Trolling motors running on 24 volts offer roughly 70-80 pounds of thrust and are suitable for boats up to 4,000 lb.
24-volt motors are more powerful and usually have more advanced features than 12V models. They are also less expensive than 36V systems.
Today we discuss common characteristics of 24V trolling motors, popular models, and things to consider before you buy one.
Let’s get started!
Minn Kota 24V Motors Compared
24 Volt Minn Kota: Freshwater
|Minn Kota||Highlights||Shafts||Spot Lock|
|Terrova 80||i-Pilot, US 2||45" 54" 60" 72"||✔|
|Ulterra 80||Auto stow/deploy||45" 60" 72"||✔|
|Ultrex 80||Cable & electric||45", 52" 60"||✔|
|PowerDrive||i-Pilot, US 2||48" 54" 60"||✔|
|Fortrex 80||Cable steer||45" 52"||✖|
|Maxxum 70||Cable steer||42" 52"||✖|
|Edge 70||Cable steer||36" 45" 52"||✖|
|Traxxis 70||Transom mount||42"||✖|
Minn Kota doesn’t need an introduction. They’ve been making trolling motors since 1934, bringing lots of innovations that transformed the way we fish.
Models like the Ultrex and the Ulterra are some of the most advanced trolling motors money can buy.
24 Volt Minn Kota: Saltwater
|Minn Kota||Highlights||Shafts||Spot Lock|
|Riptide Terrova 80||i-Pilot||45" 54" 60" 72"||✔|
|Riptide Ulterra 80||Auto stow/deploy||54" 60" 72"||✔|
|Riptide PowerDrive||i-Pilot||48" 54" 60"||✔|
Minn Kota Riptide models above were designed for saltwater and brackish environment. They use marine-grade materials that protect the motor and its electronics from damaged.
Minn Kota’s saltwater motors are built with premium-grade alloys, coated with zinc, and painted with corrosion-resistant polyester paint.
Each model comes with a sacrificial anode fixed to the prop to help prevent rusting.
MotorGuide 24V Motors Compared
|Tour Pro 82||Cable steer HD+||45"||✔|
|Tour 82||Cable steer HD+||45"||✔|
|Xi5 80||Electric, GPS, Sonar||48"||✔|
|Xi3 70||Electric, GPS, Sonar||48"||✔|
|X3 70||Cable steer||45"||✖|
|Xi5 Saltwater||Electric, GPS||48" 54" 60" 72"||✔|
|Xi3 Saltwater||Electric, GPS||54" 60"||✔|
MotorGuide is another US-based manufacturer with decades of experience making trolling motors and accessories.
Compared to Minn Kota, similar MotorGuide models tend to be less expensive.
They also integrate very well with Lowrance fish finders, as both companies have been working together.
See it on Amazon
Lowrance Ghost is an excellent trolling motor coming from a manufacturer of fish finders and other marine electronics. It has a powerful brushless DC motor, can run on either 24v or 36v, and comes with advanced GPS features.
At 24 volts, Lowrance Ghost delivers 97 pounds of thrust, which is almost as much as the 36-volt trolling motors of most competitors.
If you want even more power, all you need to do is to add an extra 12-volt battery to get the full 120 lb of thrust the Ghost can deliver.
Garmin Force – Check Price
Garmin Force is a relatively new trolling motor, released in August 2019. Its arrival was very well received by the market, with thousands of anglers using it already.
Just like the Ghost, Garmin Force will operate on either 24 or 36 volts.
At 24 volts, it offers 80 pounds of thrust. This is not good as Lowrance Ghost, but still respectable and perfectly ok for medium-sized boats.
24 Volt Advantages
With a 24V motor, you will usually have more thrust available.
This gives you the ability to move a larger, heavier boat.
You will also be able to better handle windy conditions and rough waters. More power means fewer worries.
Higher voltage systems tend to be more efficient. They have a lower current flowing through the cables for the same power output.
This leads to less energy being wasted as heat.
You can learn more about the differences between 24 Volt and 12 Volt systems here.
More batteries = longer range
Well, not exactly. What I mean is that to create a 24 volt battery bank, you will need two 12 volt batteries and connect them in series. More batteries of the same size mean more capacity and longer range.
Although 12 volt trolling motors are usually less expensive, they just can’t keep up with 24 volt motors in terms of performance.
At the same time, they are much less expensive than the motors running on higher voltage, such as 36V or even 48V.
24 Volt Disadvantages
A 12-volt trolling motor requires just one 12V battery, for a 24V system you will need to connect two in series.
Charging two batteries will require either a dedicated 2 bank battery charger (best), a 24V charger to charge the batteries together or charging them separately with a single 12V charger.
More weight and space required
A more powerful electric motor and two rather than just one marine battery make a 24 Volt trolling motor heavier.
If you have a light boat you will need to calculate if you can carry the extra weight and plan how much space you’ll need.
More expensive than 12V motors
Aside from a larger and more powerful lower unit, 24 trolling motors often come with more robust deployment mechanism, remotes and GPS electronics.
This puts them in a different price league than lower voltage motors.
Things To Consider Before Buying a Trolling Motor
There are literally hundreds of different trolling motors models, and thousands if you count various thrust, shaft and feature configurations.
They can be quite expensive too, so before you buy one, make sure you educate yourself to avoid a potentially costly mistake.
Below, we’ll discuss the most important questions you should ask yourself and important things to know before deciding which motor to buy.
1. Where Do I Mount It on My Boat?
You have three different locations and the corresponding trolling motor types:
- Bow mount
- Transom mount
- Engine mount
Bow mount trolling motors are the most popular because pulling rather than pushing makes the boats easier to maneuver.
They often come with more advanced steering features, like GPS anchoring.
If you’re looking for a cheaper option or don’t want to put anything on your bow, transom mount trolling motors can be the right choice. Many anglers like them for simplicity, as they steer in a similar way to outboards.
Engine mount trolling motors are fixed to the cavitation plate of outboard motors. You don’t have to stow or deploy them. They are remotely controlled and steer together with the outboard.
2. How Much Thrust Is Enough for My Boat?
Thrust is the force that moves the boat through the water. It is measured in pounds (lbs) and gives you a rough idea of the motor’s performance.
A generally agreed rule is that for every 100 lbs you will need at least 2 lbs of thrust. For example, if your boat weighs 4000 lbs, fully loaded, then you want 4000/100 * 2 lbs = 80 lbs of thrust for your trolling motor.
My advice is to get the most powerful motor you can. For a large boat, you will be much better off with a 100+ lb trolling motor that runs at 36V.
You will also want more thrust if you fish in areas with fast currents and significant waves. The last thing you want is for your boat to be underpowered.
Learn more in our thrust guide.
3. Measure Your Boat for Shaft Length
The right shaft of your trolling motor is absolutely vital to make sure your propeller stays submerged regardless of water and weather conditions.
You don’t want the propeller to get out of water in choppy waters or/and suck in air from above the waterline when it is not deep enough. It will cause noise, loss of power and can shorten the life of your motor.
You will need to take measurements and calculate the right shaft length for your boat. The rule of thumb is to measure the distance from your chosen mounting location down to the water. You then should add another 20 inches (50cm).
If you’re stuck deciding between a shorter and longer shaft version, it’s usually safer to go a little longer.
4. GPS Navigation Gives Near Complete Control
GPS trolling motors let you steer, control speed, lock onto fishing spots, and more just by pressing a button on the remote.
GPS anchoring is probably the most popular feature on premium trolling motors, and it’s fantastic in areas with substantial currents, waves, and winds.
It holds the boat at a set position by automatically thrusting whenever the boat starts to drift.
It’s an amazing feature, and if you fish a lot or plan to, it should be high on your list of priorities.
5. Fish Finder Compatibility
If you have a fish finder of a specific brand and you want it to be able to “talk to” your trolling motor, you will need to make sure they are both compatible.
For example, a Humminbird fish finder will work with Minn Kota’s models, whereas a Lowrance fishfinder works well with MotorGuide trolling motors.
Premium motors have built-in transducers that send images to your fish finder. They are fully integrated with the lower motor section, which means there are no additional cables or connectors involved.
If you want a built-in transducer, make sure it is of the type you want, for example Universal Sonar or MEGA Down or Side Imaging.
6. Saltwater Capability For Offshore Fishing
Each trolling motor description should state clearly whether you can use it in saltwater. Saltwater is much more corrosive than fresh water and requires different materials.
Minn Kota and Motorguide saltwater motors are built with premium-grade alloys, coated with zinc, and painted with corrosion-resistant polyester paint.
Your saltwater-capable motor will come with a sacrificial anode fixed to the prop. This will ensure your motor will last much longer.
It is important to note that if you use a freshwater trolling motor in saltwater, it will often void your warranty.
24V Trolling Motor FAQ
How to wire a 24 volt trolling motor?
If you have a 24 volt system, you will need to connect two 12 Volt batteries in series:
- Make sure the speed of the motor is set to “0”
- Connect positive (+) of the motor to positive (+) of Battery 1
- Connect negative (-) of Battery 1 to positive (+) of Battery 2
- Connect negative (-) of Battery 2 to negative (-) of the motor
Does a 24 volt trolling motor need 2 batteries?
If you choose a standard AGM (lead-acid) battery, you will need to get two of those and connect them as above. However, if you choose to use increasingly popular lithium batteries, there are many available in 24V versions, which means you will only need one.
Does More Thrust Mean More Speed?
Not necessarily. Thrust is all about pulling power, not speed. That’s what trolling motors are designed for. You need a high-thrust trolling motor to move a large boat at a reasonable speed (3-4mph) or keep in a fixed position if your motor is equipped with GPS.
However, if you want to go fast, you will have to use a much more powerful outboard or inboard engine.