How much thrust do I need for a canoe trolling motor

How Much Thrust Do I Need For a Canoe Trolling Motor? Finding Perfect Thrust in 2023

Thrust is the standard measurement that describes the propulsion capability of trolling motors, fishing boats, and other watercraft. Thrust also refers to the power of the motor. It is measured with lbs. The canoe paddler often asks how much thrust I need for a canoe trolling motor.

As per the general rules, 2-4 lbs. of thrust are required for every 100 lbs. canoe trolling motor, passenger, and smaller boats. Since the canoe is a smaller, narrower, lightweight watercraft, it doesn’t need much thrust. Therefore 20-25 lbs. thrust is enough for a medium canoe.

This guide will discuss the amount of thrust for a canoe trolling motor. Also, you will know the impact of thrust on a canoe trolling motor. So, let’s dive into the next paragraph.

How much thrust do I need for a canoe trolling motor?

canoe trolling motor

How many pounds of thrust do I need for a trolling motor? The amount of thrust you need for a canoe trolling motor depends on a few factors. Here we are discussing those factors in short so that it would be easier for you to understand.

Canoe size:

How much thrust you need is mostly depending on the canoe size. A smaller canoe needs less thrust, and a larger canoe needs more thrust. Commonly, a smaller canoe can perform great on water with 10-15 lbs. thrust. Hence, a medium canoe needs at least 20-25 lbs. thrust for better performance.


Thrust affects how fast you want to move through the water. Remember, the more speed you want, the more thrust you need. But it is required to use a canoe with a minimum of 20-25 lbs. thrust for ideal speed.

Canoe weight:

Weight is another important factor between canoe and thrust. Heavier weighted canoe always needs more thrust. Otherwise, it can’t perform well when you paddle.

Trolling motor size:

The larger the size of the trolling motor, the larger the battery required. When you use a large canoe, you will require more thrust. Usually, larger trolling motors need 30-40 lbs. thrust.

Shaft length:

The performance of a thrust is also related to shaft length. With proper shaft length, you will get ideal propulsion from the canoe. It is recommended to submerge the motor section at least 12 inches.

Trolling motor thrust guide for canoe

Here is a chart with ideal thrust measurements according to several weights and boat lengths. Let’s get a details idea from the below chart-

Canoe weight including gear and peopleLength of the canoeMinimum thrustRecommended thrust
Less or equal to 1500 pounds14-16 ft30 pounds55 pounds
2000 pounds16-18 ft40 pounds60 pounds
2500 pounds18-20 pounds50 pounds70 pounds
3000 pounds20-22 pounds60 pounds80 pounds
3500 pounds22-2470 pounds90 pounds
4000 pounds24-2680 pounds100 pounds
4500 pounds26-2890 pounds110 pounds
5000 pounds28-30100 pounds120 pounds
5500 pounds30 plus110 pounds120 plus

How to Calculate the Amount of Thrust you Need?

You can calculate the amount of thrust you need depending on two factors. One is canoe weight, and another is water condition.

Boat weight:

It is the easiest way to calculate your required thrust for the canoe. First, remember that you will need a minimum of 2 pounds thrust for every 100 pounds. If your canoe weight is 400 pounds, the thrust formula would be 4000/100 * 2 lbs. = 80 pounds. With this formula, you can find the ideal thrust for any weighted canoe.

Water condition:

If you’re paddling and fishing location is full of current and wind, you will need a powerful thrust for the canoe. You might require much or less thrust depending on the water condition. As a result, your canoe will perform best against all adverse situations.


How much thrust does a trolling motor need?

A 100 lbs. (including gear and human) required at least 2lbs. thrust. If you are fishing or paddling against strong currents and winds, you should use a more powerful thrust motor. How much trolling motor thrust do I need? In that case, you can go with a 30-40 lbs. thrust.

How fast will the canoe go with trolling motor?

A canoe will go incredibly faster than manual paddling. How fast it can go depends on the motor power, battery size, voltage, and shaft. Your canoe might go faster if you use a more powerful battery, including a high voltage battery and required shaft length. By the way, on average, a canoe can go 4.5 mph with trolling motor.

How big of a trolling motor do I need for a 14 ft Jon boat?

What size thrust trolling motor do I need for Jon’s boat? Jon boat is a heavier craft that is not aerodynamic too. That is why Jon’s boat needs a larger trolling motor. Note that the larger Jon boat has a bow-mount trolling motor. A 55lb thrust trolling motor is ideal for a 14′ -16′ Jon boat. In the meantime, remember to take a 12v 42″ shaft for a 14′ Jon boat. This measurement can protect your boat from strong wind and current.

What size trolling motor do I need for an 18 ft boat?

If you own an 18 ft boat, it is best to take a powerful trolling motor with 80 lbs. thrust. Although 24 volt trolling motor is enough for 18 ft boat, the best practice is to use a 36-volt system. At the same time, remember to choose a 52″- 60″ shaft for your boat

Final word:

We hope you already know how much thrust you need for a canoe trolling motor from our above discussion. It usually depends on the canoe’s size, weight, speed, and shaft length. You can calculate your required thrust for a canoe with 4000/100 * 2 lbs. = 80 formulae. But remember that the average thrust is 2 pounds for every 100 pounds canoe load. If you have a further query about this guide, let us know to update this content.

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