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Trolling Motor Advice

I am currently searching for the best trolling motor for my boat. I want one that is gps controlled but I am not dead set on it automatically deploying. My boat is a Pioneer 197 Sportfish CC. The water line is right at 42” consistently from the bow deck. I have no experience and I am not biased to what brand I get. Any experinces good or bad would be helpful.

Replies

  • fsu11fsu11 Senior Member JAX BeachPosts: 2,122 Captain
    i just picked up a motorguide xi5 and it has been fantastic so far. I decided to go the route of buying a refurbished trolling motor without the gps module and then purchased the gps module separately to add to it. ended up being around $1100 by doing so compared to $1500. Don't purchase from Universalmania.com I still have not heard back from them after they lost my trolling motor. And it has been two weeks. I got lucky and the base model xi5 without gps i bought came with it but it came with a regular remote, unfortunately i already had the gps module and remote waiting at my doorstep. And I cant return it now so if you want to go this route and purchase the base model and add the GPS let me know and i will make you a great deal so we can both benefit from it.
  • Sea SnakeSea Snake Senior Member Posts: 5,536 Admiral
    Can't beat a Rhodan, in my opinion....manual deploy.....but dead on lock, while in anchor.

    But not cheap...I will say that.

    So depends on your budget.....I have heard that the MG X15 is the closest thing to a Rhodan you can get.
  • fsu11fsu11 Senior Member JAX BeachPosts: 2,122 Captain
    steve i have not been on a boat with a rhodan but i have fished on a boat with minn kota ipilot and now my own with xi5 and i was amazed how close it keeps you in a spot, i pulled up between two docks that were only 30 feet apart and my boat is 19' and i stayed right between them with no worries about moving.
  • BoattronicsBoattronics Senior Member Atlantic Beach, FloridaPosts: 5,222 Admiral
    I've installed all of them. Fished all of them many times except the Rhodan. In my opinion I like the Minn Kota over the motor guide, and the MK has been updated more recently than the others. It now has both a heading sensor on the shaft, and an outboard heading sensor you mount in the console. I believe this newer tech affords it a tighter hold than the others. That said, I got a gen 1 Ulterra (automatic deploy and stow, plus ipilot) when they came out and its been flawless. Out of all the countless many we have installed, only one has failed to my knowledge. If you call Christine at 307 Fish who is the local service center for all the above, she has only had ONE of the new gen Ulterras in her shop with a failure so far.

    In any event, all 3 are great products, and all can fail. The Rhodan may offer more thrust out of the smaller sizes/voltage, but costs the most. The MG turns too fast in my opinion and can be hard to control for that reason, and is downright annoying at hold it moves so much. Again, just an opinion.

    In any event, we install more trolleys these days than any other shop, and I also custom build my own charging systems. (No one else does) I also have a fiberglass shop, an aluminum fabrication and a machine shop right next to me so we can solve any custom application possible right on the spot. Rewiring, batteries, etc of course too.

    Good luck on your decision.... as long as you get one sufficient in power and shaft length for your boat, you can't go wrong! Please call directly with any questions we can help with.
    Tony Eden-
    Certified, licsensed and insured, Marine Electronics and rigging master, and "Dream boat" build winner with 20 years of professional experience.
    Boattronics.net
    Over 80 seperate, recent reviews from captains on this forum-
    http://forums.floridasportsman.com/showthread.php?5295-Recent-Boattronics-reviews!
    Please call with any questions or a free estimate for the lowest price/best work available!
    904-545-1270
  • Morocco_madnessMorocco_madness Senior Member Posts: 2,974 Captain
    Get yourself an XI5. You have a small enough boat that would be perfect for it. Far as them steering too fast, I think the speed of the XI5 is a god send. For me personally, watching my almost lethargic looking MK turn so slow has become annoying after using my XI5. That precision is very handy when your in tight situations like Fsu11 just referred to. The MK occasionally has to unwind it's power cord during Spot Lock and when that happens in a stiff current, and in a tight spot, you'll wind up kissing a dock. Happened to me before. Especially on a windy day. Add a T-Top to the equation and you have yet another variable making that speed invaluable. Plus, we're all human after all and at some point you'll lose track of your boats positioning. A strong gust of wind hits you and before you know it, your too close to the jetties. Having a responsive steering motor is noice.... Just my 2 cents, do with it what you will.
  • Tstrat95Tstrat95 Junior Member Posts: 26 Greenhorn
    I appreciate your input as it’s all helpful. I never thought about the refurbished route but I may look into that as well. I will certainly keep you in mind should I go with the Xi 5.
  • Tstrat95Tstrat95 Junior Member Posts: 26 Greenhorn
    The Rhodan seems to have the best reviews and having never used a trolling motor I won’t miss the self deploying feature since I have never used it. I will be looking to make the purchase soon as the rope and chain method can be a bit cumbersome with a boat full of kids.
  • Tstrat95Tstrat95 Junior Member Posts: 26 Greenhorn
    I appreciate your input Tony. There seems to be something a little different that works better for each person and their needs. Nothing you mount to a boat is going to last forever especially in the weather we’ve had for the past month.
  • Tstrat95Tstrat95 Junior Member Posts: 26 Greenhorn
    Steve I appreciate your input and I know you use it day in and day out so your experience speaks volumes.
  • BoattronicsBoattronics Senior Member Atlantic Beach, FloridaPosts: 5,222 Admiral
    I was thinking....
    I fished a 197 hard many years ago. Back then, the boat was not rigged with a pipe from the console to the bow. They ran the nav light wire, and then filled the hull with foam. This made it virtually impossible to rig trolley batteries in the console. Is this true on yours, which I assume is a newer version?

    It seems like I remember the batteries would have to go in the bow storage. Also, that boat has a bow rail doesnt it?
    Tony Eden-
    Certified, licsensed and insured, Marine Electronics and rigging master, and "Dream boat" build winner with 20 years of professional experience.
    Boattronics.net
    Over 80 seperate, recent reviews from captains on this forum-
    http://forums.floridasportsman.com/showthread.php?5295-Recent-Boattronics-reviews!
    Please call with any questions or a free estimate for the lowest price/best work available!
    904-545-1270
  • BoattronicsBoattronics Senior Member Atlantic Beach, FloridaPosts: 5,222 Admiral
    I was thinking....
    I fished a 197 hard many years ago. Back then, the boat was not rigged with a pipe from the console to the bow. They ran the nav light wire, and then filled the hull with foam. This made it virtually impossible to rig trolley batteries in the console. Is this true on yours, which I assume is a newer version?

    It seems like I remember the batteries would have to go in the bow storage. Also, that boat has a bow rail doesnt it?
    We put an A65 on it first....

    3f449dd84714929ce85fa0c9fdd05f38.jpg

    Then we went crazy and I took a bunch of new electronics apart, painted them all to match, and overhauled the helm. Y'all remember when Furuno Nav Nets where the thing to have?

    3c14edcbcbe7149fb83f796fb0360886.jpg

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
    Tony Eden-
    Certified, licsensed and insured, Marine Electronics and rigging master, and "Dream boat" build winner with 20 years of professional experience.
    Boattronics.net
    Over 80 seperate, recent reviews from captains on this forum-
    http://forums.floridasportsman.com/showthread.php?5295-Recent-Boattronics-reviews!
    Please call with any questions or a free estimate for the lowest price/best work available!
    904-545-1270
  • Tstrat95Tstrat95 Junior Member Posts: 26 Greenhorn
    My boat came prewired for a trolling motor in the bow anchor locker. The center console currently has 2 batteries in it with a switch. The console has plenty of space to add batteries in my opinion, my daughters potty space may get sacrificed but we all to give a little to get a little. I work around the corner from your shop so I may just bring it by and let you give me your input.
  • BoattronicsBoattronics Senior Member Atlantic Beach, FloridaPosts: 5,222 Admiral
    I'd be glad to look at it whenever ya want to come by. Advice is always free! Glad to hear they are pre wiring them now!
    Tony Eden-
    Certified, licsensed and insured, Marine Electronics and rigging master, and "Dream boat" build winner with 20 years of professional experience.
    Boattronics.net
    Over 80 seperate, recent reviews from captains on this forum-
    http://forums.floridasportsman.com/showthread.php?5295-Recent-Boattronics-reviews!
    Please call with any questions or a free estimate for the lowest price/best work available!
    904-545-1270
  • tle1001tle1001 Junior Member Jacksonville, FLPosts: 33 Deckhand
    Had my XI5 for about a year now and have been pleased with the performance except for one issue...the lower unit is starting to have rust blisters under the paint. I've used the motor about 20 times and wash the boat and trolling motor after every trip. Took it to TMS and Charlie showed me a few that had the same issue. He advised to bring it back before the 2 year warranty expires to have everything replaced at no charge.
  • BoattronicsBoattronics Senior Member Atlantic Beach, FloridaPosts: 5,222 Admiral
    Seems like the Xi5's burn up their boards a lot more often than the others, forgot to mention that. I know a few that have been through multiple sets.
    Tony Eden-
    Certified, licsensed and insured, Marine Electronics and rigging master, and "Dream boat" build winner with 20 years of professional experience.
    Boattronics.net
    Over 80 seperate, recent reviews from captains on this forum-
    http://forums.floridasportsman.com/showthread.php?5295-Recent-Boattronics-reviews!
    Please call with any questions or a free estimate for the lowest price/best work available!
    904-545-1270
  • fsu11fsu11 Senior Member JAX BeachPosts: 2,122 Captain
    i personally think they are all going to have issues. I have been to fish307 and seen plenty minn kotas sitting around to get repaired and my buddy jeremey has replaced his board in his minn kota twice already. I think all are great choices, i personally went with the xi5 because of the accuracy of spot lock which has been great so far but like tony said minn kota came out with the heading sensors to fix that issue on minn kotas.
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