Continuing the evolution of GPS trolling motor navigation, Minn Kota’s i-Pilot Link leverages the technologies of Humminbird and LakeMaster to achieve new levels of boat control. i-Pilot Link utilizes GPS technology and Ethernet connectivity to enable communication and functionality between select Minn Kota motors, select Humminbird fishfinders, and LakeMaster digital GPS maps.
“i-Pilot Link is an amazing new technology that directly benefits anglers,” Minn Kota Senior Product Manager Dave Maryanov said. “The ability to store and record location data on the fishfinder, and the ability to have the trolling motor use that data for automatic navigation, is something that fishermen have been asking for. Now with i-Pilot Link they finally have it.”
The interconnectivity between technologies allows for simple, push-of-a-button operation from either the i-Pilot Link wireless remote or the Humminbird fishfinder, and supports i-Pilot Link’s many exciting new features.
i-Pilot Link’s unique Follow the Contour feature directs the trolling motor to follow a specific depth contour that is displayed on a LakeMaster digital GPS map. The chosen contour line can be automatically followed in either direction. In addition, anglers have the option to offset a certain distance from a chosen contour line allowing them to present the bait to a specified depth. Follow the Contour can also be offset from the shoreline so anglers can automatically follow a path at a set distance from shore.
The Go To feature steers the boat to specific locations such as waypoints, Spot-Locks and iTracks. These locations can be recorded either from the fishfinder or from the remote. Up to 2,500 waypoints and Spot-Locks, and 50 iTrack locations can be stored in the fishfinder.
Spot-Locks are locations that have been recorded and stored using the Spot-Lock feature on the i-Pilot Link remote or Humminbird fishfinder. When activated, Spot-Lock works like an electronic anchor by keeping the boat within a five-foot radius of the selected spot. If the boat drifts more than five feet from the Spot-Lock location, the trolling motor is activated to bring the boat back into position.
iTracks are specific trolling motor paths (up to two miles in length) that have been recorded and stored so they can be re-tracked upon request. Anglers can record productive trolling paths such as weed lines, shorelines and river beds then automatically retrace them at any time with i-Pilot Link’s iTrack feature.
New features on the i-Pilot Link are all in addition to the classic functions of the original i-Pilot, including:
- Cruise Control: maintains real-time on-the-water boat speed in one-tenth mile-per-hour increments. This precise speed control allows the angler to dial in bait presentations in trolling applications.
- Advanced AutoPilot: utilizes GPS technology to maintain the boat path on a true heading while adjusting for wind, waves, current and side-drift. This results in improved and more accurate tracking compared to traditional compass-based systems. An Advanced AutoPilot heading can be set from the i-Pilot Link remote or directly from the Humminbird fishfinder.
- CoPilot: Minn Kota’s wireless trolling motor control system that is integrated into the i-Pilot Link remote control. Anglers can control speed and steering from anywhere in the boat.
The i-Pilot Link remote features a full-color graphic LCD screen to display GPS signals, remote battery charge, prop status, current function and user menus. The remote also displays important data such as water depth and temperature. Most i-Pilot Link functions can be activated on the waterproof remote or with the Humminbird unit. The remote includes a rechargeable Li-ion battery.
i-Pilot Link is compatible with Terrova, PowerDrive V2, Riptide ST and Riptide SP trolling motors, and is exclusive for use with most Humminbird models that have Ethernet capabilities. Follow the Contour works exclusively with i-Pilot Link enabled LakeMaster digital GPS maps.
The i-Pilot Link accessory will be available to consumers December 2012 and has a suggested retail price of $799.99. It will also be available on select motors as standard equipment.
Minn Kota will continue to offer the traditional i-Pilot accessory that includes Spot-Lock, Record A Track, Cruise Control, Advanced AutoPilot and CoPilot features.
For more information visit minnkotamotors.com, contact Minn Kota, P.O. Box 8129, Mankato, MN 56002, or call 800-227-6433.
Images courtesy of Swanson Russell