How to Install a Trolling Motor on a Pontoon Boat

How to Install a Trolling Motor on a Pontoon Boat – 7 Easy Steps

Ahoy there, fellow pontoon enthusiasts! 

Have you been planning to enhance your pontooning experience by adding a trolling motor?

Installing a trolling motor might seem like an intimidating task, but fear not – we’ve got the lowdown on mounting a trolling motor on your pontoon boat. 

Whether you’re a seasoned boat enthusiast or a beginner, this step-by-step guide will Make it as easy as a gentle breeze on the water! 🚤

7 Steps to Install Trolling Motor on Your Pontoon Boat

Let’s dive into the process of installing a trolling motor on your pontoon boat

Step 1: Choose the Right Motor and Location

Before diving into installation, it is important that you have the right trolling motor for your pontoon.

Factors to consider when picking the right motor

Many fishing barges come with 12-volt plugs, but a 24-volt motor is more effective.

Aim for approximately 5 lbs of thrust per 400 lbs of boat weight.

You can benefit by opting for a 24-volt, 80-lb thrust trolling motor. It will ensure sufficient power for your pontoon boat.

Selecting the right spot

Selecting the perfect spot for your trolling motor is crucial. Look for a location that allows the motor to be easily submerged and lifted out of the water.

Most people pick the transom (the back of the boat), but there are other options depending on your boat type and needs.

1. Transom Mount

It is smaller and easy to install but less powerful. Suitable for smaller pontoons.

Attaches to the back of the boat.

Mark and Drill Holes: Use the mounting bracket as a template to mark and drill holes through the anti-ventilation plate.

Place the Mount: Position the mounting bracket on top of the plate.

Fit the Mounting Bolts: Insert the bolts and tighten them securely.

Pros: Clamps on easily.

Cons: Less powerful for larger boats.

Read More: 9 Creative Pontoon Boat Seating Ideas (With Layouts)

2. Engine Mount

Attached to the outboard engine’s cavitation plate (costlier and trickier to operate).

Pros: Space-saving.

Cons: Costlier and trickier to operate.

3. Bow Mount

It is a common choice for pontoons. The bow fence often has a slot for motor mounting.

Pros: Easy to use, good maneuverability.

Cons: May interfere with fish finders.

Pro tip: Ensure at least 13 inches of submersion depth for proper motor function.

Tools You Need to Grab to Mount the Trolling Motor

  • Trolling motor kit
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill with bits
  • Marine sealant
  • Battery
  • Wiring kit
  • Wire connectors
  • Wire stripper
  • Pliers
  • Waterproof electrical tape

Step 2: Put Together the Bracket

To assemble the mounting bracket, follow the guide that comes with your motor. This typically involves the following steps:

  • Step 1: Place the mounting bracket on top of the engine’s anti-cavitation plate with the motor up.
  • Step 2: Mark holes to be drilled through the anti-cavitation plate.
  • Step 3: Drill the holes for the mounting bolts.
  • Step 4: Place the mounting bracket on top of the anti-cavitation plate again.
  • Step 5: Now, insert the mounting bolts and tighten them.

Read More: Pontoon Storage Ideas – Best Way to Store a Pontoon Boat?

Pro tip: Avoid mounting the trolling motor directly to the deck. Instead, invest in a quick-release bracket. Quick-release plates save time when you need to trailer the boat, cover it, or have non-fishing activities onboard.

Step 3: Mounting the Motor:

Position the assembled motor on the chosen spot, aligning it with the mounting bracket.

Use the adjustable wrench to tighten the bolts securely.

Double-check to make sure the motor is firmly in place.

Step 4: Wiring Setup

Now, let’s get electrified!

Connect the trolling motor wires to the battery following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Use wire connectors and a wire stripper to ensure a secure and proper connection.

Keep those wires tidy and away from any moving parts.

Step 5: Sealing the Deal

Now, let’s waterproof things!

Put marine sealant around the edges of the mounting bracket and any holes drilled during the installation.

This stops water from sneaking into the boat and causing potential damage.

Step 6: Powering Up

Connect the battery to the trolling motor. 

Make sure the positive and negative terminals match accordingly (Plus to plus, minus to minus).

Secure the connections with waterproof electrical tape for extra safety.

Step 7: Test the Waters

Before setting sail, give your newly installed trolling motor a test run.

Ensure that it operates smoothly. Make sure all the connections are tight.

This little test makes sure you won’t run into surprises on the water.

Read More: DIY Pontoon Changing Room (Easy Steps)

Voila! You Did IT!

Congratulations, you’ve successfully installed a trolling motor on your pontoon boat! Now, you’re all set for smooth sailing and exploring new spots!

With this handy addition, you’ll enjoy effortless navigation and the freedom to explore new waters.

Remember, a well-installed trolling motor enhances your pontoon’s fishing capabilities and overall enjoyment on the water.

Take it slow, follow each step, and get ready for a boatload of fun out there! Happy boating! 🚤🎣

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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