Best Bay Boat Trolling Motors 2021
We know fishing is a stealth game, and a thriving fishing day needs a bit of teamwork. The trolling motor enables you to avoid spooking fish while keeping the boat on the spot. Experienced fishermen or even those who do it casually can benefit significantly from a trolling motor. It allows a fisherman to have complete control over the boat. With this, it also allows the angler to alter the movement of the boat to their advantage.
Trolling motors nowadays come with substantial power to hold a heavy saltwater boat. Manufacturers have paid attention to creating the motors with such technologies to stand to the abuse of saltwater.
You may think all trolling motors are similar, but they aren’t created equal. Nowadays, trolling motors perform more than stealthily maneuver the boat. Some even have hi-tech features like integration and GPS, and more. These factors make it critical to choose your motor wisely. However, the price will probably be the deciding factor before purchasing the motor. Still, we’d say to ensure you’re getting good value for your money; it’s essential to consider a few key aspects.
It would be best to consider how much power do you need to maneuver the boat efficiently. We call it the thrust of the motor, and it is measured in-lbs. Next, you can consider shaft length, tech stuff, etc. To narrow down your choices, we’ve come with our review of top-rated 5 trolling motors. Let us have a look.
Minn Kota Riptide Powerdrive 55 Trolling Motor
Saltwater angler put their consideration in Riptide Powerdrive due to its control feature and reliable performance.
You’ll get a sleek, rigid mount and a reliable shaft that makes the motor long-lasting. It has advanced corrosion protection and fully encapsulated electronics. What makes the customer want Riptide iPilot is its boat navigation and deploy elements.
The iPilot technology, the wireless system, allows you to record and retrace your path in the water. The motor has a larger screen and more options than previous models that give you better control over your system. Some more advanced features are iPilot features, a mobile app, Spot-Lock, Bluetooth connectivity, iTracks, Cruise Control, Co-Pilot, and advanced AutoPilot features.
With the mobile app, you can control speed, Spot-Lock, and software upgrades from your tablet or phone. Also, Bluetooth connectivity aims to give you a better and secure connection.
- Control – Remote
- Length – 54 Inches
- Mount type – Bow Mount Power Drive
- Speed – Variable
- Best Use – Saltwater
- Voltage – 24 Volts
- It gives a reliable performance.
- It doesn’t emit a loud noise.
- It is weatherproof.
- It features advanced tech specs.
- There’s nothing to mention.
MotorGuide Xi3 – 55FW Bow Mount Trolling Motor Review
There are plenty of strong reasons to go with Motorguide Xi3; we’d start with the wireless control that eliminates the need for an expensive add-on. This way, you can fish from anywhere in the boat while holding the remote in your hands. The motor emits 40% less sound than the leading competitors. Its convenient release lever system triggers both deploy and slow functions from a standing position.
You can monitor four key motor functions at the same time through LED status. It also indicated battery by three lines for full. The MotorGuide Xi3 features one of the most accurate GPS forms in the industry that is called Pinpoint R GPS.
Anglers choose MotorGuide Xi3 over different models due to its precise speed control and extended battery life as the essential thing in the water is the battery of your motor.
- Voltage – 12 Volts.
- Best for – Fresh Water.
- Control Type – Remote.
- Mounting Style – Bow Mounting.
- Thrust – 55 lbs.
- Shaft Length – 54”.
- It sports a convenient release lever.
- Comes with an LED dashboard.
- One of the most reliable PinPoint GPS.
- Has an extended battery life.
- Some Customers found it a bit pricey.
Minn Kota Riptide PowerDrive 70 Trolling Motor
The Riptide PowerDrive series is an upgrade to the Riptide SM line of motors. Riptide PowerDrive gives you electronic steering through CoPilot remote control or iPilot powered remote control.
You’ll get a larger thrust option of 80 and 112 lbs. The motor also features Digital Maximizer Technology and Deploy-Assist Lever. Digital Maximizer gives you five times more runtime on a single charge as they don’t waste any energy. You can dial in your speed, and the digital maximizer will deliver the right amount of power while conserving your battery.
Minn Kota Riptide offers a composite shaft that the company calls almost indestructible and more robust than the steel ones. Also, you will find nothing cooler or quitter than Minn Kota Riptide PowerDrive. Don’t worry about corrosion as the motor is corrosion resistant mostly made to stand the saltwater’s abuse. All the elements are entirely protected with layers of protection.
- Control – Remote
- Volts – 24
- Thrust – 70 lbs
- Shaft Length – 54”
- Speed Control – Variable Speed
- The motor sports digital maximizer that conserves energy.
- Doesn’t emit loud noises.
- Corrosion resistance technology to withstand saltwater abuse.
- The motor is backed up with 2 years warranty.
- Doesn’t sport Auto Pilot.
Minn Kota Riptide Terrova 80 Motor Review
This powerful motor is one of the most loved choices in the market today. The Riptide Terrova is one step up from the Powerdrive Series as it features more extensive thrust options with a motor mount that automatically shuts the trolling motor when stowed. Riptide Terrove features Auto Pilot, iPilot, Co-Pilot accessories. It allows you to use both foot pedal and wireless controller simultaneously.
With the above features, Riptide Terrova also features a lever with lift assist to enable one-hand stowing of the motor. You get thrust option of 55, 80, and 112 lbs. For shaft length, you can choose from 54” and 60” shaft lengths.
iPilot Link gives you full control over your boat by linking your motor to Humming Bird Fish Finder. You can follow paths, set up Spot-Locks, and much more. You can see your battery status by just pressing a button. Like all the other models from Minn Kota, this one is also designed to withstand saltwater corrosion.
- Volts – 24
- Thrust – 80
- Speed – Variable
- Shaft Length – 54” and 60”
- For Use in – Saltwater
- Mounting – Bow-Mount
- Supports iPilot, Auto Pilot.
- Digital Maximizer.
- Comes with 2 years warranty.
- Some customers complained about the spot lock cord gets entangled into the head unit.
Motor Guide Xi5 Wireless Trolling Motor Review
Motor Guide offers its renewed vision of technological innovation and design in the form of MotorGuide Xi5 Wireless Trolling Motor. The model can be controlled wirelessly and offers GPS to position and hold your boat. You can choose between thrust options of 55 lbs, 80 lbs, and 105 lbs.
You get a composite shaft, and for shaft length, you get to choose between 45”, 48”, 54”. The Xi5 gives you wireless capability enabling you to control your motor from anywhere on the boat. You get a wireless foot pedal in saltwater specific models and a hand-held remote with it. The company has included durable cooler-running power electronics that are double efficient to capture the energy lost as heat.
Like the previous models, the Xi5 also runs very smoothly and quietly.
- Volts – 24
- Thrust – 80
- Shaft Length – 72”
- Speed – Variable
- Control – Wireless Pedal and Remote.
- Sophisticated Steering Transmission.
- Fully Protected Electronics.
- Composite durable shaft.
- Wireless Pedal for better control.
- Next-Gen Digital Technology.
- Anchor Mode consumes more battery.
- Sonar transducer lacks side imaging.
The Bottom Line
It’s nothing new that subject of trolling motor is a little daunting, but if you want to control your boat, you definitely need one. What most anglers seek is efficient boat control without noise and smoke. But there are particular features you should focus on.
The size of the boat is the most significant factor in choosing the right motor. After you find your perfect size, you can move towards innovation and extras. In other words, you need to see how much thrust is required for your boat. Thrust is measured in-lbs. The heavier the boat, the more thrust you’ll need.
Your fishing condition and style also play a big role in your decision. Another thing to consider is the mounting type. Trolling motors are characterized as bow mounts and transom mounts. You can choose one according to your considerations.
We’d say the best thing is to pay equal attention to the shaft length also as it is the primary differentiator among motors. Anglers choose shorter shafts if their boat is low waterline, whereas longer shafts are meant for larger watercrafts such as speed boats and sailboats. Choosing the right shaft length will give you the desired results without fail. These were the general things to consider while selecting a trolling motor. We hope we cleared your doubts, and you’re ready to make a smart purchase now.
Buyer’s Guide for Best Bay Boat Trolling Motors 2021
Fishing is all about teamwork and being at the right place at the right time, quietly, and hassle-free as much as possible. It takes getting the right trolling motor for your boat to reach the correct spot without making a lot of noise. Have you ever thought, Why a trolling motor is called trolling? This is named after a type of fishing called trolling. In simple terms, a trolling motor is an electric motor found on the stern or bow or sometimes on both. It enables you to reach the correct spot without spooking the fishes.
It’s no wonder finding the right trolling motor could be quite overwhelming as there are several options available in the market today. That is why there are several considerations you need to take into account while buying one. We have tried to include all the key factors to look at while purchasing a trolling motor.
What to Consider While Buying Bay Boat Trolling Motors?
Which mounting style to choose?
It’s an imperative factor to see where you are willing to mount the motor.
Bow Mount Motors –
This type is usually mounted at the front of the boat and has many control options. This also enables you to have full control over your boat. If you use an open bowrider or bass boat fishing, this motor is perfect for you.
However, it’s vital to know that when you pull the boat out of the water, it will become quite heavy at the front. That is why it would be good if you dismount it before landing. Also, the mounting motor at the front requires some holes to be drilled in the boat.
Transom Mount Motors –
These motors are relatively easy to install. You won’t need to alter your boat to mount the motor. So no drilling, no hassle! The transom mount motors are generally installed at the stern of the boat. This makes turning a lot easier as the motor is situated behind the boat.
If you have a small boat, transom motors are something meant for you. We are saying this because the mount easily comes on and off just by removing clamps. Some anglers don’t prefer it because you have to have one hand on the handle always.
What are the different modes of control?
This option is found in the expensive motors. But don’t worry as some motors allow you to establish manual input for control.
Hand Tiller –
Hand controlled trolling motors have handles extended inwards. You’ll find the handle placed at the top of the motors. While looking for hand tillers, you’ll mostly find transom-mounted motors. This way, you can act quickly in case you need a change of direction.
Foot Pedal –
If you have medium to large-sized boats, the foot pedal controlling option is for you. This way, your hands are not occupied all the time, and you can concentrate on fishing. You can also choose foot control motors that use GPS control.
What motor size should be apt for your boat?
Another contributing factor is the size of the boat. There are different sizes of motors available meant for different boats. It’s vital to select accordingly.
For this, you have to measure the motor’s thrust, which is measured in lbs. the thrust describes how powerful your motor is, and the bigger the boat, the more thrust you’ll need. While deciding thrust, the weight of the boat plays a crucial role. For instance, for 100 lbs fully loaded boat, you’ll need 2 lbs of thrust. Choosing a little thrust is always good as you’ll have to face wind and current while in water.
What about the Volt?
Volt is the amount of power your motor needs to meet the requirements of the boat. For 55 lbs of thrust, you’ll need 12 volts, whereas, for 68 to 80 lbs, you may need 24 volts, which needs two batteries.
What shaft length is perfect?
The shaft length is the deciding factor because if it’s not long enough, the propeller won’t be submerged well. You have to measure the distance from the top of your bow to the waterline for bow-mounted motors. For say, for 16 inches long bow, you’ll need 36 inches long shaft. Choosing the correct shaft length will ensure you the desired result you want.
What technology should you prefer?
Technological advancements have come in trolling motors nowadays, which makes the experience a whole lot better. Several examples are:
- iPilot – This technology uses GPS to locate the fishing spots and to retrace or locate the path. You can also control speed and steering and many more things through a wireless remote.
- AutoPilot – With this technology, you remain on the course you want your boat to be. The trolling motor works to correct movements caused by wind and currents.
- Digital Maximizer – This feature conserves energy and gives out only that much what’s needed. This way, the battery of the motor lasts longer.
- MEGA Down Imaging – This feature gives you an image of what’s happening down.
Which style of motor suits your boat?
Motors come in three different styles :
- Electric Steer Motors – These motors are innovative and offer many ways of control. These also feature advanced technologies like iPilot and iPilot link.
- Cable Steer Motors – Fishermen choose this style of motors for their responsiveness. In cable steer motors, the cable is a direct link between the motor and the foot pedal. Besides this, these motors are more suitable for shallow water.
Consider your fishing areas
There are two fishing areas you might find yourself in :
- Freshwater – Freshwater motors are the most popular ones out there. This product is widespread because most people use their boats in freshwater. If you’re buying a freshwater motor, make sure it never sees saltwater, or it will be damaged beyond repair.
- Saltwater – While fishing in the saltwater, make sure you use a motor specially designed for saltwater. Using a freshwater motor is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Seawater is very corrosive; hence your motor should be corrosive resistant to withstand the abuse.
All anglers seek efficient motor that can control the boat without n=making noise or smoke. It is indeed essential to select the right motor to have a thriving day at fishing. You’ve now full information regarding trolling motors, and we hope you can make your decision wisely. Here are some tips to consider to keep your motors long-lasting.
Make sure you recharge your battery regularly and before use. The battery life may get badly hampered if you decide to use it without charging it fully. Also, a fully restored battery conserves energy resulting in less wastage and extended battery life.
When you start your motor, pay attention to the sound it makes. If you hear a cranking sound, it’s not a good sign. Understand the signals and take precautionary measures.
This one is self-explanatory, but we still mention it – clean your trolling motor regularly for better performance. It is good to wipe down the motor with an anti-abrasive material after or before usage. With these measures, your motor will last longer and perform better.