TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Spot lock, Boats and Batteries
- The Battery might be the Issue
- Minnkotta i-Pilot specific Troubleshooting
- Watersnake Geo-Spot Specific Troubleshooting
- If none of this helps
Read the manual.
There are a huge amount of resources online - specific to your motor and it's usage. We try our best to answer questions - but we are trying to provide support for a vast range and depth of brands and models.
When troubleshooting a trolling motor, following a systematic approach to identify and resolve any issues is essential. While the trolling motor often shows the 'symptoms' of an issue, something elsewhere in the system is sometimes causing it. Trolling Motors do need a clean and constant power supply - and voltage drops or spikes will cause issues with basic functionality. So - if you are having issues with the unit turning off or the 'Spot-Lock' functionality stopping - here are the first steps you can take:
Spot lock, Boats and Batteries
A few people have reported that their units can't keep a spot lock. Before we pull a motor off a boat and send it back for repair/assessment, here are some extra things to consider and check.
The motor can only do so much
We have had a few people who expect a little too much from the motor they purchased.
It's important to understand and correctly match your boat size to the motor size - if it is too small, the unit will have to work constantly at full speed to keep the boat in position.
In addition, if the current/wind/swell gets up too high, again, the motor may find itself having to run at full speed to keep itself in place, and most units, by design, will switch off the spot lock if the motor is running at maximum power for more than a few minutes. This is to protect the motor.
As per Minn Kota - "You need at least 2 pounds of thrust for every 100 pounds of fully-loaded boat weight (people and gear included). If things like wind or current are major factors where you fish, you’ll want a little extra thrust."
All the manufacturers will specify the maximum size their products are recommended for - if you are close to or over that recommendation, you are not going to get the performance you might expect out of it.
The Battery might be the Issue
All these devices require power to run - this power is supplied from a battery system that directly affects performance.
If you have a unit that runs well at the beginning of the day but progressively degrades in performance (say, as the battery loses charge) - then it's possibly the battery or charging system, not the motor itself that has the issue.
Lead Acid and Lithium batteries operate slightly differently in this regard - but both can cause issues. Lead Acid batteries will drop in voltage as they discharge - and most motor units will have some kind of protection system in them that will shut off before totally draining a battery. In addition, the low power supply will require them to run harder to maintain the same position - eventually causing the Spot Lock function also to shut off. Lithium batteries don't drop in Voltage but can spike as they run out of juice - again causing issues.
Unfortunately, we have a lot of returned motors that once tested on a solid power supply - display no fault. So if possible, it's good to isolate issues before pulling motors off and transporting them around the country.