Product Review: Next-Gen Minn Kota Saltwater Electric Trolling Motors - The Fisherman

Product Review: Next-Gen Minn Kota Saltwater Electric Trolling Motors

As is evidenced every time I’m out on the water, either in the bay, inshore or offshore: more and more coastal anglers have adopted electric trolling motors to enhance their game. Minn Kota’s Riptide Terrova lineup has been one of the most popular choices with GPS navigational features fishermen have come to expect, like Spot-Lock and Follow-the-Contour. Minn Kota’s new-and-improved electric motors have taken a step up the evolutionary ladder with some totally cool next-gen capabilities that will likely convince you to take the plunge, especially if you have been sitting on the fence.

In case any of you are somewhat confused by the different Minn Kota model nomenclature, Minn Kota Brand Manager Tyson Alvanos shed some light on it to help me write this review. According to Tyson, “the Ulterra product line has been around for a long time. This year we decided to change the name of the saltwater variant to “Instinct” as it’s totally different than the freshwater Ulterra motor. Any product that says “Riptide” (i.e. Riptide Terrova or Riptide Instinct) is a saltwater rated motor. The Riptide Terrova is a manual stow and deploy product and is our most popular motor. The new Riptide Instinct motors differ in that they automatically stow and deploy, just press a button to go up or down. In the more premium Terrova and Instinct motors, we have offered a more powerful brushless motor variation than last year called QUEST”.

New Features for All Bow-Mount Minn Kota Models

All new bow-mount Minn Kota trolling motors have received some cross platform upgrades, specifically:

Drift Mode: combats current and wind by automatically adjusting speed and direction to keep the boat on a true drift. Drift Mode acts as a GPS drift sock eliminating the need for cumbersome ropes or shallow water anchor paddles

Improved Follow-the-Contour functionality: offers improved CoastMaster integration to stay on the desired course.

Dodge Mode: allows anglers to quickly leave auto navigation mode to manually steer through waves and around structures and then resume navigating without resetting their route.

One-Boat Ready: Out of the Box connection to Humminbird via the One-Boat Network by including all necessary adapters required for networking without additional need for setup.

One App for Everything: he One-Boat Network App can control everything on the boat from the trolling motor and shallow water anchors to the Humminbird head units.

Humminbird Ready: Enhanced Built-in 2D Sonar with Dual Spectrum CHIRP adds Humminbird’s proven sonar clarity to every Minn Kota motor.

Minn Kota’s New QUEST Technology

Motors with QUEST technology might resemble some of Minn Kota’s most popular and trusted models, but have been completely redesigned from the ground up to tackle the toughest environments. QUEST motors feature a dual 24 or 36-volt brushless lower unit, a carbon fiber-infused upgraded shaft and reinforced brackets and pivot points. They also boast a 30% longer runtime and up to 50% more torque (when compared to a brushed 24-volt trolling motor run at max speed), so these motors are built for the most demanding anglers to fish in the wind, waves and hard currents that other boats without similar capabilities fear to tread.

Minn Kota Ultrex, Ulterra, Instinct, Terrova, and Riptide Terrova motors will all now be available with QUEST technology. With available shaft lengths up to 100 inches, Riptide Terrova QUEST and Riptide Instinct QUEST motors were made to tackle the toughest offshore environments on bigger boats than ever before. With improved and upgraded components such as mounts, brackets, shafts, and pivot points, the motors are built to handle the increase in power in the harshest environments. QUEST motors include an upgraded lift assist assembly for effortless stow and deployment, carbon fiber shafts with increased lengths, Auto Park to automatically turn the motor when stowing, new propellers to cut through heavy vegetation while maintaining peak power output and fewer moving parts to prevent unnecessary wear over the life of the product.

Other neat new features on the QUEST saltwater models include a redesigned and upgraded mount to accommodate the additional thrust and torque of the lower unit; peak performance and efficiency from updated propellers that maximize torque throughout the speed range; a new lift-assist assembly to make getting the motor in and out of the water effortless (on select models); a “real time” battery monitoring system that lets anglers know the time until empty at a given speed and prompts users to enter a power saving eco mode when batteries reach the critical 20% state of charge; constant power throughout the day with no drop in motor performance as battery voltage decreases over the length of a fishing day; a One-Boat Network programmable button that allows users to customize presets to include stow and deploy Minn Kota shallow water anchors, mark a waypoint, or engage an autopilot. Motors are available in both black and white.

The next-gen Minn Kota electric trolling motors with QUEST technology are serious tools that will equip you with a totally new set of angling skills and opportunities unmatched by non-believers. For more information, visit




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