Advice on I-pilot/Bow Mount Minn Kota?

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The Quadfather
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Advice on I-pilot/Bow Mount Minn Kota?

Post by The Quadfather » Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:18 am

I had been shopping for a new boat for awhile, and I did finally make a purchase. I picked up a 16’ 2016 Lund Fury 1600 SS. I am super happy with it, at least in the garage. I held out for the multiple seating options, and the side console stearing. The original owner only used it 1 month in 2017, and one month in 2018. There are still paper bar code stickers on the trailer. [thumbup]

Anyway, I am very interested in getting the I-Pilot system, along with a bow mount motor.
I have a long history with transom mounted Min Kotas, but when I look online at bow mount models/I-pilot etc. it feels like there are different models or options? Maybe I read it wrong?
Does anybody have any insight to what I should be looking at? I was thinking 80 lb Minn Kota, 24V system.

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Aaron
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Re: Advice on I-pilot/Bow Mount Minn Kota?

Post by Aaron » Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:01 am

You will be happy with that 80lb 24v system. I have a Terrova, and I love it. Everyone I know that has it likes it. I think Mike has one too.
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2009 Hewescraft 20' ProV
2009 Mercury Optimax 150
2012 Tohatsu 8hp 4-stroke
Minn Kota Terrova #80 i-Pilot
Humminbird 959ci HD DI
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Re: Advice on I-pilot/Bow Mount Minn Kota?

Post by TrackerPro16 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:05 am

I have the 24V 80 lb 60" Terrova on my boat and really like it. My old bow mount had a foot pedal and the Terrova comes with both a remote and pedal. After using the remote for the way I fish the pedal has never been out of the package except to look at it.
I took a look at the Minn Kota site and I am pretty sure there are more models since I got mine. When I bought it I called BBG Marine and told him what I wanted to do and he recommended the Terrova. It has been a good choice but even with the 'easy' lifting system that makes it easier to lift I am pretty sure I would get the self lifting one if I was to do it again.
One of the things that irritates me about them is the 'iffy' transducer built in to the unit. ](*,) Sure wish it wasn't there. I don't use it and it adds weight.

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Re: Advice on I-pilot/Bow Mount Minn Kota?

Post by hlindsay » Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:46 am

I have had a Terrova with I-pilot for several years. I love it. You are correct about models, one option is I-piolt link is also available. The difference is that link will "link" with a Hummingbird to control the boat. With the I-pilot I run it with a remote and can set it to hold a heading or follow a track I have recored. Or I can just run it by hand with the remote. (I have a backup foot control but have only used it when the battery died on the remote.) With the age of mine it will only record 3 tracks, the new ones go up to 16 tracks. The new models have better spot lock or what on mine is called anchor. If you plan to use it in the salt you probably know you want a "Riptide" model.

I have been looking at going up in power and getting a riptide maybe even a Ulterra. What I have now is 55 lb and I have a 20ft Hewescraft Searunner with ET. The 55 works but it is running at higher power and isn't great with a wind. When I got the 55 lb I had a 17 Smokercraft Fazer and it worked well. So I think 55 lb would work for your boat but 80 would really give you plenty of power. I have seen some poor reviews on the Ultrra in regard to the stow and deploy needing repair often. So even if I move up in power and go for the salt water riptide I may stay with the Terrova.

Maybe someone with a newer model can enlighten us on some of those features. I would like to hear any god or bad on the Ulterra. The stow and deploy sound like a great idea.

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Re: Advice on I-pilot/Bow Mount Minn Kota?

Post by Sideburns » Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:13 am

Wow, just looked up your boat model. Nearly identical to our 1996 lund 1600 angler. Same little side console steering also. (difficult to add enclosed top!) We have a 12v 55lb minn kota rip tide with Ipilot link (networked to the humminbird fish finder). 55 lb is not enough for us in the salt or in the wind. Wish we would have gone bigger, but if needed we'll fire up the kicker motor. We've got a giant single 240 amp hr 12v battery up front that wont last all day trolling in the wind, but close, we use the kicker to help out 1/2 the time. The i pilot (gps autopilot system) models with remote controls are pretty sweet for trolling. The ipilot "link", cables, software and compatible fish finder/gps to network to it are a lot of extra expense and limits your fish finder choices. Not worth it in my opinion. We rarely use the advanced functions that it adds to a regular i pilot model. With the i pilot link setup though, you can "follow the contour" (worthless) and go to any spot on your fish finder map screen automatically. Regular i pilot models work just as good everywhere else in my opinion.

As far as having an autopilot function on a remote control bow mount vs steering with a tiller in the back...... I dont know what id do without it. I can troll with my kids, land fish, rebait, retie, cast and retrieve a second rod etc, etc. It simplifies trolling, and having a feature like spot lock is endlessly useful!
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Re: Advice on I-pilot/Bow Mount Minn Kota?

Post by TrackerPro16 » Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:22 am

Mine is newer and you nailed it. I got a Garmin fish finder and did not realize they would not talk to each other until I already had everything. Setting a track with zig zags is a bit of a pain with the remote but once set you can tell it to go to either end and repeat, or do a big circle over and over. I usually just set a course and let it drive along but it would be much handier to use the fish finder (Humminbird) to set the course or follow the shoreline. I am sure there are things it does that I only used when I first got it to try everything.
I tested the "spot lock' next to a buoy in shifting light wind and I would say it stayed within 5 feet. I did it later in heavy shifting winds with waves and while it worked hard to stay in place it did good. You have to be careful about using it though. I accidentally hit spot lock while going about 5 mph and it went wide open backwards to try and get back to the spot. I actually let it go for a bit as I had my kicker motor going to see what would happen if I fell out of the boat and hit spot lock. The fight was on!
I usually run the kicker and use the bow mount to keep it going the way I want it to. It saves some battery doing that. In heavy winds I used up my batteries in about 8 hours of nearly straight running without using the kicker.

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Re: Advice on I-pilot/Bow Mount Minn Kota?

Post by Sideburns » Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:38 pm

TrackerPro16 wrote:
Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:22 am
Mine is newer and you nailed it. I got a Garmin fish finder and did not realize they would not talk to each other until I already had everything. Setting a track with zig zags is a bit of a pain with the remote but once set you can tell it to go to either end and repeat, or do a big circle over and over. I usually just set a course and let it drive along but it would be much handier to use the fish finder (Humminbird) to set the course or follow the shoreline. I am sure there are things it does that I only used when I first got it to try everything.
I tested the "spot lock' next to a buoy in shifting light wind and I would say it stayed within 5 feet. I did it later in heavy shifting winds with waves and while it worked hard to stay in place it did good. You have to be careful about using it though. I accidentally hit spot lock while going about 5 mph and it went wide open backwards to try and get back to the spot. I actually let it go for a bit as I had my kicker motor going to see what would happen if I fell out of the boat and hit spot lock. The fight was on!
I usually run the kicker and use the bow mount to keep it going the way I want it to. It saves some battery doing that. In heavy winds I used up my batteries in about 8 hours of nearly straight running without using the kicker.
Setting up course with a non touch screen humminbird is a major PITA, their pc software requires lon. and lat. numbers to to input. Very rarely do I set up trolling routes anymore. A newer lowrance/motorguide combo with touch screen or a newer touch screen humminbird/minn kota setup makes all that much simpler. The wireless pc syncing on some newer units makes course editing easy too. I bought a 2 year old model humminbird 859ci di hd new to be cheap... and a smaller 55lb trolling motor for the same reason.... wish I had spent a little more.

I used to be able to troll hard for 8 hours straight with ours when the battery was new. 6-7 hours and its completely flat now. Poor battery takes a beating.
"If it still works, take it apart and find out why!"

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Re: Advice on I-pilot/Bow Mount Minn Kota?

Post by Sideburns » Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:15 pm

Spot lock (anchor) on my 2016 model minn kota i pilot saltwater motor is lucky to stay within 20ft. Ive heard that they have improved that within the last few years.
"If it still works, take it apart and find out why!"

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Re: Advice on I-pilot/Bow Mount Minn Kota?

Post by The Quadfather » Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:33 am

Thanks for the really good information guys. I’m not there yet, but I will digest this all carefully when I am ready to take the plunge👍.

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