Best Trolling Motors for Pontoon Boat (2021 Reviews)

Trolling motors have revolutionized fishing on a pontoon boat, especially for walleye and bass. 

The best trolling motor for a pontoon boat will quietly and slowly hold position or troll along weed lines and drop-offs. It will also help slow the drift rate against currents, waves, and wind.

But it would help if you did a little research in order to find the best ideal model for your pontoon boat. 

We researched your behalf and found five high performing trolling motors that you can buy today. We took into consideration all the important features you have been looking for.     

Top Pick

Motor Guide Xi3 Trolling Motor is our top pick. This is an electric steering model that features pinpoint GPS, spot-lock, and autopilot technologies.

It operates quietly, making it a suitable choice for hunting walleye and bass. 

Here are Our Best Trolling Motors for Pontoon Boats Reviews: 

  1. Motor Guide Xi3 Trolling Motor – Our Top Pick 
  2. Minn Kota Endura Transom Mount Trolling Motor
  3. Newport Vessels NV-Series Transom Mount Trolling Motor
  4. Minn Kota Ultrex Trolling Motor
  5. Minn Kota Ulterra Trolling Motor

Motor Guide Xi3 Trolling Motor 

The wireless operation of the Xi3 adds convenience and simplicity to your days on the water when sailing your favorite pontoon boat. 

Key Features :

  • Foot, hand control 
  • 68-pound thrust 
  • Bow mount design 
  • GPS compatible 
  • Electric steering 

Experience the choice of wireless control with high-tech options like integrated sonar, onscreen control displays, and advanced precision pinpoint GPS. 

There are several reasons to equip your deep-v pontoon boat with this high performing Xi3.

For starters, it has wireless control out of the box. It comes with a compact hand-held remote, which is great because it allows you to fish from any point on the boat.

The motor is also compatible with an optional convenient wireless foot pedal, keeping your hands free for excellent maneuverability.  

This model runs forty percent quieter compared to the competition, which is exactly what you need when cruising a lake. 

We truly appreciate the secure step system, considering that it needs fifty percent less effort when stowing and deploying your vessel. This will surely save you energy and time bouncing from one spot to another. 

With the state-of-the-art pinpoint GPS module, the motor conveniently saves your coordinates to hold the pontoon in the desired position while you fish. The GPS module also helps with anchoring and heading lock. 

Pros :

  • Require less effort to stow and deploy 
  • Wireless control allows you to operate it from anywhere in the boat 
  • It is forty percent quieter compared to the competition 
  • GPS module does route recording, heading lock, and precise anchoring 
  • Sonar brand display provides total control

Cons :

It is possible to receive a model with malfunctioning technologies 

Verdict :

You can wirelessly control your pontoon from any spot on your boat with this incredible wireless trolling motor. 

Overall Rating: 5.0

Minn Kota Endura Transom Mount Trolling Motor 

Thanks to its heavy-duty shaft, this innovatively engineered trolling motor provides plenty of steering control for pontoon boats up to seventeen feet long. 

Key Features :

  • Indestructible composite shaft 
  • Lever lock bracket 
  • Telescoping tiller 
  • Rugged 10-position bracket 
  • Thrust of 55 pounds 

With a thrust of fifty-five pounds, this motor develops a propulsive thrust sufficient enough to balance and overcome the resistance opposed by the water to the motion of medium-sized pontoon boats.  

It comes with an indestructible thirty-six-inch composite shaft, which is great because it is capable of withstanding shock and abuse.

It will not break, kink, or corrode. When it is impacted, it flexes and then retains its perfect shape. 

You’ve got a heavy-duty power prop with a motor diameter of 3-1/4 inches. This prop generates the additional power you need to push through thick vegetation when sailing in a river.

As far as versatility goes, this model is the real deal, thanks to the three-speed modes for reverse sailing and five-speed modes for forward sailing. 

The motor comes equipped with a ten-position lever lock bracket that provides a sturdy mount, and it is also resistant to damaging UV rays, twisting, and flexing.

The telescoping tiller, on the other hand, allows for an intuitive, comfortable, and easy operation of the motor. 

Pros :

  • Deliver sufficient propulsive thrust for overcoming resistance 
  • The thirty-six-inch composite shaft is indestructible 
  • High performing power prop allows you to push through vegetation 
  • Multiple speed settings add versatility during operation 
  • Telescoping tiller makes motor operation intuitive and easy 

Cons :

It may not be a suitable choice for pontoons longer than 17 feet 

Verdict :

Taking into account all the advanced features this trolling motor comes with, we have to admit that it is a great choice for operating medium-sized pontoon boats. 

Overall Rating: 4.7

Newport Vessels NV-Series Transom Mount Trolling Motor 

Extremely durable and versatile, this 46-pound NV-Series from Newport Vessels is the ideal transom mount motor for your pontoon boat. 

Key Features :

  • Fiberglass reinforced propeller 
  • Heavy-duty fiberglass composite shaft 
  • Tilt-adjustable bracket
  • Height adjustable collar and directional lock  
  • 6-inch telescoping handle 

This high performing motor comes with an adjustable thirty-inch composite shaft, which is great because it gets sufficiently submerged for optimum operation of most personal pontoon boats.

It is not too long for shallow waters. But most importantly, the fiberglass composite design can effectively withstand harsh conditions. 

The fiberglass-reinforced propeller is solid and capable of withstanding harsh underwater conditions. 

The three-blade design of the propeller provides superior speed, lift, fuel efficiency, and acceleration. The motor can be operated by different types of marine batteries like gel 12-volt deep cycle, AGM, and lead-acid. 

You’ve got eight-speed settings on this motor, including three reverse speeds and five forward speeds. This versatile speed control system allows for a smooth ride with simple speed increments.  

This model comes with a transom mount, which is great because it is effortless to operate from the back of your pontoon boat. You don’t have to worry about cords and a foot pedal cluttering up the deck.  

We appreciate the six-inch telescoping handle, which improves speed and steering control. The four-foot battery cables are long enough for the optimum connection to the battery. 

Pros :

  • The shaft length and design is ideal for personal pontoons 
  • The fiberglass-reinforced propeller can withstand harsh conditions 
  • The motor is ideal for both freshwater and saltwater bodies 
  • It is compatible with deep-cycle, AGM, and lead-acid batteries
  • The transom mount allows for easy operation from the back of the boat 

Cons :

The battery is not included in the package 

Verdict :

This innovatively designed trolling motor is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater. It is also engineered to be used with marine and lead-acid batteries. 

Overall Rating: 4.7

Minn Kota Ultrex Trolling Motor 

If you are looking for a nice combination of power and performance, the Minn Kota Ultrex is a rock-solid option. 

Key Features :

  • 45-inch shaft length 
  • 112 pounds of thrust 
  • 36-volt voltage 
  • MEGA down imaging 
  • i-Pilot link GPS technology 

Take your pontoon boat anywhere on the lake and keep it there with the Minn Kota Ultrex. 

This is a bow mount design, which is great because it does a great job of pulling the boat forward, especially against a strong wind. It provides great boat control because it will be at your fingertips once mounted. 

You’ve got a highly ergonomic foot pedal that is engineered for instant responsiveness and precision control.

With an innovative steering lock, the motorhead maintains its direction when you take your foot off the foot pedal. You don’t need to do any readjustments or recoil. 

The motor uses i-Pilot link GPS technology, which is great because it provides unparalleled control over your pontoon boat.

The GPS module links your Humminbird fish-finder to the trolling motor. You can effectively control the motor from your Humminbird or the color touchscreen remote.

The GPS allows you to sail to your secret fishing spots with ease automatically.  

You’ve got an autopilot function, which allows you to navigate your pontoon boat in any direction of your choice. All you have to do is activate the autopilot mode.

The integrated battery meter, on the other hand, tells you how much charge your trolling battery has. 

Pros :

  • The bow mount provides exceptional boat control 
  • The ergonomic foot pedal has instant responsiveness and precision control
  • The advanced GPS module provides unparalleled control 
  • You can activate the autopilot mode for added versatility 
  • The integrated battery meter displays the remaining charge 

Cons :

  • The straight loose wires can get tangled as you lower the motor 
  • Some models may come with a faulty foot pedal 

Verdict :

With the Minn Kota Ultrex, you should expect the latest technologies like i-Pilot GPS, spot lock, auto-pilot, built-in MEGA down imaging, and integrated battery meter. 

Overall Rating: 4.7

Minn Kota Ulterra Trolling Motor 

The Minn Kota Ulterra is a freshwater trolling motor that is highly recommended for pontoon boats. 

Key Features :

  • Three shaft lengths 
  • 112-pound thrust 
  • MEGA down imaging 
  • i-Pilot link GPS 
  • Digital maximizer 

The heavy-duty construction of this motor makes it a perfect choice for freshwater fishermen wanting a rock-solid, reliable motor. 

The 112-pound thrust will provide adequate power in calm waters for pontoon boats in the seventeen to thirty-foot range weighing up to four thousand pounds.

It is available in three shaft lengths, 45-inch, 60-inch, and 72-inch. 

You can easily and quickly deploy or stow the Ulterra with a push of a button on the i-Pilot link remote, Humminbird fish finder, or the foot pedal.

The i-Pilot link GPS gives you excellent control over your pontoon boat. 

The i-Pilot GPS is integrated with spot-lock technology, which will maintain your current fishing spot when activated through the Humminbird fish-finder or the i-Pilot remote.

The autopilot feature allows you to navigate in the direction of your choosing.

All you have to do is point the trolling motor-head in your desired direction and activate the autopilot. This feature will also correct current, waves, and wind to maintain the selected direction.  

Pros :

  • Deploying or stowing the motor is easy with a push of a button 
  • Easy to control with the i-Pilot GPS trolling system 
  • The motor can follow depth contours and record paths 
  • The spot-lock feature allows you to maintain your current position 
  • The digital maximizer helps to prolong battery life 

Cons :

  • Some of the advanced features may malfunction
  • The customer service isn’t the most reliable 

Verdict :

This is a decent quality trolling highly versatile motor. You can choose a 45-inch, 60-inch, or 72-inch shaft model depending on the size of your pontoon boat. 

Overall Rating: 4.5

Things to Consider When Looking for Trolling Motors for Pontoon Boats 

Here are the most important factors to take into consideration: 

Cable Steer Vs. Electric Steer Trolling Motor 

With a cable steer trolling motor, you directly link your foot pedal and turn the motor. So, it is super quick. That’s why a cable steer design is so popular among fishermen who sail and fish in shallow waters. 

Cable steer designs come with very durable mounts that will provide the power needed to sail rough waters. The heavy-duty mounts keep the motor very well secured to the bow of the boat.

The downside to this type of steering is that you must always have your foot on the pedal in order to keep going straight or in the direction you want the boat to go. 

With electric steer trolling motors, you’ve got a fly-by-wire operation. There is an electric signal sent to turn the motor once you push the pedal. But there is usually a delay in turning on the motor. 

Electric steering, however, allows the trolling motor to control itself much easier using advanced technologies like i-Pilot GPS, spot-lock, and autopilot.

Electric steering allows route recording, heading lock, and precise anchoring. Trolling motors with this steering wheel allows you to easily control the motor from anywhere on the boat with a hand-held remote.

Choosing Shaft Length 

Did you know that shaft lengths range from 36 to 72 inches? So, which shaft length is right for your pontoon boat.

The best way to decide is to measure the distance between the waterline and the gunwale of your vessel. Then add another 22 inches. This process will ensure that the shaft length of the trolling motor matches your boat. 

Final Thoughts 

For this roundup, the winner is Motor Guide Xi3 Trolling Motor.

This is an electric steering model, which means you can move all around the boat and still control the motor with a hand-held remote. This allows you to control your pontoon boat precisely.

This motor runs quietly, allowing you to operate stealthily when hunting walleyes.  

You’ve got several advanced technologies, including pinpoint GPS, spot-lock, and autopilot. This model does route recording, heading lock, and precise anchoring.

You can set the motor to maintain your current position. Also, you can use the autopilot feature to steer the boat in the direction of your choosing automatically.


Hi. I’m Alex. I have a big passion for water sport. I am a water sports athlete with ten years of experience in the field.

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