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fishbytes

Trolling Motor Feedback

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My 10 + year old Motorguide Great White finally died on me.  I need to replace it and have been looking at the new Motorguide Xi5 and Minn Kota Ipilot options.

 

I have an 18 ft flats boat and use my trolling motor heavily, as I fish a lot of docks & mangrove shorelines.

 

I am looking for real world feedback from fisherman who have and use the wireless versions.

 

Do you feel they are worth the extra $?

 

Do you find it more or less difficult to fish while trying to position the boat?  

 

Do the spot lock/ hold features work well and do you use them regularly?

 

The little feedback I have received from friends are totally opposite.  One claims its easier with a manual handle because you can move it with your leg/ body and still keep both hands on the rod and don't have a remote in one hand the whole time.  The other guy swears it's much better than having to move the motor manually...

 

So, I present this to the forum and truly appreciate and welcome any personal feedback you may have.

 

Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this (sorry it's a bit long).

 

Tight lines to all!

 

 

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I recently purchased an Ipilot, moving up from a hand control Minn Kota.

I'm still getting used to it, all this wind isn't helping! I bought it for the spot lock,

and the North lock, (locks on a heading despite the wind, current etc.) I think

I did the right thing?

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In my boat build I will be going with an xi5. The xi5 has a more accurate spot lock and north heading because it uses gps and two compass's as the ipilot only uses gps. Just think you can record a route along a line of docks then replay the exact route over and over again and never have to touch the remote unless you hook up on a fish to hit the anchor button to keep the fish from pulling your boat into the dock. 

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I second the XI5. I have a 24 volt 80 lb thrust on the boat and it's tied to my Lowrance as well. It works great. I use it to get bait and it holds the boat on a dime, even in a stiff wind. I also use it in conjunction with my Power Pole to keep my boat facing in a certain direction. It took a little getting used to the wireless operation but it works like a dream. I can control it from any part of the boat. I can go all day on a full charge.

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Mark, appreciate your input too...  I would likely get the exact model you have if I go that route.  Only thing I wish they had something between 55 and 80 thrust.  If the 80 does that with a 22 ft Pathfinder, it may be a bit overkill for my 18 footer.   

 

Guess I would rather have a bit more thrust than not enough...

 

Thanks again!

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Mark / Southshore, is it a must to have a Lowrance or other GPS device for the trolling motor to connect to in order for the spot lock and route retrace to work?.... or is it an added feature, if you so choose?

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Mark / Southshore, is it a must to have a Lowrance or other GPS device for the trolling motor to connect to in order for the spot lock and route retrace to work?.... or is it an added feature, if you so choose?

Added feature but not required for anchor, lock heading, or recording a track. 

 

Also, the xi5 remote is far less bulky than the iPilot remote. 

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I can't tell you how much this input has helped...  I greatly appreciate it and have already started shopping for the Xi5.

 

Just got the wife's blessing too!  

 

I feel like a kid at Christmas...

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One thing to keep in mind, MotorGuides will only connect to Lowrance units and Minn Kota will only connect to Garmin units. But as SSS said, they are full function as long as you get the Xi5 with GPS built in..

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I bought the Minn Kota SP-70 with i-Pilot last year and I love it.  70 lb thrust is more than adequate on my 18 ft boat.  My ten year old Motorguide was a POS.  Stainless steel shaft would never hold a depth and would slide down at power in even moderate seas.  I had to replace the tension knobs every year and even had it rebuilt once for $600.00.  Lowrance died a month later and I replaced it with the Helix 5 with DI.  I am not sure how much I would use the I-Pilot LInk, but I can add it if I want to.  The spot-lock is wonderful.   I tried it out in the ship channel with a strong outgoing tide and was very impressed.  I may never deploy a long line anchor again.  It does take a while to get used to the remote, but it is well worth spending a few hours practicing.  As a side note, Minn Kota only works with Humminbird, not Garmin.

 

Bottom line, I think it is just a matter of personal preference.  You would probably be happy with either one.

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