Can I Use a Freshwater Trolling Motor in Saltwater: All you have to know

Trolling a motor in freshwater will give you the experience of fishing quite smoothly. On the other hand, a saltwater trolling motor will provide you with adventure. But can I use a freshwater trolling motor in saltwater

In short, the answer is yes. You can use the freshwater trolling motors in saltwater without immediate damage. Yet, there is a high corrosion risk of metal parts. Read till the end to find out more about it.

Saltwater Vs Freshwater Trolling Motor

Because saltwater is so corrosive, saltwater trolling motors are built differently from freshwater motors. These are made of high-quality materials that resist corrosion and rust, such as stainless steel. Furthermore, the motors are coated with unique paint that inhibits corrosion and rust.

A saltwater motor’s electric components are coated to protect these from corrosion and rust. The most significant difference between the two trolling motors is a tiny metal component called a sacrificial anode positioned beneath the motor.

The sacrificial anode is wrapped and coated with a unique coating that prevents rust and corrosion in saltwater motors like Minn Kota 1363559. As salt water corrodes metal quicker than freshwater, the motor’s performance will suffer significantly if the sacrificial anode is not protected.

Another distinction is that most freshwater motors are manually driven. That is, they are either operated by hand. These settings might be difficult to learn if you’re unfamiliar with trolling motors. However, you’ll discover these are invaluable for controlling and driving a boat with a little effort.

Trolling motors for saltwater are much more costly than freshwater as the saltwater models contain anti-rust and anti-corrosion properties. You can use a cost-effective trolling motor like Newport Vessels Kayak Series for both freshwater and saltwater.

Can I Use A Freshwater Trolling Motor In Saltwater?

You may use a freshwater trolling motor in saltwater, but there are a few factors to take into consideration:

To begin with, several companies will not respect a freshwater trolling motor’s guarantee if it has been used in saltwater. So, if you genuinely want to maintain your warranty advantages, you should avoid doing this.

Second, you must wash your trolling motor with freshwater once it has been touched to saltwater, but you should never leave it in saltwater for longer than is required. So don’t moor the boat with the trolling motor remaining in the water, as this dramatically accelerates corrosion.

Finally, if you expect to do a lot of saltwater fishing, you should consider choosing a model made exclusively for saltwater use. A freshwater trolling motor and a thorough rinse will suffice if you’re just planning to do this a few times a year. You may also use oil or anti-corrosion products to cover the metal pieces.

Can You Use Freshwater Minn Kota In Saltwater 

The Riptide model of Minn Kota trolling motor may be utilized in saltwater if adequately maintained. This motor has the most excellent qualities to withstand salty conditions. It’s also of excellent quality so that you can count on it in the long term.

This motor is reinforced using steel material, which increases the motor’s longevity in saltwater environments. This type also has properly sealed wires for both your and the motor’s protection. Finally, this motor is protected by a tough paint finish.

However, it can withstand corrosion, a typical concern when working with seawater. You can use this engine securely in saltwater because of its excellent qualities. However, you must ensure that you’ve maintained it properly after each usage.

How Long Will A Freshwater Trolling Motor Last In Saltwater 

A freshwater trolling motor may endure several years in saltwater if adequately maintained. However, it takes a lot of effort to keep and maintain it, including using a waterproof layer on metal surfaces to prevent corrosion and cleaning it along with freshwater wipe down.

If you follow all of the maintenance steps, remember that a trolling motor will not exist as long as it does in freshwater. Saltwater exposure eventually affects a freshwater motor’s rubber sealing, resulting in saltwater pouring inside and shorting out the electrical circuits.

How do you clean a trolling motor after saltwater?

Cleaning a trolling motor is quite easy if you follow the proper maintenance procedure. Here are the ways to clean it.


Because saltwater may be hazardous and detrimental to almost any watercraft, trying to clean the watercraft and trolling motor after exposure to saltwater is essential. Ensure that the saltwater trolling motor is thoroughly cleaned and rinsed using fresh water to remove all salt crystals.


Remove the saltwater trolling motor’s propeller. This will allow you to remove any tangled weeds and seawater gathered. When removing and cleaning the propeller, be cautious not to lose any minor assembly pieces necessary for trolling motor functioning.


When you transfer and tow your boat from one water source to another, keep an eye out for aquatic hitchhikers. Before launching the craft in a new body of water, investigate the surrounding region and eliminate any obstructions.

As you go from one body of water to another, invasive and other dangerous aquatic organisms can spread through the water and stick individuals to your boat and trolling motor. Drain holes, propellers, the trailer, and even you should inspect the vehicle. It’s never a bad idea to be extra careful.

Motorguide Xi5 Saltwater Vs. Freshwater

Xi5 has elevated MotorGuide to new heights. So you may use it in either freshwater or saltwater. The product was designed, engineered, and manufactured with substantial investment.

Compared to prior versions, it is also safer and easier to use. However, Xi5 was developed and constructed by MotorGuide to meet and surpass the demands of today’s demanding anglers.


Can Lowrance Ghost be used in saltwater?

Ghost is only meant to be used in freshwater. You will invalidate the guarantee if Ghost is used in saltwater or brackish water.

Can you use a Minn Kota Ultrex in saltwater?

Minn Kota Ultrex is a superb piece of equipment that comes with no guarantee once they contact saltwater. Minn Maintenance and Servicing’s Troy Whyte can assist make your hard-earned Ultrex far more salt-resistant by installing a bottom shield and stainless gear.

Can you take a freshwater boat in saltwater?

The quick answer is that you can use a freshwater boat in saltwater and vice versa. Of course, there are a few things to think about before diving into a new pond. After each usage, you’ll need to thoroughly clean your boat because freshwater boats aren’t built to prevent rust.

Final Verdict

I hope you have got your answer regarding using a freshwater trolling motor in the saltwater. Just keep in mind that apply a thin grease or oil coat to the revealed metal and flush your trolling engine with fresh water after use in saltwater. Happy kayaking!

Anthony Jones
Anthony Jones

Anthony is an expert in fishing and trolling motor equipment, based in Austin. In his free time, he can often be found out on the water, perfecting his fishing techniques and testing out the latest gear.

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