TrollingMotorPro may earn commission from affiliate links in this article. Learn more.

If you want to use your motor with confidence, you will need to make sure it is securely attached to your boat.

In this article, we’re discussing some of the most common mount types and brackets.

Mounting Systems

When choosing a mounting system, you will need to take a closer look at your boat. Not all boats are suitable for all types of trolling motor mounts.

Depending on the type of motor, you may need to make some modifications to your boat.

Bow-Mounted Motors

Bow mount trolling motors are especially useful if you fish on the foredeck of your boat. One of the advantages is that they are straightforward to operate, as you can steer the bow of your boat very precisely. They also often come with more sophisticated features and controls, such as GPS or wireless steering.

Bow mount trolling motors are relatively easy to install on boats with flat bows.

You drill holes through your deck and bolt the motor’s mounting pad to the bow.

Some boats have an angled bow or other features that prevent straightforward horizontal mounting. In that case, you will need to fabricate a plate to which the motor’s mounting plate can be attached.

Transom-Mounted Motors

Transom mount trolling motors are very easy to install, usually less expensive, and that’s what makes them very popular among smaller boat, dinghy, and canoe owners.

Transom-mount trolling motors usually have two clamps used to hold the motor in place, very much like smaller petrol outboard motors.

That means you need a vertical surface to which you can clamp the motor. On a smaller boat, that surface can be your boat’s transom.

If it is not possible to mount the motor directly, you will need to get a special bracket that you will bolt on to your boat’s transom.

You can then mount and clamp your trolling motor to that bracket.

Side-Mounted Motors

This method of mounting is used almost exclusively on kayaks and canoes.

One of the simplest and least expensive ways is to fix a horizontal bracket right behind the kayak’s seat to extend to its side.

You can then attach your motor to that bracket and have the tiller handle right next to you so that you can control it directly.

Engine-Mounted Motors

Engine mount trolling motors are fixed to the outboard motor’s anti-ventilation plate.

Before you buy the motor, you should check if the anti-ventilation plate is deep enough under the waterline.

There should be a minimum of 13 inches of submersion for the trolling motor to function correctly.

Quick-Release Brackets

These brackets allow you to easily remove your trolling motor from the boat without unbolting it. Reattaching your motor is also a straightforward process.

With some models, you can slide the bracket inboard, which helps your boat cover to fit better.

Others let you use a padlock for increased security.

Frequently Asked Questions

What side of a boat do you mount a trolling motor?

The trolling motor doesn’t have to be installed on a particular side of your boat. However, if there is a plug and receptacle installed on your boat, it makes more sense to have the motor installed on the same side so that the wire looks tidier.

If you like to fish on a specific side of your boat, the bow-mounted trolling motor should be installed on the opposite side so that your view is not limited by it.

How much does it cost to have a trolling motor professionally installed?

Unfortunately, the quoted prices vary significantly, from a couple of hundred dollars to a few thousand. It mostly depends on your boat type and if it needs any modifications before your motor’s mounting plate can be bolted to it.