Trolling Motors, electric outboard motors, and gas outboard motors all can be used on our Inflatable Dinghies. This guide will help you determine which one you need depending on your application and needs. If you are looking for an electric outboard motor for your kayak, please see our NK180 FAQ page.
1. Trolling Motors
Trolling motors are a hassle-free option that does not require tune-ups, lubrication, or gas. You will need a deep cycle battery and a trickle charger to use this motor. Lead-Acid batteries cost $60 to $170+ depending on the quality and the amp hour rating. These motors have a few maintenance requirements to ensure they last for years. Overall these motors are the most affordable option for motorizing a vessel.
All of our trolling motors are freshwater and saltwater compatible. Our trolling motors come in 24-55” shafts to meet many boats’ needs. We sell transom and pontoon mounts to fit a variety of vessels. You can even use our transom-to-bow mount guide to reorient your motor for bow mounting applications. Below is a chart to help you choose the best trolling motor for your needs.
Trolling motors are measured in thrust and should not be compared to horsepower. The more thrust you have, the more weight you can push. All trolling motors operate at a similar RPM, producing roughly 3-4.5mph. Trolling motors are an excellent option for fishing as they are very quiet.
These motors are very light and can be easily attached and removed from a transom. They can also be used as a primary motor for shorter distances and are a means of clean energy transportation.
To determine what shaft length you need, please reference the guide below. Trolling motor propellers should be 12 inches under the water to operate efficiently. If you are using a Newport Inflatable Dinghy, you may use a 30-36” shaft. If you are using an Intex boat, please reference our “What Trolling Motor do I Need For My Intex Inflatable Boat?”
A disadvantage of trolling motors is their speed. Customers who want to get on plane or reach more than 5mph should consider an electric or gas outboard motor. Another consideration is their range limitation due to battery power. See our Run-Time Calculator to determine what size battery you need. These motors are perfect for fishing, runabouts at slower speeds, and are inexpensive. See our Trolling Motor Guide to determine which trolling motor will work for your setup!
2. Electric Outboard Motors
ePropulsion electric outboard motors utilize brushless direct drive technology, which is very efficient, quiet, and requires very little maintenance. Electric outboard motors have much more power and produce more speed in comparison to trolling motors. ePropulsion motors can reach speeds of 5.8 to 15 mph depending on the model and conditions.
Electric outboard motors are an environmentally friendly alternative to gas outboard motors. The lithium batteries that power the motor can be recharged hundreds of times. Another benefit is electricity is less expensive than gas. They are maintenance-free, meaning you do not have to add oil or regularly replace parts inside the motor. Like trolling motors, they should be washed off with fresh water after each use and stored in a dry area.
ePropulsion has several series of motors that range from $2,399 to $3,299 at the time this article was written. These motors are measured in horsepower ranging from 3 to 9.9hp. Below are the max speeds of each motor.
- Spirit 1.0 Plus and Spirit 1.0 Evo: 5.8mph
- Navy 3.0: 12mph
- Navy 6.0: 15mph
ePropulsion motors have three different shaft sizes that will accommodate many boats. If you have a Newport
Inflatable Dinghy we recommend using a motor with a shaft length of 15-17 inches, which means you will need the short shaft from ePropulsion.
One disadvantage is the runtime of lithium batteries. Gas has more energy density and will therefore require less fuel to travel. Electric outboard motors will require more batteries to travel longer distances. For more information on this topic, see ePropulsion’s article Electric Outboard Motors: All You Need To Know.
3. Gas Outboard Motors
An advantage of a gas outboard motor is that it can travel much faster and farther in a shorter time. We recommend using a 2.5-20hp motor with our Inflatable Dinghies. These motors can reach anywhere from 9 to 25mph depending on the horsepower, the type of boat, weight, water conditions, and wind.
Outboard motors can combat more significant wind, chop, and current. These motors can travel further with gas and will require less weight in fuel compared to trolling motors and electric outboard motors. Most outboard motors used on dinghies have manual pull cords to start the engine. If you have an electric start motor, you will need a battery and a charger.
Outboard gas motors are available in various shaft lengths to accommodate different transom heights. For our Newport Inflatable Dinghy, you would need a short shaft (15-17inches) for all of our models. Remember to check your boat's max engine weight to increase the life of your transom. This can be found in the Tech Specs section of any of our inflatable boat pages. Please reach out to your boat manufacturer to get the required shaft length for your outboard motor.
Using gas and oil can be seen as a disadvantage because you will need to spend more on fuel. Gas outboards also require regular and routine maintenance. Another disadvantage is the restricted use of gas engines on freshwater ponds and lakes. In this case, you should consider a trolling motor or an electric outboard motor. Outboard motors that would be used with a dinghy can weigh anywhere from 57lb to 115lbs. If you need a lighter engine, this is not the option for you.
If you have any additional questions about our trolling motors, please see our Motors FAQ Page. If you have any additional questions about our boats, please see our Boat FAQ Page. For more in-depth articles, please see our Boat Support Page. If you can’t find the information you need, give us a call (866) 721-0002 Monday to Friday: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm PST or reach out to us via email SUPPORT@NEWPORTVESSELS.COM.