View Full Version : Freshwater trolling motor in salt water???

11-05-2013, 12:23 AM
I have a minn kota electric trolling motor I wanna take out in the ocean. I know there are specifically designed electric motors for saltwater, but I believe the upgrades are mainly in the electronics and handle to seal them off from the elements. Since the lower unit is sealed (prop area) there shouldn't be a problem if taken out on a nice calm day on the ocean....is my theory & thinking correct???

11-05-2013, 05:24 AM
The saltwater units, like the Riptide, have an additional seal in the motor, the electronics are encased in wax, and there is a zinc on the skeg and zinc paint. They are designed not to corrode in salt. However, there are a lot of people who use non-salt rated motors out there and never have issues. If you have an expensive i-pilot motor with lots of electronics in it, I wouldn't risk it. If you have a $100 tiller mount without any bells and whistles, its probably ok.
The switch may wear out (corrode) in a season, but that a cheap and easy fix.

11-05-2013, 08:55 AM
i see freshwater trolling motors in salt all the time, i have a cheap old minn kota use it in salt handful of times and wash it with freshwater after works fine.

Line Stretcher
11-05-2013, 09:13 AM
I agree with all the comments. The standard freshwater units are probably just fine for occasional use but if you're using it in Salt Water all the time then I'd probably say it isn't a great idea. I'd definitely pull the prop and wash out behind it for added insurance. You can also wipe it down with a thin coat of Vaseline beforehand to keep the salt water out of any cracks, seals and crevices. You don't need to grease it up, just a light film will do the trick. It'll wash off with warm soapy water.