Too windy to fish – Ulterra Trolling motor Installation

Installed and Working

Installed and Working

I don’t mind too much if conditions aren’t ideal to fish since there are endless lists of things to do to prepare for fishing as well as the non fishing lists of things to do that seems to never end. I was ready to fish a 4:30 am but the 39 mph winds at the lake forced me to hit the hour snooze all morning till it was too late to go. I don’t like going to the lake past 10am since I have to get off at 4:30 to reband at San Luis and its not worth the drive and the late dinner most of the time. The typical wind pattern for this time of year when it blows hard all night is for it to flatten out around 9am and build again by 2:00pm. If I miss the morning window, I usually shine it on to the next day.

I used the day to install a Minn Kotta Ulterra trolling motor on the boat replacing the 2 year old Terrova. If you interested in a used perfectly working Terrova with IPilot ILink, make me an offer or I might have to get a second boat for the Delta. The removal of the old Terrova was pretty easy. I just unplugged the Ethernet cable, Transducer cable and the Power cable from the boat and unbolted the 4 screws that held it in. The Ulterra almost fit exactly in the same mounting holes I ended up drilling a few for stability. After hooking every thing back up, I hit the power button on the base unit and no lights went on. After checking all the power and circuit breakers I decided to measure voltage at the motherboard in the base of the trolling motor. The problem with that is that you can’t reach it without deploying it and you can deploy it without power. I managed to open the cover slightly enough to peak under the base plate and just for kicks, I pressed the power button using a dental instrument and a mirror.  To my surprise the unit powered on and the lights glowed green. Apparently the depressible switch was too short to make contact with the membrane on the cowling and thus you couldn’t reach the switch no matter how hard you pressed on the ON switch. The solution for me was to find a small piece of plastic tubing (from my fly bench used to tie tube flies) that fit snuggly over the switch pole making it an eighth of an inch longer. I put a dab of zap a gap in the hole to keep it from sliding down the shaft of the switch. Now all is perfect and the unit will switch on and off with a light touch on the button.

I can’t imagine I am the only one having this problem. I was bumming out about possibly having to send the 75 lb motor back to Minn Kota after waiting three long months for it. Could the average fishermen trouble shoot that on their own?  I’m not sure since you have to deploy the motor before working on it and you might need a dental mirrors and explorers to work under the cowling. I would expect so much more from Minn Kota–the irony of a $2000 dollar trolling motor being totally useless because of an eighth of an inch of plastic on the end of a switch.   Also, I couldn’t register my motor for warranty with Min Kota because it would not recognize the serial number I entered as being an Ulterra. All is good that ends well and Im ready to test it out on the water.

14 thoughts on “Too windy to fish – Ulterra Trolling motor Installation

  1. I sure like not having to yank the Motor everytime I stop and go. But yes there are some quality issues with the buttons. Overall pretty satisfied.

  2. I bought a 2017 ulterra 24 volt first trip the power board fell out thus no power had to partially deploy and unplug as to not hit the trailer remove covers and reinstall. Not what I wanted to deal with.

  3. I just ran into a similar issue today. I took my Ulterra out for the third time and it just powered off while deployed by itself. I had to maually pull it back in the boat which is no easy task. I went through all of the hold the button down stuff the book tells you to do but it still has not repose red. Everything was going great before today as advertised.

  4. I am looking at the Terrova and interested in yours if another deal that I am working on falls through. What issues did you have with it and what did you not like about it. I have to have the 60″ shaft. That was what yours looked like. Is it the 24v or 36v?

  5. I just installed my Ulterra ( had a terrova) bolted on everything hooked up plug into power and green AND red light on at the base. It will not deploy. Can you help

    • Hey Greg, That happened to me too. I had to launch it to test it and out on the water first day it wouldn’t deploy! Turned out that I used the same screws that the Terrova was mounted with and they locked the delploying “sled” The screws have to be short and fit flush with the inside of the aluminum rails that the Ulterra slides on. Shorter mounting screws. Tell me if that works…

  6. I did not send it back. The service tech has contacted them and getting a new switch box and the plastic outer housing. It is working fine with the “fix”, but not for long term. When I contacted MinnKota, they did not indicate there had been any reports of the switch being too short.

  7. I had actually two problems. The first was the switch box was loose. After the service tech was able to get the box snapped back in place it still would not power on. Second problem goes exactly to your problem. He added about 1/8 of an inch of shrink tube and it would power up as it should. My big question for you is “did you contact MinnKota about this problem?” If not, the more they are made aware of this problem, maybe they will get it fixed. Thanks for your time.

    • No light a all? Its that stupid pressure switch! Try to push it from the side to see if its the height of the switch OR Send all 70 lbs of it back so they can add 1/10th of a inch to the length of the push switch.

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