So, you’ve got yourself that brand new trolling motor and are ready to hit the water – only one problem – how to secure it to your canoe?
As most canoes don’t come with a flat vertical transom needed for mounting a trolling motor, you’ll need a separate motor mount to securely attach it to your watercraft.
These mounts are actually one of the most important parts of a motorized canoe. As they secure the motor to the hull, they need to create a rock-solid connection with no loose parts or wobbliness. A firm connection will result in more efficient operation, better propulsion, and more distance covered per battery charge.
I’ll break down some of the best canoe motor mounts, how to pick the ideal one for your needs, as well as some useful tips for improving your trolling motor’s performance.
Quick Answer: 5 Best Canoe Motor Mounts
Why a canoe motor mount?
Beyond the obvious function of securing a trolling motor to your canoe, motor mounts have several features that make them invaluable to canoeists and anglers.
Most motor mounts use adjustable knobs to quickly mount and dismount the bracket to the canoe’s gunwales – allowing you to easily remove the mount when you need to pack everything away for transport. These knobs are designed to be hand-tightened, so there’s no need for wrenches or other bulky tools.
Motor mounts are also fully reversible, so they’ll work equally well for right- and left-handed folks. Most are designed to fit either the bow or the stern of your canoe – so you have plenty of mounting versatility.
Lastly, both electric and gas motors can be successfully mounted to a wide variety of canoe shapes and sizes.
Top 5 Canoe Trolling Motor Mounts
This heavy-duty aluminum and oak motor mount from the canoe experts at Old Town is the perfect solution for mounting both electric and small gasoline engines (up to 3HP) to your canoe. It features hand-cranked knobs for mounting to the gunwales of your canoe, so no tools are necessary for mounting or dismounting.
While it’s specifically designed to fit on any of Old Town’s canoes, it will also fit nearly any canoe that has a decent sized lip. The mount is also fully reversible, so it can accommodate both left-handed and right-handed setups.
Weighing in at just under 6.5 pounds, the aluminum bracket is lightweight and highly durable.
If you’re looking for a universal mount that can fit a wide range of canoes and trolling motors, then this would make an excellent choice.
- Heavy-duty aluminum and oak construction is lightweight and highly durable.
- Universal mount is designed to fit a wide range of canoes.
- Easy swaps between left-handed and right-handed operation.
- Can hold electric and gas motors up to 3HP.
This well-made trolling motor mount is easy-to-install and will keep your motor firmly locked in place. It’s easy to adjust for different hull width’s, as well as swap from left-handed to right-handed operation.
Like most canoe motor mounts, installation and removal are done with hand-turned knobs – so no wrench is necessary.
The motor mount bracket is made from a marine-grade alloy, while the locking mechanism is made from stainless steel bolts and nylon clamps. Two rocket launcher style rod holders come attached to the built-in rail system, which is also compatible with any Scotty gear-head accessories. This makes it easy to add additional rod holders, camera mounts, cup holders, fishfinder mounts and more.
You can also switch the motor mount block from face-up to face-down, which is great for mounting trolling motors with shorter shafts.
- Easy to install and remove with hand-tightened knobs.
- Designed to fit any canoe with gunwales.
- The built-in track system is compatible with Scotty gear-head accessories.
- Comes with two sliding rocket-launcher style rod holders.
Best Side-Saddle Motor Mount
Made from rock-solid and lightweight aluminum and hardwood, this side-mounted motor mount is an excellent choice for any canoe with gunwales. It mounts to a single side of your canoe, so it’s a great option when you want a low-profile mount.
The mount can handle both electric and gas-powered engines up to 3 horsepower, which is the same as Old Town’s standard motor mount. Swapping between left-handed and right-handed operation takes mere seconds, while the hardwood block provides a stable mounting surface for any trolling motor.
Despite not locking into both gunwales like full motor mounts do, the side-saddle design handles trolling motors exceptionally well and makes a great overall choice. The mount is not meant to be used with wooden canoes, but it will work with nearly any other type.
- Rock-solid, lightweight aluminum and hardwood construction.
- Mounts to a single side of your canoe.
- Easy to swap between left and right-handed use.
- Mounts and unmounts with simple hand-turned wingnut.
Rugged, heavy-duty, and expertly built, this aluminum and ash hardwood motor mount is the perfect solution for securing a trolling motor to your canoe. The 28” long crossbar bracket is made from 3” wide unbendable 6061 aluminum, making it one of the heaviest-duty mounts on the market. This oversized bracket design also helps to minimize motor vibration.
The motor block is made from 1 7/8” thick ash hardwood and protected from the elements with an exterior acrylic urethane coating. It can be easily changed from right to left-handed operation by unscrewing the hand-operated star bolt knobs.
The clamp works well for the vast majority of canoes, but for those that don’t fit; an alternate mounting system can be provided by the manufacturer upon request.
- Rugged, heavy-duty mount requires no tools to mount/dismount.
- 3” wide aluminum bracket helps to minimize motor vibration.
- 1 7/8” thick ash hardwood motor block provides stable mounting platform.
- Excellent Value.
- Made in Tennessee, USA.
Wooden Motor Mount
Rugged, well-made, and visually striking, this solid Ash motor mount not only secures your trolling motor, but it also looks pretty damn good while doing it! The White Ash hardwood is sealed with an acrylic urethane coating, which preserves its natural finish and protects it from water damage.
The design is slightly different than the typical aluminum motor mount. It features a 28” long full wooden crossbar that’s 2.5” wide and 1.10” thick. Underneath the main crossbar is a smaller wooden crossbar with tapered ends that fits underneath the gunwales.
Clamping the mount to the canoe is done by tightening the star bolt knobs – which cinches the two crossbars together – locking the mount in place. The clamp holes are 12” apart, so the clamping location will be about the 13”-15” length of inside dimensions.
If you’re looking for a simple, solidly constructed, and aesthetically striking motor mount, you’ll have a hard time beating this one!
- Rugged, well-made and beautiful natural Ash hardwood construction.
- Thick wooden crossbar and mounting block provides a stable mounting platform.
- The universal clamping system will fit nearly any canoe.
- Simple to mount/unmounts with hand-screwed star bolt knobs.
How to pick the best canoe motor mount?
So, how do you pick the right canoe trolling motor mount for your needs?
Most canoe motor mounts will get the job done, but there are a few important features to be aware before making a final decision. Let’s break these down in detail.
Trolling motor mounts typically utilize aluminum or hardwood for the cross-bracket and either hardwood or plastic for the motor block.
Aluminum works well as a cross-bracket material, as it’s lightweight, strong, and corrosion-proof. The lightweight material will help to keep your overall craft weight down, which helps with trolling speed and battery life.
Hardwood cross-brackets are less common, but can also work well. Hardwoods like Ash, Oak, and Maple are coated with some type of urethane coating to protect them for moisture and water damage. These brackets have an aesthetically pleasing look to them, especially when the natural wood grain is exposed. As they’re made from wood, they’re easy to drill into if you want to add rod holders, fishfinder mounts, or other accessories.
The mounting block is the part of the mount that the trolling motor clamps onto. It’s often made from a thick piece of hardwood, but some models use a plastic material for this. Either material should work fine, but hardwood tends to look better in my opinion.
There are two main trolling motor mount styles: Standard bracket mounts, and Side-Saddle Mounts.
Standard bracket mounts have a full bracket or crossbeam that spans the width of the canoe. They usually attach to the canoe’s gunwales with two hand-operated knobs that tighten/loosen the mount. These mounts provide a firm connection to the hull, as the two connection points form a solid attachment to the canoe.
Side-Saddle mounts clip onto a single side of the canoe’s hull. They take up less real estate in your canoe than a standard mount does, which can be useful if you’ve got a smaller watercraft. They tend to bend or bow the canoe outward at the point of attachment under heavier loads, which can cause the propeller to angle closer to the canoe. This isn’t a problem in deep water but can become an issue in shallower water.
There are a few add-ons featured in several motor mounts that you might find useful.
Some come with built-in rod holders, allowing you to stash extra fishing rods when canoe fishing. Others like the Brocraft mount feature built in rail systems capable of easily mounting additional rod holders, camera mounts, cup holders and fishfinder mounts.
Canoe Motor Mount Tips
Setting up and taking down a motor mount is usually fairly straightforward – and can be done in a matter of seconds. There a few useful tips that can enhance your overall experience:
- If you leave the amount attached to your canoe, then make sure to crank the tightening knobs before you start using the engine. You don’t want your nice trolling motor ending up at the bottom of a lake!
- If your canoe is on the narrower side, you might find the motor’s weight will tip the craft to one side. You can offset this by placing the battery off to the opposite side or by shifting your seat over slightly.
- Attaching some form of tether to the trolling motor is generally a good idea. If your mount does fail, you’ll be able to easily retrieve it and re-mount it.
I’ve loved being in the outdoors for as long as I can remember. I grew up fishing, canoeing, and camping throughout the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. It’s what lead me to start this site and share my passions for fishing, diving, kayaking and more. Nowadays you can find me writing about my passions or (preferably!) preparing for my next outdoor adventure.