Can You Put a Trolling Motor On a Paddle Boat: Things You Need to Know

Trolling motors let the boat stay in place while fighting the wind or current without creating a natural anchor. Sometimes people using paddle boats get tired of paddling and want to go for a trolling motor. But can you put a trolling motor on a paddle boat?

In short, the answer is yes. Most anglers use trolling motors on their paddle boat to avoid wasting energy and get more fish. But the placement of a trolling motor depends on the size of your boat. The bigger the size of your boat, the easier it is to put a trolling motor. 

Can You Put A Trolling Motor On A Paddle Boat?

As the paddle boats are available in various sizes, you have to ensure your boat is quite significant to support both the trolling motor’s extra weight and its weight. Also, it can carry the battery weight.

For this reason, the boat must have sufficient stability to prevent it from tipping over if you install a side support arm trolling motor. It is most suitable to choose a larger boat for a trolling engine rated for over 225 pounds and has a width of around 32 inches.

In the case of a small paddle boat of around 150 pounds, setting up a trolling motor is quite tricky. That’s because it doesn’t provide enough balance.

What are the advantages of using a paddle board with a trolling motor?

As a paddle boat has a shallow draft, you can use them on rivers or small lakes inaccessible to large boats. Moreover, installing a trolling motor allows you to quickly and tirelessly move through these waters, which makes it a desirable choice for anglers.

It is effortless to carry and adjust almost anywhere when using an inflatable trolling paddleboard. Also, it allows you to fish in places that are difficult or even impossible to reach.

What size trolling motor do you need for a paddle board?

When it comes to trolling motors for paddle boards, the size you need depends on a few factors. The first is the weight of your board. A heavier board will need a more powerful motor to move it through the water. The second factor is the type of water you’ll be using it in. If you’re mostly paddling in calm lakes, you can get away with a smaller motor. But if you’re planning on using it in the ocean or in river currents, you’ll need a more powerful motor to overcome those conditions.

The third factor to consider is how fast you want to go. If you’re just looking to putter around at slow speeds, you can get away with a smaller motor. But if you’re looking to really zip through the water, you’ll need a more powerful motor.

While a trolling motor with 20-30 lb thrust is ideal for maximum paddle boats, you may increase it to 55 pounds if the boat is too big. Because paddle boats are so much lighter, you don’t have to use big trolling motors with more than 55 pounds of thrust to propel them efficiently.

For shaft length, you can choose a 24″ or 36″ shaft, which also matches the size of your trolling motor shaft. Another critical element is the battery weight. You want it to be as intense as possible, so you should choose a trolling motor of 12 volts to run on a 12-volt battery.

How To Put A Trolling Motor On A Paddle Boat?

While it may seem like a daunting task, it’s actually not that difficult – and it’s a great way to make your time on the water a lot more enjoyable. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to put a trolling motor on a paddle boat:

Step 1: Remove the head from the shaft

To extract the head from the shaft, you must remove the screws at the bottom. Once all screws have been removed, you can remove the cover.

Then, you have to detach the wires that go to the engine. Pull out all the cables that are connected to your shaft. After removing the wires, you can remove the head from the shaft.

Step 2: Place a PVC pipe

Use a jigsaw and drill through the center of the boat. Ensure the hole is similar to the PVC pipe. In addition, the pipe must be big enough to cover up the boat. 

Install the galvanized steel floor slab on the pipe. After that, insert the pipe into the hole to prevent the motor from pushing. Secure the floor slab with a few bolts and nuts.

Step 3: Flip the boat

Now, turn the boat. Also, you will need extra PVC attached to the bottom of your boat. Connect the vertical pipe using a three-sided PVC.

Step 4: Finish it off

Now insert the motor shaft through the bottom of the boat into the PVC pipe. The shaft must protrude from above so that you can rearrange the head. Pull the cables off the shaft and reconnect them to the battery.

Check out the following video for more details:

Where should you mount a trolling motor on a paddle board?

There are a few things to consider when deciding where to mount your trolling motor on your paddle board. The first is weight distribution. You want to be sure that the motor is mounted in a way that keeps the board balanced and stable. The second is wind resistance. You want to be sure that the motor is mounted in a way that it won’t be blown around by the wind. The third is drag. You want to be sure that the motor is mounted in a way that it won’t create too much drag on the board.

The best place to mount a trolling motor on a paddle board is in the center of the board. This will keep the board balanced and stable. It will also minimize wind resistance and drag.

You can use a transom mount for 34-inch wide paddle boats. In fact, you can mount the trolling motor at the back of those wide boats. If your paddling boat’s crossbar shape does not allow mounting a bracket, you can use a side mount for a narrow boat.

Moreover, the side mount is standard for mounting trolling motors on boats. You may easily mount many mount brackets, then attach them to the highest surface of the kayak.

Yet, some people favor placing their mounting bracket near the seat so they can reach forward to steer the steering wheel instead of behind it. If you prefer the latter, rotate the trolling motor head 180° so the handlebars point back for easier rear access.

How to put a trolling motor on a sun dolphin paddle boat?

Most Sun Dolphin paddle boats have a built-in electric motor which is better than attaching a trolling motor on the back. But for installing the trolling motor, you can follow the methods here.

Method 1: Set the motor beneath the boat

At first, take the lid off. After that, disconnect the wire and unscrew the head. Then use a PVC pipe to set the trolling motor wires at the floor surface by flipping.

Method 2: Remove the steering paddle

Remove the steering paddle and install the sprocket. Then connect it to another sprocket onto the path onto the trolling motor. After that, glue the sprockets together.

Method 3: Tie up with the leash plugs

You can mount your trolling motor straight to the cooler. Here you can use the existing leash plugs. Tie up the motor and connect it with the existing leash plugs.


Do you need to register a paddle board with a trolling motor?

Yes, most states in the US require you to register your trolling paddle boat. For a regular paddle boat, you needn’t register. Just register for the trolling motor.

How much weight can a paddle boat hold?

A regular size paddle boat can carry anywhere between 150-500 pounds. Moreover, a big paddle boat can hold more than 1000 pounds.

How fast can a paddle board go with a trolling motor?

A paddle boat with a trolling motor can reach 4-5 mph with a track. As the paddle boards are very light, a 55-pound thrust can get a top speed of 4-5 mph.

Final Thoughts

I hope you have got all your answers regarding “can you put a trolling motor on a paddle boat or not?” However, a motorized boat will make it easier to go with the boat and fish in a tough place. Still, if you have anything to know, contact us directly.

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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