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JIGGS

Auto-Pilot

24 posts in this topic

Buying a new bow mount trolling motor. Looking at Minnkota. The Auto-Pilot version is about $210.00 more. Is it worth it? I fish predominantly walleys - live bait - some artificial. Would I be happy without it.

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Yep and maybe to your 2 qusetions. I fish for walleye, pike, and bass in that order. My first boat had a 55# PD without autopilot. Worked pretty good and I thought I was happy with it. Bought a new boat and thought I'd try the AP. Love it. I often fish with young kids and have to re-tie, change lures, bait hooks, etc. Now I look up again and we are still going in the intended line. Makes control in the wind or light current much easier. Also you can navigate around a turn more effectively by changing the intended heading as you come around.

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AP doesnt really work that great if there is wind or wake from other boats, which there always is. Plus it just drains batteries bad. I would get Universal Sonar if I had to buy another one right now. The AP works by compass direction. You think you set it to travel along a breakline but you really set it at bearing 285*. Along comes a breeze and you go off course of the breakline but the motor gets you back on 285*, which now is prtty much useless heading into nowhere. I tried it plenty before I gave up on it, now my batteries last lots longer. Good Luck

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First one I had was AP. Second one has the copilot. I'll never buy another one without the AP.

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I fish walleyes mostly and most of the time in medium to strong winds. Yes there are times when a wave or waves push you back and the auto pilot doesn't correct. That is because it controls direction and not speed. I find that if you correct for speed up or down a bit to compensate for the gusts it works great. I would never buy a trolling motor without it.

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doesn't work 100% of the time, but the 95% of the time it does, you will be very happy you opted for it. they work teriffic when you find those ridges and breaklines. with auto-pilot, you definetly spend more time looking at the graph and spend more time fishing than dinkin with the trolling motor.

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I've had an autopilot motor for over 10 years. Have used many other models also. Best thing ever. Wouldn't think of buying a tm without it. Takes most of the work out of boat postioning.

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Mostly walleyes here too.

AP doesn’t mean "no pilot needed". You will still need to make small adjustments on your own sometimes. What more do you want? The time difference spent "baby sitting" my old non-AP as compared to my new AP was huge. Now I can spend the extra time concentrating on my line and sonar...and not on steering the boat.

I would also never buy another one with out AP.

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Get the Auto-pilot! Most of the time it's not on, but when you need it, it’s great! When there is a wind and you need to do something like net a fish, tie a line, or whatever, that is when it is invaluable. In the wind, you can't take your concentration off the trolling motor or the whole boat will turn around. With auto-pilot, you are good for a couple minutes to do what you need done. I wouldn't be without it.

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Well, thank you to all who responded. I will be going with the Auto Pilot. In the one or two unfavorable situations the Auto Pilot feature can be turned off.

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Having owned bowmounts that with and without AP, I will say that having AP will increase your effectivness for trolling and boat positioning 95%. You will always need to make minor adjustments to achieve the optimal boat control and position, but it is much easier with AP. For circumstances like casting docks or shallow rock structure that need more hands on bowmount control you can turn the AP off. You have the best of both worlds. Next year that extra $210 will seem like money well spent.

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Used to have AP, on new boat got the coPilot and it is not the same. AP with a copilot would be awesome but AP is something I miss everytime out.

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Jeez, I got my boat late last fall and the troller has AP on it. I never even turned it on. Sunday I was on our lake for its' first real excursion and it was quite windy. I was on the pedal constantly. After reading these posts, the AP is being turned on before I even flip on the power, especially in the wind.

Now, all I have to do is remember to turn off the wireless pedal so I'm not putting in new AA's every time. So far I am 1-for-2.

Thanks for the great thread

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I love my autopilot, but never have really felt the love for the co pilot.

What I did add to my 65AP this spring and I really like it is a product called "The Reaction System"

This is an aftermarket add on piece of hardware that integrates onto your existing AP foot control. When the Reaction System is turned off, your foot pedal works in the traditional manner. When the Reaction System is turned on, then it takes the momentary foot pedal and turns it into a "boost". How much boost is determined by a wheel setting on the Reaction System, from 0 to 10.

Lets say I"m fishing around a marker bouy using the AP on a setting of 3, and a gust of wind blows me out of the zone or I work my way away from the bouy and want to get back. I can simply step on the momentary bar and my AP speed is automaticaly boosted to whatever setting I have it on, like 7 or 8. No more messing with the speed settings on the footcontrol. It is "sweet".

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First one I had was AP. Second one has the copilot. I'll never buy another one without the AP.

I have the AP on my boat and rarely use it due to putting a co-pilot on. Now, if it was a new one I was buying I would buy the new one that has co-pilot with a button for AP, that would ROCK!!

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That's my big beef with the AP version 1. You have to go up to the trolling motor itself to turn on and off. Very dumb.

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I have one with AP and co-pilot they work great together. My last one only had the co-pilot and that was fine, but after having an AP I will never buy another one without it.

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I have AP with co-pilot and universal sonar. Only way to go, once you have it you wont go without it

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When you are trolling along, can you use your copilot remote to adjust your direction? I have a regular PD with autopilot and copilot, but when I have the motor on constant with autopilot, I can't adjust my course with copilot. It beeps when I press the buttons, but nothing happens. If the motor is on the momentary setting, the copilot works fine. Is this normal?

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Probably wont say much that hasnt already been said...but I had a boat with an AP. Then bought a new boat (newly used) and it came with a bow mount but not AP. I would have switched the AP on my other boat but its a little smaller for my newer boat. The bottomline is that I do get by just fine with the non-AP...but its DEFINITELY better with the AP!! Wish I had the AP on the new boat - and have actually been looking for a used one. Go with the AP if at all possible.

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I have AP on my new motor, and it really does help.

Now for next year MinnKota is adding iPilot, don't know if I am going to be able to add it on at 400.00 but to add trails on to the motor and forget about touching the motor for a 2 mile trolling path or set the spot mode and hover over a group of fish, looks like I am going to have to save up for this add on.

Google ipilot and watch the video from icast!

WW

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I just watched the iPilot clip from iCast. That is pretty sick! Only drawback is, why can't you sync it with waypoints on your GPS trolling motor? Seems like it is a lot of work to keep pushing buttons and adding trails and waypoints with everything in the boat now. I guess it will evolve into that eventually. Back to the autopilot, go for it. Like everyone has mentioned it is nice to keep your foot off the pedal and worry about fishing, look down to work on something or taking fish off the line and your not driving around in circles. It doesn't drift too bad if you have enough power on it and keep your big motor in the water to help keep your course. If you can come up with the money to do it, certainly. If you don't have the money and are scrounging around to find it, then you can certainly still fish without AutoPilot. It's one of those creature features that is great but is just another thing that can go wrong and have to throw more money into when it breaks some day.

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