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OperationEagle

Ulterra Review

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Have the Ulterra iPilot 80 lb trolling motor and wanted to share my early experience. 

I really like its features. As I guessed, so far 80% of the time Ive used 20% of the features. 

Spotlock, gps lock cruising, power trim, and of course, stow and deploy.  

Firstly Spotlock is extremely useful.  However you also probably have read that it stays locked on a radius of the selected area...and that's its biggest downside. 

This issue creates a problem in a very common and plausible scenario that happened to me this weekend.

I was dock fishing and hooked into a nice one.  I motored the boat using the TM to what I thought was a safe distance away from the dock and boats.  As I leaned over to retrieve the bass my outboard prop hit a docked boat that apparently was inside of the drifting radius of the spot lock.  NOT GOOD!!

Big lesson for me is that I'm going to have to motor much further away to prevent any possible contact  with any surrounding objects.  This is tough as this increases the risk of losing the fish while managing the margin of safety.

I hope Minn Kota is reading these forums and updates the software to tighten this radius up.  So guys heads up and be aware.  Lucky that there was no damage to my lower unit.  Ive read that motorguide's execution of this is much tighter so it can be done.

Gps lock cruising is nice but it still required some adjustments as you traveled in the intended direction.  

Stow and deploy is awesome.  This is a feat of engineering in itself. Love it.

Similarly power trip...up and with a touch of a button...fantastic.

Noise.  I read a lot of negative posts about how noisy this unit is.  I paid particular attention to see how the bass reacted.  They seemed to tolerate it very well.  They did not seem to be spooked by the motor.  Also note however, that I have the "eliminator" damper nut to help reduce vibrations. So ymmv on this one.  I also use a quick release bracket for what that's worth in terms of vibration or noise absorption. 

One thing that has me a bit befuddled is the need to DIY a transducer cable attachment if you use a TM puck style transducer....which I assume most of us would/will be using. I used the spring attached near the head and to the cable method of managing the cable.  It works really well and is not an issue but it took me a while to try different methods to finally land on this one, costing me time and extra money.  A few of the other bass boat boards have pics of this method and it's worth a look.  Save time and money and get the $6.50 or so spring from Home Depot, attach w zip ties and be done with it.   The coiled hose method doesn't work for many reasons. The retractable pulley is a trip wire ready to happen but I could see that working.

Hope this helps at least one person understand just a few of the pros and cons of the Ulterra.  Will post more as I explore more of its functionality.....if I ever use them.

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Great review eagle.  I like the commercial of it when the single angler drops his boat into the lake and then it picks him up at the dock.  The "ghostie"

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Does the ulterra not have the groove in the shaft? Can run cable up there and out by the head. 

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4 hours ago, OperationEagle said:

Do believe the groove is used by the tension belt so it is not available to be filled by a transducer cable.

Correct.

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I use a split air line coiled around the shaft and a metal screen door spring on the head to keep my transducer cable out of harms way on my Terrova.  Works well.

As for Spot Lock, the boat will spin to point in the direction of the wind or current.  While the TM will stay within a 5-7 radius, the tail of the boat will be moving in a much wider arc. 

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IM the one who sold my Terrova because of the horrible noise it made.  bought the XI5 and so much quieter and so much less movement to keep it locked in place.  which it does a much better job of.  plus if i want to move my spot lock all i have to do is press a direction on my remote and it moves the spotlock 5 feet in that direction.  after iCast 2015 when i talked to the minn kota people and even they admitted the board of directors made comments about the noise, but they didn't do anything to fix it.  

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On June 13, 2016 at 7:29 AM, Slade House said:

IM the one who sold my Terrova because of the horrible noise it made.  bought the XI5 and so much quieter and so much less movement to keep it locked in place.  which it does a much better job of.  plus if i want to move my spot lock all i have to do is press a direction on my remote and it moves the spotlock 5 feet in that direction.  after iCast 2015 when i talked to the minn kota people and even they admitted the board of directors made comments about the noise, but they didn't do anything to fix it.  

Yes I have seen your complaints about the noise.  Do I wish it was quieter? It would be nice. However, I personally would prioritize the more accurate/smaller radius spot lock over this if forced to make a choice on things to fix. 

BTW, glad you like your xi5.  Competition is a very good thing.  I went w the Ulterra as the auto stow and deploy was just too much for me to overlook. 

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I also have to add that my terrova was broken in so many places after 6 months .  (note i did use my boat every day for 6 months though).   I ju

On 6/14/2016 at 8:40 PM, OperationEagle said:

Yes I have seen your complaints about the noise.  Do I wish it was quieter? It would be nice. However, I personally would prioritize the more accurate/smaller radius spot lock over this if forced to make a choice on things to fix. 

BTW, glad you like your xi5.  Competition is a very good thing.  I went w the Ulterra as the auto stow and deploy was just too much for me to overlook. 

 

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The terrova noise came up on WC board a while back, seems everyone who had the issue got it fixed under warranty at repair centers. Don't know why they wouldn't do anything for you... but just to clear the air, the "tarrova squeal" is covered under warranty. 

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the noise matters when you're fishing southern california clear water lakes that are very deep and where sound carries a long distance.  

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