How To Mount A Trolling Motor On An Aluminum Boat?

It is very simple to mount a trolling motor on an aluminum boat. For a Transom mount motor, you only need to tighten the clamps after you position your motor correctly.

For a bow Mount trolling motor, you have to bolt the motor mount through the deck with a quick-release plate or without it.

In this article, we will discuss some fine points on how to mount a trolling motor whether it is a small car topper boat or a large trailered boat. This will help you have the best day out on the lake fishing, whether you have a small or a large boat.

Mounting A Trolling Motor On A Small Aluminum Boat:

Small aluminum boats are commonly known as car toppers, rowboats or even dinghies. Most of the boats in this size class range from 10 to 14 feet in length and can be made of wood, plastic, fiberglass, combination of materials or aluminum.

Towing a small boat behind a trailer or on your vehicle or placing the boat on the roof of your vehicle is common. If you are placing the boat on the top of your vehicle then put it upside down, requiring to empty your boat.

mounting trolling motor on aluminum boat

Your trolling motor also must be capable of being removed from your boat. Most transom mount trolling motors have screw clamps to fasten or screw them securely to the back of your boat. When you attach your transom mount trolling motor to your boat, firstly what you need is to locate the boat’s center for boat control and best balance.

Then you lose the screw clams on the trolling motor and place it to the center as close as possible. Small aluminum boats have a piece of plywood installed as a mounting plate for your motor. On your trolling motor tighten the screw clamps until it firmly grips the transom of your boat.

If a gas motor is used by you then use an oversized box and wrench to place on the handle screw clamp and add a quarter turn to the clamps. This secure the motor firmly and reduce the chance of your motor from getting loose on vibrating.

Bow Mount An Electric Trolling Motor On Small Aluminum boat:

Bow mount electric GPS trolling motors are preferred over transom mount motors. A bow mount motor needs to be screwed to the deck of your boat. Most of the small boats do not have a deck, if that is the case for your aluminum boat you can make a deck by attaching two pieces of 2 by 4’s cross ways.

The first piece should be cut so that it fits at about 12″ from the tip of your aluminium boat and the second should be about 30 inches. The 2 by 4’s piece need to be attached by screwing the 2 by 4’s to your boat. It can also go under the top rail and can be secured by clamping pressure from the plywood deck.

how to mount a trolling motor

Double check for a solid connection to your boat if you are using the pressure method. Next, you need to cut a piece of plywood in a triangle to cover the area in the front of your boat. The triangle should be 30 inches long and as wide as your boat where the second 2 by 4 is attached, nearly 24 inches, depending on your boat.

Used heavy duty wood screws to tighten the plywood to the 2 by 4’s. Then attach a quick release trolling motor bracket for your trolling motor to the deck just made by you. Normally, you need to attach 4 bolts from the bottom half of the bracket to the deck and 4 bolts from the top of the bracket to the motor.

For detailed directions to finish the mounting follow the bracket directions.

Products Recommended For Small Boat Bow Mount Motor Set UPS:

  • Motorguide xi3 with remote

  • Trolling motor battery cable extension kit

  • Quick release bracket kit

  • VMAX MR137 Deep Cycle 12V, battery 120Ah

  • The Terminal Mount use block

Mounting A Trolling Motor On A Large Aluminum Boat:

A trailer is used to transport larger boats. A 14 feet boat is no longer a small size boat. Boats above 14 feet long mostly have a solid metal transom and decking on the sides and front.

Larger boats have the main motor larger than a trolling motor. Boats above 21 feet long have multiple motors, like the main motor, a bow mount electric trolling motor and a gas trolling motor.

To mount a trolling motor on the transom of a large boat is just like to a small boat as far as its attachment is concerned. But you have to position the motor to the side. Loosen the screw clamps enough so that you can slide the motor on the transom, but the bracket should not move forward and back.

small aluminum boat

Once the motor is fixed on the transom, make sure the propeller is below the bottom of the boat. Now turn the motor in both directions. If it moves freely and is below the boat then tighten the screw clamps.

If there is an option for you to choose the side, then place your motor on the side with less weight, so that the boat is evenly balanced. You can also try to find the place to put your batteries to help with the balance of your boat.

Bow Mounting An Electric Trolling Motor On A Large Aluminum Boat:

The most important and crucial thing is to buy the correct size trolling motor for your boat. It is simple to buy a small cheap motor with the small aluminum boat and it will work out but on a large aluminum boat there are a lot of variables which are to be considered.

Next you have to check if you are using a quick release mounting plate for your motor. It is recommended a large boat with a large trolling motor skip the quick release unless you are using your boat for more water sports than fishing. You need to remove the extra weight you can if you are water skiing or tubing.

At this point you have to find a spot to the center of your boat as close as possible to mount your motor that will not interfere with your windshield, anchor or lights. Make sure you have space to attach the mounting bolts of your motor on the underside of your deck.

Once the location is finalized, it is just as easy as to drill holes to match the mounting bracket. Then insert your bolts, tighten them and put on the motor bracket covers. For your wiring system you have to follow the directions.


With the details covered above, you'll have no trouble mounting a trolling motor on an aluminum boat and you will have a great day on the water.