Best Motor for Inflatable Boat – The Ultimate Guide for Choosing Trolling Motors!

A trolling motor for an inflatable dinghy/raft is sure to make boating fun. Moreover, fishing trips will become easier as you won’t have to paddle!

That being said, choosing the best motor for inflatable boat may leave you inundated, especially if you’ve just stumbled upon the world of boating.

But we’ve done the ground work for you and made a list of the top-rated trolling motors in the market based on power, ease of installation, and durability.

With help from this article, you can choose a decent trolling motor for your inflatable boat. Let’s get started!

What is a Trolling Motor?

Generally, there are 3 types of motors for inflatable boats; electric outboard motors, gas outboard motors, and trolling motors.

Trolling motors are the most hassle-free among electric motors for inflatable boats as they don’t require a lot of maintenance, unlike outboard motors that need to be tuned up and lubricated periodically.

Simple Installation

This type of motor is very lightweight, and they can be installed and uninstalled very easily from transoms. Trolling motors can be used as primary motors for short-distance trips, while also offering means for clean energy transportation.

Affordable and Easy to Maintain

All you’ll need is a trickle charger and a deep-cycle battery for using this type of motor. Lead-acid batteries are cheap, and you can find great deals depending on their Amp-hour ratings.

Low-Maintenance and High Durability

As these motors require very little maintenance, they are known to be durable and can last for years. In brief, trolling motors are the most affordable and practical option for motorizing vessels.

Low Operating Speeds

On average, trolling motors can’t exceed speeds higher than 5 MPH. While this ensures a safe boating experience, it can also be a bit too slow for experienced users.

Limited Range

As trolling motors are battery-powered, their range is limited to battery power. This should be considered by users who intend to travel greater distances on their inflatable boats.

The Best Motor for Inflatable Boat – Top 4 Picks

Before proceeding further, keep in mind that the main factors to consider are the motor’s weight, power, and its ease of installation. You should also evaluate the boating scenarios where you’ll use a trolling motor. With that being said, here are 4 of the best motor for inflatable boat –

1. Pexmor Electric Trolling Motor For Inflatable Boats

Pexmor Electric Trolling Motor For Inflatable Boats

One of the most efficient trolling motors on this list, the Pexmor Trolling Motor is a popular choice among inflatable boat owners. And it is a favorite for good reasons!

The 12 volts battery-powered motor comes in three thrust variants, and the most efficient is the 36 lbs. version. Thanks to the high-quality components used in the motor, you can run the motor all day long without issues of overheating.

Another impressive feature of this trolling motor is its telescopic handle that can be adjusted about 6-inches. The ergonomic handle offers 5 forward speed options and 3 reverse speed options.

You can also adjust the shaft angle with a button, so you can adapt to varying surfing conditions on the go. Lastly, the in-water depth of the motor can be adjusted with a knob. In simple words, the Pexmor Trolling Motor truly aces in terms of adjustability!

One common complaint among users is that the Pexmor Trolling Motor doesn’t have a very sturdy build. However, this doesn’t seem to cause issues during boating, and the motor works just fine. On the bright side, it is specially treated with anti-corrosion elements to protect the metal components from salt water, etc.

Pros
  • Ticks all the right boxes for adjustability options
  • The power-efficient 12-volt motor ensures longer run-time
  • Telescopic handle with 5 forward and 3 reverse speeds
  • Sharp blades can easily cut through twigs and weeds
  • LED indicator enables easy tracking of battery life
Cons
  • Plastic shaft seems fragile for the immense torque produced

Verdict

The Pexmor Trolling Motor is a no-frills option for inflatable boat users that are looking for a hassle-free inflatable boat electric motor. Although the build quality is questionable, the motor can last for years if used properly.

2. AQUOS White Haswing 12V55LBS Trolling Motor for Inflatable Boat

AQUOS White Haswing 12V55LBS Trolling Motor for Inflatable Boat

Cue in the most lucrative trolling motor on this list; the AQUOS White Haswing comes with all bells and whistles that you would expect from a high-end trolling motor.

The 12-volt motor is designed for optimal silence and stability. While offering modest stability, the 55 lbs. thrust still packs quite a punch. With its variable speed dial, you can dial into your desired speed for smoother control. Moreover, the motor is surprisingly light on batteries.

The coolest feature of the AQUOS White Haswing is its remote control; you can control the motor with a remote from around 160 feet away! You also get a 14.7 feet long cable for wired foot control, so you can operate your boat hands-free when fishing.

This AQUOS trolling motor does well in terms of adjustability as well; it comes with a quick release mechanism for swift installation and uninstallation, a depth collar for adjusting depths, and a stow-and-deploy pedal for quick transitions to and from the boat.

Pros
  • Remote control allows the motor to be controlled from 160+ ft. away
  • Quick release bracket makes for easy installation/uninstallation
  • Cruise control allows user to focus more on fishing
  • Wired-foot control enables hands-free operation
  • Powerful and efficient motor runs quietly and stably
  • Ergonomic handle makes for effortless carrying of the motor
Cons
  • No reverse gear, the motor has to be turned around 180 degrees

Verdict

If you’re planning to go all out on your purchase for the best inflatable boat motor, you should consider the AQUOS White Haswing. It comes with great features you’d find on high-end models, while not costing a fortune.

3. Newport Vessels NV-Series Electric Trolling Motor

Newport Vessels NV-Series Electric Trolling Motor

Newport Vessels is a renowned manufacturer in the boating world. The same can be said for their NV series of trolling motors. This series of trolling motors are popular due to the great value for money offered by the motors.

The 12-volt motor comes in various variants between 36 lbs. and 86 lbs. of thrust. Although it may not be as powerful as the AQUOS motor we’ve seen earlier, it is certainly the most efficient and capable trolling motor on this list.

Built with high-quality components all around, the motor can be run all day without overheating. Moreover, it is relatively silent and it won’t spook fishes. With 5 forward and 3 reverse speeds on its telescopic handle, the motor is simple to maneuver. However, it doesn’t come with an on/off switch.

It is easy to adjust the mounting angle and in-water depth of this motor. The Newport Vessels NV trolling motor misses out on fancy features such as wired foot control and quick release, sure, but it makes up for all that with guaranteed durability.

All in all, the trolling motors from NV-series can surely stand up to anything that is thrown at them.

Pros
  • Relatively silent operating noise avoids spooking fishes
  • Highly efficient motor is light on battery power
  • LED indicator to monitor battery life
  • Fiberglass composite shaft and fiberglass nylon propeller
  • High-quality components are sure to resist corrosion
Cons
  • Misses out on certain features available on similarly priced motors
  • Electronics head unit is not water-proofed entirely

Verdict

The Newport Vessels NV-series trolling motors can be said to be the best motor for inflatable boat in its segment. Thanks to the high-quality components all around, a long lifetime is guaranteed from these motors.

4. Minn Kota Endura C2 30 Transom Mounted Trolling Motor

Minn Kota Endura C2 30 Transom Mounted Trolling Motor

If budget is not a problem and you’re looking for the best trolling motor that money can buy, you should have a look at the Endura C2. Minn Kota is a popular manufacturer of high-end boating products, and their Endura series of trolling motors are highly sought-after among boating enthusiasts.

What makes these trolling motors so popular is their nearly indestructible shaft. But that’s not it, the Minn Kota Endura C2 is the most silent motor on this list! It still packs quite a bit of power and is ideal for most boating scenarios.

The telescopic tiller handle on the Endura C2 can be adjusted up to 6-inches, and it offers 5 forward and 3 reverse speeds. Thanks to the handle’s ergonomic design, it is a delight to maneuver this motor.

Its quick-release lever lock bracket can secure your boat significantly tighter than conventional brackets. Another impressive feature is its power propeller, which can cut through dense vegetation without draining too much battery.

If you’re still not convinced about its durability, the special composite materials perform great at resisting flexes, warps, as well as UV damage. The only shortcoming of the Endura C2 is that it isn’t suitable for saltwater.

Pros
  • 10-position quick release lever lock offers rock-solid grip
  • Reinforced composite materials all around can withstand rough use
  • Adjustable telescopic tiller offers impressive maneuverability
  • Power propeller works great to cut through dense vegetation
  • Indestructible composite shaft cannot be broken
Cons
  • Not suitable for use in saltwater

Verdict

If you’re not willing to gamble your choices, you’ll certainly not regret getting the Minn Kota Endura C2. With tried and tested high-quality components all around, this trolling motor is sure to offer an impeccable boating experience.

Buying Guide for Trolling Motors

Choosing a trolling motor that perfectly fits the need of your inflatable boats will require you to consider a few factors.

Although we’re only looking at trolling motors, this buying guide can also be used for other types of inflatable boat motors. That being said, you should check out the following aspects –

a) Power-to-Weight Ratio

Using a heavy motor for a lightweight inflatable boat will beat its purpose of portability.

But as a general rule, it is advised to get a motor that can carry the load of the maximum weight allowed for your inflatable boat.

For example, if your boat can hold 5 passengers, you should opt for a motor that can at least transport 5 passengers, the dry weight of the boat, and the cargo all at once.

In simple words, the ratio of power should be higher, if not less than the ratio of the total weight of the boat.

b) Motor Power & Runtime

Before deciding on how much motor power you need, you should assess how you will be using the boat.

If you’ll use the boat for fishing, a motor producing 3-4 horsepower reaching speeds of 3-4.5 MPH should suffice.

But if you intend to explore and move around waterbodies, having extra power will allow you to go faster.

Since powerful motors consume batteries faster, it is recommended to carry extra batteries with them just to be safe; imagine getting stuck in the middle of a lake with an empty battery!

c) Manufacturer Limits

Most inflatable boats come with manual guides that state the boats’ capacity, weight, etc. If your inflatable boat comes with a guide, you should check to see if there is any information on the maximum horsepower rating for it.

Conforming to the manufacturer recommendations minimizes the risks of a potential accident, so do not overlook them.

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FAQs

1. Can a trolling motor push a dinghy?

Yes, a trolling motor can be used on all types of inflatable boats, including dinghies and rafts.

2. How fast will a 30 lbs. thrust trolling motor go?

The thrust force of a trolling motor does not determine the top speed of a boat. For instance, a 30 lbs., 40 lbs., and 55 lbs. trolling motor will all top out at around 5 MPH.

3. How fast can a 12-volt trolling motor go?

The maximum speed of most trolling motors is around 5 MPH, regardless of how many lbs. of thrust is produced by the motors.

Final Thoughts

If you want the best motor for inflatable boat, you should first assess your requirements and boating scenarios. If you won’t be using your inflatable boat very often, you can get a cheap trolling motor. But if you’re a seasoned boating enthusiast, the extra bucks will surely pay off in the long run!

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