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Jig Man

Minn Kota Ulterra

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If any of you guys are running one, I'd like to ask some questions.

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Ask away 

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same here, ask away

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OK here we go.  I have all Lowrance chart plotter units.  I know that MK won't link to them but I have 3 broken ribs that have not healed properly and it has been over 6 months so I'm guessing that I am always going to have a problem.  Pulling a trolling motor up several times per day leaves me with a nasty sore spot just under my right shoulder blade so self deploying and stowing is very appealing.

 

How do you like your units?

Do they function the way they are supposed to?

What kind of boats do you have them on?

How long is your trolling motor shaft?

What functions will I not be getting with Lowrance units?

 

Anything else you think I should know?

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My FF are Garmins so I can't help you with that but,

I have a bad back so I got an Ulterra to go on my Lund Fury XL sport and I love it. Mine's a 60" shaft.

Put it this way, I can motor up to a spot, deploy the TM and spotlock it with out leaving my seat. Jog, I-Pilot, trim up , down, it all works as advertised.

 The only issue I have is every once in a while during calm windless days spot lock will disengage. But that is because I have an extra transducer cable on the TM and if it wraps up to much the TM will disengage spotlock before doing any damage. With any type of breeze this will not happen.

 I very seldom use the foot pedal, I like the remote much better.

 I was out the other day in 18 MPR winds, and had the sun top up ( think big sail ). I was spotlocked on a spot catching Smallies for over an hour and the boat never moved.

 I would buy it again.

 

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Super thanks for the info.  Do you have a pic of the motor and the xducer cables?

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Pretty much exactly as my friend from Maine. Physical limitations and also use Garmins 

Mine in on an impact 1775 and I run a 36v system. We also share the same issue on the wind less of days. I do use both the remote  and foot pedals. The FP is for staring adjustments if I am working docks. Considering getting a second remind with all the functions less the store/deploy feature since I always deploy from my helm.  

 

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2 hours ago, Jig Man said:

Super thanks for the info.  Do you have a pic of the motor and the xducer cables?

If All goes well we'll be out on the lake on Tues. I'll take some pics for you.

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Do either of you guys launch the boat and let it float away from the ramp, deploy the tm and spot lock while you go park the truck?

 

I fish by myself most of the time and that seems like a good thing to me.  Plus the boat would not be in anyone's way or be bumping against a courtesy dock.

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1 hour ago, Jig Man said:

Do either of you guys launch the boat and let it float away from the ramp, deploy the tm and spot lock while you go park the truck?

 

I fish by myself most of the time and that seems like a good thing to me.  Plus the boat would not be in anyone's way or be bumping against a courtesy dock.

Yes I do.  It works really well. A time saver and is especially nice if you fish on your own quite a bit like I do. 

 

I love the Ulterra product concept.   Give the concept an A. 

 

I give the concept execution a B+. Not an A due to the cord wrap issue. Mine will tighten up and sound like it’s going to break. I always get it out of spot lock, let it unwrap then reset spotlock. 

 

I give customer service a D. I have had to get mine serviced over 4 times. Lost a lot of time on the water.  My last issue was found under the first year of the two year warranty. The local service dealer was trying to fix it but just couldn’t get it right. It took so long, the warranty expired while getting serviced. Got it back on my boat and it still wasn’t right. Called MK customer service only to be told “we won’t help as its out of warranty”.  The local dealer ended up helping me and we finally got it squared away but it was clear MK was going to walk away from me (again, despite finding the issue well within my warranty).  

 

Only reason I didn’t give an F is they did replace a defective part under warranty for me. 

 

Just an honest opinion given my time with my Ulterra and dealing with MK customer service.  

 

 

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Good point made by @OperationEagleif your not at a complete stop when putting it on spotlock,, the motor often over compensates. I eighter tap it in reverse to ensure no forward momentum or set the SL, wait till it almost wraps itself, release SL, then re-apply. Sounds like a pain in the butt, but isn't and works

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16 hours ago, Jig Man said:

What functions will I not be getting with Lowrance units? 

I have an Ultrex with i-pilot link so I can answer this question.  First there are two versions of the Ulterra,  the i-pilot link and the i-pilot.  The i-pilot link will connnect to Humminbird Fishfinders the i-pilot version does not so if you get the i-pilot version, having Lowrance units makes no difference.  The i-pilot link can be connected to HB finders and gives you the following features.

 

1. You can pull up a screen on the fishfinder that give you all of the basic functions of the remote so you can control the TM from the FF.  It takes up space on the screen and I almost never use it.  That's what the remote is for.

 

2. You can select a contour line on the map and follow that line or follow the line from a certain distance.  So if the top of a ledge is 12 ft deep you can tell the trolling motor to keep you 20 feet from the 12 ft line so you can fish the ledge.  It's a very nice feature.

 

3.  You can select a waypoint or just select a spot on the map and tell the TM to go to that spot or you can tell it to follow a route you have stored in the fish finder.

 

4.  When the trolling motor is on autopilot,  the fish finder will show the heading on the map that the autopilot is following. This is a very handy feature.

 

5.  Routes and waypoints you save on the trolling motor remote get copied to the fish finder.

 

6.  You can have the fish finder save a waypoint everytime you engage spotlock on the trolling motor.

 

I really don't think you give up that much by having Lowrance units.  You will have the features that people love the most about the i-pilot systems without connecting to a fishfinder.  The remote gives you many things like following routes and creating waypoints.  To me spotlock and autopilot are the key features of the i-pilot trolling motors,  I can't imagine fishing with them now.

 

 

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Thanks a lot fellows.  I got serious about it today and went shopping. 

I want to keep my lss 2 and my Lowrance 2d sonar.  That looks like quite a pain to get worked out.  Precision Sonar is suggesting a total scan transducer, their mount and lower coil cable.

 

The foot control is also too large to fit into my factory boat recessed foot control well.  If I buy it I will have to mount the foot control above the pedal well.  I am so used to having the pedal recessed.  How much effort does it take to steer the unit manually?

 

Another thing I found out is my custom boat cover would have to be altered to fit with the Ulterra.

 

The big pro is the electrical deploy and stow.

 

Hope I am not being too much of a pain but this has already gone over 3 gs and I not done.

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If you let your boat float away, DON'T forget to turn the Ulterra switch on.

 

I love the remote deploy and spot lock features.  They work very well.  The tracking with the GPS trying to hold a course, like 270 degrees, doesn't work as reliably.  I don't use all the track memory and the other GPS stuff.  I used to when I fished the same small lake regularly, and they worked fine, but sort of hard to remember all the directions to use them.

 

I have an 80 pound thrust, a 60 inch shaft on a 165 Lund Rebel SC, and It's about right. I would not go shorter on the shaft.

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5 hours ago, Jig Man said:

Thanks a lot fellows.  I got serious about it today and went shopping. 

I want to keep my lss 2 and my Lowrance 2d sonar.  That looks like quite a pain to get worked out.  Precision Sonar is suggesting a total scan transducer, their mount and lower coil cable.

 

The foot control is also too large to fit into my factory boat recessed foot control well.  If I buy it I will have to mount the foot control above the pedal well.  I am so used to having the pedal recessed.  How much effort does it take to steer the unit manually?

 

Another thing I found out is my custom boat cover would have to be altered to fit with the Ulterra.

 

The big pro is the electrical deploy and stow.

 

Hope I am not being too much of a pain but this has already gone over 3 gs and I not done.

The foot control not fitting into the recessed area was my concern too. I was thinking of having a plate made to use the holes of the recess, then mount the pedal onto the plate

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38 minutes ago, looking45 said:

The foot control not fitting into the recessed area was my concern too. I was thinking of having a plate made to use the holes of the recess, then mount the pedal onto the plate

My concern is the height of the foot control since it would have to be mounted flush with the deck.  I don't know how much I would be using it vs the remote.  If I used it a lot I would probably not like it that high.

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I use the remote for almost everything exc adjusting the direction with my foot, for small adjustments.  Now and then I adjust the speed with my foot.

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17 hours ago, Jig Man said:

My concern is the height of the foot control since it would have to be mounted flush with the deck.  I don't know how much I would be using it vs the remote.  If I used it a lot I would probably not like it that high.

Mine is not recessed and I like being able to move it from side to side. I think that benefit outweighs flush mount by far

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Does it stay put when you are motoring in choppy water?

 

I am going back to the shop today with every intention of making the purchase and setting up an install date.

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Absolutely 

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Well I pulled the string and ordered one today.  It is supposed to be installed next Wednesday.

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👍

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Well it did not arrive until Thursday and was installed Friday am.  I took it to the water for a while Friday pm.  I like everything about it so far.  I stayed away from the water over the holiday weekend but am going this pm and taking my wife so she can see how it works.

 

I am really looking forward to learning all of the special features and capabilities of the unit.  I did try my boat cover and am going to have to get it remodeled.

 

Thanks again for all of the tips guys.  I hope it will be ok for me to ask for further advice as I go through this new learning curve.

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Congrats!

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