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  1. #1
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    Minn Kota Terrova with I-pilot

    Ok guy's if you are thinking of upgrading or buy an electric trolling motor, have a look at a Minn Kota with I-pilot. I have use many different types of trolling motor form cheap$-$$ but efficient transom mount to more expensive$$$-$$$$$ bow mount (wired and wireless) and I have to say that the Minn kota models with I-pilot are at the top of the feature rich and advance list.


    With a features like Record A Track, Spot-Lock, CoPilot, Cruise Control, standard and Advanced AutoPilot, you wont find another trolling motor on the market that will match it. That being said, I'm not saying that you will land more fish in the boat, I will say that you will become a better fishermen as you will be able to send more time concentrating on your technique and less time steering the boat.


    This bad boy uses a GPS receiver (advance Autopilot and Cruise Control) to keep you steady on course, and let me tell you It works great!!


    Pros:
    - I-Pilot with Industry leading Features:
    Record A Track
    Spot-Lock
    CoPilot
    Cruise Control
    standard and Advanced AutoPilot
    -Easy deployment and storage
    -Steal foot housing with built in Universal Sonar duel beam transducer
    -Composite shaft
    -Battery maximizer


    Cons:
    Expensive $$$$ Fully loaded model can run you 1400-1600$ plus tax.


    So let's get down to it.

    Before I get into the review let me list the setup and motor options.

    Boat: Four Winns Horizon 18ft Fish and Ski 2600lbs with 130HP
    Batteries: 2 Nautilus group 31 deep cycle battery 205RH setup in 24V configuration. With 4gauge wire to the bow.
    Trolling motor: Minn Kota Terrova 80/us2/i-pilot w/foot control -24v -80lb -60inch shaft , mounting MKA-21 Quick Release Bracket


    Boat total wet weight around 2800-3000lbs plus passenger.


    First impressions at unpacking:
    At over 60 inches this unit is big!!


    Minn Kota Terrova with I-pilot-terrova-80-motor-jpgMinn Kota Terrova with I-pilot-terrova-80-motor-bow-deployed-2-jpgMinn Kota Terrova with I-pilot-terrova-80-motor-bow-stowed-front-pic-jpgMinn Kota Terrova with I-pilot-terrova-80-motor-bow-stowed-pic-jpg




    INSTALLATION:



    If all your per-installed power cable are up to par this should only take ˝ -1 hour. But if your upgrading from a 12V system to a 24V system like I was then you might need to upgrade the power cables. And if so the installation time will definitely take longer.

    Mounting was easy, remove 4 screws holding the motor cover and mount the MKA-21 motor bracket to the bottom with the 6 supplied bolts.


    Minn Kota Terrova with I-pilot-mka-21-motor-mount-jpg



    And then mounting the MKA-21 puck to the bow with the supplied bolts required a little more time about 30 minutes to drill and tap my aluminum bow mount plate. As the existing holes were for a power V model and the the Terrova has a smaller bass.


    Minn Kota Terrova with I-pilot-mka-21-bow-puck-mounting-plate-jpg



    Moving on to the wiring power to the bad boy. Here is where I had fun!!! Because the motor has a potential of drawing up to 60Amps at full load and my batteries are located at the back of my boat and the overall run (return trip) is over 40 feet I had to run 4 gauge wire. Lucky for me I just so happen to have some 4gauge electrical wire (tek cable) under the house just doing nothing. So after about 45 minutes of striping the cable, 30 minutes of routing the cable, and finally another 1-1 ˝ hours of dressing and terminating the cable the motor finally had power.
    (Not to mention the 3-4 hours for mounting the batteries, on-board charger and replacing the bilge pump, the aerator pump and redressing all the other power cables in the battery hatch not to mention redressing the filler,vent and supply lines for the fuel and oil system)


    Minn Kota Terrova with I-pilot-onboard-battery-charger-battery-setup-jpg



    As you can see its a tight fit and getting my 200bls frame in that battery hatch to run and dress cable was a challenge. The 29 degrees didn't help things one bit, unfortunately I didn't take pictures of the cable before installing the batteries. But the sign of a job well done is not seeing cable all over the place.


    OPERATION:


    Using the Terrova is like using any other motor from Minn kota. Even though the remote has the I-pilot controls on it it also has the manual controls. Lets talk more about this controller.


    Minn Kota Terrova with I-pilot-pilot-remote-jpg



    As you can see this is a big remote, but surprisingly very ergonomic and the buttons are all easy to reach. Again I'm not a small guy, but I'm sure most people will have no problem handling this remote.


    Some of the features of this remote:


    Record A Track http://www.minnkotamotors.com/produc...px#video-60744

    Spot-Lock http://www.minnkotamotors.com/produc...px#video-60746

    CoPilot and Cruise Control http://www.minnkotamotors.com/produc...px#video-60742

    Advanced AutoPilot http://www.minnkotamotors.com/produc...px#video-63701



    You can find the official definition of each feature @ http://www.minnkotamotors.com/produc...reshwater.aspx



    Let me tell you about some of the features I have used so far.


    Bar-none my favorite feature is, well actually it's really hard to point to one as my favorite. Let's just say they are all really great. So let me just talk about them as they show up in the list.



    Record A Track: I haven’t used this option yet, so no comment.


    Spot-Lock: They should really call this the anchor mode, and it works like a dream. For example yesterday I was trolling up the shore line and I casted in a emerging weed bed and notices some movement and getting a glimpse of a tail. Instantly I press the spot-lock, the motor toke care of slowing me down and keeping me in a 5 foot radius of were I pressed the button. Allowing me to cast a few more in the weeds and land a 3-4 pound pike. Oh did I forget to mention that this location was at the mouth of a narrowing of the river heavy current. Yet no challenge for the motor.


    CoPilot: From what i can tell this is the manual controls of the motor but on the wireless control, they work as they should.


    Cruise Control: This is a sweet features, I set my speed to 1.3mph and no mater the water/wind condition the motor would keep my speed constant. I went from dead water to gusting winds and vast moving water and never once had to adjust the speed manually. This was a great as I could just focus in on my casting spots and pull out pike number 2 (4-5 pounds).


    AutoPilot: This features put the I-pilot leap and bounds ahead of the rest. There is 2 type of autopilot, standard and advance. The standard setting is like piking a point in the distance and setting a course for that point. It will make small corrections in the general travel direction to try and keep you on course, but will allow for drift and will not correct for current/wind. I find this option nice if you just want to go into a general travel.


    But if your looking at an option that will keep you in a strait line then advance autopilot is what you want. It actually plot a course using GPS coordinates and follows them regardless of wind/current direction. Couple it with cruise control and you have one heck of a trolling motor that let you spend more time fishing and less time driving.


    Run time seams to be good, I have 2 12v 205RH marine deep cycle batteries in a 24V configuration. I ran for about 5 hours and the indicator showed about half battery reserve remaining. This trolling was done on a river in a section of high current, the motor was running @ approximate 40-50% throttle, and about 30 minutes at full throttle. Full throttle is around 2.5mph travel on that section of river. I don't have a reverence on calm water.


    Recap, the feature rich I-pilot turns the Minn Kota into a superb intelligent trolling motor. It's almost like having a driver in the boat doing the driving for you.

  2. #2
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    Wow what a fantastic review!! Thanks for that Gus.

    I really like the Spot Lock feature. This would also come in handy when you are by yourself and you land a big one. You can concentrate on landing the fish and not worry about the boat crashing into the rocks beside you. (This is pretty much what I have to do when fishing small mouth on the river. )

    <This review has been promoted to an article.>
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  3. #3
    Wyatt's Avatar Regular Archer & Angler
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    Very nice setup

  4. #4
    Jon629's Avatar Senior Archer & Angler
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    My boss has the expensive model and he loves it. After he showed me how to use it it didnt take long to master it. Makes life a lot easier. Boat control is fish control. Its nice to go along a weed edge on a windy day when you'd normally have to slow troll and cast into the weeds. The ipilot lets you point a direction and auto pilot down the edge. If you catch, hit the anchor button and while you get that deep burried lure out of a mouth, your still in the same spot. AWESOME piece of kit.

    Great review Gus. You couldnt have said it better.

  5. #5
    moosemeat's Avatar Elite Archer & Angler
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    great review for a excellent product.thanks Gus

  6. #6
    Regular Archer & Angler
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    Thanks guys, glad you guys liked it.

    The more I use this motor the more I love it. i had my brother inlaw in the boat this summer and had never driving a boat before and it only toke him about 3 minutes to feel at ease with the controls of the I-pilot. It's intelligent control layout on the remote make the learning curve easy to master.

    Also just wanted to report that iv been out on the water for over 10 hours and still had plenty of power left in the batteries, battery indicator was still at half.

  7. #7
    Outdoorsman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gustave_homme View Post

    Also just wanted to report that iv been out on the water for over 10 hours and still had plenty of power left in the batteries, battery indicator was still at half.
    Wow that is impressive.
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  8. #8
    Jon629's Avatar Senior Archer & Angler
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    Minn Kota Terrova with I-pilot

    I guess it depends on your boat and motor combo, but my old 16' bass tracker and 25hp johnson combo sucked the gas. I was shocked how much I'd eat going out 1 evening. For my combo, a trolling motor like this would help save a few bucks putting along.

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