Kipawa Trolling Motor Prop Review

RiverBottomOutdoors

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I recently replaced my POS Motorguide 24V 75# Varimax with a Minn Kota 24V 80# Maxxum. The build quality of the Minn Kota vs Motorguide is night and day. NIGHT AND DAY. I will never again in my lifetime purchase a Motorguide. The Minn Kota makes the Motorguide look like a cheap plastic toy. But.....the Minn Kota prop selection is pitiful.

The Minn Kota came with a stock 2-blade weedless propeller that severely lacked the torque and speed that you would expect from a $1000 80# trolling motor. I was highly disappointed with the performance. While bowfishing I was running the motor at nearly 100% all day and still did not get the speed I expected from this motor. Running the motor at such high speeds caused my batteries to drain quickly, caused excessive TM vibration, and excessive prop noise. Quick turns were impossible with the lack of thrust produced by the 2-blade. I knew from the beginning that I would lose thrust with a 2-blade, but did not expect it to be an absolute dog. I knew I needed a 3-blade prop, unfortunately Minn Kota does not offer a 3-blade prop. I began searching the net looking for solutions. I thought about trying to fit my 3-blade Machete prop from my Motorguide onto the Minn Kota, but then I stumbled across Kipawa Propellers. I researched and then called to confirm the model prop for my new TM then placed order on Amazon.


Here is what I've found after a couple of uses:
-Was running 2-blade at 100% throttle nearly all day. Now running Kipawa at 25% to %50 for same performance. Yes...it was that drastic. I couldn't believe it.
-More than doubled battery life
-Lots of torque. Turn the throttle and she moves. Quickly gets up to speed.
-Extremely quiet. Because the prop can turn slower at the same boat speed it is super quiet.
-Tough. The prop feels bullet proof.

Cons:
Unfortunately Minn Kota has stated that using this aftermarket prop will void your warranty. The increased pitch of the prop causes a very slight increase in the amperage. If my motor needs servicing I will just put the stock prop back on. In my opinion, I was forced to buy this prop to get the performance I expect out of this $1000 trolling motor and Minn Kota is doing a disservice to their customers by not addressing the severe lack of performance. In all honesty, I felt somewhat cheated out of my money when I took the motor for it's first run.

I am extremely satisfied with the Kipawa prop and extremely disappointed that Minn Kota has not figured out that they need to offer something better

https://www.kipawapropellers.com/

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Jim

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Thanks for the honest review bud! Can I put it on the homepage?
 

momule

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Thanks for your post Jonah. I'll be looking for one of these before the day is over. I'm in agreement that MinnKota is missing the boat on their props.
 

RiverBottomOutdoors

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beagler1 said:
They got some identical in walmart for 25 bucks.


Sent from Mossy Oak Swamp Bottom

I think you're talking about the Watersnake props. These are the same as the Motorguide Machete, but not the same as the Kipawa. I was pleased with the performance of my Machette prop. The Watersnake is polycarbonate; the Kipama is nylon/glass. Not sure what model TMs the prop fits.
 

onthewater102

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If I'm wrong to be adding to your review here I will move this post to my own build thread - otherwise here we go.

Mine just arrived today - quick shipping especially considering the holiday weekend. I ordered the 853 model at the advice of their customer service (same-day email response BIG + in my book) as my Terrova 55# isn't listed on their website for some odd reason. The material seems to be similar to the OEM prop, rigid, but forgiving enough that it shouldn't shatter or chip if it hits a rock or a branch - which should be less likely given the noticeably shorter diameter of the 3 blade vs. the original 2 blade.

The finish on the prop struck me as a little rough, there are obvious mold lines from casting with a lip of the excess plastic which is most noticeable on the blades, but when you're only paying $35 that type of hand-finishing work can't really be expected (not to be taken as a negative comment.)

I'm going to run it through the weediest lake around here tonight to put it through its paces. This place is a real salad bar so it'll be a great test for it. I really want to know what they consider to be "99% Weed-Free".
 

onthewater102

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These were the mold lines I had mentioned yesterday, but they probably weren't worth noting as it was only $35 and they're easy to touch up:

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ReZBwFG.jpg


So here's where I took it to test out what "99% weedless" means.

lGDDb36.jpg


All in all, I don't know that it was really any different than the original prop in the weeds - which to me is very good. It didn't seem to handle the stringy silver-dollar lilies very well, they did wind around the prop, but those are a problem on the stock prop so I don't see that as a drawback. There is milfoil and pond weed just below the large lilies in the picture, and it made it through both of those all night long without loading up ever.

My Terrova 55 has the digital variable speed controls. I had hoped it would make speed settings 1 and 2 of 10 useful - that didn't happen. I did notice speed 3 had a little more bite and was able to get the boat up to roughly 1 mph on a calm night, so hopefully it can handle the boat with a bit of wind and keep a slow pace. Not sure if this was due to imbalance in the new prop, but my motor made a much more noticeable amount of noise at this speed setting. It could just be time for an overhaul on the motor to replace bearings & seals & the like given its age, but it did not make this noise with the factory prop. The noise didn't really get any worse as I increased the power through the range all the way to the max setting of 10. At max power the speed on the GPS was still fluctuating around 2.5 mph +/-, which was exactly where it was using the factory prop, but I would say there was noticeably more power in the mid range of the power settings.

I'll test it out tonight after work in the back yard and see if the noise is different between the factory prop & this one (no water resistance) to see if it's a balance issue or if it's just putting more strain on the bearings & time for some TLC on the power unit.
 

onthewater102

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My hyper sensitivity to the noise appears to have been unfounded. I tried the prop on the motor and the original prop and there is no difference in noise, no bearing play. I was just more attentive to everything it did.

Had a bit of a breeze yesterday and the 3 blade was able to keep the boat positioned without cranking the power up as I'd wanted -[strike]it just can't make use of speed settings 1 & 2...no biggie[/strike]- issue on Minnkota's end not with the prop. I'll touch up the mold lines but I doubt they'll amount to anything other than looking a little prettier.

I'm certainly not switching back to the factory prop.

EDIT

Got out over the weekend on some glass-calm water and speed setting 2 was actually functional now.
 

onthewater102

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Took it out on a really windy day with white caps in places on the water and was able to control the boat without needing to go above 40% power (speed setting 4 of 10) which was a HUGE improvement over the factory prop.
 

Jim

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Awesome reviews guys! Thanks!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

JohnK

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Thanks for the post...sounds to me like you're using less amps. I went from a motorguide 55 lb, 12v variable speed to a minn kota maxumm which is 55 lb, 12v variable speed and it may be sturdier looking but it sure doesn't have the speed of the MG, maybe 20% slower. I'll try the prop you did for sure.
 

gillhunter

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I got the prop in the mail today. I mounted it on a Minn Kota 55# Endura C2. The hub was actuallly a little short and the prop wouldn't tighten on the shaft. A couple of brass washers fixed that problem and I don't think it will be an issue. Unfortunately I won't get to test it until next weekend. I'll let you know how it goes.
 

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