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‘Quest’ for Power: Brushless Trolling Motors Make A Splash

Minn Kota’s first brushless trolling motors are chock full of fishing-friendly features – plus more torque and extended run-time.

Adult male wearing a black hat and black hoodie pulling in a trolling motor on the front of a boat.

After years of dominance in the bow-mount electric trolling motor marketplace, Minn Kota has splashed into the brushless market in a big way with its new Quest series. Compared to a 24-volt brushed motor run at maximum speed, the manufacturer says its Quest electric trolling motor models produce up to 50% more torque and up to 30% extended run-time.
All black The Minn Kota Quest electric trolling motor

The Minn Kota Quest electric motors feature a new physical design as well, including an upgraded mount and carbon fiber-infused shaft to handle the additional thrust, plus an easier-to-operate lift-assist system.

Inside the casing, the new motors also have a suite of tech upgrades designed to enhance boat control. Drift Mode will adjust speed and direction to combat the current and wind and maintain your heading as you drift, much as a drift sock would. Contour-following functionality has been improved to work better with LakeMaster and CoastMaster cartography. And Dodge Mode allows you to exit auto-navigation and manually steer around obstructions, then resume auto-navigating without having to reset the route.

Take a look at Minn Kota’s promotional video for the Quest line.

Introducing the QUEST™ Series from Minn Kota® | Brushless Trolling Motors

Additional enhancements include a real-time battery-monitoring system, updated propellers to maximize thrust, and a One-Boat Network programmable, customizable button for presets like autopilot or waypoint marking. Upgrades run through the lineup of Ultrex, Ulterra, Instinct, Terrova, Riptide Terrova, PowerDrive, and Riptide PowerDrive models.

The new line of motors is available in 24- and 36-volt models, in freshwater and saltwater versions, from 55- to 115-pounds of thrust. Shaft lengths range from 45- to 100-inches. $1,999 to $6,099.

Brushed vs. Brushless

You may have heard the term “brushless” a lot lately in conjunction with electric motors, but what does it mean? And how is it different from traditional brushed motors? In simple terms, brushed motors, which have been around since the late 1800s, are driven mechanically, while brushless motors are electronically driven. Because there’s no contact, brushless technology creates less friction than brushed models, which increases efficiency about 50%. It also means less maintenance is required, it produces less heat, is lighter weight, and has a longer lifespan. And most important to anglers — near-silent operation allows you to sneak up on the fish!

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Lenny Rudow

New Boats, Fishing & Electronics Editor, BoatUS Magazine

Top tech writer and accomplished sports fisherman, BoatUS Magazine Contributing Editor Lenny Rudow has written seven practical boating books, won 30 awards from Boating Writers International — many for his marine electronics articles – and two for excellence from the Outdoor Writers Association of America. He judges the NMMA Innovation Awards, and is Angler in Chief at FishTalk, his own Chesapeake-based publication. A great teacher and inspirational writer, Lenny hosts many of BoatUS Magazine’s very-popular how-to videos, which can be found on the BoatUS YouTube channel, or at