Got a smoking deal on my Prowler - store discount sure helps a lot.
I have a 50# thrust motor - more # thrust means you can use less motor to do just as much - saves battery life.
Remember, its what the 'insurance' for the company making your pontoon boat says is 'max thrust' - given, you don't need a 80# thrust motor for a 8' pontoon - given, a 30# thrust trolling motor in the wind will maybe keep you in the same spot - but at full throttle, your battery will quickly be toast and you'll still be rowing.
I had an old 36# motor on the Paddlefish last year - wasn't at all thrilled with the results. Hubby has a 50# Prowler on his boat (Creek Co. Sport LT-
and just shoots right across the ponds with that.
I don't need to shoot - just get going. Make sure your seat has a swivel on it, or you will hate what your shoulder does to you the next day. Get the best battery you can (AGM Deep Cycles are the bomb, IMO) and a good charger. Make sure your charger is set up correctly for your type of battery - flooded or AGM - both charge a little differently.
Also make sure you know how to raise your motor in a hurry - newer MinnKotas have a nice system - saves your shaft and your prop. Three blades are always better than two. I currently have an older Exide Dual Purpose battery - got it for nearly free from a friend, and it works okay, but am planning on upgrading to a nice AGM as soon as I can afford. (Fish Finder runs off a separate Vexilar battery)
Oh, btw: we found a very nifty battery status indicator, (digital) made by Vexilar that Reed's sells. Use that for the trolling motor - easier to look down to see where battery is (on fish finder mount) than turning around to see charge status on top of motor). If you're interested, really a nice deal for less than $30: http://www.reedssports.com/Product/p...D=12603&pc=187
Comes with spades like you use on a Vexilar battery - used some sprinkler wire and added ring terminals to the end, and insulated lugs on the other to attach to spades. A square of velcro on the back and a velcro strap on the Ram Mount for the fishfinder.