MinnKota I-Pilot performance on the water
I had some time to try out the Min-Kota I-pilot this weekend. Although I could not spend a lot of time testing all the features I did give the Spot Lock feature a real workout. Spot lock uses the internal GPS receiver on the I-pilot to hold the boat on a GPS point you create within 6 feet. When I read about this feature I could think of numerous uses so I could not wait to try it out.
I was planning on trolling for the day so my first test of the spot lock feature was to have it hold the boat in position while I deployed my 6 trolling poles in a 15 mph wind. So I got into position where I wanted to start trolling, pushed the button and began getting the poles out and getting them baited and adjusted in the rod holders. I was amazed how the trolling motor held the boat right where I had marked.
My next trial was while I was trolling. When I hooked a crappiei I pushed the Spot Lock button and let the boat hover over that area while I landed, put the fish in the live well, re-baited and redeployed the rod. If you have trolled alone, much at all, you know how this goes in a 15 mph wind. Well no more drifting away. The trolling motor held the boat within, I would say 8 to 10 feet, under these windy conditions. There is a little problem with this and that is with the boat holding, there was almost always another bite while I had my hands full.
Next test will be to see if the Spot Lock feature will hold me over one of my stake beds or brush pikes close enough I can effectively vertical fish it hand poleing.
One thing with this feature that you must be aware of is; it does not control the back of the boat so you really have to use it going into the wind. If the wind changes it will still spin the back of the boat around but the front will stay close to the marked spot that is certain.