Has your Minn Kota worked perfectly until you wanted to stow? You pressed the Auto Stow button on your remote and the motor begins turning round and round wrapping the power cable until the motor stops with an error. No matter what you did, it would not stow. This has now happened to me twice. I could only find one post about this. Here is the post if you’d like to see it. I hope my post adds more information and helps someone.
Following is an email I sent to Minn Kota support:
A few weeks ago I was about 10 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico. My Minn Kota Riptide ULTERRA80/IP-60″ BT was working fine. I pressed stow on the remote. The motor began stowing but instead of stopping in the stow position it was turning round and round and continued turning as it trimmed up twisting the power cord around the shaft. I saw it was not going to go into stow position and would stall by either twisting the cable too tight or hitting the hull of the boat. I paused the stow and turned the motor using the remote to unwind the wrapped power cord. I tried to stow again with the same twisted results. I tried trimming the motor all the way up in the stow position and press stow. It tried to spin again, but hit the hull of the boat giving me an error message. After several frustrating attempts to stow, I decided to reset the motor. I went through the button procedure, but instead of the motor resetting, it again began turning and twisting the power cable around the shaft and would not pause using the remote. I had to pull the power plug. I tried the reset several more times with the same twisted results. Remember, I was 10 miles out on the ocean with a trolling motor I couldn’t get to stow. I was very frustrated and rocking in about 2 feet waves. I decided my best option was to quick release and get the heavy motor into the boat – not an easy feat when rocking in the ocean. I feared I would drop the motor once I pulled the quick release pin, so I tied the motor using my bow rope. I was rocking as I bent over the front of the boat to pull the pin. Somehow I manage to get the motor in. The next day on shore I mounted the motor and it did the same twisted thing. I can’t find anything wrong with the battery charge, or wires, etc. I called L&L Marine in Defuniak Springs. They could not help me on the phone and told me to bring in the motor. I did. A week later they told me nothing is wrong with the motor. They reset it and it worked fine. They said I had a wiring issue and needed a larger wire from my battery to the motor. Instead of the #8 gauge, I needed larger wire for the distance from the batteries to the motor. I thought, this was strange. I’ve had the motor since December 2017 (a year and a half at this writing) and it never did this. Anyway, I did it because I certainly did not want to experience this twisted dilemma again. I ordered and ran #6 wire to the motor as they suggested. Everything worked great for two or three fishing trips. However, yesterday the same exact twisted experience took place. The batteries are fully charged. The power cord is #6 wire. The motor does everything perfect except stow. I don’t want to take it back for “repair” and be told everything is fine when we reset it. What is wrong with my motor? Please help.
Figuring it out
After sending the email, I went to my boat and man-handled the deployed Minn Kota back onto the quick release on the bow. Of course my hope was it decided to work, but of course it didn’t. I made sure my batteries were fully charged. I called the marine service where I’d taken it before. I asked what they did to “reset” when everything began working. I was told all they did is skip my wiring and use there’s and do a regular user manual reset. Well, I knew that didn’t work. I thanked them and tried the reset again with the same twisted results. Next I called Minn Kota Support. I was expecting all the select this number if you want this, etc. when you call places like Minn Kota, but there were only a few options to work through and I was quickly forwarded to a very helpful lady named Kelly who really knew her Minn Kota. It was a really pleasant experience. I told her my story and explained my situation of how I have a Minn Kota Riptide hanging on my boat I can’t get stowed.
She began to explain the problem to me and was curious why the marine repair suggested my power cable was too small after a year and a half of its servicing me well. She said the problem is the Trim Module was bad and needed replacing. Inside this module are magnets and censors. These magnets and censors tell the Riptide where the “park position” or “stow position” is. When something is wrong in there, it doesn’t know when to stop and continues to turn attempting to find the “park position.” She said it had nothing to do with the power supply. So, for Minn Kota to pay for the part and service, I would need to take it to an authorized marine repair, or send it to Minn Kota. At least I had a direction as to the problem.
YOU CAN — USE THE MOTOR AFTER AN EMERGENCY STOW
My next question was about the emergency stow. I’d read the emergency procedure was done the motor would not work until it was taken to a Minn Kota authorized marine repair and reset. I asked Kelly if this was the case. Kelly told me no not at all. While I looked at my motor, she told me the steps and told me exactly what would happen. However, she said the motor would function as it was before the procedure once put back as it was. I didn’t make her hold while I did the procedure, but I immediately did it after ending the call once I knew I could use my motor if I wanted the way it was, and take it to have the module replaced when I wanted.
The emergency stow procedure is simple and explained in the owner’s manual. The part not explained very well is pulling out the front latch. The reason it would need to go in for repair after the procedure is to realign the two arm lifters held together by the knob tilt release. I’m supposed to be able to turn the shaft stow/deploy SS to realign the arm lifters, but I haven’t been able to turn it yet. I stopped trying after I found it would work just fine not aligned.
Here is what I did and where I am with it now. Once I successfully performed the emergency stow, the motor tilted into the stow position easily. I figured out how I could hold it in this position using a bungee cord to load and unload in the stowed position. I can now at least move the thing around. I then raised and trimmed down the motor to see if it would work. I trimmed it down carefully avoiding my trailer winch and pressed the + button on the remote a few times. I pressed the prop button, and the prop turned just fine. I turned it left and right. Everything worked great. I trimmed it back up as far as possible in stow position, reached in front of the motor pulling out the latch pin, and stowed the motor wrapping it down with my bungee cord.
I haven’t hit the water yet, but I see no reason I can’t use the motor this way until I want to be without it while an authorized Minn Kota repair person can fix my faulty Trim Module.
I hope if you have this problem this will help answer some of your questions. A main point I learned is the motor will function after an emergency stow is performed.
I fished most of the spring and into the summer using this method with not one problem. We went through a horrific hurricane here in Panama City. The Authorized Minn Kota repair person’s business in our area was completely destroyed, however he finally was up and running again (Jerry Lindl – https://businessfinder.gulflive.com/lindls-electric-motor-svc-panama-city-fl.html . Jerry is a great guy!). I got the motor to Jerry and in a few days he had it back to me. What Kelly told me from Minn Kota was exactly correct. Jerry replaced the trim module and all is well. One thing Jerry had me do you might want to try is raise the top of the module and clean and lightly sand the brass rings and brushes inside. I did this and it actually worked for a few trips, but soon I was spinning again. I had to disconnect everything again and use it manually until Jerry got it fixed for me.