Best Saltwater Trolling Motors For Your Small Boat

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When you are out fishing in the sea or the ocean, the best type of motor for your small boat is a saltwater trolling motor. A saltwater electric trolling motor will allow your boat to slide through the water with as little disturbances as possible. This helps a lot as the fish are not disturbed with the noise.

Besides helping with fishing, the soft hum of the motor cuts through the waves. These bass boat trolling motors will help enhance your fishing experience by not making a lot of noise.

It is always good to have a trolling motor as a backup in case there is any issue with your main motor. A trolling motor also helps you move through the water with a decent clip without worrying about getting stranded.

Saltwater trolling motors can be made so that they will work well with ionic, hard, and salty water. Generally, a normal type of trolling motor will be affected in salt water. Over time the motor, shaft, and impeller will get damaged.

Salt degrades metal over time. That is why if you plan to use a trolling motor to fish in saltwater, or use your boat for sailing, you need a saltwater trolling motor.

We have mentioned below the top 5 saltwater trolling motors:

Best Premium Choice

#2 Newport Vessels L


Best Pick

#1 Minn Kota Riptide


Best Budget Choice

#3 Newport Vessels NV


Let’s get started on what you need to look for in a trolling motor.

Saltwater Trolling Motor Reviews


1. Minn Kota Riptide 80 Pound Trolling Motor Review

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The Minn Kota Riptide Saltwater Bow-Mount trolling motor is an all-time favorite when it comes to saltwater trolling motors. Considering its high-quality parts, excellent construction and durability we feel it is the Top Trolling motor for saltwater. We also consider it one of the best foot control trolling motors on the market today.

You can use it in the roughest of water and the harshest of weather conditions. Their motors are very reliable.

This ST model from Minn Kota has very high-tech features. The features include autopilot, i-pilot, and copilot options. You also have the control steering via the foot pedal option however you will need to buy the foot pedal separately. This motor is perfect for medium and large fishing boats.

One of the most important features of the Minn Kota Riptide is that it is corrosion-resistant. The motors are made with high-quality material. This allows the motor to endure extremely harsh water conditions which many other saltwater trolling motors may not be able to endure.

A unique feature of the Riptide is that it has a Mono-Arm which means the moving parts in the motor are fewer when you compare it with other motors. This reduces the wear and tear. The interfaces which are metal-on-metal are separated with composite bushings. This ensures that the motor has a long life.

You get a latch and door system for mounting the motor with the Minn Kota Riptide Trolling Motor. This makes mounting the motor very easy on your boat. It is user-friendly and you can do it on your own and save the cost of asking a repair-man to help you to install it.

The motor has a spring that is gas-charged and makes it easy to lift the motor into the bow-mount.

The upper arm of the trolling motor is made of anodized aluminum which increases its resistance to saltwater.

All the electronics in the motor is properly encapsulated to ensure that it is not exposed to saltwater and won’t get damaged. The sacrificial zinc used in the motor is patented.

>>What Customers Think<<

The shaft is made of high-quality composite material which ensures that it has lifetime durability. The foot pedal is easy to use and very responsive. You need to pay extra though for it. You get a runtime which is 5 times more than normal as it has a digital maximizer .

The tiller handle is very comfortable to use. You can extend it from 9.25 inches right up to 15.25 inches. The handle also can tilt up to 45 degrees. The Minn Kota Riptide motor has the latest i-Pilot, GPS control system. You can use GPS technology to position yourself and to navigate easily in the water.


  • Lifetime guarantee on the composite shaft
  • Excellent boat control with the pre-installed i-Pilot system
  • Sacrificial zinc anode for protection of the parts
  • Two-year overall warranty


  • Foot Pedal not included and has to be bought separately


2. Newport Vessels 86 Pound Trolling Motor Review

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The 86 pound L-Series motor from Newport Vessels’ is the most powerful trolling motor that the Newport brand manufacturers use.

You can easily use the motor on sailboats or pontoons which have a size of 10.5 to 14 feet. You can fit this motor in small boats too but the optimum use would be on medium boats.

The quality of the material used to create this motor is very high. It has a 40-inch composite fiberglass shaft which makes it very durable. The transom mount is made of tough nylon. The composite shaft is adjustable so you can use it in different water depth and in any water condition. You can use the motor in freshwater and in saltwater. It has a corrosion-resistant stainless steel body. It is very reliable, easy to use and looks great.

You will need two marine or deep cycle batteries of 12V each for running the Newport Vessels 86 pound thrust trolling motor. The batteries need to be bought separately. You need to make sure that you charge the motor only with marine batteries and not common starting or cranking batteries. The motor can significantly shorten the life of normal batteries.

Since the motor has a very good thrust of 86 pounds, you get excellent performance on a boat of the size of 10 feet to 14.5 feet. The motor is very quiet so it is perfect for fishing. The motor has an ergonomic handle which is extendable. It has 8-speed levels. 5 levels for forward speed and 3 levels for reverse speed. This ensures that you have a controlled and smooth ride.

You get a 10-point bright led battery indicator which is very easy to check and more importantly gives to you an accurate charge reading. It gives you real-time charge level readings.

>>What Customers Think<<

The Newport Vessels 86 pound trolling motor has a 2-year overall warranty. The motor is very easy to use and has many safety features. There were a few reviews online that mentioned that a significant amount of the thrust is concentrated on the first level. For the levels from 2 to 5, they said that there is barely any increase in thrust. If you mount the motor on a light boat you need to ensure that the motor is facing forward before you start it or else the back will shoot up. This will also strain the mounts.

When it comes to a light and affordable trolling motor which will give you good thrust. the Newport Vessels 86 pound thrust trolling motor is an excellent choice.


  • High-quality material
  • Corrosion-resistant components
  • Easy to use
  • 2-year warranty
  • 86 pound thrust
  • Perfect for small to medium boats


  • Batteries need to be bought separately
  • Heavy thrust in the first speed level


3. Caroute N200-24V 120 Pound Trolling Motor Review

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At 120 pound thrust, the Caroute N200-24V Trolling Motor stands out against other trolling motors. It is a perfect motor for watercraft of up to 2 tons.

Even though the motor is very powerful, the Caroute N200-24V has a high efficiency of 65%. This is 100 to 200% higher than gasoline engines and 30 to 60% higher than brushed motors. You save a lot of energy with this motor. It is an excellent motor for trolling as it is quieter than a gasoline engine which may have the same power and it is literally half the weight of a gasoline engine with same power.

The Caroute Company has ensured that the motor is well protected. The motor has a motor controller which protects the motor and the battery. It also has low-voltage protection, stall protection, overheating protection, sudden start protection, and finally reverse polarity protection. The motor has a sacrificial anode so that you can operate the boat in saltwater without any worry.

The Caroute N200-24v is perfect for dinghies and for sailboats that are up to 2 tons. It has 1470 input power of 1470 watt and 120-pound thrust. Since the Caroute N200 motor is very efficient it gives you a greater ranger, faster speed, long operating time and more thrust.

The Caroute N200 has an aluminum transom mount. It has 304 shafts of stainless steel and fasteners. This makes it impact-resistant. It won’t break, corrode or bend on impact. The aluminum motor unit is saltwater-grade. It has a martyr anodes kit. This ensures that the motor is protected even in the harshest saltwater environment.

The Caroute N200 has brushless technology which is very unique about this motor. Most trolling motors make use of conventional brushes. These brushes gradually wear out. They also generate a lot of heat and consume a lot of power. The Caroute N200 uses an electronic controller in place of the brushes ensuring that the heat is less and so is the power consumption.


  • High thrust at 120 pound
  • Perfect for boats up to 2 tons
  • Less noise and battery consumption
  • Cool operation
  • Excellent efficiency rates
  • High torque value at low battery current
  • Long service life
  • Low maintenance
  • Very high levels of protection
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Impact-resistant


  • Can only be used only for boats up to 2 tons


4. Newport Vessels NV-Series 46 Pound Trolling Motor Review

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If you have a small boat or a kayak and you want a nice relaxed day in the sea. This motor is ultra-quiet, very cool and won’t waste too much power. the Newport Vessels NV-Series 46 Pound Trolling Motor is the perfect saltwater trolling motor for you if you use a smaller vessel.

The best feature that this motor has is that it has a 30-inch fiberglass composite shaft which is adjustable. This allows you to fish in shallow and deep water without worrying about thrust. You can also use it on a variety of small watercraft. It gives you accurate depth placement regardless of the weather and the water conditions.

The Newport Vessels NV-Series 46 Pound Trolling Motor is made of excellent material which is saltwater compatible and corrosion-resistant. The body is made of zinc, Stainless steel, and magnesium so you can use it in freshwater or saltwater. The Newport Vessels NV-Series 46 Pound comes in 8-Speed electric trolling motor and a 6-Inch telescoping handle. The extendable handle is ergonomic in style. This ensures that you have complete control over the boat and you get a smooth ride.

>>What Customers Think<<

The motor has an indestructible Motor Head which is made of stainless steel. This ensures that no matter the level of impact, the motor head will not break. The motor head is fully encapsulated to ensure that it is protected well. This will allow it to withstand the harshest weather conditions when you are boating or fishing.

You don’t have to guess how much battery life is left. The motor has a 5-Point Battery Meter which gives you a bright display in LED so you can check the real-time charge. However, we suggest that you keep a spare battery in case you are deep in deeper water and you don’t realize that your battery is dying.


  • 46-pound thrust
  • A 30-inch shaft which is adjustable
  • Saltwater and corrosion resistant
  • Thrust 8 Speed levels which are unique in a below 50-pound thrust electric motor
  • 5-point meter for accurate battery reading
  • 2-year Warranty


  • Battery not included
  • LED lights are too bright especially at night


5. Newport Vessels 55 Pound Trolling Motor Review

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Our final recommendation is the Newport Vessels 55 Pound Thrust 8 Speed Electric Trolling Motor. The 55 pound gives it enough thrust to easily overcome rough wind and choppy waves. It has a powerful motor and you can change the speed levels depending on the wave strength.

The Newport Vessels 55 Pound has a 30-inch shaft. This shaft is made of strong, composite fiberglass. It is mounted with heavy-duty nylon. Ors

One of the reasons that we like Newport Vessels motors is that they are designed specifically for salt water. The motor body is made of stainless steel and zinc aluminum. This ensures that the motor corrosion-resistant and will last for many years. The head of the motor is made so that it can withstand salt water. The motor head has an aluminum-made capsule design. This ensures that it rides smoothly even on strong waves. It also has 6-inch telescoping handles.

>>What Customers Think<<

Like most of the other motors that we reviewed, this motor too has 8 speeds. Generally, low thrust motors don’t have too many speed levels. However, you get 5 forward and 3 reverse speed levels with the Newport Vessels 55 Pound Thrust trolling motor.

You will need to use a 12-volt battery for this motor and we recommend that you carry additional batteries with you if you are planning a full day out in the water. The battery charge level is very easy to check with the 5-stage battery indicator that you get with this motor. The Newport Vessels 55 Pound Thrust 8-Speed Electric Trolling Motor is perfect for kayaks and small boats.


  • 55-pound thrust
  • Highly durable aluminum head
  • 6-inch telescoping handle
  • 30-inch fiberglass composite high-strength shaft
  • Tough nylon mount
  • Corrosion-resistant stainless steel body
  • 8-speed levels – 5 forward & 3 reverse
  • Beginner-friendly


  • The motor “Clicks” when you change speed levels
  • The seals are a bit weak so ensure that you hose them properly before storing it in.


The Ultimate Guide to Identifying the Best Saltwater Trolling Motor for You


There are a few important features to a saltwater trolling motor that you need to keep in mind when you are in the market for one. We have mentioned them below:

best salt water trolling motor

Salt Resistance

The most important feature of a saltwater trolling motor is that it should be resistant to salt. Now there are many saltwater trolling motors in the market but there isn’t a set standard which shows that it a certain percentage resistant to salt. The resistance depends on the material that is used to manufacture the parts of the motor.

We have listed the main points below that you need to check to understand how resistant your saltwater trolling motor is to salt or heavy water.

Material Used: Metal is always more durable than plastic. High-quality saltwater trolling motors have most of their parts built with aluminum, zinc, or steel. There are a lot of cheap alternatives in the market which claim that they are saltwater trolling motors but, if they have a lot of plastic components; it won’t be of much use to you. Some motors have composite fiberglass. This too is a good choice when it comes to the parts. An anodized stainless steel part is a sure sign that the part is corrosion-resistant.

Anodes: Most good motors use an anode made of zinc which is also known as a sacrificial anode. This is used to protect the main parts of the motor and reduce the chance of exposure and resultant erosion.

Seals: The seals of the motor should be made of marine grade plastic. This ensures that the electric parts are safe when it comes to exposure to water. Make sure that you check the seals when you buy your trolling motor and ensure that they are tough.

Power or Thrust

The thrust level of the motor is a very important factor when it comes to deciding which the best motor to buy is. You get saltwater motors starting from 30 pounds but we have reviewed motors below which go right up to 120 pounds. In fact, the lowest that we have reviewed and recommended is a 46-pound motor.

The advantage of a high-powered motor is that regardless of the speed of the water current, you can easily cut through the water. You can handle it with ease in rough weather and even in high tide.

The thrust will also depend on the size of your boat. A general rule of thumb is that you should have a thrust of of 5 pounds for every 200-pound dry-weight of the boat. There are many varieties of saltwater fishing boats that range from small single kayaks to large-sized vessels, you can use the above suggestion to decide the thrust that you need.

Also keep in mind that if you will be sailing in rough water, you should add about 10 pounds to the total that you get above.


You will have to decide if you want to put a bow mount or a transom trolling motor. There are advantages and disadvantages for both the types of motors. You need to decide which is the most relevant for you.

A bow mount trolling motor will be in the front side the front of the fishing boat. It has a mounting mechanism which generally takes a lot of space on the floor of the bow. You can control the motor with a foot pedal or with a hand tiller. If you plan to fish then having a hands-free motor is an excellent choice. The only issue that it will take you a little time to master a foot pedal motor.

The transom mount motors are placed at the back of your boat. You will need to use a c-clamp mechanism to mount it. With a transom motor, you will have to use a hand tiller. If you have a small boat which does not have a lot of bow space then a transom motor is a good option for you.

Shaft Length

Depending on the size of your boat, you will need to decide on the length of your shaft. If you have a kayak which you use in shallow water then you need a short shaft length. If you are planning to go In deep water, make sure that the shaft is long enough.

Strong Parts

Since saltwater motors have to work in harsh conditions, the construction of the motor head and the shaft is indestructible. The material will be high-grade and of the highest industrial standards. The shaft will be made from either stainless steel or from aluminum, having industrial standards. You will find that most of the reputed brands in the market will offer a lifetime warranty on the impeller and the shaft of the motor. You will also get a few years warranty on the trolling motor.


A saltwater trolling motor is easier to handle than a normal one as it has a better response to the steering. Regardless of if you are using it via the throttle or via foot, you will get easy steering. On average, a saltwater trolling motor has a lower turning radius as compared to a freshwater trolling motor. This means that you can turn the boat completely even when you are at a low speed.

Power Consumption

The more the consumption of power, the higher will be your battery usage. This will add to your costs in the long run as constant recharging of the battery will wear off the life. In general, saltwater motors are high-power consumption motors. They are heavy-duty motors which will give you high-thrust.

Saltwater motors give you better performance when the water is rough. You will tend to use more battery power when the boat is out in rougher water. As a result the consumption of power of a saltwater motor will be on par with a normal one. When looking for a battery make sure you find the best trolling motor battery that has a long lifespan

How much different is a saltwater trolling motor from a normal one?

When it comes to functioning, a saltwater motor works exactly the same as a normal trolling motor or a freshwater trolling motor. The main difference between the two types of motors is the body parts.

The body parts of a saltwater motor are made of high-grade material and are corrosion-resistant. Due to this reason, even if you use the motor in freshwater, a saltwater trolling motor will last longer and give you fewer maintenance issues as compared to a normal trolling motor.

Benefits of Saltwater Trolling Motor

As you can see above, there are many benefits of using a saltwater trolling motor. Let’s check some of the important benefits below:


This is the most important benefit of having a saltwater motor as compared to a normal trolling motor. Saltwater trolling motors use high-quality, industrial-grade material for all the parts including the body.

The parts have a perfect combination of strength and durability. This is because the parts are made of aluminum, zinc, and steel.

If you plan on fishing deep into the ocean or are planning a long cruise in your boat, having saltwater trolling motor is very important.


The thrust level of a saltwater motor is much higher than normal motors. This gives the motor the ability to perform more. If you have a good battery, you can combine it with the motor to get excellent speed and pick up in the water.

The trolling motors that we have reviewed below have well-designed impellers and have good accessories which transfer the power well.


Since the durability of the parts is very good, you will save a lot when it comes to maintenance. Most of the parts will run for many years without any issue. You only need to oil your motor regularly.

The lock mechanism of trolling motors is mostly bracket lock. This is very strong so there is no worry that it when breaking when you install it. This is a very common issue is normal motors.

Other than the battery, you won’t have to invest money in the motor once you buy a saltwater trolling motor.


You can base the price on the quality of materials used when comparing freshwater and saltwater trolling motors.. This insures that the motor has great construction which leads to excellent performance. The warranty period of a saltwater motor too is higher as compared to a normal one.


These trolling motors are called saltwater motors. However, you can use these motors in freshwater and in saltwater. Even if you primarily use your boat in freshwater, it still makes sense to buy a saltwater trolling motor since it is very durable and has great performance.

Now that you know what the main things are that you need to keep in mind when you are buying a saltwater trolling motor, let’s get started on the Top 5 saltwater trolling motors on the market.

Final Thoughts

As you can see above there are many excellent saltwater trolling motors from brands like Minn Kota, Newport, and Caroute. Minn Kota is one of the Top brands in the market and it makes excellent saltwater trolling motors. Overall, the Minn Kota Riptide 80 Pound Trolling Motor is our favorite. Its lifetime guarantee on the composite shaft, excellent navigation system are a bonus. The raving reviews online speaks volumes in its favor. If you want a more affordable trolling motor in the same thrust range then you can go for the Newport Vessels 86 Pound Trolling Motor. It is perfect for small to medium boats. The 120-pound thrust Caroute N200-24V is great if you want good thrust and your boat is less than 2 tons. It is very efficient and low maintenance. The Newport Vessels NV-Series 46 Pound Trolling Motor is the lightest motor that we have recommended when it comes to thrust. It is affordable and great value for money for small boats. If you have a small fishing boat, adventure boats or kayaks and don’t mind a slightly higher price. Go for the 46 pound then the Newport Vessels 55 Pound Thrust 8-Speed Electric Trolling Motor.

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