why is my trolling motor running slow

You are ready to conquer the sea, but the technical issues hinder your enjoyment. They may come from the malfunctioning trolling motor and demand immediate treatment. 

So why is my trolling motor running slow? There are seven common causes for this problem, each requiring a specific solution. 

Let’s check this guide to find out what they are!  

Why Is My Trolling Motor Running Slow And How To Solve?

A trolling motor has an electric engine affixed to one bow or stern of the boat.

It’s in charge of leading your boat in the right direction and fighting against waves and wind. 

Your trolling motor may go slowly sometimes, affecting the whole boat’s efficiency.

Here are the seven possible reasons for the engine to work at a poor speed.  

Poor maintenance

Like any engine, the trolling motor requires frequent upkeep to work in the best condition.

Otherwise, dust will accumulate, or components may break down without your awareness. The engine will get slower as a result.  

Turbulent water condition

If the water body where you are sailing has a lot of waves, the trolling motor can’t perform at its best. The waves will affect the battery’s performance. 

For example, a 20 amp power is the standard for a trolling motor to work in calm water. Yet, this value should be 30 in turbulent conditions. 


The trolling motor’s propeller will become entangled if it drags up debris or tangles with the fishing lines. This dusty problem may be why your trolling motor runs slowly.

You can fix it at least by checking the propeller and cleaning it. It would be best to perform this task regularly. Please don’t wait until the problem arises to solve it. 

Wrong wiring

The trolling motor may slow down if you don’t connect it properly.

Again, using damaged or improperly sized wiring may cause the engine to operate more slowly.

Loose wiring is another issue to look for. Either tighten the bad connection or reconnect the plug correctly to fix it.

Apply dielectric lubricant to all terminal connections to avoid power loss brought by corroded or loose connections. 

Poor prop condition

People experience it when they run into a stump, forcing the prop to flex.

Also, the trolling motor will operate slower with the bent prop. The trolling engine won’t work correctly if the prop doesn’t spin precisely. 

Battery failure 

Electric trolling motors run on batteries. Most of them use 12-volt marine batteries, which work with trolling motor depletion and recharge. AGM batteries are less popular since they are more pricey and have a shorter lifespan.

The electric trolling motor won’t function properly if your battery fails to supply electricity to it. In this case, check whether the battery has enough capacity to give the engine the energy it needs to create thrust. 

You can determine whether you need to recharge the battery based on the voltage. If the charge is low, recharge it before rechecking the voltage.

Nevertheless, you might need to totally change the battery if there has been a catastrophic battery failure.

Additionally, your batteries could stop working for the following likely causes:

  • Poorly charged batteries
  • Incorrectly connecting the wire to the terminal
  • Loose battery cables or rusted wire connections
  • Lack of frequent checks on the electrolyte levels 
  • Wrong battery chargers

Broken propeller pin

The propeller’s driving pin can get broken or deformed. If so, the only solution is to replace it with a new one. 

Try turning the propeller with your hand to examine it. If there are no problems, the propeller should turn smoothly with barely any magnetic drag.

Please note that a defective propeller can prohibit the engine from generating enough power. Try removing, cleaning, and re-installing it to see whether it can work. If not, buy a new propeller to use. 

why is my trolling motor running slow

Other Problems With Trolling Motor 

The slower speed isn’t the only problem that may happen to your trolling motor. You need to expect vibration and the engine turning over too. 


Your trolling motor could vibrate. This problem harms the motor and board batteries when you’re fishing. How to solve it?

Check the boat’s battery connections. Then, move to the propeller to see if it’s loose or not fitted. 

Look for any indications of worn-out bushings or bearings too. They may need replacements. 

Another cause is an unfitted motor, which shakes its housing. Make sure to secure it, or you will experience a capsize.  

Turning over 

The trolling motor may sometimes stop functioning completely. It might not be a problem on small waters where you may sail around, but on ships at sea, it can stop the voyage before it starts.

Here are some tips to fix the error: 

  • Inspect the fuses; unexpected power surges can cause them to blow.
  • There may be corrosion within sockets or switches or between wiring connections. Give them a wiggle and reconnect them as necessary. 
  • If you’ve stored the battery throughout the winter, it’s worth checking to see if it’s entirely discharged or unplugged.

How To Maintain Your Electric Trolling Motor?

Any type of trolling motor costs a lot of money. Despite being constructed to endure extreme conditions, they are not impenetrable. 

The following tips are applicable and can help your trolling motor last longer.

  • Check and remove any weeds, fishing line, or debris that may have gotten trapped behind the propeller after your trip.
  • Lubricate all the pivot joints every day using a non-aerosol grease. 
  • Check the connections’ firmness to ensure they are not rusty or loose.
  • Recharge the battery after every use. 
  • Never attach a wire to a battery’s incorrect terminals, and keep water away from the top cover as it may harm the circuitry inside.

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. How long does a trolling motor usually last?

In general, a trolling motor can last for five to seven years, depending on the brand, conditions, and maintenance. 

2. Which battery is the best for trolling motors? 

The most popular batteries for trolling motors are lead acid batteries

They are the least expensive option and can withstand continuous draining and recharging.  

3. How long do trolling motor batteries last?

When using a trolling motor, a marine battery lasts about five hours. The age and quality of the battery, as well as other factors like the weather, can affect it, though. 

Read More: Boat Engine Stalls When Decelerating & How To Solve It


Your trolling motor may run slow because of low maintenance, battery, wiring, and water conditions. Once you figure out the causes, you will find the solution quickly. 

If you have trouble fixing your trolling motor, don’t hesitate to contact us. We will be glad to help you.

Thank you for reading! 

Similar Posts