December 26, 2022
In Part 3 of Outdated to Updated, I’m working on installing shallow-water anchors on my 2007 Ranger Z20. The following photos show a step-by-step process to installing Minn Kota Raptors, including the mistakes I made and lessons learned along the way. If you’re serious about bass fishing North to South, natural lake to reservoirs, you could easily justify a pair of Raptors. And frankly, one will only frustrate you—two is the deal and an asset you’ll never regret.
Catch up on the series:
Part 1: Bass Boat Breakdown
Part 2: Bass Boat Interior Repairs
It’s important to note that there is a left (port) and right (starboard) to the mounting brackets, as they rig on either side of the jack plate. For the best boat security, having the Raptors deploy out at an angle rather than straight out the back of the boat will hold the boat best. I mentioned above about getting two Raptors over one, I can assure you that one might hold you sorta steady, but it will only cause frustration. I’ve tried the one shallow-water-anchor thing and then utilized my bow mount’s Spot-Lock and it doesn’t work. You will not regret installing a pair of them.
I have a TH Marine Atlas Hydraulic Jack Plate on my boat, which is imperative for maximum performance. During the Raptor installation process, I found that having the jack plate raised all the way up allowed for the best access to complete the project. I banged my knuckles and said a few cusswords before I figured this out.
This 18-volt impact drill has been one of the best investments I’ve made in my tool shop, and I don’t care what brand you get, but get one. When it comes to tackling DIY projects like this—or blown tires on the roadside—this thing has been a lifesaver on more than one occasion.
I had Minn Kota Talons Minn Kota Talons on the boat before, which were awesome—rock-solid anchoring system. When I installed those, I learned that bolt position was important when installing the mounting brackets. I’ve found that when considering aesthetics and functionality, running the bolts from the outside in works best. But if you need to remove the jack plate, the Raptors will obviously need to come off first. Just worth noting.
Here is the bracket installed and ready for the Raptor.
The instructions call for torquing the bolts on the Raptor brackets to 50-foot-pounds. Crank it down as called for.
Torque wrenches are inexpensive and a tool worth having for many reasons. For this job, set it to 50 and crank it until it clicks a couple of times.
While I’ve never had these bolts and nuts come loose, it’s a good practice to check them at least once per year. Just get into the habit of making sure.
So, take it from me, keep this red bracket thingy on the main bracket. It holds the bolts in position if you’re forced to mount the Raptor by yourself. I took one of them off and getting it back on was tough. They are there to make your life easier, and they’ll easily pop right off once you’ve set the Raptor and started the nuts.
Here is the Raptor installed and centered. But since I’ve not installed the pumps it won’t stow completely. More on this process later.
The process of installing the Raptor brackets and anchors was not a difficult process, but there are a few more steps to complete the task. More on that later.
The process is nearly identical to install the other side Minn Kota Raptor. Read your instructions and it’ll be easy.
Here’s a picture from a previous installment that shows the oil reservoir in my boat. As I mentioned, my motor is a 2-stroke and requires mixed oil and gas, and this tank holds he oil. It created a problem when beginning the Raptor hydraulic pump process. Maybe someday I’ll upgrated to a Yamaha SHO!
Ok, this image tells a lot of stories. First off, the bottom platform shows a circle, which is where a spare prop was initially stored. I had to sacrifice that objective to utilize the area for a third battery for my 36-volt Minn Kota Ultrex, and I positioned it horizontally in this compartment. But that was well before I decided to install Raptors. The bracket you see on the left is to hold one of the Raptor hydraulic pumps. But to make it work in this environment, I needed to accommodate the oil reservoir that’s directly to the left, which meant I had to lift the base of the pump up about half an inch and reduce the reach of the bolts as they came into the bracket from the reservoir side. The washers you see on the platform basically were used for spacers on the bottom and the back. Read on …
Here is the first Raptor hydraulic pump fully installed.
Here’s the second bracket nearly installed, and you can see how the washers were positioned to bracket. The bolts you see sticking out from the left where the oil reservoir is actually screw into the back of the Raptor pump, which has pressed-in bushings. The bolts they come with are long enough to eclipse thicker decks, but in my case, they were too long and bottomed out the bushings. Therefore, I added a handful of washers to secure it perfectly. It was a rigging job, for sure.
Here’s a view clustered view of the compartment that not only holds both the third battery for my trolling motor system, but also both pumps for the Raptors. I’ll be honest, I didn’t measure the space before I installed everything, so maybe I got lucky that it all fit so perfectly—maybe not lucky. Bottom line is the original layout was not meant to accommodate all this technology, but if you get creative and stick to the vision, you’ll eventually make it all work.
If you’ve never filled hydraulic tanks and lines, here’s an important tip. You’ll need to do it a few times. Fill the reservoirs up to the top, then deploy the anchor and stow it. Then you’ll need to add more oil. And you’ll need to rinse and repeat as many times as you need to fill to the line. Oh, and don’t drop one of those red reservoir lids in the bottom of the boat, or you’ll say some terrible words … Take it from me.
A long-neck funnel will make your life easier and consider that you’ll likely need to top off the reservoirs after your first trip on the water. You’ll need to fully extend the anchors to completely fill the lines—and that means a refill on the water. Take the oil and funnel with you your first trip out.
I decided to label each pump so that if I ever need to troubleshoot, this is one question I won’t have to figure out when under the gun. This was easy and made sense.
The Raptors will work in sync with a double-tap o the remote. Read the included instructions to set them up. It’s a piece of cake.
The Minn Kota Raptor Wireless Stomp Switch--Bluetooth are critical for quick and effective deployment. They are set up the same way the hand remotes are.
This is the position I prefer for the stomp switches. The “Down” switch requires a double tap, and the “Up” switch requires one tap to deploy the Raptors. This position absolutely creates the fastest results.