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How to install a Vantage electric trolling motor

I’ve been in seventh heaven the last few days, as I’ve been rigging up my new Kingfisher Flex 2025 XP extended-platform boat.  I’ll have a lot more to tell you about it in the days ahead, but let me say right here and now, that it is the finest, smoothest, driest boat I’ve ever driven.

Words like “awesome,” “unique,” and “revolutionary” are overused these days, but in the case of the new Kingfisher Flex 2025 XP they are totally appropriate. It is space-age boating technology.

When I ordered the new boat, however, one of the things I requested be installed at the factory was a 36-volt receptacle at the back near the transom, which I could plug my MinnKota Vantage electric trolling motor into. I’ve also got a Fortrex electric up front, but I find the Vantage to be ideal when I am backtrolling for walleyes and hovering over schools of fish.

I also like it when I have two or three anglers fishing up front on the Flex 2025 XP’s huge casting platform. By controlling the boat from the back, the anglers can fish away and never have to worry about getting in my way or tangling their lines in the electric motor.

Now, you’d think that attaching the three wires from the Vantage into the three-prong plug that goes into the receptacle would be a cinch. And it is, so long as you put the proper wires in the proper holes. That is because the yellow wire that controls the motor going up and down runs off 12-volts, while the much thicker red wire handles the 36-volts that powers the unit when it’s running.  The black wire, of course, is the ground.

Mix up the wires, insert the yellow into the plug where the red is suppose to go, and you’ll fry the circuit board when you turn it on.  So, if you don’t do it correctly the first time, there is a 33-percent chance you’re going to get yourself in deep trouble.

Not wanting anything to do with that, I phoned buddy Bruce Berringer, who owns Milt’s Rod and Reel here in Kenora, and who is also the Minn Kota authorized service centre rep.  Bruce told me to bring out the boat and he’d show me just how easy it is install the wires into the plug correctly.

Of course, I jumped at the opportunity and brought along the video camera as well, so you could also see how to do it, too.

Bruce is a genius when it comes to all things electronic and I am always enthralled (and more than a little shocked) listening to the horror stories he tells me about anglers who think it is safe to use things like speaker wire and household electrical wire when they’re wiring the electronics in their boats. Turns out some of those folks have had to dive into the lake (not a pretty thought anytime, let alone in frigid November) when they discovered their boats were on fire.

With that in mind, watch this short video clip of Bruce using a multi-meter to identify which wire goes into which hole in the three-prong plug. And if you have any electronic boat work to be done or simply have a question, Bruce is always willing to help. He’s only a phone call away at (807) 466-1821.

Gord Pyzer

Gord Pyzer

Fishing Editor Gord Pyzer is widely regarded as Canada's most scientific angler. Known in fishing circles as Doctor Pyzer, he worked for 30 years as a senior manager with Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources before devoting all his energies to fishing. A member of the Canadian Angler Hall of Fame, the award-winning writer is also an internationally sought out speaker, tournament angler and field editor with In-Fisherman Magazine and Television. As well, he co-hosts the Real Fishing Radio Show with Bob Izumi. Catch Gord on the Outdoor Journal Radio Show live every Saturday morning 8:05AM EST. If you're in southern Ontario, tune your radio to Sportsnet 590 The FAN AM or visit www.fan590.com and listen live online.

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