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PROS & CONS of I-Pilot Troll Motors With/Without Foot Control

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Bad weather & high winds = no reports... so putting this out there!

Requesting ANY AND ALL input both positive and/or negative relative to the Minn Kota Saltwater/Riptide (Ulterra?) I-Pilot (36V w/60' shaft) with ALL THE BELLS/WHISTLES (handheld remote vs foot control AND the Auto Deploy/Stow features). I do realize that with these troll motors in 'anchor'/Spotlock' feature that the bow will always be into the wind and should stray from side to side due to both tide and winds.

ALSO...what about the 'Auto Deploy/Stow' feature?

We troll the MRGO, Trestles, Rocks, etc and wondering if having the foot control would give more 'hands-free' time as compared to constantly positioning with the remote!

We realize that the guides for the most part like the handheld remote due to the fact that they are assisting their client s and keeping them on the fish.

ANY/ALL INPUT WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED...John Castelluccio, Jr.
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Re: PROS & CONS of I-Pilot Troll Motors With/Without Foot Co
Most people I have talked say the ipilot is the best thing since sliced bread. The anchor function is nice to have. With that being said I chose the old hand control for a couple reasons. First I am concerned about cost to repair a gps controlled trolling motor. I personally know of no one who has had issues as of yet. I'm sure they do occur however. I do not like the foot control on the ipilot. There is a delay from when pressing the button and the head turning. I did not like that at all. I haven't experienced the auto deploy but the manual deploy is not bad. The hand control again is pretty nice but I like to have my pole in my hands and not a remote control. Oh and the cost is considerably more.
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Re: PROS & CONS of I-Pilot Troll Motors With/Without Foot Co
I have had an I-pilot for about 2 years with a foot control. I pilot is an advance from old hand controls. The ability to control trolling motor from any where in the boat is great. The anchor feature is nice in deeper water situations where you are not in close proximity to a structure. The anchor mode will allow you to drift a ways before it engages and then will go full speed to get back to starting point. Sometimes it will overshoot starting points and then start backing up. Calm days fishing over an open reef it is great. In shallow water it will destroy a trout bite because it is constantly adjusting and running. Power pole is still best for that situation. The hand control is great for being able to change settings but when you have a fish on going to the foot control is great. The ability to go back and forth between foot control and hand held is great as well. Contrary to Wolfman, In my opinion the foot control is a faster response time and more precise than the handheld control. Changing directions is easier as the steering motor can over come any torque from the big motor.

I do not have the auto deploy but a friend has that feature and it works great. Overall I will continue the I Pilot route with auto deploy being my next upgrade.
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Re: PROS & CONS of I-Pilot Troll Motors With/Without Foot Co
I have the ipilot 24V 70lb thrust. I do not have the foot control. Remote only. I just never liked a foot controlled trolling motor. In my opinion, it is worth every penny I spent on it. I have mine on a 20' tracker grizzly center console. It does take a little getting used to as far as navigating and anchoring but once you do, you'll never go back. As others also replied, I can control it from anywhere in the boat. I was anchored near a point with some pretty stiff winds. I would guess 15 to 20?? When I cancelled the anchor, the boat immediately started to drift and spin around quickly. My wife even made the comment that she didn't realize how well the motor was holding until we let go. That's coming from a woman who wasn't initially happy about a $1500 purchase for boat jewelry. I do not have the auto deploy so I can't comment on that. You mentioned positioning....once you get used to the motor, you won't need to keep repositioning it unless you are moving locations. You will figure out how to approach a spot so the motor doesn't spend as much time stabilizing the position. As far as the other features such as navigating to a waypoint or following a recorded route, I'm sure they will come in handy one day, but I have not used them as of yet. I strictly use it for the anchor function and normal trolling motor operations, and still believe its worth every penny. The recorded route function would probably work well trolling along the rocks as you mentioned. You would record the route (path and speed) and when you want, you can start the route over and it will follow the same route and speed as you recorded. Again, I have not experimented with this function so I can't give any feedback.
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Re: PROS & CONS of I-Pilot Troll Motors With/Without Foot Co
Why I'm the only one out of our group of guides that uses the foot control, I don't know. I love it. I do use the remote some, not much. The anchor feature on the remote is 90% of my use of it. I do use remote if I happen to be somewhere other than up front and it is needed. My main thought is those that don't use the footcontrol in tandem with the remote don't know what they are missing. another good reason for the footcontrol would be if the remote either malfunctions or dead battery. At least you still have everything but anchor function. I think they have a new foot control now that has the anchor function on it. I know I can't fish with one hand on remote. I also do not use the 'pad' of the footcontrol. I steer it usung just the arrows on the bottom corners. This keeps both feet on the deck instead of perching on one leg with other foot on 'pad'. Hope this helps. Capt. Ricky Brondum/ Speck Chaser Charters
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Re: PROS & CONS of I-Pilot Troll Motors With/Without Foo
John, I have had a remote control ipilot for several years and use the anchor function and remote but not the advanced features. When new, I could use the remote from anywhere in the boat but not long ago, I had to be close to the troll motor for it to work. I changed batteries and got a new remote but the problem was not fixed. My troll motor pro said the fix was to replace the gps, which has the receiver for the remote in it. The cost was several hundreds of dollars so I chose to stay close to the troll motor. I have also had a problem with the troll motor continuing to turn after I released the turn button on the remote. I find it is best to stop or slow the boat down to a crawl before using the anchor function, to avoid an initial strong steering or power control, since it takes a few seconds to engage.
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Re: PROS & CONS of I-Pilot Troll Motors With/Without Foo
WOW...a lot of extremely useful info for others and myself!

I GRATEFULLY APPRECIATE all of this info and hope that other owners/users of the I-Pilot troll motors would add their opinions.

Liking this more and more---ANY info on the AUTO DEPLOY/STOW???

PLEASE CONTINUE WITH THE INPUT...cabin-fever remedy!

Thanks...John Castelluccio, Jr.
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Re: PROS & CONS of I-Pilot Troll Motors With/Without Foo
Here comes my take on I-Pilot.Bear in mind,I am totally ole-school and still have a Motor Guide Great White,Salwater Series,I believe 52 or 54 lb thrust,mounted on bow of Southfork 16 by 52 Commercial Flat.I have a few buddies that love their I-Pilot trolling motors and one trusted me to use his via the remote and I found it to be somewhat cumbersome to use and definitely not instantaneous like my hand-controlled antique Motor Guide,especially if used fishing under the Causeway,not the greatest place to not have instantaneous control.His cost probably $1500 or so,my guess,and I can't see plunking down that kinda coin,unless you NEVER fish under the Causeway or any other bridge where the GPS feature works sporadically.Great for the anchor feature,again,unless it does not get decent GPS fix,so I stick with de ole school but 100% reliable Motor Guide Great White,never an issue with it other than a broken spring that took about 3 minutes to fix,not a bad track record!!

Mandevillian
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Re: PROS & CONS of I-Pilot Troll Motors With/Without Foo
I bought mine bout a year ago and I'll never go back. Stow/Deploy love it, never go to the bow to pick up and put back, It comes with a compos so when you push the N button it tracks a straight line when weather permits ie wind blows the stem if going to slow. I have it on a Triton 22 LTS went offshore for Snappers and couldn't use the rig hook so put the motor down in a ripping current and fished for four hrs and it kept us on the SPOT. I go fishing solo quite a bit and I use it all the time to launch my boat and the hold it in position when you press anchor. I have the remote and will not purchase a foot control because it would be in a central location and would have to go to the foot control, can't us both at the same time is what MK said. It took me a while to bite the bullet at $2400t but once I did never looked back. Oh did I say I love the Stow/Deploy. To many features to go on. Good luck.
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Re: PROS & CONS of I-Pilot Troll Motors With/Without Foo
Are there any choices relative to different 'foot-controls' for the Minn-Kota I-Pilot? IF SO, what are the preferences? John Castelluccio, Jr.
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