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My Fish Finder Main => General Fishing Discussion => Topic started by: swnoel on Jun 27, 2021, 06:53 AM

Title: Ulterra
Post by: swnoel on Jun 27, 2021, 06:53 AM
Finally got a chance to fool around with my new Minn Kota Ulterra... this thing is amazing! It's everything they claim it is. While it maybe expensive I don't regret buying it. Spot lock is amazing... auto pilot is amazing. I can actually fish now without worrying were the boat is headed. There is no doubt I couldn't fish without it now.
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: swnoel on Jun 27, 2021, 07:36 AM
I fished without it...  ;)
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: filetandrelease on Jun 27, 2021, 07:44 AM

 Spot lock is a great tool and I also use mine for trolling , my terova is now 11.5 years old and Iíve never regretted purchasing it ,
 
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: gotagetm on Jun 27, 2021, 07:52 AM
My terova is great especially when I'm out by myself trolling
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: Jethro on Jun 27, 2021, 10:28 AM
Have you had the berries to solo launch it without a rope yet like the commercial? I used mine for a good 3 months before I did the unmanned launch! And I made sure no one was around in case it didn't deploy and I had to swim for it! Now I'm so confident with it I'll launch it anywhere with the remote. And if the dock is too busy with no place to tie up I can just let it drift off and spot lock it. It's easier than getting the ropes out! I've even used it to load my boat on the trailer. Just send it good and fast and make sure to stow at just the right time.

Do you have a Humminbird head unit networked with it? I got a Helix 9 without imaging just to map and control the motor. With the LakeVu and Coastmaster maps you can "Follow the contour" which I find incredible for trolling both fresh and salt.

I hate to admit a piece of equipment is responsible for me being a better fisherman, but this motor really is. I can troll and set downriggers instead of drive. I actually fish more because it's less work/stress. On the salt, I can fish deepwater groundfish using less weight, because the spotlock is so accurate. I can move a set up on a new spot easier, there is no throwing or setting an anchor, and with the Ulterra there isn't even leaving the helm. Yes, I'm a bit enamored with mine!

Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: swnoel on Jun 27, 2021, 07:52 PM
Have you had the berries to solo launch it without a rope yet like the commercial? I used mine for a good 3 months before I did the unmanned launch! And I made sure no one was around in case it didn't deploy and I had to swim for it! Now I'm so confident with it I'll launch it anywhere with the remote. And if the dock is too busy with no place to tie up I can just let it drift off and spot lock it. It's easier than getting the ropes out! I've even used it to load my boat on the trailer. Just send it good and fast and make sure to stow at just the right time.

Do you have a Humminbird head unit networked with it? I got a Helix 9 without imaging just to map and control the motor. With the LakeVu and Coastmaster maps you can "Follow the contour" which I find incredible for trolling both fresh and salt.

I hate to admit a piece of equipment is responsible for me being a better fisherman, but this motor really is. I can troll and set downriggers instead of drive. I actually fish more because it's less work/stress. On the salt, I can fish deepwater groundfish using less weight, because the spotlock is so accurate. I can move a set up on a new spot easier, there is no throwing or setting an anchor, and with the Ulterra there isn't even leaving the helm. Yes, I'm a bit enamored with mine!

I haven't tried the solo launch because I fish with others. I have a Garmin fishfinder, but have seen the videos with the Humminbird units. The spot lock and auto pilot is all I've tried for now , but will attempt to set some waypoints and tracks during my camp stay. I can only imagine setting back and fishing while the trolling motor does all the work. I did use spot lock the other day waiting for the dock to clear and being checked by the warden when the wind was blowing pretty good.  My son and I sat on a spot for over 2 hours the other day when the wind was blowing pretty good... we never moved!
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: Mac Attack on Jun 27, 2021, 08:07 PM
Yup
Love mine

Canít wait for the LiFePo2 battery to show up.
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: Jethro on Jun 28, 2021, 08:04 AM
Yup
Love mine

Canít wait for the LiFePo2 battery to show up.

I bought 3 more lead acids >:( I'll try not to abuse these ones and hopefully get more than 14 months of fishing.
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: swnoel on Jun 28, 2021, 09:05 AM
I bought 3 more lead acids >:( I'll try not to abuse these ones and hopefully get more than 14 months of fishing.

They wouldn't work with you on those batteries?
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: cnypanfisher on Jun 28, 2021, 09:21 AM
Maintain those batteries, every trip and over the winter or you will pay. 😉
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: Mac Attack on Jun 28, 2021, 09:34 AM
I bought 3 more lead acids >:( I'll try not to abuse these ones and hopefully get more than 14 months of fishing.


Iíll have 3 series 31ís in a month or so if you coulda waited.


 8)
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: Jethro on Jun 28, 2021, 12:21 PM
They wouldn't work with you on those batteries?

Nope. I got my $22 core deposit back, that's it. Interstate only warranties to 12 months on LA deep cycles. AGM is better, maybe 2 years.
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: Jethro on Jun 28, 2021, 12:22 PM

Iíll have 3 series 31ís in a month or so if you coulda waited.


 8)

This and next month are kinda critical. I'll be putting some hours on the motor this coming weekend.
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: swnoel on Jun 28, 2021, 12:26 PM
Nope. I got my $22 core deposit back, that's it. Interstate only warranties to 12 months on LA deep cycles. AGM is better, maybe 2 years.

That sucks!
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: Mac Attack on Jun 28, 2021, 02:03 PM
This and next month are kinda critical. I'll be putting some hours on the motor this coming weekend.

Let me know if you want them when Iím done with them.  Iíll meet you have way.
They wonít have crap for use on them and so far Iíve only drained them down to 1/2 before recharging.
If I had to guess they will only have about 20-25 charges on them.
They are Duracel LA, not AGMís.
So they werenít expensive.
Like only $100 each I think from Samís Club.
Iíll trade you them for a large bottle of Anejo or something.  Iím sure we can work out something.
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: Jethro on Jun 29, 2021, 07:15 AM
That's what I got, Duracell LA at Batteries Plus. They were about $100 each.

Appreciate the offer! The plan however, is to hopefully not torch these batteries and if I can keep these batteries for this year and next I'll be happy. Then hopefully the costs of lithium come down to earth by the time I really need new batteries. I'm not even sure I'll have the same boat in a few years since I am fishing the salt so much more these days.

Course I do live in NH where the cost of liquor is about the lowest in the country, and I am going out to visit my buddy in Canandaigua in a few months...
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: Mac Attack on Jun 29, 2021, 08:32 AM

Course I do live in NH where the cost of liquor is about the lowest in the country, and I am going out to visit my buddy in Canandaigua in a few months...



Let me know Geoff.
I'm out east in NY frequently for work.
Typically Syracuse and north to Watertown.
I also have guys out there that travel further east past Albany, etc.
It would be a shame for me to simply toss these if you could use them.
I'm sure we can figure something out.
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: fish/hunt4ever on Jun 29, 2021, 06:45 PM
Finally used the record a track on my unit. Drove with the big motor while recording the track and found out the start and end points are critical and straight lines to the end works best I did a circle trying to get as close to the start as possible but you can go either way from start to finish or finish to start and start anywhere on the track so if this makes any sense than hope it helps you out. Love to just hit go to finish and catch fish and not worry about where the boat was headed.
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: swnoel on Jun 29, 2021, 08:14 PM
Finally used the record a track on my unit. Drove with the big motor while recording the track and found out the start and end points are critical and straight lines to the end works best I did a circle trying to get as close to the start as possible but you can go either way from start to finish or finish to start and start anywhere on the track so if this makes any sense than hope it helps you out. Love to just hit go to finish and catch fish and not worry about where the boat was headed.

I'm going to set a track up when I get to camp. Glad it works as expected. I too am looking forward to fishing and not having to control the steering.
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: mcully on Jan 04, 2022, 12:05 PM
any updates on how the ulterras operated the rest of the season? Finally starting to see some available again in the 112 pound 72" so thinking of making the jump.
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: swnoel on Jan 04, 2022, 02:56 PM
any updates on how the ulterras operated the rest of the season? Finally starting to see some available again in the 112 pound 72" so thinking of making the jump.

You won't be disappointed! It's everything they say they are.
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: Mac Attack on Jan 04, 2022, 03:02 PM
Yea, mine operated all summer and never skipped a beat.
Awsome!!!


(https://i.postimg.cc/HJTXGhc4/thumbnail-IMG-6135.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/HJTXGhc4)
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: mcully on Jan 29, 2022, 10:14 AM
Friend I ice fished with yesterday just dropped $700 in repairs on his ulterra thatís only 1.5 years old. He heard a louder than normal hum and when the service guy took it apart the head and shaft  were full of water. Out of warranty so guy ordered all new components. It was deploying and stowing but he just noticed a noise.
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: Mac Attack on Jan 29, 2022, 01:38 PM
Friend I ice fished with yesterday just dropped $700 in repairs on his ulterra thatís only 1.5 years old. He heard a louder than normal hum and when the service guy took it apart the head and shaft  were full of water. Out of warranty so guy ordered all new components. It was deploying and stowing but he just noticed a noise.


How old was it?
You said it was out of warranty
They did have problems with these in the beginning.
I was told that the problems were pretty much gone in 2019.
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: mcully on Jan 31, 2022, 07:27 AM
He bought it through Walmart 2 seasons ago new. Claimed he contacted Minn Kota and they basically said good luck you are on your own. It is the black fresh water model. I asked if he could tell where the water came in and he said he couldn't. If so how do you know it won't happen again even with the new components? I'm not sure who he has doing the repairs but he lives near east end of Oneida Lake.
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: Mac Attack on Jan 31, 2022, 08:46 AM
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: mcully on Feb 01, 2022, 05:51 AM
Sent him that so he can confirm the upgraded gasket is present on his new repair.
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: Mac Attack on Feb 01, 2022, 09:52 AM
Sent him that so he can confirm the upgraded gasket is present on his new repair.

Just because he bought his unit in the past 2 years, doesn't mean it didn't sit on a shelf for 1-2 years before he bought it.

There have been tons of problems with the Ulterra.
But "supposedly" Minn Kota has cleaned them up.

Technology is great, but with it comes more problems sometimes.

I love the Ulterra on my Trophy.
However, when I move to Florida later this year, the pontoon boat I buy down there will have a Terrova on it.
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: mcully on Feb 01, 2022, 04:47 PM
Pre Covid so very possible it sat on a shelf.
Never buy the first year model if you donít have to right hahaha
My Terrova no issues on year three but hitting a button to get up and run would be nice.
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: Mac Attack on Feb 01, 2022, 06:33 PM
ÖÖbut hitting a button to get up and run would be nice.

Yup!
It is.
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: Jethro on Mar 22, 2022, 09:10 AM
any updates on how the ulterras operated the rest of the season? Finally starting to see some available again in the 112 pound 72" so thinking of making the jump.

I have only had 2 "problems" and one I wouldn't consider a problem, the other was completely operator error. When I first installed the motor the trim operation was noisy. A lot of grinding. I reached out to Minn Kota and they talked me through opening the trim housing and adjusting tension of the very small internal belt that trims the motor. It was an easy adjustment and the noise hasn't returned. The other time I stripped gears in the steering housing completely my fault. I ordered the parts and fixed it myself. I've had it open a bunch and I'm not really scared of repairing anything now.



Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: Mac Attack on Mar 22, 2022, 09:38 AM
The one thing I have heard is that the Ulterra requires once a year adjustments, cleaning and lubricating.  Easy maintenance according to the YouTube videos Iíve watched.  And it is said that if you perform this routine maintenance you are far less likely to run into problems.
Makes sense when you compare the added deploy/stow and trim mechanics involved with an Ulterra vs the other models.
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: lowaccord66 on Mar 22, 2022, 10:35 AM
In the market for a 36v 87" unit for the big boat.  I rock a terrova 36v on my 19'er.  It cranks.  Have spot locked in some stiff rover current no issues.
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: Jethro on Mar 22, 2022, 10:55 AM
Yeah, my 36v has been impressive holding my 21'er in severe current and wind, but I've been wondering if one would be effective on our Southport 30 which I think is approx 20k lbs. Maybe more. Should work, right?

Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: lowaccord66 on Mar 22, 2022, 04:01 PM
Yes but with a 30fter extreme conditions sometimes cause it not to hold according to my buddy Jason who runs one on the lil sister.  He said most of the time hes "ok" but moon tides plus a heavy wind get tricky.  Im looking to add it to my 23' proline xp.
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: Mac Attack on Mar 22, 2022, 05:45 PM
Quote from: Jethro link=topic=78665.msg872893#msg872893 date=1647964548
Yeah, my 36v has been impressive holding my 21'er in severe current and wind, but I've been wondering if one would be effective on our Southport 30 which I think is approx 20k lbs. Maybe more. Should work, right?

Install 2 Geoff.
Like twin screws.

 ;)
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: Jethro on Mar 23, 2022, 08:26 AM
Install 2 Geoff.
Like twin screws.

 ;)

Well, that just took the budget from "improbable" to "impossible" I'd say.
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: Jethro on Apr 04, 2022, 07:29 AM
My Ulterra is non-functional at the moment.. not happy, made haddock fishing yesterday a miserable time. Motor does not deploy.
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: swnoel on Apr 04, 2022, 08:21 AM
My Ulterra is non-functional at the moment.. not happy, made haddock fishing yesterday a miserable time. Motor does not deploy.


That sucks... hopefully it's something simple!
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: Mac Attack on Apr 04, 2022, 08:32 AM
My Ulterra is non-functional at the moment.. not happy, made haddock fishing yesterday a miserable time. Motor does not deploy.


You are an expert mechanic on it now Geoff.
So it should be a relatively simple fix for you.
Keep us posted on what you find out.

Just a thought, and I'm sure you know this - it won't deploy without enough voltage and/or current - batteries???
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: Jethro on Apr 04, 2022, 11:10 AM
Yeah, I'm going to start with jumping the batteries direct and bypassing the plug I'm using. The multimeter indicates the motor is getting plenty of volts, but possibly when it asks for the amps it is having trouble. Stay tuned! I will overcome.
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: Mac Attack on Apr 04, 2022, 11:50 AM
 :thumbup_smilie:
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: swnoel on Apr 08, 2022, 07:55 AM
Yeah, I'm going to start with jumping the batteries direct and bypassing the plug I'm using. The multimeter indicates the motor is getting plenty of volts, but possibly when it asks for the amps it is having trouble. Stay tuned! I will overcome.


What did you find out?
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: Mac Attack on Apr 08, 2022, 08:02 AM

What did you find out?

Yea Geoff
Inquiring minds want to know buddy.
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: Jethro on Apr 08, 2022, 11:18 AM
Been too busy the past week, I will be looking at it Sunday though.
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: Jethro on Apr 11, 2022, 09:24 AM
Whelp, certainly found the problem:
(https://photos.smugmug.com/Other/21-Sylvan-Profish/i-sGnX8ZW/0/8c458322/L/20220410_133524-L.jpg)

Seal failed on the upper trim housing. Can see exactly where:
(https://photos.smugmug.com/Other/21-Sylvan-Profish/i-dWDkRPT/0/0ea815ed/L/20220410_133912-L.jpg)

And just my luck, the actual small motor itself is not available from Minn Kota, but of course the entire trim assembly is at the tune of $360. Guess if I want to use it this season I have to pony up. >:(




Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: Mac Attack on Apr 11, 2022, 09:44 AM
That stinks Geoff
Thereís tons of videos on this leak problem on YouTube as Iím sure you know.
Anyway, might want to check them out again incase someone has a way (trick) to prevent it from reoccurring.
Good luck!
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: swnoel on Apr 11, 2022, 10:30 AM
Whelp, certainly found the problem:
(https://photos.smugmug.com/Other/21-Sylvan-Profish/i-sGnX8ZW/0/8c458322/L/20220410_133524-L.jpg)

Seal failed on the upper trim housing. Can see exactly where:
(https://photos.smugmug.com/Other/21-Sylvan-Profish/i-dWDkRPT/0/0ea815ed/L/20220410_133912-L.jpg)

And just my luck, the actual small motor itself is not available from Minn Kota, but of course the entire trim assembly is at the tune of $360. Guess if I want to use it this season I have to pony up. >:(


Is it possible to have it rebuilt? http://aaapumpservice.com/electric-motor-repairs/
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: Jethro on Apr 11, 2022, 10:51 AM

Is it possible to have it rebuilt? http://aaapumpservice.com/electric-motor-repairs/

It's quite possible, but the motor housing is severely corroded. I tried to remove the motor core but no luck, it's rusted almost solid. I think I will just start with a new one, already ordered.
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: swnoel on Apr 11, 2022, 10:58 AM
It's quite possible, but the motor housing is severely corroded. I tried to remove the motor core but no luck, it's rusted almost solid. I think I will just start with a new one, already ordered.

That's probably the best way to deal with it , hopefully it won't happen again.
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: fishinator on Apr 11, 2022, 11:35 AM
Any specs on motor? Sure you could find a replacement somewhere.
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: fishinator on Apr 11, 2022, 11:37 AM
Any specs on motor? Sure you could find a replacement somewhere. Hard to tell from pic but it looks like a 540 size. Common in r/c and several other things.
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: Jethro on Apr 11, 2022, 12:51 PM
Any specs on motor? Sure you could find a replacement somewhere. Hard to tell from pic but it looks like a 540 size. Common in r/c and several other things.

Yeah, there isn't really anything special about the motor- UNFORTUNATELY. It's not even brushless, which if it were it would probably still be working. Whatever.

It does have a gear and some other hardware on the output shaft that doesn't seem to be removable. It also has a very specific slot for adjusting the tension of the belt it drives very finely. I imagine I could have done some detective work and saved myself some cash, but honestly, with the upper seal that failed- and the time it would have taken to reverse engineer... I need the stupid thing working RIGHT NOW, so I think just buying the whole thing is the best way to go.

This really shouldn't be a knock on the Ulterra, once again I believe this is likely user error. When I first installed the motor it made noise and I had to open the trim housing and adjust this very motor. I wouldn't doubt if I did a poor job putting the cover and seal back together. Live and learn.
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: gotagetm on Apr 11, 2022, 01:30 PM
I don't think it's user error, my buddy here in NY has one on his tracker boat and has had nothing but problems especially with the deploy on it I have the terrova and I had a little issue with that but not like him
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: Jethro on Apr 11, 2022, 02:50 PM
I don't think it's user error, my buddy here in NY has one on his tracker boat and has had nothing but problems especially with the deploy on it I have the terrova and I had a little issue with that but not like him

Maybe so, maybe not... one thing is undeniably true- these things are built like Playskool toys.
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: gotagetm on Apr 11, 2022, 03:39 PM
That's what I've heard
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: Jethro on Apr 15, 2022, 08:39 PM
Back in action! Kudos to Northland Marine, they came through with the right part number when Minn Kota couldn't, and for $50 less. 10 Dollar shipping and it was at my door on Thursday after ordering Monday morning. Easy install and works perfect. Ready for me to break the next thing I guess.
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: lowaccord66 on Apr 15, 2022, 08:52 PM
Glad to read that Geoff.  Go get em!
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: Mac Attack on Apr 16, 2022, 07:05 AM
Back in action! Kudos to Northland Marine, they came through with the right part number when Minn Kota couldn't, and for $50 less. 10 Dollar shipping and it was at my door on Thursday after ordering Monday morning. Easy install and works perfect. Ready for me to break the next thing I guess.

Hey Geoff
Did you figure out why it leaked?
Were you able to come up with a better sealing method?
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: swnoel on Apr 16, 2022, 07:14 AM
Back in action! Kudos to Northland Marine, they came through with the right part number when Minn Kota couldn't, and for $50 less. 10 Dollar shipping and it was at my door on Thursday after ordering Monday morning. Easy install and works perfect. Ready for me to break the next thing I guess.


good to hear!
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: Jethro on Apr 16, 2022, 05:57 PM
Hey Geoff
Did you figure out why it leaked?
Were you able to come up with a better sealing method?

No idea. I had the cover of the trim housing open when I first got the motor, it was clicking and I had to adjust tension on the trim housing motor. I guess it's possible I didn't put the seal back together that well? It took two seasons of some pretty major saltwater use to ruin that tiny motor. self-inflicted? Maybe, maybe not. Never know.

What I do know is this trim motor doesn't make any clicking, so I'm not opening it if I don't have to. Maybe it will stay sealed.

I may run a bead of silicone around the seal but then again, I shouldn't have to. Plus, if I have to open it for any reason it would be a PITA.

Last year I had to replace the 3 batteries I torched... this year the trim housing... seems it's costing about $300 a season to run this Ulterra.
Title: Re: Ulterra
Post by: Mac Attack on Apr 17, 2022, 10:32 AM
$300 to fix it this time wasnít bad really
Coulda been way worse I suppose.

I will be going with a Terrova on my toon down here in Florida when I eventually buy the boat.  I will be on calm inland waters with easy access to the Terrova making it the logical choice.

However, the Ulterra on my Trophy, 10 miles out on Lake Erie in 1-2ís was the logical choice for sure.

I hope you get more than a year before the next required repair my friend.  Good luck.