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Old 02-25-2020, 06:12 PM   #1
Birdhousepdx
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Default Thinking of a bow mount minnkota

So I'm thinking about getting a bow mount minnkota for my 06 north river scout 20 foot. I would like to have Ipilot or autopilot. In the front storage space I have room for 2 group 27 batteries and a battery tray is already installed. So my question is which one do I go with? And what shaft length or best way to measure for proper shaft length. I fish tribs Willamette and the Columbia. Thanks for the advice..


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Old 02-25-2020, 08:41 PM   #2
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Default Re: Thinking of a bow mount minnkota

I have the 72” on my Columbia, it came from my windshield boat I sold, I’ve thought I could go to the 60”, but I like having the ability to drop it deeper in the water. Not sure if it’s perception or real, but I feel it works better deeper. The nice thing, is you can adjust the hight if you’re in shallow water.
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Old 02-25-2020, 09:05 PM   #3
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Default Re: Thinking of a bow mount minnkota

I just did this. I ended up with a Terrova Riptide 24 volt, 72" shaft, saltwater which has a sealed circuitboard on my 20' Hewescraft Pro V. I considered a 60" shaft but had heard from others that a 60" would sometimes come out in choppy conditions. Finding a 24 volt 72" shaft, there aren't many options. Prices all seem to be the same. I ordered from Amazon for $2000/free shipping. Ordered on Tuesday night, arrived Friday.

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Old 02-26-2020, 03:03 AM   #4
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Default Re: Thinking of a bow mount minnkota

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Originally Posted by Birdhousepdx View Post
So I'm thinking about getting a bow mount minnkota for my 06 north river scout 20 foot. I would like to have Ipilot or autopilot. In the front storage space I have room for 2 group 27 batteries and a battery tray is already installed. So my question is which one do I go with? And what shaft length or best way to measure for proper shaft length. I fish tribs Willamette and the Columbia. Thanks for the advice..
Here's how you measure shaft length. It's really easy to do the next time you're out on the water. As others have mentioned...If you're close go with the longer shaft to help on those rough days.
You should also make a quick measurement to maje sure you've got room to store the motor on the bow. It's ok to offset it if you need to.

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Old 02-26-2020, 06:47 AM   #5
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Default Re: Thinking of a bow mount minnkota

I went with this one. I have limited bow access, so I needed the self deploy. Because of deck storage room, I went with the 60" shaft, but for the small amount of extra cost, I would have gone with the 72" shaft. Deeper is better on those choppy days.

The I-Link would be nice if you are running Humminbird equipment, but the I-Pilot works good for me. I don't think I would ever take the time to program the I-Link with my Humminbird. I-Link may work on a quiet Bass Lake, but Kokanee fishing, I am always changing direction to avoid other boats.

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Old 02-26-2020, 08:20 AM   #6
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Default Re: Thinking of a bow mount minnkota

I have the I Pilot with ILink and there are some benefits and hooking up to your Humminbird (must be the right one) is easy with the cable. Contour track, go to way point and my favorite is if you leave your remote at home charging, you can control the motor with your Humminbird. They are amazing and a game changer if it’s your first auto pilot.


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Old 02-26-2020, 04:55 PM   #7
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I have a 21' scout. I went with the 60 inch and have no regrets. Does it come out of the water in chop?
Yes it does, BUT the chop it takes to do it is pretty substantial, so it happens so seldom in the waters I fish it's no issue for me.
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Old 02-27-2020, 06:41 PM   #8
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Default Re: Thinking of a bow mount minnkota

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I have a 21' scout. I went with the 60 inch and have no regrets. Does it come out of the water in chop?
Yes it does, BUT the chop it takes to do it is pretty substantial, so it happens so seldom in the waters I fish it's no issue for me.
Thanks for the tips guys. My search begins!!!!!
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Old 02-27-2020, 07:32 PM   #9
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I have a Terrova Ipilot 54” on a Alumaweld Stryker. That teamed up with the kicker is🤑🤑🤑 Uncle Norms marine has a trolling motor skeg. 45 minnow I think is the name. Helps with keeping motor in the water on rough days. Along with tracking and turning. $100
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Old 02-28-2020, 06:44 PM   #10
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Check out Trollingmotors.net (can I say this on this forum?) talk to George- he's the owner- price is pretty good and he will help you get exactly what you need. Just bought a Riptide Ulterra 24 volt 60 " for my NR 22. Arrived in 21 hours!

Also, does anybody have any experience with AGM batteries- suggest a brand? Not worth it? jonb
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Old 02-28-2020, 09:35 PM   #11
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I run Interstate 29s which have been recommend by others on this site for balance of price and performance.


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Old 02-29-2020, 08:23 AM   #12
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Tried the Ulterra out for the first time yesterday. Definitely a learning curve, but I think it will work out extremely well.
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Old 02-29-2020, 09:08 AM   #13
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You’re going to love it. If you’re going to use it for auto pilot you might consider the rudder fin. It makes a big difference. I use the Leelock one and it works well. Also, play around with the different auto pilot types.


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Old 03-01-2020, 04:32 AM   #14
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Default Re: Thinking of a bow mount minnkota

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You’re going to love it. If you’re going to use it for auto pilot you might consider the rudder fin. It makes a big difference. I use the Leelock one and it works well. Also, play around with the different auto pilot types.


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I agree. You'll love it. You will appreciate the fin and its worth the hundred bucks.
I've got the uncle Norms minnow fin. There's some design features that I appreciate with it over the leelock. At the end of the day I don't think it's significant though and either will be a vast improvement.

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Old 03-01-2020, 12:38 PM   #15
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Default Re: Thinking of a bow mount minnkota

I installed the big skeg right from the start. It sure brings the front around quick. Went with the leelock.
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Old 03-01-2020, 01:22 PM   #16
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Default Re: Thinking of a bow mount minnkota

I don't want to hijack the thread, but I'm also trying to choose the right bow mount trolling motor for my 17' FreeDrifter.

Do I need a saltwater version if I only intend to use it occasionally (less than 10 times/year) in the bay and estuary?

I'm also considering the auto deploy/stow feature because I fish alone a lot of the time. Any ideas or suggestion on this?

Thanks in advance for any advice. Cheers, CopperMan.
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Old 03-01-2020, 01:30 PM   #17
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I don't want to hijack the thread, but I'm also trying to choose the right bow mount trolling motor for my 17' FreeDrifter.

Do I need a saltwater version if I only intend to use it occasionally (less than 10 times/year) in the bay and estuary?

I'm also considering the auto deploy/stow feature because I fish alone a lot of the time. Any ideas or suggestion on this?

Thanks in advance for any advice. Cheers, CopperMan.
I'm sure others will chime in but I felt that for the small extra cost of the Riptide, the extra corrosion protection was worth it. You only want to buy once.
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Old 03-01-2020, 02:37 PM   #18
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Default Re: Thinking of a bow mount minnkota

For the 72"Terrova, the price was the same, $1999.99 except that the Riptide has no foot pedal, the regular Terrova has remote and foot pedal.
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Old 03-05-2020, 09:24 AM   #19
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In hindsight I would get the auto deploy. Pain in the but pulling it up to move and start your run again. Especially when it’s nasty out. I got the salt version. Salt is brutal even if it’s 10 times a year.


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Old 03-07-2020, 12:54 PM   #20
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Default Re: Thinking of a bow mount minnkota

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Check out Trollingmotors.net (can I say this on this forum?) talk to George- he's the owner- price is pretty good and he will help you get exactly what you need. Just bought a Riptide Ulterra 24 volt 60 " for my NR 22. Arrived in 21 hours!

Also, does anybody have any experience with AGM batteries- suggest a brand? Not worth it? jonb



I went with the VMax tank AGM batteries when I purchased 3 years ago. They have worked well for me.
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Old 03-07-2020, 03:24 PM   #21
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Default Re: Thinking of a bow mount minnkota

Do you guys think a 54 inch shaft would work on my boat? I found a deal on a used one.
Just not sure if it will be way to short?
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Old 03-09-2020, 07:34 AM   #22
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Birdhouse, I just installed a 60” Terrova on my North River 18ft Mariner. Finished yesterday.

I believe (?) the Scout/Mariner have the same hull, so bow height should be the same.

I haven’t run mine yet but the 60in extends more than enough. I would have got a 54” but found a deal on a 60in. I was worried it wouldn’t fit on the Mariner’a fairly short bow (windshield)....but seems good.

So, yes, I think a 54” would work....BUT I’m sure people will tell you do go as long as possible. I’m way inland and don’t fish the salt or Buoy 10 so I don’t see challenging it much.

Another thing to consider - might you upgrade your boat to something bigger in the future?
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Old 03-09-2020, 09:30 AM   #23
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I've got a 60" Power Drive on my Seahawk that works perfectly.
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Old 03-12-2020, 06:59 AM   #24
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Default Re: Thinking of a bow mount minnkota

Seems short.
My buddy installed a motor that was a little too short on his boat and it’s super annoying, any chop at all and someone has to sit in the bow for it to be usable at all. I went extra long and it’s nice for visibility to be able to see the head.
I love the Ulterra being able to trim the motor up and down. It’s even handier than the auto deploy and stow.
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Old 03-13-2020, 07:50 AM   #25
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Default Re: Thinking of a bow mount minnkota

Just feel a need to add this to the discussion. The biggest drawback to the Minn Kota Ulterra is to turn the motor on at the motor docking platform. If you forget to do this before launch, or don't have bow access, you may be going swimming. There should be a "ON" switch on the hand controller. That would save a lot of headaches, for people that don't have bow access or are forgetful.

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Old 03-14-2020, 07:59 AM   #26
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Default Re: Thinking of a bow mount minnkota

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Do you guys think a 54 inch shaft would work on my boat? I found a deal on a used one.
Just not sure if it will be way to short?
Having had a 60” on a North River Commander, I wouldn’t want anything less. You can always trim up.
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Old 03-19-2020, 06:09 AM   #27
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Default Re: Thinking of a bow mount minnkota

One advantage to going longer is it's easier to see. There will be plenty of times when you need or want to look at the motor to see which way it's pointed. The higher up it is, the easier it is to see it over passengers and other obstacles.





This is a 72" Ulterra Riptide on a cabin boat. I had to make that platform and stick it out an additional foot, so that it would clear the cabin windshield when stowed. But it was worth the trouble. Very easy to see, and I can drive it that much deeper in chop if I need to.

My advice: get the longest one you can make fit.
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Old 03-19-2020, 02:44 PM   #28
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I have a 54” on a 20’ Stryker no probs at all.
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Old 08-03-2020, 12:35 PM   #29
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How did you guys address the additional batteries required to run the bow mount? I have a 19' North River Scout without a great place to put 2 extra batteries in the bow. I want to hear what people with similar boats did. on the step deck? Underneath somehow?

Also, are the motor and batteries good at taking a beating up there in the bow of the boat? I have a 6 degree hull and it can get pretty bouncy at times. I do adjust throttle to not beat the crap out of everything/persons in my boat.
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Old 08-03-2020, 08:17 PM   #30
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How did you guys address the additional batteries required to run the bow mount? I have a 19' North River Scout without a great place to put 2 extra batteries in the bow. I want to hear what people with similar boats did. on the step deck? Underneath somehow?

Also, are the motor and batteries good at taking a beating up there in the bow of the boat? I have a 6 degree hull and it can get pretty bouncy at times. I do adjust throttle to not beat the crap out of everything/persons in my boat.
On mine in the front anchor compartment in front of the fish box is where i put mine. Its a 06 20 foot scout tho.
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Old 08-04-2020, 05:54 AM   #31
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I have a 21' scout. I went with the 60 inch and have no regrets. Does it come out of the water in chop?
Yes it does, BUT the chop it takes to do it is pretty substantial, so it happens so seldom in the waters I fish it's no issue for me.
I agree with blue. I have a 20' windshield boat, I have had an Ulterra for over 4 years. I have a 60" and it is plenty long enough. I was told by a Minnkota repair guy to not put it any deeper than needed. A 72" shaft buried on a boat like yours would create so much torque on that shaft. If you ever use spot lock, and have it all the way down, better have a stout base anchored. The computer will tell the head to make an adjustment to maintain the position and it will turn and go full thrust to make the correction. If sideways, it puts undo torque on the shaft, not good over time. One bit of advice, get a skeg addition.
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Old 08-04-2020, 05:57 AM   #32
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Default Re: Thinking of a bow mount minnkota

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How did you guys address the additional batteries required to run the bow mount? I have a 19' North River Scout without a great place to put 2 extra batteries in the bow. I want to hear what people with similar boats did. on the step deck? Underneath somehow?

Also, are the motor and batteries good at taking a beating up there in the bow of the boat? I have a 6 degree hull and it can get pretty bouncy at times. I do adjust throttle to not beat the crap out of everything/persons in my boat.
Make a compartment if needed up front, like a seat box, it will hold 2 batteries. Put them on a pad of some sort and use AGM batteries,firmly secured, they are able to handle the jostling.
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Old 08-04-2020, 07:12 PM   #33
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20’ Styker. I have a box at the entry leading to the bow. Also use as a step.
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Old 08-08-2020, 10:10 AM   #34
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I have an Alumaweld Intruder 20. I've been between the Garmin Reactor 40, and the MinnKota Ulterra. I'm thinking the 24V 80 60". I run a Lowrance HDS-9 touch, and so would have to get a separate Humminbird display to run Ilink? So, I'd be looking at an additional $1,400 (ish) for the Ilink, and FF.
I fish rivers and lakes for most things that swim. This will be my first autopilot. Is this SO COOL that it justifies all that extra expense?
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Old 08-08-2020, 06:11 PM   #35
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I have an Alumaweld Intruder 20. I've been between the Garmin Reactor 40, and the MinnKota Ulterra. I'm thinking the 24V 80 60". I run a Lowrance HDS-9 touch, and so would have to get a separate Humminbird display to run Ilink? So, I'd be looking at an additional $1,400 (ish) for the Ilink, and FF.
I fish rivers and lakes for most things that swim. This will be my first autopilot. Is this SO COOL that it justifies all that extra expense?
Yes. I don't have it but a buddy of mine has the whole setup and I like it alot. It's pretty cool. So ilink and new fish finder is on the xmas list.. sounds weird but it's the only time of the year I can afford big expense.. UPS driver
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Old 08-09-2020, 11:22 AM   #36
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I have an Alumaweld Intruder 20. I've been between the Garmin Reactor 40, and the MinnKota Ulterra. I'm thinking the 24V 80 60". I run a Lowrance HDS-9 touch, and so would have to get a separate Humminbird display to run Ilink? So, I'd be looking at an additional $1,400 (ish) for the Ilink, and FF.
I fish rivers and lakes for most things that swim. This will be my first autopilot. Is this SO COOL that it justifies all that extra expense?

Before purchasing my Riptide Ulterra I purchased a Humminbird fishfinder/ chart combo unit in anticipation of buying the Ulterra with Ilink. After researching the iLink further I discovered that very few of the places I fish are included in their maps. After owning this setup without iLink for 3 years I don't think I've ever felt the need for it and it was nice to save a few bucks. I really like the Ulterra and would never go to another setup now.
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Old 08-10-2020, 12:06 PM   #37
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Before purchasing my Riptide Ulterra I purchased a Humminbird fishfinder/ chart combo unit in anticipation of buying the Ulterra with Ilink. After researching the iLink further I discovered that very few of the places I fish are included in their maps. After owning this setup without iLink for 3 years I don't think I've ever felt the need for it and it was nice to save a few bucks. I really like the Ulterra and would never go to another setup now.
It looks like I'm pulling the trigger on an Ulterra 80, 60", 24. Do you have any advice on where/which batteries? Did you go with the Minn Kota precision onboard charger? Also thinking about the Uncle Norm's for the skeg extension. Anybody have experience there?

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Old 08-12-2020, 01:31 PM   #38
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Default Re: Thinking of a bow mount minnkota

Definitely get an onboard charger, I have 2 bow mounts, 2, 3 bank chargers on 2 boats. I bought a total of 4 FulRiver size 31 AGM batteries. Get the best batteries you can afford, it will pay off. Keeping them fully charged 24/7 will help them last 5-7 years, maybe more. My first pair are on year 4, still as good as new. Get an extended skeg, another necessity. And the most important advice I have is, keep extra batteries for the Ulterra remote on the boat.
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Old 08-13-2020, 06:49 PM   #39
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I agree. You'll love it. You will appreciate the fin and its worth the hundred bucks.
I've got the uncle Norms minnow fin. There's some design features that I appreciate with it over the leelock. At the end of the day I don't think it's significant though and either will be a vast improvement.

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This Minnow Fin looks like it might put a lot of stress on the shaft. Let us know if anything bad happens. I like the concept, but will try to live without if for a while.

Terrova 80 60" shaft with iPilot on Weldcraft Maverick 186. Still figuring out how to use with kicker, love the anchor button.
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Old 08-13-2020, 07:03 PM   #40
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This Minnow Fin looks like it might put a lot of stress on the shaft. Let us know if anything bad happens. I like the concept, but will try to live without if for a while.

Terrova 80 60" shaft with iPilot on Weldcraft Maverick 186. Still figuring out how to use with kicker, love the anchor button.
I've had it three to four years without issue. I like it as much as did on day one.
Quote:
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Definitely get an onboard charger, I have 2 bow mounts, 2, 3 bank chargers on 2 boats. I bought a total of 4 FulRiver size 31 AGM batteries. Get the best batteries you can afford, it will pay off. Keeping them fully charged 24/7 will help them last 5-7 years, maybe more. My first pair are on year 4, still as good as new. Get an extended skeg, another necessity. And the most important advice I have is, keep extra batteries for the Ulterra remote on the boat.
I've been running the full rivers for over a year now and they've been greatso far they're big, heavy, and durable. I use them hard and relentlessly (70 to 80 days per year). So far they're standing up well. I've only run out of juice once with them. Salmon fished from 4am until 8 PM with only a few breaks and tons of wind.
It took me three years to run through the Optimas that I abused even worse. High replacement costs but I've done the math and it works out to $3 to 5 per trip. I run more than that through my kicker.

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Old 08-15-2020, 07:47 AM   #41
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Default Re: Thinking of a bow mount minnkota

I own the Ulterra. Spot Lock is simply life changing. I took my anchors out of the boat. Spotlock holds better than any anchor. The one nit I have is that mounting it requires significant overhang as was discussed. For your sized boat, I'd go for the 36V 110 Riptide. To do it right, you will want the humminbird fish finder with zero lines card as well. Custom maps for your lake. I made my own custom super detailed map of Crane Prairie.

Last edited by stillwater97; 08-15-2020 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 09-18-2020, 06:04 AM   #42
Slowsmokinhic
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Congrats on the new toy. I purchased Norms minnow for my Terrova 55 ipilot. Pretty straight forward on install. The minnows performance? Can’t give a fair report. Haven’t used it enough. I will say It hasn’t hindered any of the fishing I have done.
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Old 09-18-2020, 05:53 PM   #43
Joek
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My boat: 16’ Alumaweld Talon. My motor: 60” 80# Riptide Terrova with I Pilot.

Fits great. I did add the Uncle Norms Minnow. Took a cut off wheel to remove the corners of the mount bracket to clear the cradle.

I went with Interstate batteries from Costco. Minnow makes a difference with battery performance over a day. I also try to keep my Minn Kota at no more than 5 speed. Will fire up my 9.9 to help troll into the wind.

I mostly target kokes on lakes. Cabellas 3 bank onboard charger maintains three onboard batteries with recharge time on the 15 amp version of 8 hrs or less.

Buddy made the battery box / step.

I’d go with the next size up from min on thrust and shaft length. Uncle Norm is a great add on. I also have a digital voltage monitor on the dash- much better than the monitor on the motor that really doesn’t do much.

I wanted to do it right and once. I’m a little disappointed with batteries- will look hard at the blue top Optimas next time around. Had to get a little creative with the minn Kota stabilizer that keeps the head from bouncing when stowed.

Good to think through the little details like you are. Enjoyed reading through all the great info on this thread. Thanks all. Sometimes pics can help so I added a few. Overall very happy.
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