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What Size Trolling Motor for Jon Boat

A trolling motor is an essential accessory for any jon boat owner. It provides the necessary propulsion for maneuvering the boat silently and efficiently, particularly when fishing or navigating in shallow waters. However, choosing the right size trolling motor for your jon boat can be a daunting task, considering the various options available in the market. In this article, we will discuss the factors to consider when selecting a trolling motor for your jon boat and provide guidance on selecting the appropriate size. Additionally, we will address some frequently asked questions to help you make an informed decision.

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Trolling Motor

1. Boat Size: The size of your jon boat plays a crucial role in determining the appropriate trolling motor size. Larger boats generally require more powerful motors to provide adequate thrust for propulsion.

2. Weight Capacity: Consider the weight capacity of your jon boat, including passengers, equipment, and cargo. A trolling motor should be able to handle the total weight without straining the motor or compromising performance.

3. Water Conditions: The type of water you will be navigating also influences the trolling motor size selection. If you frequently encounter strong currents or rough waters, a more powerful motor will be necessary to provide sufficient control and maneuverability.

4. Battery Capacity: Trolling motors are powered by batteries, and the battery capacity affects the motor’s performance. Ensure that your battery can supply enough power to the trolling motor for an extended period, especially if you plan on spending long hours on the water.

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Choosing the Right Size Trolling Motor

To determine the appropriate size trolling motor for your jon boat, consider the following guidelines:

1. Boat Length: As a general rule of thumb, your trolling motor’s thrust should be approximately 2 pounds per 100 pounds of total boat weight. For example, if your jon boat weighs 1,000 pounds, you should consider a trolling motor with a thrust of 20 pounds.

2. Boat Weight: If you are unable to determine the boat weight accurately, you can also base your selection on boat length. For every foot of boat length, choose a trolling motor with at least 5 pounds of thrust. For instance, a 12-foot jon boat should have a trolling motor with a minimum thrust of 60 pounds.

3. Battery Voltage: Trolling motors are available in various voltages, typically ranging from 12V to 36V. Higher voltage motors provide more power and thrust. If you have a larger jon boat or frequently navigate in challenging conditions, consider opting for a higher voltage motor.


Q1. Can I use a larger trolling motor than recommended for my jon boat?

While it is possible to use a larger trolling motor than recommended, it may not always be advantageous. Oversized motors can consume more battery power and may be challenging to handle, especially in tight spaces. It is advisable to select a trolling motor within the recommended guidelines for optimal performance and efficiency.

Q2. Can I use a smaller trolling motor than recommended for my jon boat?

Using a smaller trolling motor than recommended may result in insufficient power and reduced performance. It may struggle to propel the boat adequately, especially in adverse weather conditions or when carrying additional weight. It is best to choose a trolling motor that meets or exceeds the recommended guidelines.

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Q3. What type of battery should I use for my trolling motor?

The type of battery you choose depends on your trolling motor’s voltage requirements. Most trolling motors are compatible with deep-cycle marine batteries, which are specifically designed to provide sustained power over extended periods. It is recommended to select a battery with sufficient capacity to ensure optimal motor performance.

Q4. Can I use a gasoline-powered motor instead of a trolling motor?

While a gasoline-powered motor can provide more power and speed, it may not be suitable for jon boats designed for shallow water navigation. Trolling motors are specifically designed for silent operation, maneuverability, and compatibility with small vessels. Gasoline-powered motors can be louder, heavier, and less suitable for shallow water navigation.

In conclusion, selecting the right size trolling motor for your jon boat is crucial for optimal performance and efficiency. Consider factors such as boat size, weight capacity, water conditions, and battery capacity while choosing the appropriate motor. Adhering to the recommended guidelines will ensure a smooth and enjoyable boating experience.