Maybe you have gone trolling for some fish and thought to yourself if having two or more trolling motors might make the boat faster. Even with that said, we look at it in terms of can you, but you also have to answer another question, such as should you?
Can you run two trolling motors? Using two trolling motors to increase speed will have little effect. Running two trolling motors will also double the amp draw, which drains the battery faster. The other problem is that if both trolling motors sit in the stern, it raises the bow.
No Real Advantage to Two Trolling Motors
The biggest problem to come from running two trolling motors is that you don’t have any real advantage to doing this. It doesn’t make the boat better to run two trolling motors, and as stated above, you will drain the battery faster.
Some people do say that it doubles your thrust, but what does that mean? Let’s say that you have a few people in the boat. Having extra thrust ensures that your trolling motor can pull it. With that said, you want to avoid buying a trolling motor with no thrust to begin with. Adding a second one to double the thrust makes little sense when you can get a good trolling motor to begin with.
I’d recommend the Minn Kota Endura Transom Mount Trolling Motor if you’re looking for a good trolling motor that gets the job done.
The One Advantage of Two Trolling Motors
Largely, I’ve said that two trolling motors doesn’t make sense. In fact, I stand behind that statement 100 percent, but for someone who wants to know a distinct advantage, it comes from maneuvering in tight quarters. Only having one trolling motor can be a huge disadvantage here.
With one trolling motor up front in the boat and one in the back, you can switch trolling motors as the need arises. This makes it much easier to maneuver when you find yourself in a tight corner from exploring too much. Personally, that doesn’t seem worth it to me. You have one small advantage but most of the negatives outweigh the dainty benefits.
Two trolling motors don’t increase the speed much. You will be soaring if you get 4 to 6 mph with two trolling motors. Even on a lake where you can only use electric motors, using one trolling motor is still the superior choice.
Why Two Trolling Motors Don’t Make Sense
The biggest problem that you get with trolling motors is that they were only designed to run between 3 to 6 mph. No matter how many trolling motors you add, you still won’t get a faster motor than that. Your trolling motor will continue to run at between 3 to 6 mph.
If you were to use twins, I’d advise that you make them matching trolling motors. In that way, they don’t work against each other, and you have a consistent speed. Trolling motors weren’t meant to have speed–they were meant to attract the fish at a slower speed.
What to Do Instead of Two Trolling Motors
Let’s say that you’re bound and determined to get more speed on a trolling motor. Ideally, you could just use the regular gas motor where you can, but you could also buy a faster trolling motor to begin with and forget the second one. The Minn Kota Endura Transom Mount Trolling Motor as the Endura C2 55 with a 42-inch shaft is probably your best bet because it will offer a little more power since it’s bigger.
The key here is to buy a more powerful trolling motor upfront so that you wouldn’t even want to have two trolling motors. Be especially wary of trolling motors that you buy at garage sales because it can be difficult to tell the specs, and the trolling motor may or may not work on your boat. If you buy it cheap enough, it may not matter, but the cost isn’t always worth it.
How to Calculate the Thrust
To get the most out of your trolling motor, you should calculate the thrust required so that you buy the right one to begin with. As a rule, you will want 2 pounds of thrust for every 100 pounds. Let’s say that you have a 2500-pound fiberglass fishing boat. You take 2500 divided by 100 and multiple by 2. When you do this, you will come out with needing at least 50 pounds of thrust that you will need to move your boat easily.
Important to note: When you go to calculate the thrust, take the heaviest weight in your boat into consideration. You want to overestimate your needs, rather than underestimate them. You can’t go wrong that way. The weight includes the gear, the fuel, the maximum number of passengers that you will have in the boat. In that way, you will need to calculate more than the boat weight, but I gave you this figure to give you a general outline.
What if you don’t know the weight of your boat?
If you don’t know the weight of your boat, you can look it up on the NADA Boat Directory. This lists thousands of boats, and they have every manufacturer listed as well. Once you have that number, do the calculation to get the desired results.
Can I Run Two Trolling Motors on One Battery?
Yes, you can run two trolling motors on one battery, but you have one problem with that. As I said above, you will double the amp draw. That means you will drain your trolling motor at twice the speed because you’re drawing wattage for two motors. In all honesty, if I were to put trolling motors on my boat, I would buy a separate battery for the other trolling motor because it ensures that I can keep fishing all day.
Are Two Trolling Motors Faster Than One?
It depends on how you place the trolling motors. If you put them both in the back, you will likely just raise the front of the boat a little higher. It won’t equate to a great speed, which eliminates the reason to even have two trolling motors. On the other hand, if you put one up front and one in the back, you will balance the boat, and you might get a very slight speed boost.
Is that small speed boost worth an extra $100 to $200 for a trolling motor? I’d say not, but hey, everyone is different, and I’m not here to tell anyone what to do. I’m not judging. That said, you’d probably get more value out of buying your buddy one who doesn’t have a trolling motor over trying to use two of them on a single boat. In some cases, the second trolling motor just gets in the way.
You can run two trolling motors on your boat, but should you run two trolling motors on your boat? Personally, I don’t see the value. With the exception of being on a lake that only allows for electric motors, you will get very little reward for having two trolling motors–even then, it’s not worth it. With that said, I’m a bit of a pragmatist. Maybe you want to have two, and there’s nothing wrong with that. You can do it, but it makes as much sense as riding two bikes at the same time trying to steer an empty bike while riding the other one.
3 thoughts on “Can You Run Two Trolling Motors?”
Hi, I am considering two trolling motors for an inflatable, 4-person, pontoon boat from Sea Eagle called a FastCat 14.4. Max cargo/passenger weight on the boat is 1,600 pounds. The boat itself is about 135 pounds with seats, canopy, etc. I currently own a WaterSnake Advance 70-pound thrust trolling motor and am considering purchasing a second one and using both of them on the FastCat 14.4. The current one I power off of a single Wal-Mart, EverStart, GP29-size, 12v, 125Ah battery. It pushes a 3-person inflatable Sea Eagle FishSkiff 16 at about 4.5 mph at 2/3rds throttle and will run about 2-3 hours (only 3/10s moh more at full thhrottle; not worth the lost run time). I have run the FishSkiff off of a gasoline outboard and hull speed appears to be 6.1mph. So one WaterSnake 70 was not enough to get it to hullspeed, Or, it may be that motor’s RPM and prop design are the limitation. We know trolling motors are built for torque, not speed. I use the Minn-Kota Power Center and a 45W Solar Charger with integrated Controller so as not to overcharge the battery. Why am I considering the second WaterSnake Advance 70? Simple: 1) wind and 2) the hope of reaching hullspeed. Even an inflatable pontoon acts like a sail. You need torque to overcome it. And I hope that I can reach hullspeed. Hullspeed is a function of the formula (length of the waterline) but also a function of hull shape. The FastCat is a Catamaran. Even when not up on a plane, it has but minimal wetted surface. I have a message into Sea Eagle to see what they have determined is its hull speed at half maximum cargo/passenger weight (4 passengers and some gear); about 800 pounds. I’m hoping hull speed will be about 6-6.5mph. That’s plenty fast for my purposes. Now my one question is, should I connect the two batteries in parallel and the two motors at either end of the two batteries (neg from one battery and pos from the other)? Probably not. That would double the amp draw blow the 60amp breakers in each Power Center, But could I connect them in parallel for charging only and charge them with the new 110W solar panel with integrated controller?