Navigating the Waters: A Guide to Choosing the Best Trolling Motor for a Gheenoe

When outfitting a Gheenoe for fishing and boating adventures, one of the most important accessories to consider is a trolling motor. Choosing the right trolling motor for your Gheenoe is crucial for having full control and maneuverability on the water. There are several factors to take into account when selecting the ideal trolling motor, including thrust power, mount type, shaft length, and battery requirements.

The first major consideration is thrust power. Heavier Gheenoes will require motors with higher thrust power, generally about 2 pounds of thrust for every 100 pounds of boat weight. Water conditions also impact thrust needs, as choppy waters or strong currents demand more power. Mount type is another key factor, with bow mounts offering superior boat control and transom mounts providing easier installation.

Shaft length must also match the size of the boat, and battery power should align with the motor’s voltage. Budget plays a role as well, as trolling motors can range widely in price. Brands like Minn Kota and MotorGuide are popular among Gheenoe owners. With the right trolling motor, you’ll be able to adeptly navigate the waters and access prime fishing spots.

When beginning your search for a trolling motor, carefully weighing factors like thrust, mount type, shaft length, and battery power will lead you to the best motor for your specific Gheenoe and boating needs. The ideal trolling motor will allow you to steer precisely, conserve battery life, and fully explore the waterways.

What is a Gheenoe?

For those unfamiliar, a Gheenoe is a small, lightweight boat designed for navigating shallow, difficult to reach waters. Gheenoes come in various sizes, typically ranging from 10 to 16 feet in length. They feature a flat, broad beam hull equipped with low profile benches rather than traditional boat seats. Gheenoes are extremely stable, making them ideal for standing up and fishing. They can handle everything from gentle marshes to surf launches in the ocean.

Gheenoes are ideal for inshore fishing in bays, marshes, creeks, and backwaters. Their shallow draft allows them to go places bigger boats can’t. Many anglers equip their Gheenoes with small trolling motors to help navigate winding skinny waters and precisely position the boat to reach the best fishing spots.

Why Add a Trolling Motor?

Trolling motors provide several key benefits for Gheenoe owners:

  • Precise Boat Positioning: Trolling motors allow you to maintain exact position for presenting lures and baits. This helps you thoroughly work an area and target specific structures.
  • Access to Shallow Areas: With a trolling motor, you can easily navigate winding, skinny creeks and backwaters that are inaccessible by paddle or larger motors.
  • Reduce Fatigue: Trolling motors do the work of maneuvering the boat so you can focus your energy on fishing all day.
  • Troll at Optimal Speeds: Dial in the perfect slow troll to mimic baitfish and trigger strikes.
  • Quiet Operation: Trolling motors move the boat silently so you don’t spook fish in shallow water.
  • Added Power: Trolling motors provide extra power to handle currents or winds when paddling alone is difficult.

Key Specs and Features

Thrust Power

One of the most important considerations when selecting a trolling motor is thrust power. Thrust determines how much force the motor can exert to move the boat through the water. Heavier Gheenoes will require motors with more thrust power.

The general rule of thumb is to have at least 2 pounds of thrust for every 100 pounds of combined boat, motor, battery, and gear weight. For example, a Gheenoe Classic model weighing 450 pounds fully loaded would need a trolling motor with at least 9 pounds of thrust. Smaller 10-12 foot Gheenoes can get by with 30-40 pounds of thrust. Larger 14-16 foot boats will need 50, 55, or 60 pounds of thrust for optimum performance.

Thrust requirements also depend on the conditions you’ll be navigating. Choppy waters, strong currents, and heavy winds will mandate more thrust power to overcome the added resistance. Shallow, calm marshes may only require minimal thrust to cruise along.

Ideally, choose the most powerful thrust you can afford to give yourself some cushion and capacity to handle changing conditions. Too little thrust will leave you drained and working too hard against winds and currents.

Shaft Length

The shaft length of the trolling motor must match the dimensions of your specific Gheenoe model. The shaft length determines how deep into the water the motor hangs. Longer shafts allow the propeller to extend well below the boat for better thrust generation.

For most Gheenoe models, a 48, 52, or 60 inch shaft length is ideal. Smaller 10-12 foot boats can use shorter 36-42 inch shafts. Measure the depth from the top of the transom to the waterline to determine the minimum shaft length needed. Add 6-12 extra inches to account for weight changes and allow leeway for raised prop positioning.

Too short of a shaft will leave the prop partly suspended and reduce thrust performance. An overly long shaft wastes battery power and makes the motor more vulnerable to hitting underwater obstructions.

Mount Type: Bow vs. Transom

Trolling motors come in two main mounting configurations:

  • Bow Mount: The motor brackets onto the front deck or a special mounting plate installed near the bow.
  • Transom Mount: The motor clamps onto the transom at the stern.

Bow Mount Benefits:

  • Provides superior boat control since you steer from the front
  • Allows precise maneuvering and boat positioning
  • Better leverage from front makes steering easier
  • Can be operated while fishing from the rear

Downsides of Bow Mounts:

  • More expensive ($400-$1200)
  • Require drilling into the deck or installing a mounting plate
  • Weight up front can sometimes make boat bow heavy

Transom Mount Benefits:

  • Less expensive, often half the cost of a bow mount ($150-$600)
  • Easy to install by clamping onto the transom
  • Does not require any drilling or modifications

Transom Mount Downsides:

  • Not as effective for steering and control
  • Prop turbulence can disturb fishing area
  • May cavitate when tilted high for shallow water

For Gheenoe setups focused on fishing, a bow mount trolling motor is worth the added investment. The superior boat control, low profile, and performance advantages make bow mounts ideal for precisely positioning the boat. Anglers who primarily use their Gheenoe for general recreation can save money with a transom mount.

Motor Control System

Trolling motors are available with various control system configurations:

  • Foot Pedal Control: Uses a pedal operated by your foot to control motor speed and steering. Provides hands-free operation.
  • Wireless Remote Control: Allows controlling and steering the motor remotely via a wireless pendant or remote. Offers convenience but lacks pedal control precision.
  • Digital Control Panel: Features an integrated digital control screen to dial in exact speed settings and navigate via GPS. Provides the most advanced control options but is more complex to use.

Foot pedal and wireless remotes are the most popular options for small fishing boats like Gheenoes. Wireless adds convenience for solo anglers but foot pedal allows for finer throttle and steering adjustments when maneuvering. Digital panels are best for large boats and complex motor systems.

Power Options: Voltage, Batteries, Charging

Gheenoes are well suited to 12 or 24-volt power systems. Small 10-12 foot boats can be effective with a 12-volt, 30-50lb thrust trolling motor powered by a single marine battery. Larger Gheenoes may benefit from 24-volt systems and dual batteries to handle more powerful motors.

Using marine deep cycle batteries designed for sustained power output is highly recommended over standard starter batteries. Deep cycles have thicker lead plates that withstand repeated deep discharging. High quality AGM or lithium batteries offer the best performance and longevity.

Make sure your battery capacity in amp hours meets or exceeds your motor’s power demands. Insufficient battery capacity will result in short runtimes. For all day fishing, choose batteries offering 85+ amp hours or more. Always carry a spare backup battery!

Invest in a quality marine battery charger to keep batteries fully juiced. Smart digital chargers automatically adjust the charging rate and shut off when complete to prevent overcharging damage. Solar charging panels can keep batteries topped off between trips.

Recommended Trolling Motors

Here are some top-rated trolling motor options ideal for Gheenoe setups:

Minn Kota Endura C2

A budget-friendly transom mount motor available in 30, 40, and 50lb thrust configurations. Known for reliability and durability. Composite shaft and engineered composite housing stand up to saltwater use. Great value option.

Motor Type: Transom Mount

Control: 5-Speed Foot Pedal

Power: 12V

Thrust Options: 30, 40, 50 lb

Shaft Length: 36, 42, 48 inches

Price Range: $150 – $220

Minn Kota Riptide Terrova

A high-tech digitally controlled bow mount motor with GPS-powered navigation features. Provides masterful speed, steering control and boat positioning. The cutting edge of trolling motor technology and performance.

Motor Type: Bow Mount

Control: Wireless Foot Pedal, GPS App

Power: 12, 24V

Thrust Options: 55, 70 lb

Shaft Length: 45, 52 inches

Price Range: $1700 – $2000

Newport Vessels Electric Trolling Motor

An affordable saltwater trolling motor available in composite and aluminum shaft versions. Slim, lightweight design ideal for small boats. Offered in 36-54 inch shafts and 46-86lb thrust options.

Motor Type: Transom Mount

Control: 6-speed Foot Pedal

Power: 12, 24V

Thrust Options: 46, 55, 65, 86 lb

Shaft Length: 36, 42, 48, 54 inches

Price Range: $150 – $350

Motorguide Xi3

A best-in-class 55lb thrust bow mount motor with Bluetooth connectivity for wireless control via mobile app. Equipped with GPS-powered navigation. Extremely responsive steering and speed control.

Motor Type: Bow Mount

Control: App or Foot Pedal

Power: 12, 24V

Thrust Options: 55 lb

Shaft Length: 45, 52 inches

Price Range: $800 – $900

Watersnake Venom

A 34lb thrust saltwater transom mount motor designed for small boats and kayaks. Composite shaft and metal gears withstand corrosion. Steers 180 degrees for superior control. Excellent value for coastal anglers.

Motor Type: Transom Mount

Control: Twist-grip Throttle

Power: 12V

Thrust: 34 lb

Shaft Length: 33.5, 36, 42 inches

Price Range: $160-$200

Comparison Table of Some of the Best Trolling Motor Options for a Gheenoe

Motor Type Thrust Control Shaft Length Price Range Key Features
Minn Kota Endura C2 Transom Mount 30-50 lb Pedal 36-48 in $150-$220 Reliable, durable, affordable
Minn Kota Riptide Terrova Bow Mount 55-70 lb Wireless/GPS 45-52 in $1700-$2000 Premium performance, high-tech control
Newport Vessels Kayak Series Transom Mount 46-86 lb Pedal 36-54 in $150-$350 Lightweight, saltwater-ready
Motorguide Xi3 Bow Mount 55 lb Wireless/App 45-52 in $800-$900 Responsive steering, Bluetooth control
Watersnake Venom Transom Mount 34 lb Twist Grip 33.5-42 in $160-$200 Corrosion resistant, great value
Garmin Force Bow Mount 36-112 lb Wireless/App 45-62 in $1500-$2500 Advanced sonar and navigation
Minn Kota PowerDrive Bow Mount 55-112 lb Pedal 45-62 in $1200-$2200 Ultimate control and responsiveness
MotorGuide Xi5 Bow Mount 55-70 lb Wireless/App 45-52 in $1300-$1500 Pinpoint GPS navigation
Haswing Cayman Bow Mount 55 lb Wireless Remote 48 in $500-$600 Budget-friendly bow mount
Torqeedo Travel Transom Mount 1003 lb Bluetooth App Adjustable $2000+ High-end power, integrated batteries

Additional Buying Considerations

Beyond the motor itself, there are a few other factors Gheenoe owners should consider when selecting a trolling motor:

  • Intended Use: Will the motor be used primarily for fishing or recreational boating? Fishing requires more precision control. Recreation just needs basic maneuvering.
  • Fishing Locations: Will you frequent saltwater or freshwater? Saltwater requires maximal corrosion protection. Consider a composite shaft material.
  • Water Conditions: Do you navigate moving currents or waters with heavy wind and wave action? Prioritize more thrust and battery capacity to handle turbulence.
  • Water Depth: For extremely shallow areas, choose a shorter shaft length that can be tilted/raised as needed to avoid snags and debris. Make sure the motor can run in very shallow drafts by tilting the head.
  • Boat Accessories: Add up the total weight of gear, batteries, coolers, etc. when determining thrust requirements. Remember, 2 pounds of thrust per 100 pounds of total load.
  • Boat Balance: Where you mount the motor can impact the weight distribution in the boat. A bow mount concentrates weight forward. A transom mount shifts it rearward.
  • Wiring and Cables: Make sure the motor cable length allows comfortable steering and operation from the fishing position(s) in the boat. Keep wiring neat and safe from tangling. Consider wireless!
  • Durability Needs: Saltwater operation? Frequent bumps into underwater objects? Prioritize composite, corrosion-proof construction.
  • Noise Level: Sound-sensitive fishing situations call for whisper quiet motors. Inboard styles are virtually silent. Add a noise dampening motor mount for stealth.
  • Emergency Propulsion: Can the trolling motor provide backup emergency propulsion to return to the boat ramp if your main engine fails?
  • Budget: Prices range widely from $150 to over $2000. Balance capability against affordability. Avoid the cheapest units as they won’t last.

What to Avoid

When selecting a trolling motor, there are a few mistakes and poor choices to avoid:

  • Underpowered Thrust: Far better to have excess thrust than not enough. Struggling against winds and currents is frustrating.
  • Cheap Knock-Off Brands: Stick with reputable major brands like Minn Kota, MotorGuide, Newport Vessels.
  • Short Battery Runtimes: Insufficient battery capacity leads to depleted batteries and cut short trips.
  • Universal Mounts: Custom mounting specifically designed for the boat provides superior stability and performance.
  • Excessive Cable Length: Too much extra cable causes clutter and is vulnerable to damage.
  • Rushed Purchase: Take time to carefully evaluate options and match the motor to your specific boat and needs.
  • Ignoring Reviews: Check reviews and community forums for real user experiences to identify problems and flaws.
  • Lack of Corrosion Protection: Saltwater operation demands maximum corrosion resistance. Check shaft and housing material quality.

Operating and Maintaining Your Trolling Motor

Once purchased, proper operation and regular maintenance are key to keeping your trolling motor running smoothly for years:

  • When not in use, fully tilt the motor out of the water to prevent marine growth buildup.
  • After each use, rinse the motor with freshwater if operated in saltwater. Clean off any debris tangled on the prop.
  • Frequently check battery terminal connections and wiring for corrosion. Clean and apply dielectric grease.
  • Tighten any loose mounting hardware or fasteners to prevent motor slippage or instability.
  • Routinely inspect the propeller for nicks, dents, or damage that can imbalance the prop. Replace damaged props immediately.
  • Lower the motor and move the propeller by hand to check for fishing line tangles or friction. Remove any line wrapped on the shaft.
  • Lubricate pivot points, bushings, and flex joints with marine grease to prevent wear and grit buildup.
  • Confirm water intakes are free of clogs if the motor runs abnormally hot. Clean intake screens.
  • Check the battery charge level before each trip. Fully recharge after each use. Never store batteries in a depleted state.

Following prudent operation and maintenance procedures helps your trolling motor provide years of reliable service. Take time to properly clean and inspect the system at the beginning and end of each season.

Mounting and Installing the Motor

Mounting the trolling motor securely to your Gheenoe is critical for stability and performance. Here are some best practice tips:

Transom Mounts:

  • Position the motor centered on the transom, not off to one side. This prevents torque steer and twisting when running.
  • Place the motor as close to the keel/centerline as possible for straight tracking.
  • Tighten mounting clamps securely to prevent motor shifting or bounce when hitting chop.
  • Allow adequate clearance above the motor for tilting up and down.

Bow Mounts:

  • Follow manufacturer templates precisely when cutting holes for deck plates.
  • Use a marine sealant/adhesive to prevent water seeping under plates.
  • Through-bolt mounting plates using washers and lock nuts. No screws.
  • Consider a stiff backing plate spread across multiple ribs for maximum stability.
  • Route control cables neatly behind interior panels, not exposed on deck.

Portable Mounts:

  • Place portable mounts in optimal boat balance position. Too far forward makes steering difficult.
  • Portable mounts can slide out of place when hitting waves. Secure with straps or fasteners.
  • Avoid clamping portable mounts over gunwales/tubing. This can crush or distort the boat edge.


  • Use marine grade wiring suited for moisture, UV exposure, and flexing.
  • Avoid running wires in bilge water or under feet. Route wires properly behind panels.
  • Install proper circuit protection like marine breakers and fuses.
  • Seal all wiring connections thoroughly with heat shrink tubing, adhesive lined connectors, or terminal grease.

A clean, sturdy installation maximizes power transfer to the water and protects both your boat and the motor. Take the time to do it right the first time.

Trolling Motor Accessories

Here are some of the most useful trolling motor accessories to enhance performance and functionality:

  • Quick Release Mounts – Allow easily removing and stowing the motor when trailering or docking. Highly recommended for portability.
  • Covers – Protect motors from sun damage and keep prop free of line when stowed. Camouflage covers hide motors for duck hunting.
  • Stabilizer Damper – Reduces motor bounce and vibration on choppy water. Adds stability.
  • Propeller Guard – Prevents impacts with underwater debris from damaging unprotected props.
  • Motor Cooling Fan – For hot climates, a powered fan improves air circulation to prevent overheating.
  • Composite Propellers – Offer better low speed power and resilience against damage compared to aluminum props.
  • Wireless Connectivity Kit – Allows controlling and steering certain motors completely wirelessly via remote or foot pedal.
  • Bow Guard – Protects bow mounted motors from frontal impacts.
  • Mount Spacers – Lets you adjust the motor higher or lower to optimize prop position relative to hull.
  • Safety Lanyard – Cuts power if activated as a safety precaution in emergencies. Prevents runaway motors.
  • Battery Monitors – Displays current battery voltage and power levels to avoid unexpectedly draining.

Common Trolling Motor Repairs and Troubleshooting

Like any motorized equipment, trolling motors can sometimes develop issues that require troubleshooting and repairs. Here are some common problems and solutions:

Motor Not Turning On:

  • Check battery connections for corrosion. Clean terminals and charge battery.
  • Inspect battery voltage. Replace if weak or dead.
  • Check wiring for breaks or loose connections.
  • Test circuit breaker or fuse. Replace if tripped or blown.
  • Motor may have overheated. Let cool off completely before restarting.

Motor Runs Erratically:

  • Damaged or unbalanced propeller. Replace prop.
  • Low battery causing power fluctuation. Recharge battery.
  • Corroded or loose wiring connections. Clean and tighten terminals.
  • Motor gears damaged from impact. Repair or replace damaged gears.

Motor Overheating:

  • Blocked water intakes – clear debris and clean screens.
  • Mechanical drag from damaged prop, shaft, or gears.
  • Cooling system not working – test and replace impeller.

Excessive Vibration:

  • Bent, dented or damaged prop. Replace propeller.
  • Sheared prop shaft. Replace shaft.
  • Debris caught in prop. Untangle line/weeds.
  • Motor mounting bolts loose. Tighten mounting hardware.

No Power or Thrust:

  • Propeller missing – replace lost prop.
  • Sheared prop shaft – replace shaft.
  • Propeller hub slipping – tighten or replace worn hub.

Steering Not Responsive:

  • Corroded steering connections – clean and replace if damaged.
  • Steering friction from grit – lubricate pivot bushings.
  • Steering cable worn or snapped – replace cable.

Water Leaking Into Motor:

  • Loose housing screws – tighten screws with marine sealant.
  • Damaged seals – inspect and replace leaking seals.
  • Bent or cracked housing – repair or replace damaged housing.

Optimizing Trolling Motor Performance

A properly functioning trolling motor matched to your boat is essential, but how you operate and configure the system also impacts performance:

  • Adjust Motor Height: Position the prop deep enough to generate maximal thrust but high enough to avoid hitting bottom in shallow water.
  • Minimize Drag: Reduce factors causing drag like line tangled on prop, growth on hull, and unnecessary weight.
  • Angle Motor Correctly: Point the motor in the direction of travel rather than angled to the side. Side angles create inefficiency.
  • Trim Angle: Adjust trim angle to keep the prop submerged and facing perpendicular to the water flow for clean flow.
  • Consider Wind: Position motor to utilize wind for assist rather than forcing the motor to fight against strong winds.
  • Conserve Battery: Avoid running at full power for long durations. Use just enough needed speed to conserve battery capacity.
  • Alternative Propulsion: When possible, use paddle or pole to avoid completely draining batteries over an entire day.
  • Verify Voltage: Test battery voltage under load to determine actual usable power. Replace batteries dropping below 10V under load.
  • Clean Contacts: Keep battery terminals, wiring connections, and foot pedal contacts clean to minimize resistance losses.

FAQs on Selecting Trolling Motors for a Gheenoe

What is the best trolling motor mount type for a Gheenoe?

For a Gheenoe, a bow mount trolling motor generally provides the best control and maneuverability while fishing, since it allows steering the boat from the front. However, transom mounts are simpler to install and less expensive.

How much thrust power do I need for my Gheenoe?

A good rule of thumb is you need at least 2 pounds of thrust for every 100 pounds of total boat weight when loaded. So a 450 pound Gheenoe would need about 45 pounds of thrust minimum.

What shaft length should I get for my Gheenoe?

For most Gheenoe models, a 48, 52, or 60 inch shaft will position the propeller correctly below the hull. Measure transom height off the water to determine minimum shaft length.

Can I use a trolling motor on a Gheenoe in saltwater?

Yes, provided the motor is designed for saltwater use with resistant materials and coatings. Choose aluminum, composites, or stainless steel components. Wash motors after use in saltwater.

How much battery capacity do I need?

A good starting point is a 85-105 amp hour deep cycle marine battery for all day runtime. Larger batteries, 24V systems, or adding a second battery can extend range further.

How do I mount a trolling motor on my Gheenoe?

Follow manufacturer instructions precisely. Use marine sealants and hardware – never household screws. Stiff backing plates improve stability. Check motor clearance for tilting.

What size breaker or fuse should I use for my trolling motor?

Follow the manufacturer’s wiring guide for the correct breaker or fuse size. Typical values are 50-60 amp breakers or 40-50 amp fuses for 12V motors drawing 30-50 amps.

How can I reduce trolling motor noise?

Using a bow mounted inboard style motor with the prop under the boat minimizes noise. Adding a noise dampening motor mount also helps reduce vibration noise.

Why is my trolling motor prop getting tangled with weeds?

Running in areas with lots of vegetation can cause prop fouling. Consider a propeller guard or lift the motor higher using a mount spacer to avoid entanglements.

How do I prevent my transom mount motor from shaking at high speeds?

Torque steering from a transom mount motor can cause vibration. Use a stabilizer damper or tighten the mount clamps closer to the boat’s centerline to minimize shaking.

Trolling Motor Selection – Final Thoughts

Finding the ideal trolling motor for your Gheenoe involves careful consideration of thrust requirements, mounting options, control systems, shaft length, and power supply capabilities. Determine how you primarily use your boat – for precision fishing or high speed recreation? Small protected waters or offshore briny oceans? Tailor your motor choice to your specific needs.

While cost is always a factor, don’t penny pinch too much on an under-powered motor that leaves you barely crawling along in the wind. The difference between frustrating immobility and enjoying a full day efficiently fishing the waters comes down to selecting adequate thrust.

Now equipped with a full understanding of the key selection criteria, features, accessories, maintenance and troubleshooting for Gheenoe trolling motors, you’re ready to shop with confidence. The time invested in choosing the right motor will pay dividends for years of enhanced control and fishability on the water.

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