Best Canoe Motors for Saltwater and Freshwater Use

Best Canoe Motors for Saltwater and Freshwater Use

Paddling is a great way to exercise. However, it’s exhausting when you do it for long hours. You may need some help when you are canoeing for long hours. Thus, you need a list of Best Canoe Motors for Saltwater and Freshwater Use.

An electric trolling motor is silent and helps you get to a fishing spot without scaring away the fish. They are better and more expensive than gas-driven motors. However, you can choose the cheaper option if you don’t need it for fishing and duck hunting.

You can get several motors you can mount on your canoe. Some work best with freshwater, while others work with freshwater and saltwater. The latter are the best since they are more durable and have excellent performance. Also, you don’t limit yourself on the type of waters where you can go canoeing. Check out the meat canoe motors for fresh and saltwater.

When you want a hand’s free motor control while fishing, you should select a foot-controlled motor, the MotorGuide X3 is durable and gives good performance at an affordable price.
The motor has patented variable-ratio steering that allows it to sail accurately even with strong winds, waves, and currents.
The material composition includes stainless steel and aircraft-grade aluminum. Thus, it offers excellent performance for a long time. However, the materials make the motor heavier than its competition.
The foot control unit is a heel-to-toe design with directional indicators. It runs smoothly and quietly, and you can pin it to the location. Thus, you can fish at your favorite spot with ease. However, the motor is only suitable for freshwater use.


● It has stainless steel bushing in all essential wear points/parts.
● It’s easy to mount and dismount.
● You can adjust the motor height easily.
● You can lock it in one location.


● It’s heavier than other motors of the same size.
● The foot pedal may be too fast.
● You can only use it for freshwater.

The best thing about saltwater motors is that you can use them even in freshwater. They are durable and reliable on several occasions. The Newport Vessel NV series is among the best canoe motors in saltwater conditions.

The motor has the power to run the whole day. It uses a 12 V battery that’s noise-free and doesn’t overheat. You can sail to a fishing point without distracting the fish. The duration of the motor’s run depends on battery capacity and Amp hour rating.
The main features of the motor are a 30-inch shaft, a 6-inch tiller handle, a 5 LED battery meter, and a 3-blade propeller. You can adjust the height, direction, and mount angle. Also, you can pin them in place when you need to stop to fish or hunt ducks.

The motor has eight-speed control limits divided into five forward and three reverse speeds. It has a maximum speed of 3mph and is suitable for fishing canoes. However, it will propel your canoe depending on its size, shape, weight, water conditions, and wind.
The motor material helps it work well with freshwater and saltwater. However, the motorhead and handle are not waterproof. Avoid any situation that will spray water directly to its head or submerge all the motor in water.


● You can monitor the charge level through the brightness of the battery indicator light.
● It has eight-speed levels that help the canoe move forward and backward.
● It has a 2-year warranty.


● A variable switch can be unreliable.

You can have the best freshwater trolling motor if you sail in freshwater. The Minn Kota Traxxis is a transom-mount motor that will pull your canoe to the areas you need to sail. It’s a one-hand stow with steering tension control.

The motor has high-quality features. Also, you can find it in shaft sizes 36 and 42 inches. This transom-mounting freshwater motor is equipped with a 55 pounds thrust power and a 12-volt system. Thus, it’s strong enough to pull an average-sized canoe through the water.

The motor is simple to operate, reliable, and durable. You’ll operate it through its one-hand stow; thus, you can put it in water and pull it out with ease. It has a smooth throttle and quiet trolling. Therefore, you don’t scare away the fish when sailing.

It has an average amp draw. Thus, it strikes a balance between the thrust power and battery capacity. A powerful battery can take you more than 8 hours in the water if you have a powerful battery.


● You can adjust the speed with ease.
● It’s easy to mount and dismount.
● The tiller handle twists 45 degrees on all sides.


● You will have to use one hand while fishing.

When you own a small canoe, you don’t need a bulky motor to help you navigate the motors. A small shaft motor like the SATURN 55 lbs is compact and effective for small water vessels.

The motor has a thrust strength of 55 pounds from a 12 V, and 50 Amps draw battery. The adjustable depth collar allows you to change the motor length. You can also adjust the handle to the desired angle.

It has a stronger shaft than most compact motors in the market. The handle can extend up to 13.8 inches, which allows excellent control.

The motor has a total of 8-speed controls. Five-speed levels propel the canoe forward, while three-speed levels help you sail backward.


● It’s compact and lightweight.
● You can use it on an inflatable canoe.
● It’s durable.


● It’s only suitable for small vessels.

If you don’t want to add weight to your canoe, you can use a lightweight motor. The Newport Vessel L Series is a powerful, light engine that will thrust your canoe ahead. It has a high thrust power of 62 pounds. Sometimes, it can give you a thrust of up to 86 pounds. Thus, it’s the most powerful motor you’ll find in the market.

The motor is suitable for all types of watercraft. You can control the engine power to push a small canoe and increase the ability to push larger vessels. It has eight speeds and telescopic handles to adjust between the speeds. Also, the handles are ergonomic and can adjust to your reach.

The corrosion-resistant design enables it to work well in salty water. Also, it’s strong enough to withstand adverse weather conditions. Its 3-feet long composite fiberglass shaft offers a balance between strength and depth adjustment. It’s also energy-efficient, making it reliable to use for long hours.


● You can use the motor in freshwater and saltwater conditions
● It withstands harsh weather conditions.
● It’s the most powerful canoe motor in the market.
● It has a reasonable depth placement and great shaft strength.


● It’s loud; thus can scare away fish.

Best Canoe Motors Buying Guide

When you want to buy a motor for your canoe, it’s essential to know what to look for. However, most motors will reach the threshold, and you should know the key features that will suit your canoe needs.

Battery and Power

Most canoe motors will propel the canoe at a 4-6 mph speed. A canoe can’t handle a pace beyond that lest it loses stability. Your battery and motor combination determines the speed at which your canoe can travel.

Battery Life

The battery life is the duration that the battery charge can keep your canoe’s motor running. However, battery capacity is not the only factor that affects battery life. The motor’s Amp draw determines how long a battery will support a running motor.

Shaft Length

The motor shaft length should correspond with the height of your canoe. It should be long enough to remain in the water while sailing and short enough not to hit rocks and obstacles underneath.


A motor can either be foot or hand-controlled; A few motors are remotely controlled. If you need the best control over steering, then a hand-controlled motor will give you that service. However, it’s tight to control the motor with your hands while fishing. A foot-controlled motor helps you control the canoe as your hands focus on fishing. Its downside is that it gets in your way if several people are on board.


Propellers are the blades installed on the motor prop shaft to push the canoe forward. Choose a design that ensures efficiency, precise control, and reduced noise.

Canoe Size

Choose a motor depending on the size and weight of a canoe. Large canoes need a motor with a higher thrust power than smaller canoes.

Freshwater or Saltwater

Freshwater and saltwater motor designs are different. Both require different maintenance practices. Thus, you need a proper motor for the waters you will sail through.

Thrust and Voltage

The size of the motor doesn’t matter as much as the power it produces. The strength of the motor is measured in the thrust power it can make. A great thrust ensures maneuverability. However, it would help if you didn’t have too much power that’d overwhelm a small canoe.

Corrosion Resistance

Saltwater motors need high corrosion resistance. Thus, their motors have special features and materials that protect them from corrosion.

Sacrificial Anode

This is a feature you’ll find in saltwater motors. It’s a metallic node at the bottom of the motor with a protective coating and increases the corrosion resistance of a saltwater motor.

Conditions of the Water Body

Shallow waters need a motor with a short shaft. Other conditions that determine the choice of the propeller engine are waves, currents, and wind.

Transom or Bow Mounted

Most canoes are small and need extra space for extra people. Thus, a transom-mounted is better as it gives you space to use the bow. Bow-mounted motors are great for larger water vessels.


Most motors are low maintenance if you use them within the recommended conditions. However, there are a few tips you should have to prolong the life of your motor. You can prevent corrosion of a battery and terminal by unplugging or detaching the motor from the power source when not in use. Rinse the motor and propeller thoroughly after using the motor in saltwater. Also, check whether the fishing line is entangled on the propeller blades. But generally, you should choose a motor with low maintenance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Amp draw?

The measurement of electrical current you can draw from a battery is the Amp draw. You can estimate the time the motor can run if you know the battery’s amp hour rating and the motor’s amp draw.
Can I install a trolling motor on my own?
If you’re a handy person, you can install a trolling motor on your own. However, you should get someone to help you install it; trolling motors are relatively heavy. Don’t commence any drilling until you are sure you got the right measurements. Finally, pay attention to all the electrical. Ensure you have the right gauge wires circuit breakers, and all wires are tucked in to avoid accidental shorts.

Do I need a circuit breaker?

Coast Guard regulations command all motor users to have a circuit breaker. It acts as a cheap insurance policy on your motor- It protects you from fires if you experience an unexpected power surge.

Can I Use freshwater motors in saltwater?

Saltwater motors need extra care and maintenance. Also, they are more corrosion-resistant compared to freshwater motors. It’s highly discouraged to use freshwater motors in saltwater as you expose them to rapid damage. Also, it voids your warranty if you damage a freshwater motor in saltwater use.

What size battery do I need?

There’s no one-size-fits-all battery for all canoes. However, the battery size should depend on how you intend to use your canoe. If you need to go for long trips, you’ll need a large battery with large battery life.

If you are planning to go kayaking then first of all you need to determine the place of kayaking. You probably used the term “kayaking near me” to find the best kayaking place around you.

We will map all the best kayaking places around you. You can easily find the best kayaking place by using our map. You can also find kayaking places outside of your area using this map.

Kayaking near me – Interactive kayak map

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This map would be great for your kayaking plan. You can easily navigate this map. Let us know more details about this map.

How to use the map

You can zoom in and zoom out the map using the plus and minus button on the top left. You can zoom in on the map by double-clicking on the map. This is helpful if you want to plan a trip.

The red magnifying glass icon indicates the kayak in multiple positions. As soon as you click here, the specified places of the kayak will be shown through the red circle. You can find out more about that place by clicking on the circle.