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Old July 19th, 2015, 08:43 AM   #1
Fishingfever
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Trolling motor issues

Here is copy of letter to Minn Kota
I was talked into leaving the Minn Kota PowerDrive V2 on my new tracker boat by a salesman. Okay he made a couple of good selling points, but it has led to great frustration. The latest being the iPilot option. Let's go back before I get ahead of myself. My first trip out with the boat I discovered it was very hard to just get the boat to go in a straight line. It was just a little left or right of center. I adjusted the collar a slight turn and it was better. But the big frustration was the motor will spin around till it chokes itself with the cord. You have to constantly check the motor to see if it's wrapping itself up. It seems to me Minn Kota could have put a pin or notch at the back to keep it from doing that. It would turn all the way to reverse right or left and stop turning.
Next item I ran into was installing a depthfinder. With other motors you simply zip tie the transducer cord to the shaft. Not with the PowerDrive and its sliding shaft. The only option I found was too zip it at the bottom and top, but then it bags and catches on everything when you deploy the motor or worse the wire slips into the hinge and cuts itself. It seems to me that a u shaped channel in the side of the shaft would allow folks to run a wire down to the transducer and make for a cleaner installation.
Okay now to the iPilot.. With all my frustration trying to control the boat I discovered the iPilot was available. Sounded great I could make the boat go in one direction and the spot lock was very appealing. And the iPilot link sounded even better I could follow contour lines with my Hummingbird graph and Lakemaster maps. BUT a little research has dashed all those hopes. I have a Hummingbird 597DI and do have some lakemaster map cards for it BUT you need at least a 700 series or better to be compatible. So the Link was out. So how about the iPilot well I looked into that BUT with a PowerDrive V2 you can no longer use the foot control if you want it. So now I have to keep the remote on a lanyard or on my belt and control the boat with my third hand that I don't have?? The foot control would be nice when trying to retrieve a lure and needing both hands or the remote falls in the water, or breaks, or battery dies.
So it looks like I am stuck here unless you have some solutions to my problems. Which are probably other folk’s complaints as well? They are not huge issues but I bet the fixes would help sell a few more.
I normally would have unloaded this motor on Craigslist to some pontoon owner who would be quite happy, then bought another motor that had better features. However I have fought 2 types of cancer in the past 4 years. This is probably my last boat and I simply can't put more into it than I already have.

Anyone else have a PowerDrive and feel these issues could be addressed?
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Old July 19th, 2015, 09:57 AM   #2
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I have an older PowerDrive without the iPilot option. I've got the same complaint with installing a transducer, mine is wire tied at the base and all the way at the top just under the power head but I've had to leave some slack in order to deploy it without catching on anything. I agree that having a groove in the shaft to hide the cord would be a nice addition.
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Old July 19th, 2015, 10:46 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Handyman. I know the round shaft is cheap and easy to make but if they ran a groove down the length it would give it a little more strength and they could either make a clip to hold the wire in or a slide cover for the groove. Seems like some options there. Or just get the old silicone and glue it in there. I'll post their response if it's got anything promising in it.
Anyone else??
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Old July 19th, 2015, 05:43 PM   #4
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I got a powerdrive too. Don't much care for it. I mickey moused a bungee and a keyring that works somewhat but still have to keep an eye on the cord. These were designed by a "Masochist" not a fisherman. Also foot control sucks big-time, I just leave it on cont. and steer and adjust speed. If I can trade for a cable steer I will.
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Old July 20th, 2015, 07:13 AM   #5
kwi chang
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I have problems with foot control only, turns left but hard to turn it right, bad switch or design issue. Plan on replacing controller or get Ipilot. Transducer cable i have rigged it up like you have but place 2 cable loops(clamps) on side of deck housing so cable slide through it it when lowered or raised, you still have to pull up slack when lifting up, plus i never let mine go beyond 360 degrees each way so cable does not get twisted to break. The Terrova model lets you keep foot control. Other than that i like it.
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Old August 14th, 2015, 11:36 PM   #6
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Well I finally heard back from them and promised I'd post it so here you go.......

You've perfectly described all of the limitations of an electric steer motor. The main advantage of electric steer motors is the limited amount of physical attention required to make them operate; once you add AutoPilot you can go significant periods of time without touching the controls (i-Pilot is the most affordable way to add AutoPilot to your motor); thinking of traditional controls it is quite troubling to imagine having a hand dedicated to controlling the trolling motor, in practice I was able to focus on fishing a lot more once I got i-Pilot and with i-Pilot Link I spend even less time controlling my motor. Because the boat tracks behind the motor and the motor is adjusting itself to be pointed where I wanted it to go my interactions once I am on course and fishing are limited to quick adjustments of speed or turning the prop on/off, each of these controls take so little time that my hand will be off of my rod for less than a half second at a time. Either system is a very significant investment; I hope you can find an opportunity to get on the water with someone that has it and try it out, you will likely be surprised by how easy it is to fish and operate the remote at the same time.

Thank you,
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Old August 15th, 2015, 10:14 AM   #7
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I have the Terrova and most of these issues were addressed and I love it but think I wil go with the MG Xi5 next time.
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Old August 15th, 2015, 04:15 PM   #8
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In other words it's a piece of crap unless you want to spend big bucks to make it less a POS.
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Old August 15th, 2015, 07:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger View Post
I have the Terrova and most of these issues were addressed and I love it but think I wil go with the MG Xi5 next time.
You'd love the Xi5...
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Old August 16th, 2015, 07:56 AM   #10
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Does anybody have any experience with Motorguides trolling motor that operates similarly?
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