Fortrex and Riptide Fortrex Pull Rope Replacement (all foot-controlled Fortrex and Riptide Fortrex models)(2009-present)

The following instructions will show how to replace the rope on a Fortrex trolling motor. There are two methods presented; one for replacing a worn but not broken rope and one for replacing the rope if it has already broken. The motor will need to be in the deployed position or at least partially deployed to complete either method; if it is not possible to fully deploy the motor you will need to have someone support the motor so it cannot drop unexpectedly.

Worn Rope Replacement

Tools Required

  • a sharp knife
  • scissors or cutters
  • some electrical tape


The affected components are the Fortrex Mount, the worn rope, the replacement rope, and the rope handle assembly and the “eye” washers (1 metal one where the rope meets the latch; 2 plastic ones in the handle assembly).

  1. Locate the knotted end of the rope; pull it outside of the mount so it is easier to access. It may be necessary to feed the rope back into the rope guide to make it easier to access the rope.
  2. With the rope clear of the mount, untie the knot or cut the rope so the knot is no longer connected to the motor.
  3. With the knot removed transfer the eye washer from the old rope to the new one.
  4. Line up the cut or untied end of the old rope with the unknotted end of the new rope, use the electrical tape to connect the ends together. Keep the electrical tape thin, two layers at the most.
  5. With the ends taped together gently pull the old rope; the new rope will follow it through. Continue feeding the ropes until the knotted end of the new rope and the metal eye washer are seated against the latch mechanism. Do not pull hard on the rope during this process as the tape joint between the two ropes will not take much extra force to separate.
    Note: When properly installed the portion of the rope with heat shrink on it will not be in the rope guide but will be next to it; it keeps this section of rope stiff so it cannot fall into the pinch points of the mount, it is not a wear guard.
  6. This completes the rope installation; follow the instructions for transferring the handle assembly below.

Broken Rope Replacement

Tools Required

  • a ¼” Allen Key
  • a tie down to secure the mount.

Note: If possible the gas shock should be disconnected prior to removing the bowguard (following the instructions in your owner’s manual). If the motor is in the deployed position with the gas shock connected and the bowguard/motor removed from the mount the mount will open violently if the latch is operated. There is a safety catch to prevent this but additional steps should be taken to limit the risk of the mount opening unexpectedly.


  1. If you are not able to disconnect the gas shock you should securely tie the motor down prior to removing the bowguard. An anchor line, or a light ratchet strap wrapped tightly around the mount near the bowguard connection and secured or tied should be sufficient to prevent the mount from opening.
  2. With the mount secure use the ¼” Allen key to remove the cap screw that holds the bowguard to the mount. Be sure to keep track of the locking washer as it is an important component.
  3. With the cap screw removed lift the motor and bowguard and motor straight up and set the motor and bowguard aside. With the motor and bowguard removed you will have clear access to the latch system. Remove what is left of your broken rope.
  4. Slide the washer from the broken rope assembly onto the new rope. If the washer was lost you will need to replace it, it is a #10 washer in stainless steel or is available from Minnkota as part number 2151700. With the washer installed insert the untied tip of the replacement rope into the hole in the latch mechanism.
  5. Once through the hole in the latch assembly guide the tip of the rope below the pin just in front of the latch assembly then up through the hole in the rope guide.
  6. With the rope in place, reinstall the bowguard. Line up the recesses in the bowguard assembly with the dovetails of the bowguard mount links and lower bowguard and motor straight down onto the mount.
  7. Using the ¼” Allen key reinstall the lock washer and cap screw to secure the bowguard onto the mount. Once the cap screw is fully tightened it is safe to remove the tie down securing the mount.
  8. This completes the rope installation; follow the instructions for transferring the handle assembly below.

Handle Assembly

Tools Required

  • a small pry bar or medium flat blade screw driver


  1. Transfer the handle assembly from the old rope to the new rope. To remove the handle assembly from the old rope use a straight blade screwdriver or small pry‐bar to begin separating the plastic insert from the rubber grip of the handle assembly.
  2. Use firm pressure to get the locking tabs of the insert separated from the grip, excess or misdirected force can break a locking tab.
  3. Transfer the grip and then the two black nylon eye washers to the end of the new rope.
  4. Tie a figure eight not at the end of the rope.
  5. Align the ribs of the handle insert with the ribs of the handle grip. The ribs on the insert are “T” shaped, the top of the “T”s will be to the interior of the ribs in the grip assembly with the uprights of the “T”s going through grooves in the ribs of the grip assembly. Once lined up push the handle insert onto the handle grip until it clicks into place, the knot position will likely need to be adjusted to allow the insert to seat fully.
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