Erratic steering while in AutoPilot (i-Pilot or i-Pilot Link) (2007-2023)

Accuracy and Responsiveness

The accuracy and responsiveness with which the i-Pilot controls your boat is highly dependent upon many variables:

  • Ratio of motor thrust to boat weight. The effect of this is excessive thrust on a smaller boat can cause i-Pilot to over correct. Not enough thrust on a large boat can cause i-Pilot to respond slowly.
  • Wind. Excessive wind and/or current can reduce i-Pilot’s positioning accuracy.
  • GPS signal strength. The greater number of GPS signal bars the greater the accuracy. As voltage at the motor lowers the GPS will become less accurate or drop out completely.


Below are troubleshooting steps for erratic steering with your i-Pilot/i-Pilot Link system.

  1. Load test the battery and check all connections.
    A drop in voltage to the motor will cause the GPS information to be inaccurate and will cause erratic steering.
  2. Verify proper GPS signal.
    The GPS signal strength indicator on the i-Pilot/i-Pilot Link remote should show at least 1 bar.
  3. Change the AutoPilot mode.
    Advanced mode (default) tracks to a series of imaginary points on the line the motor was pointed when AutoPilot was engaged, this will have you arrive at a distant point you were aiming at, but along the way the motor will point in other directions. Legacy Mode strictly uses the compass to maintain the motor heading.
  4. Adjust the boat scale on the i-Pilot/i-Pilot Link remote.
    Ideal installation for a trolling motor is to have the proper amount of thrust for the size of the boat. If the motor thrust is not properly matched to the boat size it can cause overshooting the Spot-Lock location.
  5. Keep all ferrous metallic objects away from the i-Pilot Controller (top head)
    This includes anchors, metal framework, etc which may cause interference.
  6. Heading Sensor Interference
    The heading sensor needs to be in a place where it is not subject to magnetic interference. Ensure that the heading sensor is mounted at least 24 inches from magnetic or ferrous materials or anything that may create magnetic interference. This includes: base of the trolling motor, anchors, metal railings, speakers, radios, and trolling motor battery wires. It must be mounted on a flat, horizontal surface with the arrow on the heading sensor parallel to the boat’s keel. It should also have a line of sight to the trolling motor.
  7. Clean debris behind Prop
    Check for weeds, fishing line, or other debris behind the prop that may restrict the movement.
Was this article helpful?
24 out of 51 found this helpful

Articles in this section

See more