Canoe motors appeal to anyone who has paddled out to their favorite fishing spot in a canoe. If you were to glide out to a fishing hole, paddle the last few feet into the exact location you want, and use your energy the way it was intended - to catch fish!
Why spend time in the wrong places when you can pay it in the best spots?
If you use a motor, you'll be able to reach your favorite fishing spot much faster than if you paddled. Even though you can paddle traditional canoes and square stern canoes, it's nice to get to your favorite site without paddling.
We've got you covered with our handy primer if you're not sure how to choose the best motor for your canoe.
Use the Table of Contents below to jump directly to the most exciting review and see our picks for the best canoe motors.
There are a few different options for attachable motors for canoes, which most anglers use to attach a trolling motor.
Canoes can be powered by outboard motors with two or four strokes, but they can be bulky. Most powerboats have these engines on the back, and they are usually powered by gas or gas-and-oil to move fast. Battery-operated motors are quieter, however.
Unless you have an extra-large canoe, a 4-stroke outboard motor may be too large for a canoe. Some square-back canoes can be equipped with 2-stroke outboard engines, but they are difficult to attach to traditional canoes.
Ensure that the outboard motor you get for your canoe is a small 2-stroke or 4-stroke. The engine you get shouldn't be too powerful or heavy for your boat.
Canoes and kayaks don't need a lot of power, which makes electric motors perfect for them. Since canoes are so light, they don't require much ability to move. Most Kayak trolling motors are battery-powered and come in either a 12 or 24-volt model. An electric motor under 16 feet provides enough power for boats powered by 12 volts.
Electric trolling motors are much quieter than gas trolling motors since they run on batteries. Electric trolling motors are ideal for moving through the water without scaring the fish.
A gasoline-powered motor works similarly to a battery-operated motor, requiring gasoline. Your boat will weigh more with an inboard engine and an outboard motor.
Gas-powered motors can be a little more practical for larger boats, but they won't provide the same power as an outboard motor. You probably won't need the power of an outboard board if you're attaching it to a canoe or kayak.
Different sizes and designs of trolling motors are available to meet different needs. It would help if you first learned a little about your boat before looking into which engine is right for you.
Knowing all this before you choose the suitable motor for your canoe will save a lot of time. Spend your time fishing instead of learning.
The transom motor attaches to the back of the boat (like a traditional boat motor). A trolling motor can be attached to a square stern canoe back canoe pretty easily.
To attach a trolling motor to your boat, you'll need a kayak trolling motor mount. One can be bought from a fishing/boating store, or one can be made from scratch. YouTube offers a lot of tutorials on how to make a canoe motor mount.
Bow motors are installed at the front of boats, as the name implies. To attach the trolling motor to the ship, they typically require a canoe trolling motor mount. It doesn't matter whether you have a traditional canoe or a square back canoe if you buy a bow motor.
For larger boats, bow motors are better because they pull the boat through the water instead of pushing it, as is the case with traditional stern engines. This allows you to maneuver a larger boat into places that are otherwise difficult to access.
There are a lot of anticorrosion measures built into a saltwater trolling motor. Saltwater corrodes metal and wires much faster than usual, causing serious damage. Plan on buying a saltwater motor if you plan on paddling your canoe or kayak in saltwater.
Canoes and kayaks can be used on both saltwater and freshwater. It is possible to use saltwater trolling motors in freshwater, but not the other way around.
The freshwater trolling motor is specifically designed to be used in freshwater, and they typically have the same features as saltwater motors, EXCEPT they don't have anti-corrosion materials. You can seriously damage your freshwater motor if you use it in saltwater.
A canoe can travel at 4-6mph with an electric trolling motor, and a canoe cannot handle anything faster. Combining your motor's power and the battery you use will determine how fast and how long your canoe will travel.
An electric canoe motor's battery life depends on its amperage, and Higher-amperage batteries last longer than batteries with lower amperages. If you want to stay out, buy one that allows you to do so as long as you like.
For more information about how to calculate the battery's life:
If math isn't your strong suit, make sure you know the battery life of the motor you get, but don't be too picky. Typically, a 55lb motor will be sufficient to propel a canoe at 4-6mph when used with the recommended battery.
Even joking aside, choosing the suitable motor for your canoe depends on the shaft length.
A motor shouldn't come out of the water while underway, but it shouldn't be so long that it hits rocks and debris. If you plan on boating in waves or rough waters, you should get a slightly longer shaft so that it won't break off when you rock the boat.
To ensure you get the suitable motor for your boat, you must measure it. Measuring the length from the rear gunwale to the water is essential for square back canoes. Measure the distance between the mount of the trolling motor and the water if you are using a traditional canoe.
To get an accurate reading, you should take these measurements when calm. Also, weigh your boat as it would typically be if you took measures. To that measurement, add 12 inches.
Buying a motor that is a little longer than the number you come up with is a good idea since you want the top of the engine to be at least 12 inches below the water's surface. Make sure the shaft is long enough for your canoe when in doubt.
There are two main ways to control trolling motors: hand or foot control. Many of them can even be held by a remote, but they are usually more expensive.
Using a hand-controlled motor gives you better control over steering, but it can be not easy to fish and steer simultaneously. This type of motor is nearly impossible to operate without using your hands.
If you're busy reeling in a fish, your hands won't be available for the motor. Perhaps you should consider foot-controlled trolling motors if you're somewhat new to fishing.
You can focus on fishing and steer with your feet using foot-controlled motors. Even though they are less responsive than hand-controlled motors, they still work. Trolling motors controlled by foot can be inconvenient if there are multiple people on the boat with you. If you're the only one on the ship, you should be okay
Now that you know all of the basics about what you need from a canoe motor, let's get to the fun part: talking about which engines to buy! It's important to note that what's best for one canoe may not suit another. There are plenty of top-rated trolling motors out there, but you should dig a little deeper to find the best one for you.