Can my Minn Kota® trolling motor be used in saltwater?

Minn Kota have designed a special line of motors for use in salt or brackish water. The Minn Kota® Riptide® trolling motors have a number of "saltwater-engineered" enhancements, including stainless steel hardware, sealed electrical connections and an advanced painting process for improved corrosion protection. Using any of our standard Minn Kota motors in saltwater may dramatically reduce the life of the motor and voids manufacturer’s warranty. To extend the life of your Minn Kota Riptide saltwater trolling motor, thoroughly rinse the motor with freshwater after every use in saltwater and store indoors. Never leave the motor submerged in saltwater when the boat is moored.

What shaft length do I need?

Choosing the correct shaft length is important so that the angler’s electric motor does not cavitate, creating fish-spooking noise. The rule of thumb is that the center of the motor section should be submerged 9". Most boat transoms are similar in their distance to the water, and Minn Kota®’s standard transom shaft lengths should be adequate. Measure down from the mounting surface of the transom. Add 5" to waterline measurement for fishing in rough water. Add 12" to waterline measurement for steering a hand control motor while standing. Use this measurement and the tables below to find the appropriate shaft length.

    Transom Guide

    Transom Guide for Electric Outboard Motors

    Transom to waterline Recommended Shaft Length
    0" - 10" 30"
    10" - 16" 36"
    16" - 22" 42"
    Over 22" Contact Us

    Engine Mount Guide

    Minimum clearance required from spine of outboard to end of cavitation plate (see diagram). Cavitation plate to waterline 13" (minimum).

    Motor Mount Guide for Electric Outboard Motors


    1 = 7-1/4"
    2 = 3" (80EM/101EM), 3-3/4" (55EM)
    3 = 13"

How important is battery selection for electric motor usage?

The battery is a critical element of your electric motor system. A high-quality deep cycle marine battery should always be used. Unlike automobile batteries, deep cycle marine batteries are designed to be run down to a discharged state and then recharged. (To extend the life of your battery, always recharge after use. Most trolling motor batteries fail due to lack of proper charging.)

What is Amp Draw?

  • Amp draw is the measurement of electrical current drawn from a storage battery (or battery), while the motor is being operated.
  • Minn Kota®’s published amp draw figures represent actual on the water conditions at full power (with all of the motor’s wiring, switches and circuitry in the electrical system as the test measurement is taken).
  • Approximate length of running time when operating a motor at full power can be determined with a motor’s amp draw and the battery amp hour rating.
  • Example: A single 120 amp hour, 12-volt battery and a 12-volt trolling motor drawing 30 amps at the highest speed setting will run for about 3.4 hours.
  • The formula for the calculation is as follows:
    • .85 A.H.R. = Hours of running time. (A.H.R.= Battery Amp Hour Rating)
    • M.A.D. (M.A.D. = Motor Amp Draw)
  • As the speed setting is reduced the motor amp draw is also reduced.
  • A motor drawing 30 amps at high speed may only draw 5 amps at the slowest speed. The same motor that will theoretically run about 3.4 hours at high speed will run for over 20 hours at the slowest speed.

What is thrust?

Thrust is a static measurement in pounds of our motors pushing or pulling power.

How does thrust compare to horsepower?

  • Horsepower is a measurement of “work” being performed.
  • One horsepower is a unit of measurement equal to 550 foot pounds of “work” per second.
  • There is no direct correlation of thrust to horsepower. Contrary to what you may have been told, fifteen pounds of thrust does not equal one horsepower.
  • As noted in the previous definition, thrust is simply a static measurement of force.

How do I convert thrust into horsepower?

Many people think that the more pounds of thrust they are getting, the faster the boat will go. This is not exactly true. With trolling motors and outboard motors, boat speed (and acceleration) depends on horsepower and prop pitch. By changing prop pitch, you can trade acceleration for top speed. Our trolling motors have props designed for maximum acceleration. When you hit the power, the boat responds immediately. This also allows you to hold the boat in high wind conditions. Top speed with our motors and props is about 5 mph. Small boats will reach this speed with most of our motors. Larger boats require our largest motors to approach this speed. Comparing our motors to gasoline outboards is difficult because most outboard props are designed for much higher speed.

Nationwide delivery available from Electric Outboard Motors UK

Nationwide Delivery

Delivery Available Throughout Mainland UK *

Electric Outboard Motors UK have stores nationwide

Nationwide Stores

7 Large Stores Located Throughout The UK - Click & Collect

Secure ordering system at Electric Outboard Motors UK

Secure Ordering System

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Electric Outboard Motors UK have a huge range of stock nationwide around the UK

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Online Specialists for the entire range of Minn Kota Outboards