Re: iPilot Trolling Motor Reliability

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Posted by Hugh Levine on 2018-11-08 16:51:48 in reply to iPilot Trolling Motor Reliability posted by Bob Laskodi on 2018-11-08 13:22:57

My Minn-Kota Riptide ST80 iPilot was installed in March of 2015 and performs well. The only issue I had turned out to be a defective switch between my 24-volt battery bank and the iPilot, which had nothing to do with the iPilot itself and was diagnosed and remedied by the Ed Romo mentioned in Dan's reply below.

I use my trolling motor differently than most, because I spend most of my fishing time around rocks in strong current and subject to the three to four feet high wake waves thrown by high-speed hydrofoil ferries traversing SF Bay. Due to these conditions, I keep my outboard motor running in neutral while I'm anchored by the iPilot's SpotLock feature. I do this to (1) keep the iPilot's batteries fully charged, and (2) because I will need to move fast if the trolling motor batteries die or a wake knocks it off SpotLock.

SpotLock is a great feature and I have found that it holds my boat in position against even the combined effect of large tides with wind pushing them. To do so it draws a lot of electrical energy. My Garmin GPS/Sounder unit typically shows battery bank production of 15 volts with just the outboard running, versus 13 volts with SpotLock on and the outboard running.

I recommend that users of the iPilot pay close attention to its battery level as well as the remote's battery and the condition of the battery bank switch.

P.S. to Dan: My hydraulic steering and steering wheel knob are installed and I'll be trying them out Friday. Thanks again for all your advice.

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