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  1. #1

    Minn Kota ULTERRA (Who wants one?)

    LITTLE SKIPPER!

  2. #2

    Re: Minn Kota ULTERRA (Who wants one?)

    need a saltwater version ....still a little expensive just for auto deploy ...

  3. #3

    Re: Minn Kota ULTERRA (Who wants one?)

    Thought it might be the right time to revisit this post and see what the "lived experience" has been for any owners. I will start with mine. I purchased a 112 lb Ulterra in August of 2016. I was reluctant as I figured it was just more things to go wrong but I replaced my 80lb with 60 inch shaft with a 72 inch shaft (as I needed the extra length due to cavitation when pitching into any size sea) and the only unit with 72 inch was the 112 ulterra. When it works like the ad it is just gold. Everyone who see it work, loves the thing, a real head turner and a great fish catcher as well. That is, when it works. First unit had a remote failure 2nd time out, remote was replaced same day by dealer who took the new remote out of a complete new units box. I did order a back-up remote in August just to be safe. I am stall waiting and have even sent a request to some US stockists to try to import direct; with no joy. The motor itself crapped its pants on the 3rd use and thankfully the problem was intermittent and I managed to get it stowed. Unit was replaced same day with a new unit, more because of a good dealer, not a good company. Replace motor had a complete failure on Saturday after it deployed. So, in the "down" position it stayed and here I am 120ks off shore. I did, against the advice of the company, install a metal quick release bracket but due to the harshness of the salt water environment the locking pin mechanism also failed and so I am 120k's offshore and looking at a 12 to 15 hour trip home. We did manage to virtually pull the motor to bits to haul it in the boat and luckily had sufficient tools on board but what a F#@@^ drama. So it is to the dealer today, in pieces, to see the outcome. If I could have purchased a normal Min Kotta 112 with 72 shaft I would have at the time. Will see what come of the latest problems and will upgrade the quick release bracket arrangement and idiot proof the thing as best I can, even if I have to spend some more money. The spot lock facility on a big minn kota is, by my significant offshore experience, the most significant fish catching development since the sounder and GPS. pretty much triples the catch rate of a boat without one. The Ulterra however are a complicated bit of engineering and just more things to go wrong in a harsh environment and when you are long way from port it is becoming a constant nagging worry.
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  4. #4

    Re: Minn Kota ULTERRA (Who wants one?)

    Sorry to hear of that nightmare. Maybe one of the polypropylene universal QR mounts would work better. Until I got my new boat, I'd had mine for years and could still get the motor off whenever I needed to. Mat.

  5. #5

    Re: Minn Kota ULTERRA (Who wants one?)

    I have the plastic mount on my creek boat with a 55 and yes, no issue. Also had the same mount on the 80 lb unit on the reef boat but was advised in no uncertain terms that this was not strong enough for the 112 lb ulterra. There is a metal bracket available which is what I ended up using but the shape of the base plate of the ulterra means it is difficult to get at the locking pin arrangement. Ended up with a large S/Steel grub screw as the "pin" fixing the unit to the quick release bracket as there is not even enough room for a wing nut arrangement and I think the screw, S/Steel to aluminium has corroded into place and the screw head was seized to a point of failure. even with vice grips on a good quality driver, some lubricant and some banging on the end of the driver. Lucky my crew was a mechanic/ fitter and knew his stuff, otherwise I would probably still be on the way in!! If the same motor go back on we will modify the mounting bracket and perhaps even grind away some of the plastic side plate to give better access to the quick release mounts.

  6. #6

    Re: Minn Kota ULTERRA (Who wants one?)

    Nothing worse then new gear failing prematurely KC, Hopefully they iron out the kinks soon as the idea is great for a lot of half cabin boats!

    We put the 80lb I Pilot on the Barcrusher about 5 years ago and is a pain going through hatch to lift and deploy was looking at these for when the current one gets old and tired but wouldn't touch it at the moment if its not reliable!

    Good to see some honest feedback.
    560c Bar Crusher "Overtime"

  7. #7

    Re: Minn Kota ULTERRA (Who wants one?)

    Interesting story and i hope you get it all sorted. I have an 80 lb
    salt warer unit but i find the spot lock takes too long to sort itself out and im not where i want to be.

    Sent from my SM-G930F using Ausfish mobile app
    Maturity is not when we start speaking BIG things,it is when we start understanding small things

  8. #8

    Re: Minn Kota ULTERRA (Who wants one?)

    The instruction book gives details on how to stow the motor if it fails to stow automatically. I had mine fail to stow and was able to stowit manually. Took it back to BLA and they found a stick caught up the head unit.( My own fault tree bashing in the hinze) fixed same day no charge so I was happy with that.
    Cheers
    Ray

  9. #9

    Re: Minn Kota ULTERRA (Who wants one?)

    Actually had the "manual stow procedure" naminated in my overhead glove box but didn't work. Problem appeared to be the motor actually jammed down. Like a failure on the belt mechanism which lifts motor up and down, not the tilt mechanism. Problem made worse as motor titled further and weight became so much it snapped titling motor from it mounting due to the weight. All up would (IMO) be much better if it had a simple quick release override like the normal models, but, this is clearly a complicated piece of machinery and operating in an environment which is tough. All up I am still a fan and will repair and modify with an eye to the future. They have made fishing so much more productive, particularly over deep water bombies and reef edges, but, have to say I was always worried and would have gone for the standard model if they made a 72 inch shaft.

  10. #10

    Re: Minn Kota ULTERRA (Who wants one?)

    Hi KC, I am in the process of going down the electric motor path so thanks for posting this information.

    Just wondering what the measurement is from your electric motor mount to the water line? Mine is on the border line of requiring the 72' shaft but could possibly get away with the 60'.

    Sounds like you have been down this path already mate so appreciate any info.

    Based on what you've supplied I think i will go with the manual deploy into.

    Thanks again.



    Sent from my iPhone using Ausfish forums

  11. #11

    Re: Minn Kota ULTERRA (Who wants one?)

    Maybe I will wait until they get all the teething issues sorted out.
    Humility is not a weather condition.

  12. #12

    Re: Minn Kota ULTERRA (Who wants one?)

    Hi Don, My post is really not to bag the Minn kota as it is a "flash" bit of kit and when it works it is an amazing "toy". Maybe I have had bad luck but first unit failed after 3 trips and second one has maybe done 30, plus a remote failure, so pretty ordinary for a $4500 bit of gear. Service from dealer has been first rate, service from company (as in buying a spare remote) has been dreadful. I will see how warrantee ends up before I rush to full judgement on the company. I also think they should have made a simple manual override for stowing the unit, but maybe that was too hard to engineer. As to shaft lengths, my boat is about 105 cm from bow to waterline which means, allowing for approx. 6cms....and maybe given shaft length is in inches I should talk inches. Mounting from underside of control head to point at which control head clears the transom is about 4 inches. Top of transom to waterline is 44 inches which buries unit in the water 12 inches at full length. With a largish boat, sitting bow into a sea and wave height which cause the bow to pitch more than about 6 inches cause the 60 inch shaft to cavitate. I get very occasional cavitation even with the 72 inch shaft. The 60 inch was hopeless in anything but calm seas (on my boat). A mate has just installed a 112/ 60 inch on a 6.5 Cruisecraft at it seems pretty OK but he has not had much use for it yet. Another mate has a 60 inch motorguide on a 23 Seafox and seems happy. My boat is very high at the bow and has a very deep vee so is prone to burying its nose into a sea and then pitching very high as a consequence, so, horses for courses. If I could get away with a 60 inch shaft, I would have a 122 Riptide as being a centre console, walking up to front to deploy is not an issue. I can see however the attraction of the ulterra for 1/2 cabs (and lazy old bugger like me who like to show off). Again the post is not to turn anyone off an ulterra but I think the more things that can go wrong on the water, will and more thought should be designed into "murphy's law" situations. Stuck way out at sea with a motor stuck in the down position is a major worry and Min Kotta strongly advise NOT to mount these on a quick release bracket. Easiest option would be to manufacture a suitable quick release bracket if the manual stow option is too hard.

  13. #13

    Re: Minn Kota ULTERRA (Who wants one?)

    Thanks mate, great info


    Sent from my iPhone using Ausfish forums

  14. #14

    Re: Minn Kota ULTERRA (Who wants one?)

    And just to throw a cat among the pigeons. On my old Cruise Craft 530, i mounted the MG 60" Xi5 to the step platform on the rear of the boat. It was way easier to install and manage than a bow mount. For the anchor lock it worked beautifully. The only (minor) problem was when in heading-lock mode, you needed to remember to "steer" in the opposite direction that a bow-mount. I'm now in a Sig 543SF and have a bow mount, but the old MG on the transom worked a treat as well. I think the yanks make some great stuff, but really do so much lake fishing that they don't understand the rigours of the saltwater "oceanic" environment. Most of the saltwater they seem to fish in is bays too... Mat.

  15. #15

    Re: Minn Kota ULTERRA (Who wants one?)

    IF using a metal quick release you would have to mount it back to front to remove a stuck down motor and it would probable need 2 persons to remove it.
    I am just able to lift my 80 pound motor by myself and would not be able to remove it at sea, I am a bit old in the tooth so not as strong as some of you young guns.
    If it was not for the ulterra doubt if would still be fishing.
    Strange that some of the rivals have not developed one.
    Cheers
    Ray

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