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Old 10-25-2019, 03:58 PM   #1
Shortbus Flashers
 
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Default Bow mount motors

This winter I'm looking at putting on the bow mounted motor for next seasons trolling season. Would like some feedback from anyone with personal experience.

Along with reliability, I am really interested in is the "anchor" setting, mainly, does it work in the ocean for bottom fishing?

What brand are you running and what are the pros & cons?

Thanks!

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Old 10-25-2019, 06:18 PM   #2
fishrepellor
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Default Re: Bow mount motors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shortbus Flashers View Post
This winter I'm looking at putting on the bow mounted motor for next seasons trolling season. Would like some feedback from anyone with personal experience.

Along with reliability, I am really interested in is the "anchor" setting, mainly, does it work in the ocean for bottom fishing?

What brand are you running and what are the pros & cons?

Thanks!
Ulterra riptide. 24v 80 lb.
20’ stryker
No mechanical issues for 3years.
Spot lock/anchor is awesome!!
Haven’t dropped anchor since getting it. Shad at OC. steelheading and Wobbler fishing on the Columbia. Just need to run The kicker depending on current strength.


Same for bottomfishing. Although I’m new (only bottom fished twice)
It worked great. Fishfinder lit up with bottomfish, hit spot lock and adjust the kicker. Stayed on that school and limited in quick order.

Only issue with spot lock is that it disengaged spontaneously spot lock three or four times on me. So boat drifted and had to rush to reengage it. Lost a couple shad rigs on time. Have no idea why each time.

Awesome for trolling! Great autopilot and does well to compensate for wind.
Trolls slow enough by itself for trout. Let’s me fine tune my speed for salmon trolling. (Mercury speed control sucks!)

Cons-battery space and weight. Don’t buy cheap batteries!
Go with Interstate right away. Lasts all day. The Empires from Stevens were crap-lasted only 4/5 hours. .

Get one!!
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Old 10-25-2019, 07:53 PM   #3
DSRM
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Default Re: Bow mount motors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shortbus Flashers View Post
This winter I'm looking at putting on the bow mounted motor for next seasons trolling season. Would like some feedback from anyone with personal experience.

Along with reliability, I am really interested in is the "anchor" setting, mainly, does it work in the ocean for bottom fishing?

What brand are you running and what are the pros & cons?

Thanks!
I put on a Minn Kota Terrova on my 17 ft Whaler this year and am very happy with it. The anchor feature is great for walleye fishing on the Columbia. It works well in strong current and well as when joined with strong wind. I think that would apply to use out in the ocean. Trolling is really easy with it. The battery drain seems to be minimal.

I would recommend that you get the most powerful 36 volt motor if your boat can handle it. Insure that the shaft is long enough to keep the boat under control in waves. Minn Kota has some good information on line about picking out the best motor. Good luck figuring out what to do.
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Old 10-26-2019, 05:16 AM   #4
fishnhunt13
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Default Re: Bow mount motors

Can't answer all of your questions but I really like my BM and I couldn't envision my life without it!
I've got the terrova 80 and it's been working great for 2.5 years. I've never regretted the purchase. Although I've never used it in the ocean I use it a lot for river salmon, kokanee, walleye, etc.
I go back and forth about wishing I had not the 36V motor. Having the extra power and run time would be excellent however the motor is more expensive and you're buying an extra battery for a significant additional cost. I wish I had one of the newer trolling motors that put out 15 amps because combined with a minn kota "onboard generator" (troll bridge) I'm not sure I'd care.
Garmin and Lowrance both came out with new trolling motors this year and it'll be interesting to see how they preform (and if the market shifts). Even with limited options (they don't have as many power/ shaft length) I'm glad to see some honest competition in this market.

Fishrepeller - only time I've had spot lock fail was for one of two reasons.
It takes a minute for the unit to acquire satellite coverage and spot lock doesn't work there. I've run into rocks for this reason.
If it's pushed out of the location for some reason. Usually it's when the current overpowers the motor but I've had the kicker do the same thing.

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Old 10-26-2019, 06:38 AM   #5
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Default Re: Bow mount motors

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Originally Posted by fishnhunt13 View Post
Can't answer all of your questions but I really like my BM and I couldn't envision my life without it!
I've got the terrova 80 and it's been working great for 2.5 years. I've never regretted the purchase. Although I've never used it in the ocean I use it a lot for river salmon, kokanee, walleye, etc.
I go back and forth about wishing I had not the 36V motor. Having the extra power and run time would be excellent however the motor is more expensive and you're buying an extra battery for a significant additional cost. I wish I had one of the newer trolling motors that put out 15 amps because combined with a minn kota "onboard generator" (troll bridge) I'm not sure I'd care.
Garmin and Lowrance both came out with new trolling motors this year and it'll be interesting to see how they preform (and if the market shifts). Even with limited options (they don't have as many power/ shaft length) I'm glad to see some honest competition in this market.

Fishrepeller - only time I've had spot lock fail was for one of two reasons.
It takes a minute for the unit to acquire satellite coverage and spot lock doesn't work there. I've run into rocks for this reason.
If it's pushed out of the location for some reason. Usually it's when the current overpowers the motor but I've had the kicker do the same thing.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
When the spot lock fails, the prop is no longer activated or spinning but the power is still on.
It’s only happened shad fishing at OC.
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Old 10-26-2019, 09:16 AM   #6
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Default Re: Bow mount motors

Works great for fish able conditions in the ocean. If the swell or current combo is too strong it won't hold and will stop. It's usually too rough to bottom fish effectively over a reef or jetty in those conditions anyways. I always left the main engine running in idle when using it close to jetties etc so I could easily plop in gear and move as needed.

Always have it deployed nearshore halibut fishing, when you get bit hit spot lock. Your other rods will get bit in short order

Last edited by Quiet Riot; 10-26-2019 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 10-28-2019, 07:20 AM   #7
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Default Re: Bow mount motors

Thanks all, I'm really enjoying the salt on nice days and think the anchor function would be a game changer on bottom fish, I do understand the length on swells. Now, light reading to see which brand suits me better!
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Old 10-28-2019, 07:24 AM   #8
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Default Re: Bow mount motors

I have had Minn-Kota motors for the past 30 years. I have also owned a Motor Guide. They have all been exceptionally reliable up until my current motor which is a 36 V Ulterra. The Ulterra has failed me a couple of times but only due to the auto stow and deploy mechanism. My motor is 112 lb with 72" shaft so it is the biggest thing that they make, I believe the long shaft and heavy motor lead to the lack of reliability of the auto deploy system. My experience with the Terrovas is that they are very reliable.

I am currently switching my motor back and forth between my little Wooldridge AK and my 26' Duckworth Offshore. The 112 moves the big boat much better than I expected. I had a 24V 80 ft lb Terrova previously on my 24' Hells Canyon Marine and it moved the boat just fine. I would recommend the 24V unless you have a very large boat or if you are going to run the motor hard in the river. 3 batteries are very heavy, take up a lot of room, and the 36V motor is very heavy as well.
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Old 10-28-2019, 11:39 AM   #9
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Default Re: Bow mount motors

Mounting a large rudder system on the bow mounts makes for an ideal situation for steerage in cross winds or cross currents. Using the record mode on the first run with your whole attention engaged makes the rest of the day easier and keeping the troller in gear saves a lot on the batteries. If you go the rudder route make sure to put a "glove" over the nice, sharp, pointy edge of the rudder. I used a piece of leg out of a set of neoprene waders and some velcro to keep my scalp from suffering additional damage. That thing is right above the wheel crank and the winch handle so plan accordingly.
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Old 10-28-2019, 01:19 PM   #10
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Mounting a large rudder system on the bow mounts makes for an ideal situation for steerage in cross winds or cross currents. Using the record mode on the first run with your whole attention engaged makes the rest of the day easier and keeping the troller in gear saves a lot on the batteries. If you go the rudder route make sure to put a "glove" over the nice, sharp, pointy edge of the rudder. I used a piece of leg out of a set of neoprene waders and some velcro to keep my scalp from suffering additional damage. That thing is right above the wheel crank and the winch handle so plan accordingly.
I glued some rubber trim on my edges. I made a Storage “bra” for it made out of Some bright green pool noodle secured with bungees.
And yes. Ouch.
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Old 10-28-2019, 07:52 PM   #11
fishnhunt13
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Default Re: Bow mount motors

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Originally Posted by Pensacola View Post
Mounting a large rudder system on the bow mounts makes for an ideal situation for steerage in cross winds or cross currents. Using the record mode on the first run with your whole attention engaged makes the rest of the day easier and keeping the troller in gear saves a lot on the batteries. If you go the rudder route make sure to put a "glove" over the nice, sharp, pointy edge of the rudder. I used a piece of leg out of a set of neoprene waders and some velcro to keep my scalp from suffering additional damage. That thing is right above the wheel crank and the winch handle so plan accordingly.
Get the Uncle Norm version and you won't have this issue..

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Old 10-28-2019, 08:11 PM   #12
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Default Re: Bow mount motors

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Only issue with spot lock is that it disengaged spontaneously spot lock three or four times on me. So boat drifted and had to rush to reengage it. Lost a couple shad rigs on time. Have no idea why each time.
I have the same motor on an 18'9" Duckworth. I have seen the anchor disengage if it is working to hard to keep you pinned (like throttle at 10). I think it just gives up
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Old 10-28-2019, 08:12 PM   #13
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Default Re: Bow mount motors

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Get the Uncle Norm version and you won't have this issue..

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
+1

Love my Uncle Norms.
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Old 10-28-2019, 10:17 PM   #14
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I have the same motor on an 18'9" Duckworth. I have seen the anchor disengage if it is working to hard to keep you pinned (like throttle at 10). I think it just gives up
Thanks for the input. two spots that it failed had a lot of inconsistent current left or right. My kicker is on to provide propulsion. So maybe too much swaying did it?
I’ll have to try those spots next shad season and see.
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Old 10-29-2019, 08:30 AM   #15
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Default Re: Bow mount motors

If you go Minnkota, and I know you will, get the Leelock skeg.

https://leelock.com/product/lms-01-magnum-skeg/

-jz
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Old 10-29-2019, 10:55 AM   #16
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I just installed the 72” terrova and it has been great. The spot lock has been amazing and being able to do everything from the push of a button minus the deploy on the terrova. I bought an extra controller for my buddy also so when I am fighting a fish he has control. The speed stays very consistent and it is very quiet.
Think about mounting options also. I am using the quick release from miller marine but there are a couple other good ones out there also.
It is on a 21 ft north River seahawk. With fully charged batteries I get about 3 mph on setting 10 I usually troll at 2.6 or below (usually on setting 7.5 for 2.6 mph)
Not sure if this is about what everyone else is getting? I am sure it changes with wind and boat size. But I have heard people talking about putting the 36v on 10 and it about knocks them over when engaged.
I have the latest with blue tooth and wasn’t sure if they changed something like spin up speed?

Last edited by 927f; 10-29-2019 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 10-29-2019, 12:59 PM   #17
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I just installed the 72” terrova and it has been great. The spot lock has been amazing and being able to do everything from the push of a button minus the deploy on the terrova. I bought an extra controller for my buddy also so when I am fighting a fish he has control. The speed stays very consistent and it is very quiet.
Think about mounting options also. I am using the quick release from miller marine but there are a couple other good ones out there also.
It is on a 21 ft north River seahawk. With fully charged batteries I get about 3 mph on setting 10 I usually troll at 2.6 or below (usually on setting 7.5 for 2.6 mph)
Not sure if this is about what everyone else is getting? I am sure it changes with wind and boat size. But I have heard people talking about putting the 36v on 10 and it about knocks them over when engaged.
I have the latest with blue tooth and wasn’t sure if they changed something like spin up speed?
have you tried running your kicker for propulsion and keeping the terrova around 3-5 power. Less drain on your batteries.
When trout fishing, I will only use the Ulterra. For salmon, I will use both especially when fishing all day or multiple days.
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Old 10-29-2019, 01:34 PM   #18
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Don't forget about getting a really good battery charger. I bought the biggest D31 batteries I could find (115Ah) and not only does it take awhile to charge the batteries are close to the max size for most automatic chargers (~125Ah). I was trying to charge my batteries with 4 Amp chargers and even running them all night I wasn't completely charging them between trips. My new charger is a 10 Amp and I never have that problem...
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Old 10-29-2019, 02:03 PM   #19
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Default Re: Bow mount motors

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Originally Posted by Shortbus Flashers View Post
Thanks all, I'm really enjoying the salt on nice days and think the anchor function would be a game changer on bottom fish, I do understand the length on swells. Now, light reading to see which brand suits me better!
Theres a salt version(white) and a freshwater version (black). Go with salt
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Old 10-29-2019, 03:45 PM   #20
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Don't forget about getting a really good battery charger. I bought the biggest D31 batteries I could find (115Ah) and not only does it take awhile to charge the batteries are close to the max size for most automatic chargers (~125Ah). I was trying to charge my batteries with 4 Amp chargers and even running them all night I wasn't completely charging them between trips. My new charger is a 10 Amp and I never have that problem...
Get the Minnkota Precision Charger 15a per battery (don't ask my how they can charge 3 batteries with 15 amps each on a single 120v 20 amp circuit...)

And don't forget to monitor the water levels in the cells.
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Old 10-30-2019, 07:11 AM   #21
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Get the Minnkota Precision Charger 15a per battery (don't ask my how they can charge 3 batteries with 15 amps each on a single 120v 20 amp circuit...)

And don't forget to monitor the water levels in the cells.
The way that they can charge 3 batteries at 15 amps each on a 120V 20 amp circuit is that the batteries are only 12 volts. Watts=amps X volts
120 V 20 A = 2400 W. 12 V * 15 Amps *3= 540 W even with inefficiencies associated with the charger, there is plenty of power there.
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Old 10-30-2019, 07:44 AM   #22
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Guess digging deeper there is only one option that says its for saltwater so might be decision made
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Old 10-30-2019, 08:11 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by fishrepellor View Post
have you tried running your kicker for propulsion and keeping the terrova around 3-5 power. Less drain on your batteries.
When trout fishing, I will only use the Ulterra. For salmon, I will use both especially when fishing all day or multiple days.
I have not tried that yet. Just trout fishing I will try it soon though. I have heard that is the way to go.
I will be at eagle lake next week and might give it a shot but we will see.
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Old 10-30-2019, 08:14 AM   #24
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Don't forget about getting a really good battery charger. I bought the biggest D31 batteries I could find (115Ah) and not only does it take awhile to charge the batteries are close to the max size for most automatic chargers (~125Ah). I was trying to charge my batteries with 4 Amp chargers and even running them all night I wasn't completely charging them between trips. My new charger is a 10 Amp and I never have that problem...
Exactly. I went with group 31 Deka agm’s with a 3 bank charger that does 10 amps per battery. I plug it in when I get home and it’s charged really quickly.
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Old 10-30-2019, 09:00 AM   #25
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I have had a 80 Terrova for 8 years on my 20' Supervee with a lot of use, Bass and walleye but alittle over a year ago it stopped working correctly and 500 plus $ later it has been fixed. is working fair to good now. Water in lower unit was the problem, why I have no idea. I asked about salt water use and repair tec said as long as you rinse it off well after each use it will be fine in the salt. Hope this helps. Anything over 20 foot range I would go with a 36 volt for that xtra little push in a current, due mostly to battery life per day, as it is I get about 6 hours each trip on average day of fishing with moderate battery use.
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Old 10-30-2019, 04:04 PM   #26
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One of these will help extend your batteries during the day.

https://sterling-power.com/products/...ers-waterproof
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Old 11-04-2019, 10:01 PM   #27
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I have only had issue with spot lock in overcast conditions. I thought I remember reading this was a known issue with the bass guys. When I did have the issue I was halibut fishing in 3-4' chop and it was holding fine until it lost GPS. 80 lb 24v on 18' aluminum.

Friend of mine got a deal on a Used 36v 112lb thrust he put on a 16' Jon boat. Will go as low as .1 mph up to 4mph on a lake. Don't think going big is an issue unless the extra battery is a problem.
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:56 AM   #28
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I used to have a MinnKota 65ap on my 21’ boat. Long shaft. Worked fine. Was not the Ipilot, but a 20’ cord to the control, let me use it to control the boat while trout trolling. Engage the auto pilot and troll power from the T-8 kicker. Could go 3 days on the 24V system. Wife gave me a MotorGuide Xi5. Wireless remote, 24v. Works fine. For trolling and bass fishing. This is on a 21’ jet boat. Would be nice to have the auto deploy, but for the money will live with the Xi5. Maybe on a bass boat with all day on the electric, I would go 36 volt, but for my use 24 is fine. I have not used the spot lock in the ocean or river, just lakes.
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Old 11-06-2019, 04:57 PM   #29
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I have the 80lb Terrova 24V, 2 bank charger, Leelock skeg, on a 20' glass run about. I-pilot link, Auto Pilot, anchor spot lock (occasionally releases), all work great. For me the best part is using the auto pilot. It's a game changer for the Captain. I have run around for 8+ hours on the sound at speed 3-5 for steering and run the kicker for push. Never been close to a battery run down. I run Interstate 29s. I sometimes wish I had the Ulterra for auto stow rather than crawling up an manually stowing.
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Old 11-08-2019, 10:05 AM   #30
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Are there any Minn Kota dealers/outlets that make special offers for the Black Friday sales?

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Old 11-08-2019, 10:18 AM   #31
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Are there any Minn Kota dealers/outlets that make special offers for the Black Friday sales?

StreamFixer
All minnkota dealerships have to follow minnkota pricing guidelines so you won’t see any Black Friday sales. Minnkota does run occasional rebates (seen them in fall/winter timeframe) for 50 to 200 bucks and I’d watch for those.
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Old 11-08-2019, 11:04 AM   #32
Peter Linssen
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Default Re: Bow mount motors

Minn Kota factory refurbished units are like new and offer a nice savings. My Power Drive is 8 years old and has never given me any problems. I just ordered this:
Minn Kota Ulterra 80 MDI IP Trolling Motor with i-Pilot Link and Bluetooth 24V 80lb 60 inch Remanufactured 1377906
Bow-Mount Trolling Motor
Manufacturer Refurbished

QTY: 1
PRICE: $2069.99
ITEM TOTAL: $2069.99
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Old 11-08-2019, 01:54 PM   #33
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This is my Ulterra ...



It's the 80lb, 72 inch model with Ipilot and Bluetooth (no Ilink). I got it in spring of 2018, so it's got two seasons on it.

As you can see, it to get it on there, and have it clear the windshield on the cabin, I had to make a platform and stick it way out there. Not a problem, I own a machine shop. I also had to cut the railing. The ladder platform is also something I made. Now that I'm in my 60's, that bow is getting higher every year, and since we don't have docks on the Reach, I need all the help I can get.

Anyway, it's been trouble free until this last fall, when I had two problems with it, both of which I managed to fix myself. Here's the first problem I had:




This is the back of the stow/deploy motor. It lives under the starboard side cover. Pretty easy to get to. The pictured end is the one that's anchored to the home unit, the opposite end has a big long screw that goes out to the motor, to stow and deploy it.

This failure was self-induced, but it might be useful to understand what I did wrong, so that you don't accidentally do it yourself. To understand my error, you have to understand that when deploying the motor, it automatically goes back to the same trim height where it was when you last stowed it. So if the motor is in the water, and you stow it, well, the next time you deploy it, it's going to automatically trim itself right back down into the water. It does not, however, point the motor straight ahead, it's turned 90 degrees to the boat when it trims down.

Which isn't really an issue, so long as you've come off plane and the boat has settled and is drifting freely with the current. But if the boat is still slowing down, and moving relative to the water, the motor will bind as it goes into the water. It stops and gives a motor error and sits there and beeps at you and won't move again.

So I try my damndest to remember to trim it up before I stow it. But this particular time, I forgot. When I went to go deploy it, the boat was still moving against the current and it stuck itself into the water and bound up and gave the error.

OK, no big deal, this has happened before. I take my life into my hands and climb out onto the bow and reset it and climb back. As I go to trim it, the menu times out and the function of the button changes and it does a stow. It's weird, you have to know how the remote works to understand how that happens, but like the automatic trimming to the previous height, it's really a stupid desig. So now it tries to stow. But during the error condition, the motor got turned, it's no longer 90 degrees to the boat, and apparently it doesn't know this. So it tries to pull it into the home unit without it being turned correctly, jams up, and rips the back out of the stow/deploy motor.

I was able to jerry-rig it with wire ties and hose clamps and get it to where it could mostly stow and deploy, with a little manual help here and there. And I ordered in a new motor which was something like $120 and I got it in two days. Took maybe 10 minutes to change it, it wasn't a big deal. All was right with the world again.

Second issue: couple weeks later, I was out on the water, went to go turn it slightly to correct my course, and the remote said "RF ERR" on it and wouldn't do a thing. Tried everything including new batteries in the remote, power cycling the unit, cutting and restoring it's power completely, etc, and could not establish communication with the unit, the remote always said "RF ERR"

This was a real problem, because I had no way to raise it or stow it. You can't drive the boat more than a few mph with it hanging down, and even if you could get back to the launch, you can't beach the boat, you'll rip it off. And you can't put the boat on the trailer until you can stow it, it'll hit the winch tower.


There's a phone app to control the unit, the phone connects to it by Bluetooth, but in their infinite wisdom Minn Kota neglected to equip it with a stow/deploy button. Pretty useless.



Fortunately, I had my manuals with me, and they have some emergency procedures where you hold a button on the head unit for so many seconds, stand on one foot, pull on one ear, etc, and it'll stow. It worked.

When I got back to town, I googled the symptoms and found out I wasn't the only one, and in all cases, it was the remote itself that was bad. I called around and no one had one, closest one I could find was at Cabela's in Post Falls. Before making the 2-1/2 hour drive, I stopped by Ranch and Home - they had left me on hold when I called and I finally gave up. Lo and behold, they had one in stock. A couple hundred bucks later, I went through the marrying procedure, and voila, it was all working again. I think a spare remote is a good thing to have on the boat.

So anyway, bottom line, even though I had a couple issues this fall, I was able to overcome them. A lot of hassle, sure, but I can't imagine fishing solo without it. It's like having someone extra on board just to drive the boat, freeing me up to wrap plugs, set lines, fight the fish, bleed him out, punch him out, etc, with only minimal attention to steering. It's one of those things that once you get one, you wonder how you ever fished without it.
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Old 11-09-2019, 07:33 AM   #34
Streamfixer
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Default Re: Bow mount motors

Thank you for the informative post Manuka... I am awaiting the arrival of my Ulterra, and spring for fishing... Lots for a noob to learn...

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Old 11-11-2019, 01:28 PM   #35
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Default Re: Bow mount motors

Thank you Manuka, good review. That motor looks like a beast in the stow possition
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Old 11-11-2019, 01:34 PM   #36
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Default Re: Bow mount motors

Nice post Manuka.
Luckily i have a Humminbird FF that can stow it with when the remote fails.
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Old 11-14-2019, 10:18 AM   #37
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Default Re: Bow mount motors

No worries, mates.

My own personal opinion is that for anyone who has difficult/dangerous access to the bow, going with the Ulterra is a no-brainer. Boating is plenty dangerous enough without adding that to it.

But if you have easy access to the bow, then it becomes a little tougher decision. Do you pay more for the Ulterra and possibly deal with stow/deploy issues at some point? Or do you go with the Terrova which is cheaper, simpler, and more reliable?

Part of the answer to that is how you fish. If you're an impatient hole-jumper (like me), it's damn nice to be able to stow and deploy it with the touch of a button, every time you want to move. Since everything happens faster, you spend more time with your lines in the water.

On the other hand, if you tend to stay in one place for hours at a time, then it's not so important.
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