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What the Hell Are i-Pilot and i-Pilot Link?

What the Hell Are i-Pilot and i-Pilot Link?

Posted by Marine Motors Team on Oct 18th 2019

I know you have heard of i-Pilot and i-Pilot Link. I have had some folks ask me what they are and what do they do. I am going to give you the low down on each of them so you can see how to use them. It turns out that i-Pilot is what I call the little brother to i-Pilot Link. i-Pilot has a lot of great features that are all in i-Pilot Link as well. But i-Pilot Link has even more advanced features than its little brother i-Pilot.

First, let you should know you are going to have to spend some time learning how these two innovations work in order to use them effectively. But the time you spend will be well worth it when you get out on the water and start to use either of them. Everyone these days has an iPhone or iPad and it is a good idea that you have one of these when you want to go through the learning curve with i-Pilot or i-Pilot Link. The communication capabilities of either of these can be enhanced when you have either of these devices to communicate with your trolling motor and fish finder.

Using all of it's engineering and innovation Minn Kota has created state-of-the-art GPS based trolling systems that cannot be outclassed by any other systems out there. Let's go through the abilities of these fishing marvels, I know you will be impressed.

You will be able to get excellent control of speed, steering, Spot Lock, and the Autopilot of your trolling motor using an iPhone or iPad. Your wireless device must be running the iOs 8.0 or later operating system. But if you have an Android device it must be running the Android 4.4.2 or up operating system. You will get software updates very quickly with these devices. First you will get a notice on your phone that a software update is available. You just download it then send it to your trolling motor using Bluetooth. No wires just smooth wireless communication and you're ready to go!

Trolling motor compatibility for i-Pilot and i-Pilot Link is available in several models. In freshwater motors certain Ulterra, Terrova, Powerdrive, and the Ultrex models manufactured after 2017 with built-in i-Pilot or i-Pilot Link capability and Bluetooth compatibility can be used. For saltwater motors certain Riptide Ulterra, Riptide Terrova, and Riptide Powerdrive motors with i-Pilot or i-Pilot Link and Bluetooth can also be used.

Spot Lock is one of the features that is a hallmark on both i-Pilot and i-Pilot Link. This is a GPS based anchor that will allow you to set a spot anywhere you are on the water and hold your boat at that location. It requires the push of one button to set the spot. Spot Lock has has its accuracy increased lately due to improved hardware and software. This means it will hold your boat on a selected spot with more accuracy than it did in the past. Spot Lock Jog is an added ability that you can use to move your boat five feet in any direction away from your current selected Spot Lock. A Distance to Spot indicator can also tell you how far your boat is from a spot that you locked earlier. Excellent ways to fine tune your fishing location.

When you decide to move to another fishing location, you can enable the iTracks feature on i-Pilot or i-Pilot Link. This allows you to record, store, and retrace paths of your trolling motor. It can store up to 16 paths that each reach up to 2 miles in length. Having fishing success moving down a ridge underwater can be recorded so you can return that same way for continued success. Moving your boat away from a previously productive fishing spot to another location on the water is not a problem for i-Pilot or i-Pilot Link. If you want to return to a previously set Spot Lock or iTrack just activate the Go To Feature and return to either quite easily.

Automated boat movement with i-Pilot and i-Pilot Link has several enhanced features. With Advanced Autopilot you can point your boat toward a heading and set it with the push of a button. Your boat will continue in that heading, correcting for wind and current, until you decide to change direction. In combination with a direction setting, you can set the speed of your boat in 0.1 mile-per-hour increments. Keep your concentration on catching and landing fish while the trolling motor does the work!

That's enough about little brother i-Pilot, let's get into the features of i-Pilot Link now. All the abilities we have talked about so far are also available in i-Pilot Link as well as many others that we will discuss now. With i-Pilot you get great boat control, but with i-Pilot Link you get total integration between your Minn Kota trolling motor and your Humminbird fish finder. You will have the ability to control your trolling motor from the wireless remote, the humminbird touchscreen, or your Bluetooth connected phone. From any of these you can control motor speed and direction, setting Spot Locks, returning to previous Spot locks, recording and retracing paths, controlling Advanced Autopilot, and following contours underwater.

i-Pilot Link has a Circle Mode. Cast your line to a certain point then you can use Circle Mode to move around that point to get your best opportunity there. iTrack Offset is a feature that lets you mirror a previously created iTrack, but at some distance away from it. This allows you to fish an area close to where you had fished earlier with the original iTrack. Retrace a current track with Backtrack. Move the boat back over a track that you just traveled in 0.1 mile increments for up to 2 miles. The Routes feature lets you string together a series of waypoints or iTracks to create a custom track. All of these abilities keep you in very close proximity to where the fish are without a lot of work on your part.

Follow the Contour can be one of the best features of i-Pilot Link. It allows you to automatically follow the contour of the bottom based on either Lakemaster or AutoChart Live maps. All you have to do is cast and catch the fish. Set i-Pilot Link to follow hardness, vegetation, or contour to get in the perfect position for fishing success. To employ Follow the Contour you will need one of the following Humminbird SD cards installed:

The warranty for both i-Pilot and i-Pilot Link is 2 years.

The i-Pilot Link built into any of the previously mentioned trolling motors is compatible with several models of the Humminbird SOLIX 10, SOLIX 12, and SOLIX 15 fish finders as well as Humminbird HELIX 7, HELIX 8, HELIX 9, HELIX 10, and HELIX 12 model fish finders.

Marine Motors is a family business

Marine Motors is a family business. We have been in love with fishing for a very long time. When I was a young boy my father taught me how to find the enjoyment in fishing. He and I would go to the lake for a day's fishing on one or two weekends each month. The weather in Louisiana where we lived allowed us to do this almost all year. Back in those days we did not have a trolling motor to help with positioning the boat where the fish were to make it easier to fish. There was some work involved with getting the boat into a location where the fish were and more work keeping it there.

Now days technology has improved so much that fishing can be fully enjoyed using the power of a high tech trolling motor. At Marine Motors we are interested in supplying the most technologically advanced trolling motors in the world today. Minn Kota and MotorGuide offer trolling motors with the benefits of GPS, Spot Location, Bluetooth, and other advances. We are dedicated to giving you a selection of trolling motors that will make your fishing trip as enjoyable as possible. You can get next day shipping on your order and shipping is always free.

Buy a trolling motor from Marine Motors and go out and enjoy fishing! - John Mitchell