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Motorguide prøver seg på Minn Kotas I-Pilot

Endelig kommer det en konkurrent til IPilot. :)

Minn Kota sitt IPilotsystem dreier seg i korte trekk om at de har satt inn en GPS i en frontmontert elektrisk motor, som gir mulighet for funksjoner man ellers er vant til med en autopilot. IPilot fungerer via en fjernkontroll, og gir mulighet for å sette en bestemt kurs, mulighet for å legge inn variabel kurs via waypoints og ikke minst en ankringsfunksjon hvor elmotoren holder båten på en gitt posisjon.

Systemet finnes i en variant som kalles ILink, som gjør det samme men via en Humminbird kartplotter eller Humminbird kombinasjonsapparat. Minn Kota og Humminbird har samme eier (Johnson Outdoor), så for oss med annen elektronikk enn Humminbird har det ikke vært mulig å koble kartplotter og elmotor sammen.

I USA er elmotorprodusenten Motorguide Minn Kota sin største konkurrent på elmotorsiden. Frem til nå har de ikke hatt GPS-styring på sine motorer (amerikanere er glade i fotpedal for å styre elmotoren), men til høsten kommer de med noe de kaller Xi5, som likner mistenkelig på IPilot.

Motorguide Xi5 (foto: www.motorguide.com)

Foreløpig er det uvisst nøyaktig hvilke funksjoner Motorguide vil hente ut i fra GPSen, men utifra videoen på nettisden deres, er i hvertfall bestemt kurs og ankringsfunksjon på plass. LINK til Motorguides egen webside, her finner du også en video av motoren i bruk. Motorguide eies av Brunswick/ Mercury, og finnes for salg i Norge feks via Wavekjeden eller Bakken Motor. Naturlig nok har ingen av dise informasjon om Xi5 på sine nettsider enda, og det blir spennende å se hvordan dette produktet havner prismessig i Norge.

Litt overraskende ser det ut til at Motorguide satser på pedalkontroll på ferskvannsmodellene, og fjernkontroll på saltvannsmodellene. Men dette kan ha noe med amerikanernes forkjærlighet for nevnte pedal, så vi får håpe at også ferskvannsmodellene får håndholdt fjernstyring på sikt. Nå er det selvfølgelig ikke noe i veien for å bruke en saltvannsmodell i ferskvann, men de er gjerne noe stivere i pris. Samtidig er jeg litt overrasket over at ikke baugmonterte elmotorer har blitt mer populære blant saltvannsentusiaster i Norge, til kveitefiske og ikke minst til tradisjonelt oppankret fiske med agn må de være helt knall. Bare tanken på å styre med flere hundre meter ankertau gjør at jeg ikke engang vurderer en dypvannssatsning utenfor Drøbak feks.

I følge høyst ubekreftede rykter på noen utenlandske forum, ser Motorguide på å koble sitt nye hjertebarn opp mot Lowrance sine kartplottere (sikkert Simrad også, siden disse er mer eller mindre like). Om dette har noe hold i virkeligheten er særdeles uvisst, men det kunne unektelig vært ganske artig om det kom en reell konkurrent til Minn Kota/ Humminbird....

EDIT:
Det har kommet en offisiell pressemelding om Motorguide og Lowrance sitt samarbeid. Mine antagelser var faktisk riktige (for en gangs skyld). HDS Gen 2 og HDS Touch vil fungere via NMEA2000 som styringsverktøy for Xi5 via diverse tilleggsutstyr. De satser på alle funksjonene i dagens Minn Kota ILink, så dermed har faktisk Minn Kota/ Humminbird en reell konkurrent fra våren 2014. Du kan lese full pressemelding, som også inneholder omtrentlige priser for det amerikanske markedet, her:
http://www.tradeonlytoday.com/images/stories/web/releases/LowranceMotorGuide0712.pdf

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