Best Outboard Motor For Saltwater in 2020

Best Outboard Motor For Saltwater

Whether you realize it or not, much of your success around the dock is tied to the motor you’re using. You’re more likely to have a better boating experience with a good outboard motor than with an inefficient one.

Unfortunately, buying an outboard motor is not as simple as buying a new shoe, especially when the motor is for saltwater.

In order to make things much easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of the best outboard motor for saltwater based on research, customer feedback, and actual testing.

One of the common challenges most people face when purchasing a new inflatable boat or upgrading an existing one is finding a good outboard motor that will fit. So we’ve taken a number of factors into consideration, such as motor type, boat weight, hull capacity, and so on.

If you’re ready for it, let’s delve in.

PictureOutboard Motor For SaltwaterEditor RatingDetails

Newport Vessels NV-Series Trolling Electric Trolling Motor5 StarCheck Latest Price

Watersnake ASP Salt Water Transom Mount Trolling Motor4.9 StarCheck Latest Price

Newport Vessels L-Series Saltwater Electric Trolling Motor5 StarCheck Latest Price

Coleman 5HP Easy Start Outboard Boat Motor4.8 StarCheck Latest Price

Haswing Variable Speed Motor Bow Mount Electric Trolling Motor4.8 StarCheck Latest Price

Newport Vessels X-Series Saltwater Electric Trolling Motor5 StarCheck Latest Price

GOPLUS Electric Trolling Motor5 StarCheck Latest Price

U-BCOO 8 Speed Saltwater Transom Mounted Electric Trolling Motor4.7 StarCheck Latest Price

Best Outboard Motor for Saltwater Reviews

Below is a review of the top-rated outboard motors for saltwater. We’ve discussed the most important features and the pros and cons.

1. Newport Vessels NV-Series Trolling Electric Trolling Motor

Newport Vessels NV-Series 46lb

If you’re looking for an outboard motor for everyday fishing, whether in the rain or under the intense heat of the sun, then you should consider the Newport Vessels NV-Series. This motor tops the list when it comes to the best outboard motors specifically designed for saltwater use.

Newport is one of the reputable brands in the industry, and they have some of the best offerings when it comes to boat hardware. The NV-Series is one of their top-performing motors. So, it’s safe to rely on its quality.

The motor hardware consists of stainless steel, magnesium, and zinc, which are all compatible with saltwater.

A transom nylon mount is provided to enhance the resilience of the motor further and make it more resistant to saltwater. So, you don’t have to worry about it wearing out from corrosion after a few trips.

The mount has a dimension of 10-inches and is made to be adjustable so that it can support different watercraft.

There are 8 variable speed options in the motor, out of which 3 are reverse while 5 are forward speeds. The tilt adjustment on the telescoping handle helps to make steering much easier and comfortable.

All these arrangements help to afford you more control on the boat and ensure you have a comfortable ride.

Pros

  • Variable speed option
  • Compatible with saltwater
  • Extendible handle
  • LED display to indicate battery power

Cons

  • A little loud

2. Watersnake ASP Salt Water Transom Mount Trolling Motor

Watersnake ASP Salt Water Transom Mount Trolling Motor

If you’re looking for a reliable outboard that is designed to handle both saltwater and freshwater, then you cannot go wrong with the ASP Salt Water Trolling Motor. This is a simple motor that delivers up to 24-pound thrust, making it a great option for small boats.

With just 6.7 pounds weight, you will agree that this is the lightest motors out there. So, you don’t have to worry much about the added weight of the motor as it’s almost negligible.

It operates quietly, which makes it a great alternative to the NV-Series if you want something less noisy. You can worry less about scaring off the fishes.

The lightweight design of the motor makes it highly portable and less hassle to install. Its stainless steel construction also makes it resistant to the corrosive effects of saltwater.

Moreover, the 24-inches shaft makes it an excellent choice for fishing in shallow regions. A bracket is also provided for easy installation.

Pros

  • Features a clip system to prevent damage
  • Lightweight
  • Easy installation

Cons

  • Steering handle is a little short

3. Newport Vessels L-Series Saltwater Electric Trolling Motor

Newport Vessels L-Series 62lb 86lb

If you can afford to pay extra for a high-quality motor, then the Newport Vessels L-Series will make an excellent choice.

When it comes to performance, there are very few motors that can rival the L-Series. It is undeniably one of the most powerful outboard motors there. The huge number of positive reviews it has attracted so far easily proves this.

This unit offers 65 lbs of thrust, which is the highest you will find in its category. So, you can rest assured you will get what you paid for.

The motor runs on a single battery, which could either be a marine or deep cycle cell. However, keep it in mind that the package doesn’t usually come included with a battery.

Apart from its high-quality build, the motor also has an ultra-quiet operation, so it won’t announce your approach when you go fishing. The motor is also cool most of the time, so you don’t have to worry about overheating in high-temperature weather conditions.

Furthermore, the use of zinc, stainless steel, and composite fiberglass for the motor hardware makes it perfect for saltwater. You can expect it to last for a long time.

The motor is fairly lightweight, so it won’t weigh down your boat. It has a variable speed setting with both forward and reverse speeds and an LED display that tells you the battery life at each point.

Overall, this is a powerful outboard motor you can get for reliable performance. Although a bit pricey, you can expect to get the best value for your money.

Pros

  • Highly durable
  • Ultra-quiet and cool
  • Ergonomic handle
  • 8-speed setting
  • Fully adjustable shaft

Cons

  • Expensive

4. Coleman 5HP Easy Start Outboard Boat Motor

Coleman 5HP Easy Start Outboard Boat Motor

Next on our list of the best outboard motor for saltwater is Coleman Easy Start. As the name suggests, this is a 5HP motor designed for small boats or inflatables. It is fairly lightweight and has a quiet operation.

The body construction largely consists of high-quality marine aluminum alloy, which makes it resilient to the corrosive effects of saltwater.

Like any other transom motor, it is meant to be mounted on your boat stern. However, you can also attach it to your bow eyelets.

Its engine offers 4 speed options– 2 reverse speeds and 2 forward speeds. The thrust is rated around 18 pounds, which makes it ideal for small boats, canoes, and watercraft.

Furthermore, the 4-stroke motor is equipped with a twist grip throttle and tilt-and-trim option that enables you to position it at various angles. This really comes in handy when navigating shallow waters. The engine also features a TCI ignition system for a quick start.

Overall, this is a high-quality outboard motor that is highly effective and affordable. We highly recommend it.

Pros

  • Quick start
  • Comes with thermostat
  • Quiet operations
  • Solid build

Cons

  • Some users complained about the durability

5. Haswing Variable Speed Motor Bow Mount Electric Trolling Motor

12v 55 Lbs Variable Speed Motor Bow Mount Electric Trolling Motor

Another unit that easily qualifies as a top contender outboard motor for saltwater is the Haswing 12V Bow Mount Outboard Motor. As expected, this unit works well for both freshwater and saltwater conditions.

It is resistant to corrosion and features an anode finish that keeps its special metal components safe from abuse. The motor has a compact design that features an ergonomic handle, which makes it easy to carry around.

A 48-inch shaft made of stainless steel material is provided with the motor, which makes it a great fit for various types of vessels.

The motor provides a thrust of 55 pounds, which makes it a great fit for boats weighing up 2750 pounds. It operates quietly and doesn’t consume much power, thus extending the battery life.

Moreover, a wireless remote control is provided to help you conveniently control the motor.

Pros

  • Variable speed settings
  • Comes with wire remote control
  • Three-blade propeller
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Manual adjustments may be required due to disturbance from wind

6. Newport Vessels X-Series Saltwater Electric Trolling Motor

Newport Vessels X-Series 55lb Thrust Transom Mounted Saltwater Electric Trolling Motor

Another outboard motor that guarantees excellent performance in saltwater is the X-Series by Newport Vessels. Choose this unit if you want a motor that is cost-effective and long-lasting.

Like any other saltwater motor, it is built to be corrosion-resistant. So, you can use it safely without worrying that it would wear anytime soon.

It is made of high-quality metal hardware that is compatible with saltwater. The materials include zinc, stainless steel, and magnesium. As you can tell, these materials perform well both in saltwater and freshwater. This makes the motor versatile.

The motor provides up to 55 pounds thrust, which is enough power to push your boat through the roughest waters. You can surf all day long without fear of overheating the engine or scaring the fishes away.

Also, the motor features a 36-inch composite fiberglass shaft, which allows for correct depth placement in all water conditions. An LED indicator is provided to let you know the battery life at each point of your travel.

Pros

  • Multiple speed settings
  • LED display
  • Performs well on many water vessels

Cons

  • Battery not included

7. GOPLUS Electric Trolling Motor

Goplus Electric Trolling Motor 46 55 86 LBS

Another powerful unit that works well for small and medium-sized boats is the Goplus Transom Trolling Motor. This motor is designed for both freshwater and saltwater use, which makes it a great option if you’re looking for something you can use anywhere.

Its motor is available in three variants – 46 pounds, 55 pounds, and 86 pounds. The 46-lbs motor is great for smaller boats (anything below 2890-lbs) and works with 12V batteries while the 55-lbs option also works with 12V batteries but is better suited for boats that weight up to 3640-lbs.


And the larger motor (86-lbs) is targeted towards 4520-lbs boats and runs on 24V battery cells.
One of the major features that distinguish this unit from others is its use of a corrosion-resistant fiberglass shaft. This makes it suitable for both freshwater and saltwater.

So, if you want an outboard motor that you don’t need to replace for different trips, then this unit will make a great choice.

interestingly, the shaft angle and depth can be adjusted to suit your needs. The use of a 3-blade propeller ensures smoother movement. An LED battery indicator is provided to monitor the battery life.

Overall, this is an outboard motor that promises reliable performance. It is a good bargain for its price.

Pros

  • Sturdy and long-lasting
  • Smooth ride
  • Easy handling
  • Adjustable handle

Cons

  • Drains battery fast

8. U-BCOO 8 Speed Saltwater Transom Mounted Electric Trolling Motor

-BCOO 8 Speed Saltwater Transom Mounted Electric Trolling Motor

If you’re on a limited budget but still want a unit that can deliver, then you should consider the U-BCOO 8-Speed Outboard Motor. Made of stainless steel hardware, the U-BCOO 8-Speed Outboard Motor is a great option for kayaks and small watercraft

Besides the 46 pounds thrust, you can also choose from the 55 and 60 pounds thrust models. The unit features a 36-inch shaft that doesn’t corrode or rust in saltwater. It is equipped with an indicator that tells you the battery life at each point.

More importantly, the motor operates quietly, so you don’t have to worry about scaring off the fishes as you approach. Like all the models we’ve reviewed so far, this unit offers variable speed settings. To be more specific, it has 8 speeds settings – 5 forward and 3 reverse speeds.

The motor has a durable die-cast aluminum head and a 5-inch telescopic handle, which makes handling easier and comfortable


Despite being made of die-cast aluminum, the motorhead is fairly lightweight. So, it doesn’t add much to the overall weight of your boat.

Overall, we think the U-BCOO Transom is a good bargain for its price. We do not recommend it for more serious use; however, it’s an excellent choice if you’re looking for a backup outboard motor.

Pros

  • Variable speed settings
  • Long shaft
  • Provides comfortable grip
  • Comes with LED indicator

Cons

  • Speed settings may not work properly

Features to Consider Before Buying

Below are the key things to consider before deciding on an outboard motor that will best suit your needs.

Boat Weight

The size of your boat largely determines the size of the outboard motor you need. In other words, with a bigger boat, you will need a stronger motor.

If you’re not concerned about speed, then a motor that delivers 5hp per tonne would do. However, you will need something stronger for more speed.

But bear in mind that stronger motors usually have more weight. This can pose a challenge when carrying them around.

Hull Capacity

Another thing to look out for when purchasing an outboard motor is the hull capacity. The hull capacity is a measure of how much motor weight on the transom the boat can support.

Most boat manuals usually have information on the largest motor that can be installed. So, make sure you check yours before making your final decision.

This is important in order to avoid overloading your boat, as this can greatly reduce efficiency and speed. In some cases, it could lead to even more dangerous outcomes.

In addition to hull capacity, using the wrong type of motor can also cause overloading.

Most modern boats are built for one type of engine, which could be 2-stroke or 4-stroke. However, if you have an older model, you may find out it supports both types of motors. Whatever the case, make sure you use the right type of motor.

Motor Type

There are basically two types of outboard motor – 2-stroke and 4-stroke. You can choose between both types of motors, depending on your boat and what you want to accomplish.

The most common engine options are two-stroke and four-stroke motors. Four strokes usually offer more power they don’t maintain fuel economy as well as two-stroke motors.

Price

It’s always a good idea to spend within the limit of your budget, but you should never compromise on quality.

Try and avoid motors that are ridiculously low priced, or you may end up spending more money on a new unit.

Salt Resistance

This one is obvious since you’re here to purchase an outboard motor for saltwater in the first place. So, make sure the unit you choose has a high resistance to saltwater.

Frequently Asked Questions ?

  • What is the outboard motor for saltwater?

Our favorite motor is Newport Vessels L-Series but it’s difficult not to sound bias considering the quality of all the motors on the list. So, feel free to choose the option that appeals most to you depending on your needs and preference.

  • Is it possible to use a freshwater outboard motor in saltwater?

No, we do not recommend this except for the motor being designed for both freshwater and saltwater use. Most motors specifically designed for freshwater do not have the resilience to survive the corrosive effects of saltwater.

However, even though freshwater motors are not meant for saltwater, you can use a saltwater motor in freshwater.

  • How is a freshwater motor different from a saltwater motor?

The difference between both types of motor lies in the construction material.

Freshwater environments do not usually pose any serious threats to the condition of the motor components, so the materials used for making such motors do not usually have any special trait or feature.

However, this is not the case with saltwater. Saltwater is highly corrosive, so the motor used in such an environment must be made with corrosion-resistant materials.

  • How long does a fully charged motor last?

Depending on the motor battery and level of maintenance, a full charged trolling motor can last up to four hours before needing a recharge.

Some motors may last longer.

  • Where can I get these products?

To purchase any item on the list, just follow the corresponding link to go to the product page.

Final Words

Buying a new outboard is fun, but it’s easy to get carried away with all the flashy models on the counter.

Don’t lose sight of the most important thing – the boating. Hopefully, you will pick a motor that pairs correctly with your boat from our list of the best outboard motor for saltwater.

All the products above have been thoroughly researched and found to offer the best performance in terms of efficiency and reliability.Let us know if you have any more questions, or you can share your experience if you’ve used any one of the motors above.

Resources & References

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Hi, I’m Adam Vachon, an avid learner and working in the product marketing niche for the last few years. The problem I faced when marketing products for manufacturers made me interested in starting GearsLoft.

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