Minnkota I-Pilot GPS Driven Autopilot

Discussion in 'Boating' started by GaryF, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. GaryF

    GaryF New Member

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    O.P., KS
    Haven't seen this mentioned yet.

    http://www.startribune.com/sports/o...rksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O:DW3ckUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUUsZ
    "Minnkota combined GPS technology with its popular bow-mount trolling motors. The I-Pilot can navigate or position the boat by itself or maintain a troll speed aided by the global positioning satellites. Consider the feature Spot-Lock -- it works like an electric anchor with the trolling motor maintaining a boat's position as selected by the angler. Details at minnkotamotors.com."

    From what I have been able to find, it will be a $400 add on to Terrova and PowerDrive V2 motors, plugging in in place of the current Autopilot module. It will provide all of the functionality of the current Autopilot, along with things like the capability to precisely record and repeat a troll or drift based upon the saved GPS info, electric anchor to hold a GPS coordinate, and cruise control to hold a certain speed. Pretty cool stuff.
     
  2. Mickey

    Mickey New Member Supporting Member

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    14,592
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    Sounds interesting. I might have to look into one of those. When will they be out?
     

  3. GaryF

    GaryF New Member

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    3,649
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    Mickey, It is a 2010 product, which probably means it will start to show up late in the 4th quarter.
     
  4. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

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    I've been wondering lately why some manufacturer hasn't already done that. I have the older copilot version on my Riptide; wish this new deal would work with it, but I think mine is too old to convert.
     
  5. Grimpuppy

    Grimpuppy New Member

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    3,556
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    Concordia, KS
    According to MinnKota, it will move back to the spot if it drifts more than 5 feet away.

    Consider this.... Your boat drifts 5 feet from your "spot". You are standing up on the deck and all the sudden the boat moves back to the spot and you go right off the side. I wonder if it has a soft start feature or something like that to prevent stuff like that? Surely they have thought of that.

    Also it looks like the unit is totally self contained in the new trolling motor head. Since MinnKota and Humminbird are both owned by Johnson Outdoors, I would have liked to seen them fully develop this before they released it. Like being able to connect it to your Humminbird sonar with the interlink and troll from way point to waypoint that you have in your sonar. That would allow you to set up waypoints along a contour line and have it troll the route. The way it is now and will come out is you have to troll the route first and record it to the unit. Then it will repeat the route. It will store 3 routes you have recorded up to two mile each. According to the video I seen, the auto pilot feature creates its own waypoints in front of itself to keep it on a strait line course only. It will not follow a set path with course changes that you didn't physically travel and record. There is so much more that could have been done with this. Maybe a little premature to purchase it in the current form.
     
  6. GaryF

    GaryF New Member

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    3,649
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    Can't disagree that the ability to troll from waypoint to waypoint would be good. Being able to more permanently store routes would also be a big plus, and the only way to manage something like that would be with a digital display interface that the depth finder could provide. The features they will offer now are pretty compelling though, and with no guarantees when or if a sonar integrated version will be available it would be a tough wait.

    Another advantage I forgot to mention in my first post is that by relying on GPS rather than compass, the new autopilot will be able to correct for things like wind and current a lot better than the current offering.