Motor Thrust Guide

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Trolling Motor: Thrust Guide

Looking for a reliable trolling motor that won't break the bank? Check out our complete line of freshwater and saltwater trolling motors.

trolling motor thrust guide

One of the biggest decisions when purchasing a trolling motor is choosing the thrust power. Thrust is most commonly measured in pounds (lbs) because it is a measurement of static (unmoving) force. Horsepower on the other hand is 550 ft-pounds of work per second. This makes it difficult to make a direct comparison between horsepower and pounds of thrust. Keep this in mind when selecting your trolling motor.


Making sure to get the right thrust power for your vessels is important for achieving good performance. The bigger and heavier the boat you have, the more thrust is needed to push it through the water, choosing a trolling motor with insufficient thrust will leave you frustrated.

boat weight

Boat weight plays a vital role in selecting the correct trolling motor for you needs. A general rule for determining the correct amount of thrust is adding 5 pounds of thrust for every 200 pounds of weight. It is recommended that you add your entire boat weight with the max load capacity of the boat for assurance of getting enough power.


1,000lb boat with an 800lb max weight capacity.
1,000 + 800 = 1,800
1,800 ÷ 200 = 9
9 x 5= 45lbs of thrust recommended*


environmental conditions & personal preference

The last step in choosing a motor depends on where it will be used and what you expect of the motor. If you are operating in choppy water, traveling upstream, fighting currents, tides, winds or trying to get from spot to spot as quickly as possible, it is best to increase your pounds of thrust. If you mostly fish flat or calm water with little to no current, the lower end of estimated power can suffice.


If you are looking to increase your maximum runtime, we recommend increasing the amp hour rating (AH) of your battery. Moving from a 50 AH battery to a 100 AH battery will double your motor run time. Check our How To Calculate Your Motor Run Time page for more information.