New Bow-Mount Brushless Trolling Motors
New bow-mount electric trolling motors for boating anglers continue to push the envelope of technology, efficiency, stealth, corrosion resistance and integration with onboard electronics.
In July 2023, I highlighted the new Move brushless bow-mount trolling motors from Power-Pole. And now Garmin and Minn Kota have also introduced new bow-mount trolling motors.
Release the Kraken
The Garmin Force Kraken is a brushless saltwater trolling motor with an easy-to-deploy manual pivot mount. It operates at either 24 volts (80 pounds of thrust) or 36 volts (100 pounds of thrust). All components are corrosion-resistant, including a sturdy composite shaft. Easy-to-replace sacrificial anodes in the nose cone and under the prop fight corrosion.
The Force Kraken is up to 37 percent more efficient than competitive brushed motors. It runs ultra-quiet and won’t fuzz up fish-finder screens with static. It has the ability to spin the prop backward to hasten response time. Multiband GPS improves anchor lock. At the low end, the Force Kraken decelerates the motor within a meter of the desired location using reverse prop spin. At the high end, the Kraken applies more aggressive motor speed for improved performance in challenging seas.
A standard floating wireless remote has gesture-sensitive point-and-go technology, like using a Wii. A foot pedal (wireless or hard-wired) can also be added. Other options include connecting wirelessly to a Garmin chart plotter or quatix smartwatch.
Integration with Garmin LiveScope live-sonar transducers is made easy by running the transducer cable within the trolling-motor shaft. The Force Kraken is available in 63-, 75- and 90-inch shaft lengths in the white paint scheme, but only in 63- and 75-inch shafts in the black version. Retail pricing starts at $3,699; garmin.com.
Minn Kota also debuted new motors with Quest brushless technology in the Riptide Terrova and new Riptide Instinct lines. Each motor offers dual voltage, including 24 volts (90 pounds of thrust) and 36 volts (115 pounds of thrust). Shaft-length choices will include 87 inches and a new 100-inch option. All boast beefed-up composite shafts and pivot points, with the Riptide Terrova offering a manual deploy-and-stow feature, and automatic deploy-and-stow for the Instinct.
In addition to offering greater efficiency, the motors will incorporate real-time battery monitoring with a “time until empty” indicator, and they will prompt anglers to switch to Eco mode when reserves drop to 20 percent. Built-in i-Pilot and i-Pilot Link GPS enables functionality such as Spot-Lock and a new Drift mode that works like a virtual drift sock. Control options include a new GPS wireless remote to drive the motor from anywhere in the boat. In addition, the new motors will be compatible with the One-Boat Network for easily networking with and controlling via a Humminbird multifunction display. Quest pricing will start at $3,799.99 for a Riptide Terrova and go up to $6,099.99 for a 100-inch-shaft Riptide Instinct motor; minnkota.johnsonoutdoors.com.
Raymarine’s Axiom multifunction displays can now integrate with Rhodan Marine’s bow-mount saltwater trolling motor. Anglers can control their trolling motor from an Axiom just as they would from the Rhodan key fob. They can increase and decrease thrust, adjust the motor’s direction, and maintain a heading and adjust it in 1-degree increments. Boating anglers can also maintain position over a spot. Raymarine’s integration with Rhodan automatically detects if the trolling motor is stowed or deployed, enabling Axiom to steer the trolling motor when it is active and control a Raymarine Evolution autopilot when the motor is stowed. Integration requires upgrading to Raymarine’s LightHouse 4.5 operating system. To learn more, visit raymarine.com or rhodanmarine.com.