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Nov 14, 2023  •  11 min

Electric Fishing Boat Motors: A Quick Guide

The electric motor for fishing boats has totally transformed fishing for anglers.

Electric fishing boat motors make things much easier for stealth fishing, so you can chase rising fish silently without using oars (and it’s much faster than rowing!)

Tired of carrying around a gasoline outboard? Want to get extra fish with a reliable electric fishing boat motor?

Continue reading to get helpful information and select your best electric fishing boat motor wisely.

In this post, you will learn everything you need to know about electric fishing boat motors. That way, you can make an informed choice among the seemly endless options on the market.

Mind you, the performances can be disappointing if you don’t choose correctly between the electric trolling motor and outboard for your fishing boat. So read the tips below to make sure you get it right!

Table of contents:

Electric Fishing Boat Motor

Electric Fishing Boats: Two Motor Solutions

If you have searched around, you will find people talking about two different types of electric fishing boat motors.

You can choose either electric outboards or electric trolling motors. What’s the difference?

  • Electric outboard motors are designed for long range with higher power output (measured in kW or equivalent HP on the shaft) to fight against the wind or other adverse weather conditions.

This type of electric fishing boat motor can be used as the main engine to fish on the big lochs all day long as well as a backup engine when your main engine is packed up whilst fishing. It can also help you get to the fishing grounds more quickly.

  • Whereas, trolling motors can only provide slow trolling speeds with limited power output (measured in pounds).

This type of electric fishing boat motor is more suitable for simply adjusting shifts, short tender trips in calm water, or slow trolling on bass fishing boats. It won’t last as long against the strong headwind, so if there is a gentle breeze, you might have to struggle ashore to replace the battery after a few drifts.

So what’s the best electric fishing boat motor solution for you?

Essentially, whether to go with an electric outboard or trolling motor depends on how long and how you want to use the electric fishing boat motor.

Here are two questions to think about before making the final decision:

  • Do you need to go in front of the wind for a long time (or just need to adjust your drift)?
  • Do you need faster speed or more range for long journeys?

If your answer is YES to either question, you will probably need an electric outboard for your fishing boat.

You will find the outboards in a different league entirely if you get a chance to try both types of electric fishing boat motors. Another benefit of electric outboards is that you don’t need to worry about the selection of batteries, chargers, and other parts separately (as required by trolling motors) since they are usually sold in a complete package.

Editor’s Note: The bigger motor is not necessarily heavier. In fact, the electric fishing boat motor weight depends largely on the batteries. Click to learn more about electric fishing boat motor batteries.

Electric Fishing Boat Motor Size

What engine size would be best for a 12-13 ft fishing boat? I am looking for advice on min thrust for an electric outboard for inland fishing.

Every day, we get tons of inquiries on the electric fishing boat motor sizes.

In fact, the electric fishing boat motor size depends on a lot of factors, including what size of water you fish for, the size of the boat, the shape of the hull, and how much weight you’ll be pulling.

Also, the motor size will be different if you just want an auxiliary electric motor on your fishing boat.

Generally speaking, a 3 HP electric motor is ample to cover most fishing needs for smaller boats.

If you want a more accurate answer, you will need to do some research into electric fishing boat motors.

An easy way is to check the recommendation chart provided by the outboard manufacturers.

For example, you can easily find a suitable ePropulsion electric motor according to your boat size with the chart:

Electric Motor ModelBoat TypeBoat Size
Spirit 1.0 Evo
3 HP
Fishing boats<13ft
Kayaks & Canoes<10ft
Navy Series Outboards
6 HP / 9.9 HP
Pontoon boats<20ft
Fishing boats<20ft
Commercial boats<25ft

Another way to find a suitable electric fishing boat motor size is to check the test report in real-life fishing applications.

It provides comprehensive performance data with detailed information on the boat and outboard, so you can easily know whether the electric fishing boat motor is right for you.

For example, here is a test report of the best-selling 3 HP electric outboard Spirit 1.0 on the popular Alumacraft Escape 145 fishing boat:

PowerSpeed (mph / kph)Runtime (hh:mm)Range (mile / km)
351.3 / 2.128:3637.1 / 60
651.8 / 2.915:1827.7 / 44.6
1502.3 / 3.78:0018.4 / 29.6
2502.8 / 4.54:0011.2 / 18
5003.8 / 6.12:007.6 / 12.2
7504.5 / 7.21:186 / 9.7
10005.2 / 8.41:005.2 / 8.4
*Click to check the full test report.

The data serves as a reference to see how this electric fishing boat motor works on your boat. If the range and power can satisfy your daily fishing needs, Spirit 1.0 is a good choice for your boat.

Want a more powerful electric fishing boat motor?

See more electric fishing boat motor test reports and boat-and-engine combinations in the Performance Bulletin.

Editor’s Note: You may find that the electric fishing boat motor is rated by kW instead of horsepower, and a simple kW to HP calculation may lead to a smaller HP number than claimed.

In fact, the HP label on electric motors stands for the equivalent power on the shaft. For example, a 1kW electric fishing boat motor comes with the same output at the shaft as a 3HP (2.2kW) combustion motor.

That’s because the electric fishing boat motor is much more efficient with much less heat and friction energy loss, and thus reamining higher power on the shaft.

Electric Fishing Boat Motor Battery

A lightweight battery is important for small motors, including the electric fishing boat motor. Think about the handling and the risk of dropping it in the water, on the ground, or on your feet.

The battery is also an extra load in the boat.

Getting tired of hauling heavy lead acid batteries? It’s time to learn the new battery technology.

The lithium battery is a game changer for electric fishing boat motors.

A 2048Wh ePropulsion lithium battery weighs only 28 kg and can be easily handled by a single person.

If you want to save trouble choosing the ideal battery for your electric fishing boat motor, you may consider getting a complete engine solution that features an integrated battery (and all necessary accessories to make it work).

It also saves you trouble wiring the batteries.

Click to check ePropulsion Spirit 1.0 Evo and learn the convenience of the electric fishing boat motor package.

Another big highlight for the Spirit battery is that it can float, so no worries about dropping it in water during use and transportation.

Spirit 1.0 Electric Fishing Boat Motor
Electric Fishing Boat Motor Battery

If you still want a larger battery capacity, check out the LiFePO4 battery. This type of electric fishing boat motor battery offers even higher energy density, and thus less weight (33 kg for 3072 Wh battery) and lower unit price (as low as $0.5 per watt-hour).

Best Electric Fishing Boat Motors

What are the good makes and models of the electric fishing boat motor?

If you want to get a reliable and cost-effective electric fishing boat motor that will last, be sure to check out our recommendation list.

All electric fishing boats below are popular among anglers worldwide with positive comments.

#1. Spirit 1.0 Evo: 3 HP Electric Fishing Boat Motor

A small 3 HP electric boat motor, such as Spirit 1.0 Evo, is enough to transform your days of fishing.

With Spirit 1.0 Evo, you can forget the days of constantly on and off the oars and the long rows upwind.

3 HP Electric Fishing Boat Motor

It’s lightweight and provides clean power for all kinds of fishing boats, including pontoon and inflatable fishing boats, under 13 ft.

Compared with the electric fishing trolling motors, it delivers better performances all rounds. According to our test, you can go 22 miles at 4.5 mph within one charge or go fishing all day long at trolling speed (on a 12-foot aluminum boat).

Power (W)Speed (mph / kph)Runtime (hh:mm)Range (mile / km)
352.2 / 3.512:2580 / 129
652.7 / 4.319:3553 / 85.3
1253.5 / 5.610:0035 / 56
2504.4 / 7.15:0022 / 35.5
5005.3 / 8.52:3013.3 / 21.3
7505.7 / 9.21:409.5 / 15.3
10006.2 / 101:157.8 / 12.5

This electric outboard motor uses a brushless motor and it’s apparently more efficient with a higher power-to-weight ratio than the brushed models.

Another big plus of this electric fishing boat motor is its integrated floatable battery. So there will be no more leads and battery clutter in your boat. Also, no worries about dropping it in the water.

Here is a video that introduces how this electric motor becomes a must-have on Rod’s lake fishing boat:

“It’s quiet, and gets me from point A to B quickly, and more importantly, the battery charge lasts all day.” – Rod, an avid fisherman, fishing expert and educator based in Vancouver.

Special Offer: If you are new to boating and want to set up your electric fishing boat quickly, you may want to check out the eVenture Bundle from Freedom Electric Marine.

This package has all the winning ingredients in one place including the Twin Troller X10 fishing boat, Spirit 1.0 Plus electric motor, and Multi-Sport Trailer, promising to provide you with an ultimate fishing experience.

ePropulsion Electric Motor on Fishing Boat

Click to check the electric fishing boat bundle and save $500 immediately.

#2. Navy Evo Series: 6 HP/9.9 HP Electric Fishing Boat Motor

Worried about the battery and range of electric fishing boat motors?

Having a larger electric fishing boat motor, such as Navy 3.0 Evo or Navy 6.0 Evo, onboard can help cancel any range anxiety (if there is any).

6 HP/9.9 HP Electric Fishing Boat Motor

It’s powerful enough to work as the main engine and push your fishing boat up to 30 ft. You can also have twin electric motors for your fishing boat using its handy dual-control system.

According to our test, you can go 40 miles at 5 mph within one charge or go fishing all day long at trolling speed with Navy 6.0 Evo.

Power (Watt)Speed (mph / kph)Running Time (hh:mm)Range (mile / km)
5004 / 6.518:0072 / 116
10008-May9:0045 / 72
20006.7 / 10.84:3030.2 / 48.6
300013-Aug3:0024 / 39
400011.5 / 18.52:1525.9 / 41.7
500013.5 / 21.81:5024.7 / 39.8
600015 / 24.31:3022.5 / 36.5
*The performance data is based on a 12-foot aluminum boat with one person, powered by one Navy 6.0 Evo with one E175 battery, in calm lake water.

If you want to extend the range and runtime, you can always add more batteries to your electric fishing boat motor setup.

Electric Fishing Boat Motor Batteries

If you do sea fishing, you will love this motor more since it’s not only suitable for both freshwater and saltwater fishing, but also powerful enough to deal with the strong winds that come from nowhere in the sea.

See what experienced anglers say about this electric fishing boat motor:

“I love my Epropulsion Navy 6.0 EVO electric outboard! Paired with the E175 48v lithium iron phosphate, I have the confidence to outrun my opponents to the best spots and still have plenty of power to make it back on time to weigh in. It’s quiet, reliable, affordable, and virtually maintenance free!” – Charles Curtis, Former points champion (2x) in the Jon Boat Bass Club of NC

Fishing Boat Motor Navy 6.0 on 16ft Jon Boat

Final Thoughts

The electric fishing boat motor has taken the fishing experience to the next level.

It allows you to glide silently and serenely along the fishing spots without disturbing the wildlife.

It’s easier to maneuver around weed beds with electric fishing boat motors than petrol engines.

It’s faster than using oars when you need to go after feeding fish or chasing rising fish.

It’s lighter and easier to move as it doesn’t have the weight of fuel in it and can disassemble in seconds!

Also, there is no (or at least significantly less) servicing or messing about changing oil.

That’s why so many people go for electric fishing boats these days.

If you need any professional advice on electric outboards for your fishing boats, feel free to leave a comment below and I will get back to you asap.

Join the discussion!

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