The 7 Best Trolling Motors for Inflatable Boats
Inflatable vessels are an economical way to fish and have fun on the water. They provide high performance and incredible versatility you can’t get in other boats.
However, navigation can be tricky without a motor; overcoming high winds and water currents can be impossible. So, trolling motors are vital for inflatable watercraft.
And in this guide, I’ll share the best trolling motors for inflatables. I’ve also prepared a detailed buying guide to help with the selection.
Best Trolling Motors for Inflatable Watercrafts in 2023
1. NV-Series Saltwater Trolling Motor
The NV-Series Saltwater Trolling Motor is highly effective and reliable. The top pick strikes an outstanding balance between efficiency and power.
I like it because of its robust construction. All the hardware uses corrosion-resistant materials, so no harm using it in freshwater and saltwater boating environments.
It can run for an extended period, giving a maximum speed of 4 miles per hour without overheating. Meanwhile, a 3-blade propeller supports silent operation, allowing you to navigate smoothly and quietly without scaring fish away.
The NV-Series Electric Trolling Motor has five distinct thrust capabilities, so you can always be sure of finding the right thrust for your boat.
This motor has an adjustable 30-inch shaft and can fit almost all inflatable watercraft sizes. Its sturdy nylon transom mount guarantees a secure and reliable connection to your boat.
Another fantastic feature of this trolling engine is its five-forward and three-reverse speed modes, which give you better control of the boat and allow you to adapt to your target’s speed.
The motor boasts a battery indicator showing how much power your battery has to avoid inconveniences.
Its circuit breaker is also an incredible feature, as it protects your marine battery from voltage gushes and extends its lifetime. Unfortunately, the package does not include the battery, so you must buy it separately.
Overall, quality, ease of operation, and durable construction make the NV-Series Electric Trolling Motor an excellent option. It has a two-year warranty so you can invest in it with confidence.
2. Minn Kota PowerDrive Trolling Motor
This option might be the perfect match if you are looking for an easy-to-operate trolling motor.
The Minn Kota PowerDrive Trolling Motor mounts on the bow and touts an i-Pilot GPS Trolling system that lets you focus more on the fish by easing the operation.
You can control the system with a highly sensitive remote and operate the motor with a single button click. This means you can optimize speed, direction, and movement right from your hands.
With this advanced trolling engine, navigation is much easier. You can sail across your watercraft in any bearing by directing the motor’s head to the sought-after route and initiating the autopilot mode.
And there is more about the GPS functionality. You can pair it with the Spot-Lock feature to keep a memory of your routes on the water. This is handy when you find a perfect fishing spot, as it will remember your place, so you don’t have to sail aimlessly.
This trolling motor is an excellent option for anglers and boaters who love staying on the water for an extended period, as it doesn’t drain the battery quickly. Its back-flared blades allow smooth steering to ensure the boat rides easily, preserving the battery’s power.
What’s even more fascinating about the Minn Kota PowerDrive Trolling Motor is its foot pedal, making it incredibly versatile in performance and experience.
You don’t have to worry about durability when buying this freshwater trolling motor, as it has an indestructible construction. Its 2-year limited warranty also makes it a worthwhile buy, as you can get quick repair or replacement in case of a faulty part.
3. Black Haswing Cayman Trolling Motor
Quiet operation is usually a priority to anglers, and if that’s what you are looking for in an inflatable boat motor, the Black Haswing Cayman got you covered.
Furthermore, it has different speed settings letting you control your boat effortlessly to suit your needs and make your fishing excursion a successful and enjoyable experience.
Besides better control, the variable speed allows you to extend your battery’s life by consuming less power.
The battery will last about 10 to 12 hours, depending on your boat’s weight and speed. This means you spend more time on the water and catch more fish.
This electric trolling motor has a compact remote control that fits precisely into your hands. You can attach it around your neck using a lanyard and recharge it with a USB cable.
Quick-release brackets make it super easy to install this motor on different types of vessels, including inflatables and aluminum boats. Much credit also goes to its adjustable 48-inch aluminum shaft and the easy-to-follow instructions.
The cruise control features help you to navigate with the best precision and desired speed. You only have to use the remote and take your boat wherever you want it to be at your preferred pace.
Nonetheless, you may need to correct the boat’s direction manually sometimes due to factors like wind and tidal currents. And if you want to push the boat backward, you only need to tilt the motor about 180 degrees.
The good thing about the Black Haswing Cayman Trolling Motor is that it’s usable in all types of boating environments. Its corrosive-resistant materials that use a sacrificial anode make it ideal for saltwater fishing.
Additionally, it’s easy to carry this trolling motor from your car to your boat and vice versa since it’s lightweight and has an ergonomic handle.
4. Minn Kota Edge Trolling Motor
The Minn Kota Edge is a high-quality trolling motor that simplifies everything about your inflatable boat operation.
It comes with an ultra-responsive heel-toe pedal that allows you to control the motor with your foot, leaving you with free hands to concentrate on the rods and catch your target.
The foot pedal controls speed and movement without a fuss and allows you to turn the motor on and off when needed. It’s made with sturdy composite material, so you can be sure it will last for a long time.
This trolling motor is easy to install and operate. Its unique mounting bracket provides a solid hold while connecting the trolling engine and makes it easy to remove it after your fishing excursion.
Its 45 lbs thrust helps your boat to overcome drag and sail effectively with over 2000 pounds onboard.
When running your inflatable boat with this trolling motor, you can choose from 5 distinct speed settings to achieve the desired acceleration that favors your endeavors on the water.
Like most Minn Kota trolling motors, this one has a robust shaft that can withstand even the extreme elements you might face when sailing on rough water.
Its powerful propeller delivers a tremendous push through different water conditions. You can even sail through heavy vegetation as the propeller has a washer, nut, and pin that ensures reliable performance.
Built to mount on the bow, the Minn Kota Edge Trolling Motor has a simple yet sturdy design. Most of the parts use extruded, anodized aluminum, guaranteeing rugged durability.
5. Watersnake T24 Saltwater Trolling Motor
Are you searching for a lightweight trolling engine that won’t cost an arm and a leg to run your inflatable boat? The Watersnake T24 Saltwater Trolling Motor is highly portable, weighing less than 5 pounds.
The affordable trolling motor comes in a compact design and delivers a thrust of 24 lbs, making it an excellent option for solo boaters and anglers.
If you like fishing alone and want to propel your boat effortlessly, this trolling motor will do all the work when navigating on calmer water.
Its simple design makes it an ideal trolling motor for beginners, as it’s effortless to operate while still focusing on your target.
The Watersnake T24 Saltwater Trolling Motor mounts on the transom and boasts an adjustable fitting for easy assembly, supported by an anti-impact clip system.
It has a hand tiller and a flexible handle to propel vessels at high and low speeds. It also has a convenient function for forward and backward navigation.
Offering eight-speed settings, you can be sure this trolling motor will quickly adjust to your environment and create ideal fishing conditions.
Its back-flared 2-blade propeller conserves battery power and allows you to cruise through heavy vegetation without clogging with weeds.
The Watersnake T24 Trolling Motor has an ant-corrosive paint that makes it ideal for use in salt water. All the external parts are well-coated to ensure extended durability.
Backed up by a 1-year warranty, this trolling motor will provide great value for your money. You can always trust its top-notch and reliable performance for all your boating trips.
6. Minn Kota Endura Transom Mounted Trolling Motor
Built to last for many years, if not decades, the Minn Kota Endura Trolling Motor delivers exceptional performance on inflatable boats.
With this motor, you’ll enjoy an easy and comfortable operation within the boat. Thanks to its 6-inch telescoping tiller, that enhances functionality and makes it easy to control the trolling motor.
The freshwater trolling motor features a quick-release lever lock that ensures a secure fitting, so the engine doesn’t flex or warp around as you sail.
Its 8-speed settings give you better control, allowing you to ride your boat in a way that suits your needs and helps you catch more fish.
With an indestructible 30-inch shaft, this motor will help you discover new fishing spots in freshwater. The durable post comes with a lifetime warranty.
Your battery will retain power for an extended period when powering your boat with this trolling motor since it has a 3-blade propeller. The weedless propeller provides extra power to push the vessel through any conditions.
The Minn Kota Endura features a compact design for easy packing and portability. This makes it easy to carry in your car when traveling to your fishing destination.
You won’t spook fish when sailing across the water since the trolling motor boasts a unique navigation system and runs calmly. It boasts a warranty of two years to guarantee quality and reliability.
7. NV Kayak Series Saltwater Trolling Motor
Specifically designed for kayaks, this Newport Vessels Trolling Motor will ease your navigation and improve your fishing experience.
If you have an inflatable kayak boat, this NV trolling motor can push it to the best fishing areas you are yet to discover in your favorite river or lake.
Its 24-inch durable shaft ensures proper depth placement beneath the water and allows the motor to run your boat efficiently.
You won’t experience unnecessary drag with the kayak series motor as its 3-blade propeller ensures a perfect balance between thrust and efficiency for optimal performance.
What makes this trolling motor unique is its extended battery cable that provides unparalleled flexibility and compatibility with kayak transoms.
Its 5-forward and 3-reverse speeds guarantee a smooth and efficient ride, allowing you to relax or catch your target without striving too much.
When fishing out there with your kayak pushed by this trolling motor, you’ll love its battery indicator, which shows you the power left in the battery. This way, you’ll know how to avoid unpleasant inconveniences on the water.
Overall, the NV Kayak Series Trolling Motor delivers outstanding performance and will last an extended period. It puts you on top of your favorite fish, something big boats can only dream of.
So, don’t hesitate to buy it if you want a uniquely designed trolling engine for your kayak.
How to Buy the Best Trolling Motor for an Inflatable Vessel
The numerous trolling motors designs and brands in the market can confuse you and make it difficult to choose the best one.
But don’t worry because we’ve listed and explained the crucial factors to consider below:
Thrust refers to the propulsive force that a trolling engine gives your vessel. A trolling engine with more thrust can conveniently push a watercraft on the water, even in rough boating conditions.
If you buy a motor with less thrust than needed, it won’t be helpful to your navigation and fishing adventures. So, it’s crucial to know the right thrust your boats need.
To get the right thrust, consider your boat’s weight. If the overall weight is about 1000 lbs, a 20 to 25 lbs thrust will do the job. Ensure you have a thrust of at least 2 pounds for every 100 pounds your boat carries.
You may think that thrust determines speed, but this is never true. A higher thrust doesn’t mean a higher acceleration. The maximum rate of an inflatable vessel running on trolling motor ranges from 4 to 5 miles per hour.
Since inflatable boats are lightweight and portable vessels, the last thing you want is a heavy trolling motor. It pays to get a light trolling engine as it ensures ease of transportation.
While trolling motors use a battery to run, most come without one. So, you need to budget for the marine battery after buying the trolling engine.
Batteries are available in different types and sizes, but the rule of thumb is to find a 12V lithium or any marine battery designed for trolling motors.
If you plan to fish for extended periods, consider getting two or three batteries since they are lightweight and affordable.
The best shaft should balance between being too deep under the water and too close to the surface.
A 30-inch shaft is a deal for boats with transoms that sit 10 inches and less on the water surfaces. If the length between your boat’s transom and the waterline is more than 22 inches, you may need to consult a specialist to know the ideal shaft length.
You can set up a trolling engine on your boat in three distinct ways with advantages and disadvantages. These include stern mounting, bow mounting, and engine mounting.
Stern-mounted trolling motors are usually cheaper and attach to your boat’s rear. They are also the easiest to install on an inflatable watercraft.
Bow-attached trolling motors are usually pricier than those mounted on the stern, but they are super easy to control when using the boat.
If your inflatable boat already has an outboard engine, you can get a motor that mounts to the engine.
Mounting your trolling motor onto the outboard engine will help you switch between the two motors effortlessly, making your boat more flexible and highly responsive to its environment.
When buying the best trolling motor, you’ll find that some have added features like a battery meter, self-directional function, and GPS navigation system.
These features may not directly affect the trolling motor’s performance, but they can be incredibly convenient.
For example, a battery meter will show you the charge remaining in your battery to prevent inconveniences on the water.
Q: Can I Use a Trolling Motor on Inflatable Boats?
A: Yes. Trolling motors are ideal for inflatable vessels. The motor will propel your inflatable boat and improve your fishing and sailing experience.
Q: How Much Thrust Do You Need for an Inflatable Watercraft?
A: 2 lbs for 100 lbs. The best thrust for your inflatable watercraft will depend on its weight when loaded. To support every 100 pounds of weight on your inflatable boat, you’ll need a thrust of at least 2 pounds.
Q: How Fast Will a Trolling Motor Push an Inflatable Watercraft?
A: 5 mph. A boat’s maximum speed with a trolling engine is 5 miles per hour. Trolling motors are built not for speed but for thrust, allowing your inflatable boat to sail smoothly even across rough conditions.
Trolling motors are a great addition to inflatable boats. With an inflatable boat trolling motor, you’ll enjoy improved navigation and access to new angling areas to catch more fish.
The uncountable options in the market can make it hard to choose the best trolling motor for your inflatable watercraft, but they also allow you to get the best one for your needs. You only need to know what to check!
Hopefully, this guide has steered you in the right direction and helped you narrow your choices. Happy fishing and sailing!