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Is an auto deploy trolling motor worth it?

Old 11-10-2019, 09:07 AM
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Default Is an auto deploy trolling motor worth it?

Iím going to bite the bullet on a trolling motor this winter, Iíve seen a ton of threads on brands, but I havenít heard a lot about specific features. Are self deploying trolling motors worth it? I like the idea of simplicity with fewer parts to break, but I donít have any experience with deploying them in rough seas. Is it really that difficult to set them up or pull them back in? Just wondering what other peopleís experiences were.
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Old 11-10-2019, 11:00 AM
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They're not that hard to pull up. I pull mine under the rail so it's much harder and I still get it done.
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Old 11-10-2019, 11:20 AM
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I would have to assume that if you have a walkaround or Express where its a pain to get up front it would be worth it. On a cc where you can walk rite up to it i would rather have one less part to breal and do it my self. This is coming from a person with zero experience on the matter just an observation
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Old 11-10-2019, 12:07 PM
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Depends on the boat / application

i wouldn’t buy another 72” ulterra. But my 60” has been pretty flawless. The 72 however has been in the shop multiple times.

auto deploy is awesome. Any bay boat I own will have a 60” ulterra. If I needed more shaft for a bigger boat I’d buy the 72/87” terrova.
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Old 11-10-2019, 03:00 PM
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There was a similar debate over TV remotes 35 years ago. “Is it that hard to just walk over and change the channel?”
I’ve been fishing one and it’s the duck’s nuts. One less thing you have to take care of when you get to your spot.
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Old 11-10-2019, 04:34 PM
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One more thing to break, as if there isnít enough already. My 72Ē Rhodan isnít bad at all to deploy / stow.
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Old 11-10-2019, 05:18 PM
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I have the 72" Ulterra self deploy and stow on my Prowler 25 and I absolutely love it. When jumping from spot to spot I have guys rigging baits and rods while I am watching the bottom sounder looking for "THE SPOT" and being able to auto deploy and lock on right away is a huge plus for me. plus when it gets rough I don't want to be up on the bow as it is a stretch of a reach on my boat.

Last edited by thirdcoaststroker; 11-10-2019 at 05:18 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 11-10-2019, 05:58 PM
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I fish fairly skinny and like the ability to steer the trolling motor by hand if Iv had too many beers or look up and find oysters. Thatís the reason Iím staying with another terrova. Auto deploy is nice until it fails. If you canít put down a trolling motor than you probably canít reel up whatís under it
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Old 11-10-2019, 06:03 PM
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Do NOT get the auto deploy trolling motor. They are plagued with issues. Mine lived at the shop alongside all the others in for the same repair.
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Old 11-11-2019, 06:33 AM
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I went to buy an Ulterra the other day and the parts person said "look over there, all of the trolling motors on the floor for repair are Ulterras. He recommended to stay away from it so I bought another Terrova. The assisted stowing feature makes stowing it pretty easy.
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Old 11-11-2019, 06:38 AM
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Let me ask....I would assume an auto deployed/retrieved trolling motor can be easily manually deployed/ retrieved if it fails? No?
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Old 11-11-2019, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by homeby51 View Post
Let me ask....I would assume an auto deployed/retrieved trolling motor can be easily manually deployed/ retrieved if it fails? No?
no. Thatís the problem
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Old 11-11-2019, 07:01 AM
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I was on a ranger bay boat in N Carolina a couple of months ago. The guide had a self deploying motor. Not sure how reliable but it was cool as sh*t.
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Old 11-11-2019, 09:12 AM
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Not only is the auto deploy great but the auto trim when moving from one spot to the next especially how I fish fluke in the bay, trim up out of the water run a few hundred yards and trim back down all remote.
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Old 11-11-2019, 10:43 AM
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I love mine when itís working, but still loads of issues with the auto deploy function.
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Old 11-11-2019, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by homeby51 View Post
Let me ask....I would assume an auto deployed/retrieved trolling motor can be easily manually deployed/ retrieved if it fails? No?
Originally Posted by gamefish25 View Post


no. Thatís the problem
The first time I had to do it I admit it was a bitch. But once I figured out how to actually do it I can manually stow it in 10 minutes with a Phillip's screwdriver only
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Old 11-11-2019, 01:19 PM
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So nice when they work properly. I would stay away from the auto deploy unless you really need that feature. Mine was nothing but problems for the first 18 months of ownership. I got in contact with the head service guy at MK and they sent yet another control board that has finally fixed it, knock on wood. It been going on a year without issue. The Terra has been pretty flawless from the guys that I know that have one.
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Old 11-11-2019, 08:40 PM
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It’s a must on some boat designs. Some folks might need them for health reasons...bad back or shoulders. I can’t otherwise imagine wanting one. The newer Terrovas have been good for us. I don’t want to be without a trolling motor in season, and the Ulterras break more often.
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Old 11-12-2019, 07:58 AM
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As someone whoís owned both, but on two different boats, I will never again buy an auto deploy. My Ulterra has been in the shop several times. Stowing it when you have a problem is the worst part. Thatís not an easy task beside the dock and itís absolutely infuriating to do in 3 ft swells offshore. You will also have to tie it off with a dock line or whatever you have after you get it raised up.
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Old 11-12-2019, 08:13 AM
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I have the newer version of the 60" Ulterra. It has been flawless for the last year. Worth every penny. I could not go back to manual deploy.
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