Best Canoe Motor Mounts

When you’ve spent a couple of hundred dollars on a trolling motor for your canoe, you need to know you’re not going to dump it halfway across the lake. Unless you have a square stern canoe, you will need to fit a transom style mount in order to use your motor. A properly fitted mount will not only keep your motor secure but also improves the efficiency of your ride.

A canoe motor mount can retrofit almost any canoe, giving you a secure point to fit your motor, so you can fish more and paddle less. But how do you know a quality mount from one that’s going to wobble and give you an inefficient ride? Our canoe motor mount guide can help you pick the right mount for your canoe.

The Best Сanoe Motor Mounts At a Glance:

What are the types of Canoe Motor Mount?

Standard Mount

Standard motor mounts fit across the stern of a traditional canoe and act like a straight transom. These mounts are usually made from a strong width of metal or hardwood that clamps underneath the gunwales at the rear of the canoe with some overhang. The trolling motor then mounts onto a transom made from inch-thick pieces of hardwood that are bolted to the frame.

Standard mount motors are always mounted at the rear of your canoe, but give a superior connection to a side mount. These mounts suit all styles of canoe and are able to support heavier motors than a side mount.

Side Mount

Side mounting your canoe is straightforward and requires less space than a standard mount. These mounts clip to the gunwales on one side of your canoe using a metal clamp. A transom-like mount then sits right beside your canoe for you to mount your motor.

Unlike a standard mount, these do not spread the weight evenly across both gunwales and these mounts are better suited to wider, more stable canoes. With a side mount, you do get more control over where your motor is mounted, though. This means you can either mount it towards the stern for crossing the lake, or towards the bow for holding your position and staying out of the way of fishing lines.

Factors to Consider When Buying Your Motor Mount

Does your Canoe Suit a Motor Mount

Canoes are not all made equally. However you plan to mount your motor, the more stable your canoe, the more comfortable you are going to find trolling. After all, a capsize with a motor fitted is not something anyone wants to experience.

As well as stability, you should check the capacity of your canoe. Your motor will add upwards of 20 lbs., without accounting for batteries, mounts, and any other gear you need. Remember to not exceed 70% of your canoe’s stated capacity to remain within the optimal performance.

A trolling motor mount for a canoe

Size and Power of your Trolling Motor

You need to be certain that your chosen trolling motor is able to withstand the force being put through it. Every motor mount is rated to fit motors up to a certain horsepower. As a general rule, the higher the horsepower of your engine, the more it weighs and the heavier duty motor mount you require.

Material

Canoe motor mounts consist of two parts; the cross beam and the transom mount. 

Most crossbeams are made from aluminum, chosen for its strength to weight ratio. Although aluminum does have some flex, once clamped on both gunwales there should be no movement in your motor. Any movement in the system makes your motor less secure but also reduces the efficiency of your setup.

Wooden crossbeams are durable and affordable, with most DIY mounts featuring wooden crossbeams. However, they are more susceptible to long-term damage and may need to be replaced sooner. Aluminum crossbeams stand up against continued vibration from the motor, as well as the elements.

The transom mount on most motor mounts is wooden, or some form of recycled wood. These are hardwoods that are treated to resist water ingress and stand up against the elements. Wooden transom mounts provide a better grip for the motor to bolt to and can be easily replaced if they show too much wear.

How Easy Is Your Mount to Fit?

The easier it is to fit and remove your motor mount, the more likely you are to use it. Most motor mounts now use large bolts, or wing nuts, that don’t require you to carry tools with you. Side mounts are easier to fit and remove, and also take up less space when they’re not on your canoe.

Cost

When you’ve spent money on a quality motor, you don’t want to cheap out on the mount and end up with an unreliable setup. More expensive mounts often have a higher weight, or horsepower rating, and tend to be more durable. But if you only use your motor mount occasionally and you have a lightweight motor, these might be overkill for what you need.


The Best Canoe Motor Mounts

Old Town Canoes Standard Motor Mount

Old Town Canoes Standard Motor Mount

Mount Style: Standard
Crossbeam Material: Aluminum
Transom Material: Hardwood block
Weight Rating: 3 HP

Old Town Canoes is the oldest manufacturer of canoes in the U.S. When you have made some of the world’s most popular canoes for families, tripping, and of course fishing, you learn a thing or two about what it takes to make a great accessory.

The Old Town Canoes Standard Motor Mount features a heavy-duty aluminum crossbeam that secures easily underneath the gunwales of your canoe. The large nuts screw up easily by hand so you don’t need to carry any tools. This mount can take an electric or gas-powered motor up to 3 HP and suits either left or right-handed users. 


Old Town Canoe Sidesaddle Motor Mount 

Old Town Canoe Sidesaddle Motor Mount 

Mount Style: Side Mount
Crossbeam Material: Cast aluminum clamp
Transom Material: Hardwood
Weight Rating: 3 HP

The Old Town Canoe Sidesaddle Motor Mount clamps securely onto the side of your canoe using a cast aluminum clamp. This rust-resistant design takes up very little space and can comfortably hold a motor up to 3-HP. 

Unlike other side mounts, the Old Town Canoe Sidesaddle sits your motor slightly further out from the side of your boat. This makes it easier to control your canoe whilst looking where you’re headed. This mount can be fitted on either the left or the right-hand side of your canoe.

This mount is not suitable for canoes with wooden gunwales.


XCheng Canoe Trolling Motor Mount

XCheng Canoe Trolling Motor Mount

Mount Style: Standard
Crossbeam Material: Aluminum
Transom Material: Plastic Wood
Weight Rating: 25 lbs. 

The XChen Canoe Trolling Motor Mount is an easy-to-fit, adjustable trolling motor mount for the stern of your canoe. With eight mount holes, you can move this mount forwards and backward along your canoe, or adjust how far out your motor is mounted. The bolts can be tightened one-handed for easy installation and removal.

The heavy-duty aluminum crossbeam prevents vibrations and does not rust. The transom is made from plastic wood, an alternative to hardwood that is weather resistant and durable. This mount can accommodate motors up to 25 lb. 


AquaOutdoor Canoe Trolling Motor Mount

AquaOutdoor Canoe Trolling Motor Mount

Mount Style: Standard
Crossbeam Material: Solid Ash
Transom Material: Solid Ash
Weight Rating: Not stated

The solid ash design and olive green finish of the AquaOutdoor Canoe Trolling Motor Mount gives a much more traditional feel than the aluminum models that most companies use. The three-piece design is solid and dependable, durable against the weather, and easy to fit. Simply clamp the top crossbeam to the bottom piece and tighten the hand screws in place to secure.

This motor mount has a fixed length of 28 inches. Unlike other mounts, it does not feature a range of holes but relies on the two lengths of wood clamping underneath the gunwales. It is important that you measure the width of your canoe in the desired mount spot to ensure this motor mount will fit securely.

Tom Kilpatrick avatar

Moose started his paddling life on the ponds and rivers in the South-East of England. He has slowly worked his way north and has spent the last few years paddling in Scotland, both with friends and as a canoe guide. A very experienced and knowledgeable coach and guide across Scotland and the rest of the UK, he spent a summer in Norway and a month in Nepal. He is also a cofounder of PaddleMore.co.uk.

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