Minn Kota Engine-Mount
FEATURES Quiet oomph from the back of the boat-that's the ticket with these new motors that bolt to the main engine's cavitation plate and ride out of the water when on plane. They're excellent for trolling shallow water or pulling spinner rigs below 1 mph. They provide power from the stern to augment the thrust when you maneuver with a bow-mount in current, and have strength to spare.
MODELS Available in 12-, 24-, and 36-volt models, with single or dual props, for a range of thrust from 55 to 202 pounds. $550¿¿¿$1,450 for freshwater units; $600¿¿¿$1,500 for salt; www.minnkotamotors.com
HITS You adjust trolling speed with a rheostat, so it's possible to dial in increments of .1 mph.
MISSES Don't expect to go backward, as pulling water past the shaft of the big engine saps strength.
FEATURES AutoPilot automatically steers your craft in the direction you select, adjusting for wind, waves, and current. (A wireless remote is optional.) Combine a PowerDrive with a gas motor on the transom and you can control speed to tenths of a mile per hour.
MODELS Includes 12- and 24-volt versions, with shaft lengths of 48 to 60 inches. Power levels range from 40 to 80 pounds of thrust. $340¿¿¿$1,050; www.minnkotamotors.com
HITS Set the AutoPilot and you can fish without attention to the foot pedal.
MISSES Electronic steering is somewhat slow to respond when a river rips.
FEATURES This freshwater series is ideal for moderate watercraft. These electrics are more reliable than ever and have better seals to protect against moisture. Internal communication is digital, to monitor amp draw and heat.
MODELS A collection of 12- and 24-volt motors provides a range of thrust from 30 to 82 pounds. The bigger electric has variable speeds and an extension handle. $100¿¿¿$400; motorguide.com
HITS To back-troll, you can turn the motor around so it operates in forward mode when it's pointed in reverse.
MISSES It's trickier to steer when you're pushing a boat from the transom.