Well, to finish this thread up... I ordered the Ipilot for the Ankona 17 SUV, however when it came in the boat shop called me and said it's way too big to fit the boat. They said they'd have to put a special bracket on the deck to support the unit. They all told me i'd be crazy to put the thing on the boat, so... No Ipilot on the Ankona for me!
Neat looking gadget though. Maybe they'll make a smaller unit soon.
It is certainly strange. I don't know the particular year of your boat, but from what I've seen, I don't really see any issues with adding a trolling motor. That boat doesn't seem any different than any other skiff on here. I think I would seek more specific information regarding the reasoning behind their decision. I have a Maverick Pathfinder 1700T and will most certainly be, well in the future, grabbing up an I-Pilot on a 55# Minn Kota.
I would seek another opinion. The I-Pilot itself is simply supplying the unit with a new "brain". Kind of like putting a wireless card in your computer. Plug it in, and it works.
ED: After reading your post again, it would appear to me the particular trolling motor you purchased was considered to be to big? Perhaps the shaft is to long and needed to be cut down by a Minn Kota certified shop? I-Pilot can be purchased for various Minn Kota Trolling motors. That is unless of course, there is some under laying issue with the vessel it's self we are un-aware of.
Abywho, we have a 70# 50 something inch shaft iPilot on our copperhead and had no problem at all getting it on there.I don't know if you've talked to Mel, but I'm sure he'd be willing to provide any necesary assistance!
Thank you all! Mel wasn't sure either why they didn't recommend it. He said there shouldn't be an issue either with it, but the guys at Bossman didn't like the idea due to some mounting issue? THey said it needed some hardware under the deck to make it safe for some reason??? I gave up on the idea moved on fishing. I'm not sure why they think there is a difference between what I have now and the ipilot model?? I have a 55# now with 45" shaft I believe. Works great but I would have liked the features of the Ipilot!
Having installed my Riptide SP with iPilot 2 weeks ago on my SeaSquirt I think the issue would have been the mounting holes. These need to hang over the edge of the boat by about 6 inches. You would have ended up with at least 1 and looking at the pictures of an SUV may be even 2 nuts/bolts in the area right at the edge of the bow where the non slip ends. I ended up with 1 nut/bolt sticking out. As you can see in the picture there were a couple holes from the previous owner so I went ahead. Also with that slick edge angled up it would need to be shimmed up in the back to sit flat.
I've been fishing the ipilot for a few weeks now and love it. Spot lock is awesome, the past weekend at Suwannee it held me right on in tide and wind, less than 5 ft drift. I was 60 feet or less from oyster bars so I kept close eye it. Now I trust it.
I recorded a full 2 miles going up the little river in GA and it drove me all the way back with no intervention. Advanced auto pilot works well, cruise control is awesome for Crappie trolling. Set it to 1.5 MPH and it holds within .1 MPH.
Takes a bit to get used to the motor just doing its own thing but I'm very happy with it.