Minn Kota has been widely regarded as the leading brand for trolling motors.
They have a wide selection of motors that vary in price, such as the Endura, Terrova, Powerdrive, and of course Ulterra.
Ulterra is the Rolls Royce of trolling motors and is geared towards serious anglers.
But is it worth the hefty price?
We’ll take an in-depth look at:
- Who this trolling motor is made for
- What features are included in the motor
- What we like and don’t like from it
- How to use it
- Alternative motor options to choose from
We’ve written a complete Ulterra Trolling Motor review to help you decide whether the Ulterra is right for you. Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
- Who is this product for?
- What’s included
- Overview of features
- How to install
- Frequently Asked Questions
Who is this product for?
The Minn Kota Ulterra Trolling Motor is designed for serious anglers who want the convenience of automation and high-tech features to help them easily find fish.
The motor goes perfectly with inflatable kayaks because it has 80 pounds of thrust, enough to power any kayak size.
Any angler who wants to catch fish easier and quicker should consider the Ulterra.
If you’re just a casual kayaker looking to explore the scenery, all of these fancy features won’t be of much use to you.
|80 pounds||45” or 60”|
When you order the Ulterra trolling motor, the box comes with many other freebies as well.
In the box, you’ll get the Minn Kota Ulterra trolling motor, i-Pilot GPS, mounting hardware and cabling, heading sensor, and a multi-function foot pedal.
One of the best things about the Ulterra is that it offers you a foot control pedal or an i-Pilot remote based on your fishing and navigation preferences.
Minn Kota provides all of the cabling and mounting hardware needed to set it up onto your kayak so that you can easily attach it to your kayak’s bow or stern.
The heading sensor is also included, a signature digital compass technology that communicates to the trolling motor using Bluetooth to track where the vessel is heading. The sensor also works in conjunction with the jog feature so that your motor will jog your vessel five feet at a time in any direction you decide.
This is a great option for serious anglers because you’ll have many features to use based on the water conditions and how you like to fish. The Ulterra package comes with everything you’ll need to navigate efficiently on your fishing trips.
Overview of features
This is one of the most advanced motors that Minn Kota has to offer.
It has everything you need and will make life easy for you as an angler. Let’s take a look at the good and bad of this motor.
What we like
- Includes an automatic stow and deploy feature.
- i-Pilot spot-lock feature to go to your fishing spots
- Built-in Universal Sonar 2 to help you find fish or adapt to other Mega Imaging tools.
- It includes an electric foot pedal.
- Trim the motor up and down based on water conditions.
- Connect with your mobile device to control the motor.
- Digital Maximizer allows you to get five times longer run time with only a single charge.
- Minn Kota offers a 2-year warranty.
Minn Kota advertises their amazing automatic stow and deploys feature.
With the i-Pilot remote, you can trim the motor up or down. Also, you can stow or deploy the motor from anywhere on the boat. You barely have to lift a finger, and it saves you time on your trip.
This is so much more convenient than manually adjusting the motor height based on water conditions. Sometimes you’ll need to trim the motor higher if you’re in shallow waters or adjust it down if you’re entering deeper waters.
When it comes to fishing, locking into one spot because you don’t want to be swaying with the current and lose positioning. The spot-lock feature locks your motor into the spot you choose based on the GPS coordinates that you set.
No more fighting currents!
Anglers can even use the Spot-Jog feature to move their vessel up to five feet at a time in any direction. This is great for the following fish without them detecting you.
One of the biggest differences between these bad boys and other motors is its built-in mega imaging tool.
There is a built-in Humminbird Mega Imaging transducer attached to Ulterra’s lower unit. This gives anglers a crystal clear view of what’s inside the water.
With this powerful tool, you’ll be able to distinguish between a fish and a structure. It gives you so much detail that you’ll be able to target individual species and see which direction the fish is facing before you even cast a line.
Many customers also rave about Minn Kota’s signature i-Pilot remote. Simply put, using a tiller to steer the boat isn’t a great option for anglers.
The i-Pilot is a GPS-powered remote that gives you total control of your boat. You can change speeds, steer and navigate to your destination, and spot-lock to hold your position.
In addition, users will be able to record and retrace their paths in the water. Instead of manually steering, just set your destination and let your motor do all the work.
This hands-free option lets you enjoy your ride and focus on reeling in your next catch.
The auto-pilot feature will even course-correct based on currents, waves, and wind.
We also like how it can be connected to your android or iOS phone via the mobile app and Bluetooth, so you can update the device’s software whenever new updates are released.
Sometimes, you do want the ability to manually control your boat. The Ulterra offers a foot pedal for you to auto-deploy, stow, trim, and spot-lock as well.
A foot control keeps your hands free for casting, piling, and pitching. Also, they allow you to stand, so you can visually see underwater obstructions such as rocks, logs, shallow areas, and weed beds.
The digital maximizer comes along with the Ulterra, and it’s meant to save battery. With this technology, it uses only power that is needed to prevent excess waste of energy.
Anglers who fish for many hours at low speeds will benefit from the digital maximizer. You’ll be able to conserve your battery, especially if you’re just trucking along around one area.
Lastly, we like how Minn Kota puts their vote of confidence on their products by offering a two-year warranty. It guarantees that the motor won’t have any defects during the two years, or they will repair or replace the trolling motor for free!
What we don’t like
- It’s not built for saltwater conditions.
- It can be quite expensive.
Unfortunately, the Minn Kota Ulterra trolling motor only operates under freshwater conditions. You can experiment with the motor in salt water, but we strongly advise against it.
Using a freshwater motor will cause corrosion on the metal components.
If you’re looking for a motor with the same features and designed for saltwater, we recommend the Riptide Ulterra.
The Riptide has advanced corrosion protection since the sacrificial node is coated with aluminum to prevent rust and oxidation.
In addition, it’s quite a steep price to pay for a trolling motor. Minn Kota offers more affordable options, such as the Endura Max, PowerDrive, and Terrova.
What makes this product expensive is their i-Pilot GPS, automatic stow and deploy, and built-in mega imaging.
|Design||Made with an indestructible composite shaft and the prop blades has a weedless wedge design to power through vegetation.|
|Ease of Use||i-Pilot and foot pedal offer buttons to easily stow, deploy, adjust the height, speed, and navigate the boat in waters.|
|Features||Plenty of advanced and automated features so anglers can focus on fishing. For example, the spot-lock feature stabilizes and locks the vessel in place.|
|Customer Service||Minn Kota offers a two-year warranty on the entire product and a lifetime warranty on the shaft.|
How to install
Installing the Ulterra motor is quite simple. However, it does require some instructions to get it set-up.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Step 1: Choose whether you want to mount the motor on the bow’s port or starboard side. This all depends on how you fish and operate the boat.
For example, if you steer on the boat’s port side, you should mount it on the starboard side to have greater visibility.
Step 2: Remove the securing screws on the plate panels to reveal the mounting holes.
Step 3: Attach the head and motor shaft assembly to the mount. Lay the motor in a stowed position parallel to the side of the bow.
Make sure the shaft is next to the centerline of the vessel.
Step 4: Position the front of the mount so that it will clear the bow with ease when the motor is deployed.
Step 5: Once you’ve checked the mount’s position, drill two holes in the bow directly on top of the hole patterns on the mount.
Step 6: Secure the motor on those two holes. Drill the remaining holes as well.
Step 7: Fasten the nuts to the bolts so the motor is secure.
Step 8: Re-attached the side plates that were previously removed.
The big problem with the Ulterra is the price tag.
Not everyone can afford to fork over an arm and leg for this piece of equipment.
Good thing, Minn Kota has cheaper options available for anglers and kayakers to use.
1. Minn Kota Terrova
If you’re looking for similar features but don’t cost less, the Terrova is an excellent option.
The Terrova also uses the i-Pilot GPS remote system and electric foot pedal to navigate.
You also get the Spot-lock feature and Auto-pilot function, so users can keep their vessel on course without manually making adjustments.
The i-Pilot simply holds less memory compared to the Ulterra. In addition, you’ll need to press a lever on the mount to activate the stow or deploy instead of using the remote.
Saving some money for a few less non-essential features could be worth it.
2. Minn Kota Ultrex
- Combining Minn Kota's most responsive, intuitive steering yet with GPS-powered automatic boat control, the Ultrex trolling motor features a next-generation power steering foot pedal that's built for...
- Tap the foot pedal's Spot-Lock button to stay on a fishing spot without touching your trolling motor. When you take your foot off Ultrex's foot pedal, the motor head remains pointed in the direction...
If you want something with a bit more responsiveness and potentially more quiet movements, the Ultrex is a phenomenal option for anglers.
The Ultrex uses a cable-steer foot pedal instead of an electric one. Electric ones give you the freedom to control the vessel from anywhere on the boat.
However, a cable steer motor has a better touch and feel because it’ll respond to any small twitch you make. Also, tend to have almost zero noise, so you’ll be less likely to spook the fish.
The price is about the same, so it’s a matter of preference between cable steer and electric motors.
3. Minn Kota PowerDrive
- 60" Shaft, 24v, 70 lbs Thrust
- Deploy-Assist Lever: Get in and out of the water easily. Just depress the lever to deploy your trolling motor and when it's time to move, it stows easily and securely
The PowerDrive is an affordable option compared to the other motors mentioned.
Its features are similar to the Terrova. However, the Terrova has much better handling and turning power.
Also, you won’t be able to get both the i-Pilot or the electric foot pedal. Users can only choose to have one, which is one reason why the price is considerably lower.
You’ll have to purchase the pedal or i-Pilot separately if you want them both.
There isn’t a stow or deploy button on the pedal as well.
But if you’re someone who wants basic steering options with the auto-pilot feature and spot-lock, it’s still got the main features to help you on your fishing trip.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the difference between Minn Kota Terrova and Ulterra?
The Terrova is the cheaper option of the two. Terrova holds less memory, so users won’t save as many fishing spots and routes in their GPS.
Also, the Terrova doesn’t have a deploy and stow function on their foot pedal.
Overall, the Terrova has fewer widgets compared to Ulterra. For example, users can’t connect a fish finder as the Ulterra can. This can be a big deal for anglers who rely heavily on this tool.
2. Which is better: Minn Kota Ulterra or Ultrex?
The answer depends on what you’re looking for. The downside of Ultrex is that it doesn’t have the automatic remote power trim and remote deploy and stow feature like the Ulterra.
Some customers have voiced complaints about the Ulterra deploy and stow feature because it may have glitches. The Ultrex tends to be more durable and includes a three-year warranty compared to a two with the Ulterra.
The Ultrex has a more precise steering option because of its ultra-responsive cable-steer foot pedal.
The Ultrex is better for people who enjoy the motor’s simplicity and being able to swiftly stow and deploy the motor.
But for anglers who want fancy automated features, the Ulterra could save you time, especially when it comes to the power trims.
Adjusting the trim in water conditions manually can be quite a pain.
3. How do you use an Ulterra trolling motor?
To deploy the Ulterra trolling motor, you need to double-tap the deploy button on the i-Pilot remote.
When using the foot pedal, make sure you hit the Mode button to illuminate the yellow button. Then double-tap the deploy button twice.
To stow the motor, just hit the Stow button once on either the remote or the foot pedal.
The i-Pilot makes steering and controlling speed incredibly easy.
Simply hit the up and down arrow for forward and backward movement or left and right to turn. Change speeds by hitting the plus or minus arrow.
There’s an anchor icon button to use the spot-lock feature, and the N button is to automatically cruise to your given destination or continue heading in the current direction.
Use the Go To button to return to iTracks or spot-locks with a push of a button.
For anglers who enjoy fishing for hours, the Ulterra motor can provide that extra boost you need.
Sure it’s quite a lot of money to fork over. But it’ll save you time and allow you to catch more fish while you’re out!
We think it’s worth the price and the best motor for anglers.