scare away the fish. A buddy of mine purchased a motor far too powerful for the body of water. He may as well have dropped a megaphone into the river.

2. Aquos Haswing (Available on Amazon)

deck boat trolling motor

Bow-mounted and foot-controlled, this motor is a tad pricier, but definitely worth the money. Manufactured especially for deck boats, it allows you to easily adjust the depth (which should come in handy in all types of water and weather conditions).

An additional benefit of this trolling motor model? It helps better navigate your vessel. I always use foot-controlled motors, because they help angle my deck boat just right (without worrying about bumping into objects, especially when I’m trying to get into just the right positioning).

3. Minn Kota Maxxum (Available on Amazon)

deck boat trolling motor

Designed specifically for freshwater, this model is useful because of the Bowguard 360º technology, which means it’s essentially built with a spring. In the event it hits the ground, it bounces right back up and realigns itself. It also comes with a guaranteed indestructible shaft, which proves it’s built to stand the test of time.

Owning a spring-mounted shaft myself, it’s difficult to count the times my friends almost completely ruin their trolling motors by having them shimmy too close to rocks. Not only is the sound enough to split your head in two, but the damage it does becomes costly (to the tune of an entirely new motor).

Get Your Deck Boat Trolling Motor Today

Along with all the other accessories that’ll change your boating life, trolling motors grant you well-deserved peace and quiet while you’re out on the water.

Some of the best times I’ve had on my boat were with my trolling motor. Heading out with the guys, casting a line, and spending the day looking for fish while enjoying the outdoors.

A trolling motor can change the way you fish, and even your life.

Isn’t it about time you invested in your fishing skills?


Max Specht is a copywriter and content strategist from Canada. When he’s not busy navigating the Florida waterways, or the open expanses of the Great Lakes, he’s in the business of writing and devising content that truly makes the grade. 

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