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Is auto-pilot worth it?

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I have a 50lb thrust trolling motor right now and I like it. However, I don't like battling the wind to keep my boat straight. I am wondering if anyone out there can give me advice if $300 more for an autopilot is worth it.

The only two reasons that I can think of to use the autopilot is that it would help in a wind and it would keep you on a fairly good line if you get a fish on versus drifting way of course.

If it gets too windy, I backtroll anyway with the main motor, so I really am struggling to consider paying the extra money, but it seems like a neat idea.

I am probably being short-sided to what it can do. Any comments would be appreciated.

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Auto pilot would work to keep you on a straight line if you had it set prior to fighting a fish.

But it is a good product if you need to keep your boat controlled while you do other things

Rob

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I have used the autopilot for years and I really like it, while guiding and one client catches a fish or breakes off its nice to have so the boat doesn't do circles. I just bought a pinpoint we'll see how that works as soon as the *&$%#@ ice gets off the lakes.

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As a guide ,I agree,at times they are real handy to have.Auto is te way to go .They who sell know that ,thats why they cost so much more.Much of the time I use manual,keeps me busy,and makes me pay attention to the spot Im working.If yu go to your motor and pefer to back troll ,I would say save your money.
good fishing...www.garytheguide.com

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Kirsch,

I asked this exact same question before and got much more mixed reviews. Several people seemed to like it while others said it wasn't worth the extra money.
I'll warn you though, if you get some nice new fishing gear be sure to keep your friends away from it- they tend to break stuff (inside joke).
Scoot

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I would never ever buy another autopilot! I have owned two of them and have had nothing but problems! My first complaint is the mounting system: It is not very strong (I have broke both of them on Mille Lacs, also the they are a pain to put in the water and take out. I much prefer a system that uses a cord to pull in and deploy the unit.
My second complaint is the foot pad: It is slower to adjust (being as it is electronic) than the standard cable toe to heel system. The auto pilot feature is "ok", but if you practice with a regular trolling motor you will become much more consistent!
My third complaint is if you are fishing at night, with a standard heel to toe sytem you can feel exactly where the motor is turning by where your foot is positioned, on these motors if you can not see the head of the motor you can not tell what direction it is pointing. I myself have a Motorguide, but if you want MinnKota go with the Maximum.
Just one guys humble opinion!
Cory Frantzick
RE/MAX Associates Plus
Timberlane Homes
(612)801-0809
e-mail Athomeonthelake@Aol.com

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Cory,

I appreaciate the feedback, but I didn't really notice your negativity to be towards the autopilot features but instead towards Minnkota itself. I am one who personally likes the foot-pad on the Power Drive Minnkota, but thanks for the feedback.

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You know what? you are right! The autopilot is definetly a good feature that I (hate to admit it) miss sometimes! If MinnKota came up with unit with a different pad and mounting system I probably would be interested in it! Sorry I got off track from your original question!
Good Luck!
Cory Frantzick
RE/MAX Associates Plus
Timberlane Homes
(612)801-0809
e-mail Athomeonthelake@Aol.com

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I have owned both the Minnkota Auto pilot and the motor guide version.I bought the motor guide to replace an auto pilot on one of my boats.In simple words motor guide sucks.The auto pilot is the only way to go.Yes they do have draw backs(all listed by CorynTracy),but the advantage of not having to mess with the motor constantly outweighs the disadvantages.If you are primarily a bass fisherman then maybee the cable system would be better for hovering on weed beds.But if you troll,slip drift or jig fish the auto pilot is the way to go.I have two of them ,one on each boat.

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I personally like the auto pilot,especially with kids in the boat, the problem I have is when its windy, the motor keeps going straight while the rest of the boat is sideways. This usually only happens though when Im trolling slower than the wind speed.

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