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Thrust Vs. Power In Trolling Motors

Thrust Vs. Power In Trolling Motors

Electric trolling motors are extremely useful for anglers since they allow them to be quieter, precise, and help them against strong winds and currents.

However, when you’re new to trolling motors, you may be confused about the terminology used and about which model to opt for. That’s where we come in – we know exactly how challenging this can be.

Because we’ve been through the same thing, we have prepared this guide on thrust and power in trolling motors. In this guide, we’ll cover common questions, concepts, and more so that you’re an expert in no time.

Is Thrust Power?

U-BCOO 8 Speed Saltwater Transom Mounted Electric Trolling Motor Fishing Boat Outboard Motor Kayak (L-12V-55lbs)

Thrust is the single most important thing to consider before purchasing a trolling motor. Thrust refers to how powerful a trolling motor is and is measured in pounds (lbs).

You should note that larger boats require more thrust and plan your purchase accordingly.

Choosing the Right Thrust

HYYKJ-US Electric Outboard Trolling Motor 44lbs Thrust Outboard Engine Inflatable Fishing Boat Engine Motor, 1300RPM 16" Short Length, Freshwater Saltwater Use (ET45L, 12V 480W)

When you’re choosing the right thrust, there are several factors you should consider – we’ve outlined some of them below for your convenience.

One of the most important factors to look at is weight. As a rule of thumb, you need at least 2 lbs. of thrust for every 100 lbs. of weight.

Of course, you should err on the side of caution and opt for more thrust than less. Remember, the total weight includes everything — fuel, belongings, the people present on the boat!

Voltage also plays a part in this since trolling motors with higher voltage also have more thrust.

Homevibes Electric Trolling Motor 55 Pounds Thrust Transom Mounted Saltwater 12V/24V Trolling Motor for Kayak, 28 Inch Shaft and Led Battery Indicator

Another major consideration is where you tend to fish – if you’re going to face high winds and current, you’ll need more thrust than if you’re fishing in relatively mild weather conditions.

Lastly, make sure you always keep the size and shape of the hull in mind. For example, a Deep V hull will have more drag compared to a “flats” boat and will need more thrust.

This chart from Minn Kota may be helpful since it covers the minimum thrust required for different boat weight and lengths.

What Is the S.I. Unit of Thrust?

The S.I. unit of thrust is Newton (N).

How Do You Convert Power to Thrust?

Electric Trolling Motor, 408W 40LBS Thrust Transom Mount Outboard Trolling Motor Engine Outboard Boat Motor for Inflatable Kayaks Dinghy Canoe

Trolling motors come in three different variants of power – 12v, 24v, and 36v. As we have mentioned before, higher voltage results in more thrust.

Therefore, while a 12v trolling motor may require one battery, this won’t be the same for the other variants. A 24v trolling motor will require 2 batteries, and a 36v trolling motor will require 3 batteries.

If you’re confused, don’t worry. Just keep the following ratios in mind:

  •       12v trolling motors need a maximum of 55 lbs. of thrust
  •       24v trolling motors need between 55 and 80 lbs. of thrust
  •       36v trolling motors need between 80 and 115 lbs. of thrust

Check out this table by for information on calculating trolling motor battery run times.

Are Thrust and Force the Same?

Thrust is an unmoving (static) force and the measure trolling motors use.

Is Thrust the Same as Horsepower?

Thrust is measured in pounds (lbs) and measures static force. Horsepower, on the other hand, is measured in 550 ft-pounds of work per second.

Therefore, there is no way to make direct comparisons between thrust and horsepower unless one knows a boat’s speed as well.

Many people tend to think that more thrust equals faster speed. However, this is a faulty way of thinking because speed is affected by factors such as horsepower and prop pitch.

How Much Thrust Is in Horsepower?

While this is difficult to calculate exactly, the general rule of thumb is 72-75 lbs. of thrust being equal to one unit of horsepower.


Trolling motors can be an excellent investment for anglers and can make fishing more successful than ever before. However, to take advantage of your trolling motor, you need to know exactly what you’re looking for.

We hope this article helped you understand the roles of thrust and power in trolling motors and what you should look out for when making a purchase.

If you found this article useful, drop us a comment below and let us know which trolling motor you end up choosing!