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Old 04-03-13, 08:43 PM   #1
keithdog
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Default Trolling motor choice?

Ok fellas, I'm going to buy a new troll motor for my 12' jon. The one I have now is a 55 pound thrust transom mount Motorguide. Three of the forward speeds are out and the reverse went out last fall, second to the last trip out for 2012.
I'm looking at MinnKota this time around. I just wasn't real happy with how the Motor Guide held up. Height Adjustment collar keeps breaking on me too which requires removing the motor head assembly to replace it. That's a real pain.
I have it pretty well narrowed down to either the new digital Endura Max or the more traditional Endura C2.
My question is, has anyone used the new digital trolling motors from MinnKota, and if so, how do you like it. MinnKota claims you can run your motor 5 times as long on a single battery charge with the digital motors. Have you found that to be true, or at least better than a non digital motor? Or am I just going to be paying more for something that won't perform much better than a non digital motor? The battery indicator on the Max motor is a nice feature too. But will it last, and how accurate is it. Some times, the extra bells and whistles are just more things to go wrong.
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Old 04-03-13, 08:51 PM   #2
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I'll be payin close attention to this thread!
I'm planning on buyin a C2 55, myself
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Old 04-03-13, 08:55 PM   #3
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Just looked up the digital model.
If it does half of what it claims, the extra 60 bucks would be well spent!
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Old 04-03-13, 09:03 PM   #4
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Actually....the battery meter is worth 20 bucks in itself.
Gander had 1 review, but it didn't deal with the extra battery life.
Cabelas had 1 review, and it did say it uses less juice.
Was hoping to find more reviews!
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Old 04-03-13, 10:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MallenManson View Post
Just looked up the digital model.
If it does half of what it claims, the extra 60 bucks would be well spent!
That's what I was thinking myself. And, I too was looking for more comments than just the couple I found. Too new maybe? I wish it had a night light you could turn on like the BPS Prowler does. That's a pretty nifty feature! The Motor Guide customer reviews were not nearly as favorable as the Minn Kota.
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Old 04-03-13, 11:41 PM   #6
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My MinnKota Maxxum 101# is about 6 years old and I don't know if it's true of all their models but I HATE THEIR DANG PLASTIC HEADS. The lower half is so weak I carry a spare. I've busted mine (actually I just think they are so weak it failed, nothing I did) twice and am on my third lower half in those six years.

The problem IS the "post" the main gears sit on are actully plastic rings, they are not that heavy and crack relatively easily. After the first one broke I replaced it and after the second one broke IN THE SAME PLACE, I filled the hollow ring the gear sits on (on bottom half #3) with JB WELD to make it a REAL (solid) POST. That may have solved the issue, it's still holding up. That said the top half cracked at Dale Hollow last year and I didn't have a spare top half and I don't have a corrective action to fix that.


Not the greates picture (and NO it isn't mine) but the post I'm talking about is the one that the white plastic gear is sitting on. It is a ring not a solid piece of plasitc and why it's made this way I have no clue. It could just as easily be a solid plastic post rather than a ring. But this is the point of failure in two lower halves of the power head.

Bottom line, their plastic heads are not very durable. So if you decide on a MK, take the head apart and check the "post" the main drive gear sits on - if it's a plastic ring, either give it the JB WELD treatment and make it a POST or get a spare lower half. An ounce of prevention my friend...

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Old 04-04-13, 06:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bassboogieman View Post
My MinnKota Maxxum 101# is about 6 years old and I don't know if it's true of all their models but I HATE THEIR DANG PLASTIC HEADS. The lower half is so weak I carry a spare. I've busted mine (actually I just think they are so weak it failed, nothing I did) twice and am on my third lower half in those six years.

The problem IS the "post" the main gears sit on are actully plastic rings, they are not that heavy and crack relatively easily. After the first one broke I replaced it and after the second one broke IN THE SAME PLACE, I filled the hollow ring the gear sits on (on bottom half #3) with JB WELD to make it a REAL (solid) POST. That may have solved the issue, it's still holding up. That said the top half cracked at Dale Hollow last year and I didn't have a spare top half and I don't have a corrective action to fix that.


Not the greates picture (and NO it isn't mine) but the post I'm talking about is the one that the white plastic gear is sitting on. It is a ring not a solid piece of plasitc and why it's made this way I have no clue. It could just as easily be a solid plastic post rather than a ring. But this is the point of failure in two lower halves of the power head.

Bottom line, their plastic heads are not very durable. So if you decide on a MK, take the head apart and check the "post" the main drive gear sits on - if it's a plastic ring, either give it the JB WELD treatment and make it a POST or get a spare lower half. An ounce of prevention my friend...
Good info Bruce. I will let you know though, the Motor Guide motors are the same way. At least mine was. They are full of plastic parts, including the plastic head. So both brands are about the same. All I know is my first transom trolling motor was a Minn Kota and lasted me about 20 years. My last motor, the Motor Guide, I only got about 6 years of use out of it.
Thanks for that tip. I'll be sure to open it up and check it out.
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Old 04-04-13, 08:25 AM   #8
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I may head into Gander this weekend.
If so, I'll see what kind of info I can find out.

When are you thinking of buying?

I should be ordering a troller within 2 weeks
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Old 04-04-13, 08:58 AM   #9
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Keith, I contacted MK asking for any additional info they can provide.
Hopefully I'll hear back soon!
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Old 04-04-13, 09:26 AM   #10
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This is what I got back, although I was hopin for a lil more info.

Mike,

The reason the battery will last 5 times longer is becaus of the Digital Maximizer that is installed in the Max. What it does is turn on for 50% of the time then shuts off 50% of the time about 20,000 times a second. You will not actually notice it turn off but it does. I myself would reccomend this motor over the C2.

Best Regards,

Garrett C

Minn Kota Customer Service

800-227-6433
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Old 04-04-13, 12:02 PM   #11
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20,000 times per second? Off 50% of the time and on the other 50% of the time. That has me totally befuddled. Wouldn't the power being off 50% of the time maybe DOUBLE the efficiency? How do they get 5 times the efficiency? My calculator just went up in smoke trying to figure that one out. Those freakin' engineers are so smart...
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Old 04-04-13, 12:47 PM   #12
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Lol i've been stumped on the same thing!
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Old 04-04-13, 04:59 PM   #13
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50 times of and on in such a short time will only result in a slight reduction in speed. but will extend the battery life. i think the only thing i don't like about this motor is the battery meter. i had a buddy go through three when they first came out. i want my trolling motor to do one thing......run any extra stuff of it will be a potential break down. the thing is that these motors are not really made as a main means of propulsion.....sucks for us.
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Old 04-04-13, 06:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MallenManson View Post
I may head into Gander this weekend.
If so, I'll see what kind of info I can find out.

When are you thinking of buying?

I should be ordering a troller within 2 weeks
Hopefully within the next month. Hopefully.
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Old 04-04-13, 06:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MallenManson View Post
Keith, I contacted MK asking for any additional info they can provide.
Hopefully I'll hear back soon!
Thanks buddy!
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Old 04-04-13, 06:09 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MallenManson View Post
This is what I got back, although I was hopin for a lil more info.

Mike,

The reason the battery will last 5 times longer is becaus of the Digital Maximizer that is installed in the Max. What it does is turn on for 50% of the time then shuts off 50% of the time about 20,000 times a second. You will not actually notice it turn off but it does. I myself would reccomend this motor over the C2.

Best Regards,

Garrett C

Minn Kota Customer Service

800-227-6433
Thanks Mike. I hope this helps you out too!
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Old 04-05-13, 08:33 AM   #17
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Crank does have a point, but I'm still probably gonna go with it
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Old 04-08-13, 01:51 PM   #18
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i have ran both brands over the years, and minn kota is the winner for me. at least on the foot control models, minn kota brackets are better hands down. most of my buddies that have had newer motor guides have all had motor and bracket issues. everyone of them have gone to minn kotas and wish minn kota had been their first choice to begin with. one of my fishing buddies built the lower units for motor guide for quite a number of years, he uses a minn kota. motor guide had improved the noise level of thier motors, but still do not have an equal bracket. just my two cents worth.

bo
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Old 04-08-13, 04:14 PM   #19
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Ive had the same minkota hand control unit for about ten years,24 v,72pd thrust,long ext handle add on with a foot on off switch have worn out one foot on off switch.
Dunno about the new fangled stuff.
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Old 04-09-13, 06:27 PM   #20
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Good info, guys!
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Old 04-12-13, 10:44 PM   #21
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Ok, I purchased a Minn Kota Endura Max, 55# thrust. I'll be sure to let you know what I think of it after a few uses. So far, it seems pretty good. Comparing it to the Motor Guides at BPS tonight, it looked a bit more solid, especially in the bracket area. The Motor Guide bracket looks undersized in comparison. The main control arm is plastic, which I fully expected. But I expected perhaps a better quality of plastic. But it's not flimsy by any means and should hold up just fine. The only cause for concern was after I attached the control arm. It pulls out to extend another 6 inches, but initially I couldn't get it to pull out. After messing a minute with it, it finally released and pulled out. After pushing it back in, I had to pull hard and twist the arm a bit to get it to pull out again. But after working it back and forth, it's loosening up nicely.
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Old 04-13-13, 04:26 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keithdog View Post
Ok, I purchased a Minn Kota Endura Max, 55# thrust. I'll be sure to let you know what I think of it after a few uses. So far, it seems pretty good. Comparing it to the Motor Guides at BPS tonight, it looked a bit more solid, especially in the bracket area. The Motor Guide bracket looks undersized in comparison. The main control arm is plastic, which I fully expected. But I expected perhaps a better quality of plastic. But it's not flimsy by any means and should hold up just fine. The only cause for concern was after I attached the control arm. It pulls out to extend another 6 inches, but initially I couldn't get it to pull out. After messing a minute with it, it finally released and pulled out. After pushing it back in, I had to pull hard and twist the arm a bit to get it to pull out again. But after working it back and forth, it's loosening up nicely.
Giddyup!I plan on orderin my troller next week
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Old 04-14-13, 09:05 AM   #23
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Default trolling motors

Cabela's has them on sale with a rebate and gift card, I picked up aone yesterday. bigbasser
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Old 04-15-13, 06:54 AM   #24
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Cabela's has them on sale with a rebate and gift card, I picked up aone yesterday. bigbasser
I got mine at BPS for the same deal after showing them the Cabelas add.
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Old 04-15-13, 07:20 AM   #25
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OK, I purchased the MinnKota Endura Max, transom mount 55# thrust. I have only used it once, so this is a bit premature as far as being a user recommendation, but here are a couple comments.
First off, assembly is easy. The steering arm needs to be attached which is quick and easy. That's all that's needed. The mounting bracket seems very solid. I just wish it had a deeper bite to clamp deeper onto the boats trasom. But, it is the same depth as my old Motor Guide. The newer Motor Guides are the same as far as I can see. But the Moter Guides bracket does not look nearly as well built as the Minn Kota.
The one complaint I have about the Minn Kota is the plastic steering arm. It seems stable enough to do what it's meant to do, but my old Moter Guide had an aluminum steering arm, which I did like better. I didn't look at the steering arms of the Motor Guide motors, so I can't tell you if they are now also plastic or not. The steering arm does extend out another 6 inches for easier boat control away from the motor.
I LOVED, repeat, LOVED the Variable Speed control!!! No more preset speed settings. It simply increases as you turn the speed control. You can now fine tune your speed, forward and backwards, from a slow crawl to full out. And it's very quiet!
The motor says with it's new improved digital technology that you can get up to 5X the running time on a battery charge. This I cannot make an accurate assessment on as I was fighting a strong wind most of the day, with the motor running on high most of the time. That's going to drain a battery fast. But I had plenty of battery left to get back and load the boat on the trailer after 6 hours of fishing. When I hooked up the charger at home, the charger showed I had 62% battery charge. But having used my old Motor Guide in similar conditions, I can tell you I had more battery charge with the Minn Kota at the end of the day, but not by a lot. But again, running on high all day into a strong headwind is not an accurate assessment.
The battery charge meter built into the motor is a nice feature for sure. I don't know if it will be all that helpful for me as I fish fairly small lakes, and carry a spare battery. But if your running on just one battery and plan on running some distance from the launch, and it's a rough windy day on the water, it could be very helpful info as far as how much charge you have left for the return ride back to the launch.
Over all, I am happy with my purchase. Would I recommend this motor? At this point, yes. I would make a couple changes if I were designing it, but it did everything I wanted it to do.
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