Interested in the best trolling motors for jon boats? Then you have come to the right place. We will go over some of the best electric trolling motors for jon boats so that you know which one is right for you.
But before we get into that, lets see what exactly jon boats are and why are they great for fishing.
Note: most links in this article are Amazon.com Affiliate links, see Affiliate Disclosure, thank you.
What Is a Jon Boat
The jon boat is one of the most popular marine platforms that you will find in the South. The simplicity of its design and its characteristic shape makes it ideal for several marine activities including fishing. There are several sizes and options that will suit your preferences, lifestyle and budget.
The flat shape of jon boats means that they can easily skim over placid shallow waters. Thanks to the flat shape of the full it is prone to sitting in water rather than gliding through it. Hence, there is no need for high sides in this boat.
Bear in mind that jon boats are designed for calm and shallow waters. They are not suitable for deep rough seas. Hence, you can take your jon boat out to mudflats, swamps and shallow waters full of muck and obstacles.
The design of the jon boat makes it a safe and stable platform for the toughest fishing challenges. You can stand up and fight hard to haul in your catch without fear no matter how fierce it is.
There is no danger of the boat will capsize due to its very well-balanced structure. Thus, jon boats are the ideal solution for hunting bass and other fish that keep away from the open sea.
For extra mobility and speed, you can invest in the right jon boat trolling motor. The motor will prove to be of great value on your fishing expeditions and will be your valuable ally in hunting all kinds of fish that can be found in shallow waters.
Lets now get into the best trolling motors for jon boats in 2020.
With its 55 pounds of thrust, you will have little problem going anywhere you like with this high-performance motor. Since the motor is quite powerful, you have several speed options that you can opt for depending on your mood.
Here is what you get with this model.
- 10 position lever-lock bracket
- 5 Fwd/3 Rev speed levels
- 6 in telescoping handle
- Lifetime warranty for 36” indestructible shaft
- 12 volt 50 ampere current
- 2 blade propeller
Thanks to the power of this motor, you can load your jon boat liberally with people and supplies for your fishing adventure. Nothing needs to be left out just because the motor will struggle under the load.
The heavy-duty motor is an improvement over the previous successful versions and is an even better iteration thanks to its higher power output. The propeller and shaft are much stronger and the motor builds up enough power for you to maneuver your craft comfortably at higher speeds.
The 8 different speed settings give you a high level of control over your boat’s movement both in both forward and reverse motions.
The motor extends improved control over your boat’s movement with a 6 inch telescoping handle, which is a standard feature in all other Minn Kota C2 engines.
The lever lock bracket has a robust design and sturdy construction as a result of it being stronger than other ordinary brackets.
The indestructible 36 inch shaft is made of composite material that is resistant to warping and flexing, thus mitigating any chance of damage. The high-grade material does not fade when exposed to UV rays.
The shaft is practically indestructible and stronger than steel on a weight basis. It may be hard for you to believe, but the shaft is invulnerable to damage when used as intended. After all, the lifetime guarantee on the shaft says it all.
The extraordinary guarantee shows the manufacturer’s confidence level in the product and their willingness to stand behind it. This is the only shaft on the market that carries a lifetime guarantee.
So once you buy this motor, you can forget about shaft problems that might render your motor inoperative.
- 55 pounds of thrust
- Can mount on the transom
- Saltwater resistant
- Adjustable shaft of 30 inches
- 8-speed levels – 3 reverse and 5 forward
- 12 volt 52 amperes current
- 5 LED battery meter
Whether you intend to sail your jon boat in freshwater or saltwater, the Newport Vessels electric trolling motor will prove to be a dependable ally.
One major plus point of this versatile motor is that it is impervious to saltwater damage. This means that you can take it to any saltwater body without hesitation and without worrying about what the salt will do to your precious motor.
Newport Vessels is offering a superb range of electric trolling motors for jon boats that can do equally well in saltwater besides freshwater. The use of top-class materials ensures that the motor will withstand corrosion even under the toughest conditions.
The motor has a generous power output of 55 pounds thrust so that you can navigate with ease anywhere you like. You can have a selection of 8 speed settings, 5 in forward and 3 in reverse for a high level of control.
The shaft length is adjustable which is a significant advantage since you will be able to install this motor with ease on big as well as smaller vessels alike.
The 55 pound driving force of the motor means that your boat will not struggle even when loaded with people and supplies.
The motor has a robust design so that it is virtually impervious to damage when used as intended. The motorhead is encapsulated in an aluminum casing to make it highly resistant to corrosion and heavy use.
The 5 point LED meter is also another big boon since you will receive ample warning in advance of when your battery is about to run out. Thus, you will not have to live with the frustration of having your dream boat trip cut short just because your battery ran out without warning.
The bright LED lights are easily visible so that you can read the battery level without problems even under dark conditions.
The Xi3 deploys wireless connectivity to provide the edge and full control through technology that is convenient and simple to use. Irrespective of where you are standing on the boat, the wireless remote control can help manage the motor.
No matter how tough it gets on your boating trip, one thing is for certain, the simplicity and high functionality of the MotorGuide Xi3 will give you the control that you need to make it through. High-tech navigation features coupled with wireless technology will set you free.
The precision GPS helps you determine your exact location with pinpoint accuracy so that you can rest assured when sailing in uncharted waters. The integrated sonar will be of much use to new anglers and experienced sailors alike.
Thus, the Xi3 can appeal to a wide range of anglers and easily fit in with their preferences and lifestyle. The GPS and wireless capabilities work straight out of the box.
The LED dashboard is easy to use and provides bright lights so that you can quickly read the status of main functions regardless of lighting conditions.
No matter how new you are to fishing, this boat will make the whole process go smoothly. The Xi3 is proof that you can fearlessly embark on your first expedition with no trepidation.
SecureStep deploying and stowing will leave you with plenty of energy to take on your toughest catches yet. Instead of working on your motor, you can save your precious energy for hauling in the biggest prize fish.
Digital power management is available so that you can extend your battery life by up to 5 times. The right mix of functions and features means that deployment and stowing are easier than ever.
Fishing can be hard work for sure but it should not be onerous by any means. This is what the Xi3 helps you to do – to let the motor work for you rather than the other way round. The quiet operation of the motor will extend the peace of mind and tranquility so that you can enjoy your fishing in comfort.
The good news is that wireless control and all functions are easy to master. The intuitive nature of the on-screen interface means that you will get up to speed in next to no time.
Even first-timers will have no problems using the remote control steering since its use is very direct and straightforward. There is even the wireless foot pedal that makes for a superb option to take the work out of boating.
The Xi3 will prove to be a powerful, versatile and yet silent workhorse for your jon boat.
Note: you will need to create a front deck on some jon boat model for bow mount electric trolling motors
Guidelines for Thrust, Shaft Length, and Steering Type
When choosing the best trolling motors for jon boats, you will certainly wonder about the optimal amount of thrust, shaft length as well as steering kind that will serve you best.
To help iron out any confusion, here is a simple guideline for trolling motor thrust. This rough estimate will help you understand how much thrust you need for your boating expeditions.
For every hundred pounds of weight on your jon boat, you will need around 2 pounds of thrust. This weight includes the weight of the gear, occupants, fuels, and the jon boat itself.
To prevent high winds from impeding your jon boat’s progress, you should also factor in an additional 10 pounds of thrust. This extra force will empower your jon boat to sail steadily through strong winds.
The shaft length of the trolling motor is specific to the dimensions of your jon boat. To find out how much shaft length will suit you, measure from the bow’s top where the motor will be installed all the way to the waterline.
You should then add 20 inches to this measurement. The ideal shaft length is the total of both these values.
The steering type will influence your boating experience so you should choose wisely depending on your preferences. It will also depend on your budget.
You can opt for conventional cable steer, electric control (remote), foot-controlled steering with cable, and hand control.
Thrust vs. Horsepower
One widely prevalent misconception among boaters and anglers is that thrust is a measure of horsepower. However, this is not the case since thrust and horsepower stand for different qualitative measures.
Thrust is a measure of the force available to propel your craft. It is the force applied to your boat. So a 55 pound motor will apply that much thrust to your vessel. Horsepower, on the other hand, gives you a measure of the rate at which work is being done. Hence, power has 2 components: force and distance.
One horsepower represents 550 pound-feet of work every second. Trolling motors are usually rated in terms of thrust while the rating of gasoline powered engines is given in horsepower. Since they are indicating different quantities, the 2 cannot be directly compared.
Here is how you can measure the power of your motor to make a fair comparison. To find out how much horsepower your motor is capable of generating, you need to know how much work it does at top speed.
Manufacturers often list the current level that comes into play when the motor is operating at top speed. Using this value of current, you can find out the power simply by multiplying it with the voltage of the battery.
For example, suppose you have a motor that exerts a force of 55 pounds at top speed. If this motor provides a current of 50 amperes at this speed for a battery voltage of 12 volts, then the power in watts is given by:
Power (in watts) = 50 x 12 = 600 watts
Hence the power of the motor is 600 watts. You can easily convert this quantity to horsepower simply by using the conversion factor shown below.
Power (in horsepower) = 600 watts x 1/746 = 0.8 horsepower
Thus, you can find out the horsepower of your motor easily by using the current value at top speed.
Trolling Motor Speed and RPMs
Another widespread misconception is that higher thrust will increase the top speed of your motor. This does not happen. Electric motors are different from gasoline motors.
However, one measurement common to both is that they are both given in revolutions per minute or RPM for short. RPM is the number of revolutions that the propeller makes with its axis every minute. This can help you to estimate the top speed of your motor.
Motors with different thrust values that have the same RPM will help you to reach the same top speed. The maximum RPM is restricted by the voltage level that can be applied to the motor’s speed coil.
It is due to this limitation that electric trolling motors do not have the same performance level as that of gasoline outboard engines.
Propellers need more sophisticated analysis than most people think. Computer simulations are aiding flow around propellers to help make more accurate estimates of thrust and top speed. One important value of the propeller is the pitch.
The pitch indicates the distance that the propeller would go through in one revolution. Higher pitch will increase the top speed but it will reduce the maximum RPM. When the propeller pitch is lower, it cuts through the water more efficiently for quicker acceleration.
You will need a special kind of battery known as a marine battery for powering your Jon boat. The deep cycle battery is more suitable for your trolling motor than starter batteries.
Thanks to their design, deep cycle batteries are able to power electronic equipment through the efficient use of energy over longer time periods. Hence these batteries can discharge and recharge fully without damage.
Starter batteries are different in nature. As a result, they will not work well for your trolling motor. Their main purpose is to rev up a combustion engine. Thus, they discharge a lot of electrical energy in a short time span as opposed to deep cycle batteries that are more efficient in their operation.
Not only will they discharge quickly because of big energy releases, they will also undergo damage if the charge drops below a certain level. If you use a starter battery with a trolling motor, then it will take its toll on the battery and eventually cost you.
Lead-acid batteries come in 2 basic forms: sealed lead-acid and wet-cell. While wet-cell batteries are cheaper than sealed batteries, they have certain drawbacks. Wet-celled batteries require more maintenance than sealed lead-acid batteries and are more sensitive to spillage and vibrations.
Every time a wet-cell battery recharges or discharges, the electrolyte level drops lower. Hence you will have to refill these types of batteries with distilled water from time to time so that the electrolyte level is optimal.
Since these batteries are unsealed, you must take care that they remain in an upright position at all times otherwise they will spill. You must also exercise much greater care when moving these batteries since vibrations and shocks can damage the plates within them.
Due to all of these problems, it is not worth it to save a few dollars on wet-cell batteries since the headache and ensuing costs are far in excess of initial savings.
Although sealed lead-acid batteries are more expensive than wet-cell batteries they also happen to be more resistant to shocks and vibrations making them sturdier.
They also need lesser maintenance since their electrolyte level does not fall owing to sealing. These qualities make sealed lead-acid batteries a far better choice for boating since the higher expense is fully worth it.
Jon boat anglers and enthusiasts are increasingly favoring lithium-ion batteries. They have several advantages to their credit due to which they are being more widely adopted.
They are efficient, lightweight, and small. However, they are also much more expensive. If you have a bigger budget, you can go for lithium batteries to leverage these benefits. These batteries are also a good choice for smaller boats since they are so much lighter.
The amount of charge that a battery can store is measured in ampere-hours. as you would have guessed, a larger value for ampere-hours means that your battery will be able to deliver the same current for a longer time duration.
That is, the battery has a larger charge storage capacity with higher amp-hours. The charge storage capacity as indicated by amp hours is thus a key factor that you must take into account for your jon boat trips. Here is a rough guide to elucidate how much you will need.
Suppose you need to power a 55 pound electric trolling motor for 2 hours at full speed. You will need around 100 amp hours to make it happen. But you should not be surprised if you hear from fellow anglers that they are running their jon boats on electric trolling motors on and off for the entire day.
Hence, there are several factors at play that determine how much charge the motor consumes from your battery. 100 Ah will suffice for most purposes.
Jon boats are a great choice for fishing expeditions in shallow waters. Provided you will not be taking your boat out in the deep open seas, a jon boat will do just fine.
You should invest in one of the best trolling motors for jon boats for a better experience and the most bang for your buck.