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Trolling motors

I know I’m going to start some heads to buzzin. Finally saved up enough to buy a new trolling motor of the gps kind I no there is an old link on here about this subject just would like to here something update about them any thoughts or two cents 


  • CageyCagey Central FloridaPosts: 917 Officer
    Minn Kota RipTide or PowerGuide are tops right now, but quality is slipping in production. Motor Guide is crap- my opinion. Haswing can save you some money, but... and then there is Garmin new to the trolling motor market... costly. And there is Rhodan... I'm still using Minn Kota mainly because I can get service fast and easy and parts fairly quickly when available. Motors replaced for under $300 each when needed. Not sure if the others can do the same on turnaround for me. So I'm sticking with Minn Kota for now...
  • PangamanPangaman Posts: 868 Officer
    Had a minn Kota for 5 years with no problems. Upgraded to a Rhodan and had 5 steering boxes replaced and the cards twice in a year and a half.
  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 2,722 Captain
    I'm about to bite the bullet on a Minn Kota as well.  My bud is trying to talk me out of the auto deploy and after watching some videos about it failing, I think I agree.  Anyone have auto deploy and problems?
    There will never be a really free and enlightened state until the state comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived.
  • CageyCagey Central FloridaPosts: 917 Officer
    edited May 23 #5
    Yes the auto deploy does fail all the time since it uses a thin rubber toothed belt to operate. Always being replaced and I work for a shop that is warranty repair on Minn Kota and Motor Guide and I won't buy them.

    But the GPS can also be problematic. I was on the Conway chain recently and some poor bloke in a brand new $50K boat was using the latest and greatest GPS spot holding trolling motor and made the mistake of trying to go under a bridge.

    When the GPS lost contact with the satellite his trolling motor went crazy and ran him full speed right into the bridge and side of the channel and was spinning around trying to find itself and he was going crazy trying to control his out of control trolling motor. Looked hilarious from my point of view. Looked expensive from his -if he did damage to his boat and or trolling motor.

    I have avoided virtually all of the repair and maintenance issues with my trolling motor because once my speed switch burned up, I removed it permanently and bypassed all the speed coils and now control my motor with a high speed MOSFET digital power supply and the output is wired directly to the motor brushes. So I only have to replace motor seals and brushes from time to time and that's it. Now on 3rd year and no problems. Oh, and it only cost me $5 at a local pawn shop too! Score!

    Remote speed control power supply is the way to go. Solved all my problems. And the best part is Minn Kota made it 20 plus years ago and it still works perfectly to this day. (***Correction- 34 years old and still working perfectly! )And it is an outboard maximizer power supply- the first one Minn Kota ever made. Today it can only be purchased inside the most expensive trolling motors and today it is just a tiny little circuit board and they fail too. Mine does not even get hot under full load and in weeds and I can troll all the way across lakes with no problems ever and run wide open full speed all day long, and my battery lasts twice as long because I don't have speed coils draining the battery and turning that wasted energy into heat- which is why speed coils are down inside the motor so the water keeps them cool. Mine are out of circuit now and no longer an issue.

    This is what I run my trolling motor on today from a 1986 ad:

    And I changed out the speed control for a different value potentiometer to give me a smoother sweep through the speeds. Works fantastic! No longer available from Minn Kota though... I can now dial in my speed precisely to match current and wind conditions instantly.

    If you want this same type of electronic speed control power supply it comes internally on newer models and looks like this:

    And for the heck of it I purchased a similar unit off ebay but have yet to hook it up. The old Minn Kota unit I am running on now is only rated for 12V, but the one I purchased off ebay is rated from 10 to 60 volts DC so I can use it on any battery configuration I want. In future I may add remote control rather than hard wired. And these power supplies work on all brands of motors. I just prefer Minn Kota...

    I forgot to mention... due to using an external power supply to control my speed, from now on all I gotta buy is just the motor and shaft- any length I want. I need nothing else now. And even the most expensive Minn Kota motors as "parts" are under $300 each. So next time I need a new motor I buy it as a part only and use what I already have to mount it and control it. Piece of cake. No more difficult than screwing in a light bulb.

  • livebait1livebait1 west JaxPosts: 115 Deckhand
    Been using a MinnKota Ulterra  for 3 plus years. No problems.
  • Morocco_madnessMorocco_madness Posts: 2,963 Captain
    The more moving parts, the more likely you will see it break. The nature of the beast. Im hearing a lot of bad things about Rhodan lately.
  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 2,722 Captain
    Now this
    Great.. I was so stoked about finally getting a tm with gps and autopilot.  Now you guys have me seriously rethinking.  Thing is, 90% of the time, I'm on the boat solo.  Bad back and I'm over pulling anchor.  Maybe I'll just fix my TM and get an anchor ball (for netting bait and occasional offshore). Was still hoping for the autopilot bc I primarily fish docks and would have loved to program a few string of docks I routinely cruise.
    Cagey, I've got the an older riptide rt/pd that needs a circuit board (i think) but it's been discontinued. Any suggestions on repairing it?

    There will never be a really free and enlightened state until the state comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived.
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