self deploying i-pilot

I am considering one of the Ulterra models. Have you heard anything about them? Is there something better?

Replies

  • TCow86TCow86 Posts: 17 Greenhorn
    Friend got one last year and has had a lot of issues. He is offshore banging around a lot and that could be a contributing factor, but I believe is is about to switch back.
  • LurchyLurchy Posts: 356 Deckhand
    got one a few months ago.  love it, until it breaks that is
  • leeward51leeward51 Posts: 10 Greenhorn
    Have had one for 2-3 years. Love it. No problems with it at all.
  • MikeHinesMikeHines Posts: 26 Greenhorn
    Have had one for about 4 months.  No problems yet.  Keep the belt sprayed with a water based silicone.
  • SlackerSlacker Posts: 1,356 Officer
    I will try it, thanks.
  • Westwall01Westwall01 Posts: 4,563 Captain
    My son has one as well as does 2 of my guide buddies. All have had problems. Another guide that I chartered last year while on vacation had his break at the outset of our charter. Not impressed with them at all.
  • swampmonsterswampmonster Posts: 249 Deckhand
    I have one and it has been great. I have not used my anchor in a long time because this keeps me on the spot inshore and offshore. I fish 4-6 hours and it has never gone below half battery. I have it on a mount that you can remove it if something happens because there is no way to pull it up if something happens. I think maybe the first ones had a few problems. You have to push the deploy button very fast two times or it won’t deploy. I think that is a safety factor and some people have a hard time figuring that out. When I get close to my spot I hit deploy and let it take over from the outboard. I talked to the factory and asked about lubing the belt and they said don’t, that may be some people’s problems. It’s the way to go, just keeping on a spot is amazing. You can buy them and have them installed at Young Boats. 
  • Doc StressorDoc Stressor Homosassa, FLPosts: 2,112 Captain
    edited April 14 #9
    I have it on a mount that you can remove it if something happens because there is no way to pull it up if something happens.

    What kind of removable mount did you use? We put an Ulterra on Snookspanker's boat a few years ago and it failed in the deployed position. The only way to manually pull it back up was to remove the bolts on the side panel, which is something I would not like to do offshore. It was an early model and had the circuit board problems that they have supposable now fixed. 
  • livebaitlivebait Posts: 577 Officer
    had my Ulterra for 2 years plus-no problems. Removable mount kit is Minn-Kota RTA-17-bout $90 at mine Kota factory direct store.
  • swampmonsterswampmonster Posts: 249 Deckhand
    Livebait probably has the right part number. Get good batteries and a good charger. 
  • finbullyfinbully Posts: 437 Deckhand
    edited April 20 #12

    I compared the Ulterra and Rhodan side-by-side two years ago at the Miami Boat Show. I do not work for nor am I sponsored by Rhodan and I am a past owner of several MinKota units. I own a Rhodan mounted on my flats boat and a MinKota mounted on my bass boat now. The Rhodan was hands down a more solidly built unit in every aspect. I personally do not see the need for self deployment. However, I think there are great applications for the technology. For instance, if I were a guide with a raised helm boat, I’d consider the self deployment feature since one could deploy and stow while not moving from the helm position. Very useful when jumping from spot to spot. On my boat, when I use my Rhodan, I’m heading to the bow anyway so manual deployment is easy and eliminates the deployment/stowage mechanism which I considered flimsy when I looked.

    I like the Rhodan the best for saltwater but the Ultrex, which I have on my bass boat is another option and has a foot control, which the Rhodan does not. The GPS “spot lock” work excellent on both brands and I’m certain it works great on the Ulterra. I just don’t need added complexity. The real world cost of the auto deployment feature is increased chance of mechanical failure especially in the salt water environment. If you like to buy local, Rhodan is a Florida company too.
  • Snook SpankerSnook Spanker Inglis / YankeetownPosts: 1,717 Captain
    I have it on a mount that you can remove it if something happens because there is no way to pull it up if something happens.

    What kind of removable mount did you use? We put an Ulterra on Snookspanker's boat a few years ago and it failed in the deployed position. The only way to manually pull it back up was to remove the bolts on the side panel, which is something I would not like to do offshore. It was an early model and had the circuit board problems that they have supposable now fixed. 
    Hey Doc, that's not quite what happened but it was a while ago so maybe you forgot the outcome? Like one guy mentioned you have to hit the deploy button twice which I only did by accident after we took it in and they said something about a circuit board! Since figuring out how to use it I haven't had a single problem with it! It works awesome!!! The only small feature that isn't really a problem is when I have it in anchor mode, when I start drifting away the motor will run on high to get me back the short distance to where it was locked. This isn't always conducive to quiet fishing! Just wish it use so much power get back to anchor spot!! Mine will move my old 19' Carolina Skiff loaded with gear fishing two people at 5~6mph!! I have grouper trolled with it before!! It is the 24volt model and I've never run the batteries out yet!! Me and my old back really love mine So when are we going SNOOKIN again Doc???!!!! I owe you!!! You name the time and I'm ready!!!!
    I am'z what I am'z and that'z all that I am'z!! > Popeye!
  • swampmonsterswampmonster Posts: 249 Deckhand
    On the topic of self deploy I like the fact that when it’s rocking and rolling I don’t have to stand on the bow. Also when approaching a spot I can deploy when getting close on motor. With self deploy I can adjust the motor height with the remote. When fighting a fish that may require raising the trolling motor I push a button and out of the way. All of this has been my experience. I am very thankful for this feature. 

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