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What Size Trolling Motor do I need for a 20 Foot Pontoon Boat?


Did you know that adding a trolling motor to your pontoon can give you many options as a fisherman? Yes, the right size, a practical, and a silent motor propels your boat at a steady speed and allows you to get on top of the fish, hopefully improving your catch rate. In addition, the suitable model and size will not let your boat be swayed here and there aimlessly by the winds.

But what size trolling motor do I need for a 20-foot pontoon boat? Perhaps you are wondering. Sure, determining the appropriate size of a motor for your pontoon can be tricky, especially if you are new to trolling motors for pontoons. 

There are many determinants to getting the right size of a trolling motor for your pontoon boat. This article holds your hand in achieving this noble duty. Stick around!

 What Size Trolling Motor do I need  for a 20 Foot Pontoon Boat?

Why a Trolling Motor for Your Pontoon?

Trolling motors are perfect for quietly maneuvering your boat on the waters. By using a trolling motor, you can get and stay on top of the fish without spooking them and perhaps improve your daily catch. 

It gives you full control of the boat, with the strength to overcome almost all the environmental aspects that tend to challenge the boaters in the water. Below are some reasons every pontoon owner who finds pleasure in fishing should have a trolling motor on their beauties.

Trolling Motors Are Friendly to the Environment

As we’ve said, trolling motors don’t make any noise while working. This will not cause any commotion in the sea. In other words, if you use a trolling motor, your boat will not distract the local flora and fauna, other anglers, and even yourself. Also, they do not spill any harmful chemicals into the water which would otherwise be a threat to the water creatures.

Improved Fishing

With the smooth maneuverability offered by trolling motors, you’re likely to increase your fish catch rate. Some fish varieties like to stay in a specific area of the water body. Some of them are very tricky, and you might need to move around for long if you have to catch them. A trolling motor is perfect for this course; it will allow you to move at the speed you desire, and silently the same fish will not be scared.

They Are Usable Both in Shallow and Deep Waters

Sometimes, you might have some trouble traversing through shallow water bodies. This is one of the fundamental reasons you need a trolling motor for your fishing. Some places are the best location for fish, but you find it challenging to stay in quietly. 

Again, it can be challenging for an outboard engine to access extremely shallow regions. Therefore, a trolling motor comes in handy for such circumstances.

What Size Trolling Motor do I need  for a 20 Foot Pontoon Boat?

Motors Give You Multiple Control Features for Your Boat

Could you be tired of having a restricted style of driving your boat? With a trolling motor, you can break the monotony. They come with various options for operating the vessel, such as using a remote, your hands or feet, autopilot, copilot, and many more. Anglers find this feature the most useful in a trolling motor since it allows them to control their vessel and fish at the same time.

Trolling Motors Are Powerful

Sometimes the angry winds won’t let you enjoy your fishing. They can cut short your anticipated party on the waters. With a trolling motor, you don’t have to worry. You can find compelling models in the market that are not bothered by any environmental conditions. They can pull your boat even in that salty water which has always been a threat. 

They Are Easy To Install

Given the outstanding benefits of using trolling motors, you might wonder how to mount them on your pontoon. Mounting or removing these motors is easy. You can do it even if you’re a novice.  Each motor comes with a manual that you can follow and achieve in the task.

How To Choose the Right Size Trolling Motor for Your Pontoon

As we said above, there are many determining factors you should look into to get the exact size of the trolling motor for your pontoon boat. Find them below, and you’ll no longer have trouble buying trolling motors for your boat!

Power Requirements of Your Boat

A trolling motor is used to maneuver the boat slowly above the water in a manner that doesn’t frighten fish away. You can power your engine and drive your boat to the fishing spot, after which you switch it off and use the trolling motor to move it around while waiting and catching fish.

Every boat has its horsepower requirements. However, in most of them, this requirement is not indicated, and so you need to inquire from a boat expert. The higher the power rating of a boat, the bigger the size of the trolling motor.

Your Desired Style of Mounting

There are three main points you can mount a trolling motor to your pontoon; bow, transom, or engine mounts. Each location is designed for a different size of a trolling motor; hence, before deciding on the size of a trolling motor for your pontoon, you need to measure the location you wish to mount it. 

For bow or transom mounts, you should measure the heights of both locations before deciding on the trolling motor size. On the other hand, you need to measure the cavitation plate’s dimensions of the motor.

Minn Kota 1363565 Riptide PowerDrive Saltwater Electric-Steer Bow-Mount Trolling Motor with Digital Maximizer & Copilot, 70 lbs Thrust, 54

Your Boat’s Weight

Each trolling motor can pull or push a specific weight of a boat. Not all motors can fit any pontoon boat. Therefore, your boat’s weight is one of the key features to consider when choosing a suitable trolling motor. If you mistakenly select the wrong one, you might be trapped in a financial waste since you might not use it. 

To ensure the trolling motor will work well, you need to measure the boat’s weight when fully loaded. Once you have the correct figures, apply the following mathematical formula to calculate the right side of the trolling motor for your boat.

Boats weight/100×2; for instance, if your boat weighs 3000 pounds;

3000/100 x2= 60, meaning you’ll need a 60 pounds thrust of trolling motor to operate your boat.

This will help you narrow down trolling motor search options.

Your Budget and the Motors Price

Before purchasing anything, you always work with your target budget. Luckily, you’ll find a myriad of options for your budget. There are various models with different technologies in the market; thus, they come with different price tags. 

Even though the price doesn’t always match the quality, you’ll not want to buy the cheapest trolling motor for your pontoon. You can spend thousands of dollars to get your pontoon a trolling motor and still spend a few hundreds of dollars to get the same thing, only that the quality might not be the same.

When looking for a trolling motor for your pontoon, the first step to approaching the process is setting the price bracket you wish to spend on the same. Having a budget will narrow down on options, saving you time.

Now, What Size Trolling Motor Do I Need for a 20-Foot?

A 20-foot pontoon boat is not only suitable for recreation but also fishing in both fresh and salty water. Installing a trolling motor on this boat will allow you to get the most out of this investment. 

Therefore you need a trolling motor capable of pushing or pulling it. But, how do you tell what size of a motor is suitable for this duty? 

As we’ve seen above, the critical determinant of a trolling motor’s size is the boat’s weight. A standard pontoon boat weighs between 2000 and 2500 pounds when empty. It’s capable of carrying approximately 2000 pounds. Therefore, the total approximate weight of a 20-foot pontoon is 4000 pounds( when fully loaded). 

Based on the rule of thumb- for every 100 pounds of boat, weight requires a minimum of 2 pounds of thrust- a 20 foot pontoon boat needs between 70-80 pound thrust trolling motor to operate. 

Minn Kota power drive electric steer trolling motor with digital maximizer 70 lbs can be the right option for your pontoon.

Minn Kota Power Drives Electric Steer Trolling Motor With Digital Maximizer 70 Lbs 

Pros

  • A deploy-assist lever allows the boat to get in and out of the water quickly. You deploy your motor into the water by depressing the lever, which stows easily and securely. 
  • A side-to-side electric foot pedal allows you to control speed easily. You can also control the steering and momentary.
  • Its weedless wedge 2 props with strong swept-back blades that can power through anything, preventing battery draining. 
  • 60′ shaft that allows the boat to get deep in the water
  • 70 pounds of thrust that moves the boat at a reasonable speed and allows it to overcome the tides quite easily

Cons 

  • Has no foot pedal
  • It does not have an autopilot feature.

Conclusion 

As you’ve heard, trolling motors are perfect for spending the day on the water. It rids you the thoughts of the worst that can happen if environmental conditions change abruptly. Trolling motors are also suitable for an exceptional fishing experience. But of importance is getting the right size of a motor for your pontoon. 

Sources:

https://1source.basspro.com/news-tips/boat-rigging/7860/how-choose-right-trolling-motor-your-boat

https://www.benningtonmarine.com/en-ca/

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