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#12012729 - 12/31/16 12:10 PM Need some guidance from Motorguide Xi5 owners
jp24 Offline

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 134
Loc: Texas
Iím finally ordering my new 24V Motorguide Xi5 with GPS Remote today. Hoping those of you who have one will share some feedback before I order. Iím replacing an older Motorguide with Gator Mount on a 2001 18-ft. G3 aluminum bass boat with a 100-HP Yamaha.

Iím leaning toward the Xi5-80 / 45" over the 54Ē. Agree? (Itís possible I could upgrade the boat in a few years, to something fiberglass and maybe up to 20 feet, but no definitive plans).

The boat is kept on a lift year-round; itís seldom trailered (I live on lake). Any special mounting youíd recommend?

As a DIY guy, I have all the tools, but my problem is I often lack the patience to do things perfectly. Would you self-install or have it done?

I currently have a Lowrance Gen 2 10 at the console and two transducers on the transom: LSS-2 and 83-200. Also have a Lowrance Gen 1 5-inch on the bow running to an 83-200 transducer mounted on the TM. Both units are connected via Ethernet through an LSS-1 module. I do not currently have NMEA. I am prepared to upgrade the bow unit, to something like a 7-10-inch. Would you recommend Touch or non-touch, and would you go to NMEA? Basically, how would you proceed, to get the most out of the Xi5?

I prefer to order online for convenience. Iím willing to spend up to $100 more than, say, Amazonís price, if the dealer I buy from makes a difference. Thoughts and recommendations?

Finally, I read here about how you have to be careful to not get thrown overboard when the Xi5 does something you are not anticipating. Any other learnings, tips, suggestions?


#12012940 - 12/31/16 02:54 PM Re: Need some guidance from Motorguide Xi5 owners [Re: jp24]
Finaddict Offline

Registered: 10/02/16
Posts: 224
Loc: Cedar Creek lake, Tx
I have xi5 and would not swap for anything!!!
First...are you aware the transducer is sonar only? No di or si. I would upgrade to Helix 9 or 10 wit current sales and install transducer on the motor. I have a 19 ft sc bay boat and the 45 works fine. Ocassionally in very choppy water the prop hits the surface. Only time I have to be aware of movement is if I activate with motor in high. It moves! David Goodson from is the best resource around for TM assistance. He can mount the motor and external transducer on it.
You know you are a fishaholic if you have more rods than your wife has shoes!

Survived Vietnam TET offensive 1968, 100% disabled compliments of Agent Orange.
NO regrets.....

#12013171 - 12/31/16 05:55 PM Re: Need some guidance from Motorguide Xi5 owners [Re: jp24]
Davedave Online   content
Bigfoot Seeker

Registered: 07/02/12
Posts: 17888
Loc: Grapevine, TX
David at Shut up and fish can help you out. Ron (BlueNitro on here) came up with a pretty slick mount for these also. With his boat it was hitting the roller on the trailer when he would unload and load. His mount pulls the motor up and back so it doesn't hit while loading or unloading. You then just put it back in the original position. It has an option to be easily removable as well. You may not need that since it's on a lift, but David at shut up and fish is familiar with those mounts also. David is who I bought my xi5 from. I mounted mine myself. If I had to do it over again, David would mount it. I mount those things every now and then. Guys that do it a lot can knock it out a lot quicker. (I had to sort of shim mine because of how the bow is.)

#12013592 - 12/31/16 10:24 PM Re: Need some guidance from Motorguide Xi5 owners [Re: jp24]
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 01/21/01
Posts: 6685
I would get the longer shaft. You can let the extra stick up above the mount when it's not needed. The extra shaft also makes it easier to stow and deploy and leaves room for the extra handle. (You need it)

I highly recommend a kill switch for the occasional time someone gets caught in the prop.

I have never had mine move the boat unexpectedly enough for that to be a problem.

I don't have mine connected to my gps on the graph. It's not really necessary in my opinion.
Ernest Paty

#12013621 - 12/31/16 10:47 PM Re: Need some guidance from Motorguide Xi5 owners [Re: jp24]
lputman Offline

Registered: 12/30/08
Posts: 54
Loc: Point, Texas
I have mine mounted on a 20 foot skeeter Iclass. I purchased the 54" shaft and have found it useful in heavy chop. Mine is not connected to HDS at this time but plane on doing so later. I would not do any thing different. I only wish I could find a good way to mount my Hydrowave.

#12013636 - 12/31/16 11:04 PM Re: Need some guidance from Motorguide Xi5 owners [Re: jp24]
Txmedic033 Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 08/13/13
Posts: 4336
Loc: Longview, Tx
I would definitely get the longer shaft like already stated. It is very nice in rough water and when you leave extra sticking up you don't have to bend over as far to stow it.

Ron's mount is nice since it keeps the motor from sticking out so far over the bow of the boat, but wouldn't benefit you much if the boat stays in a slip.

I mounted mine myself w/o any issues at all. I have heard great things about David's work and would consider using him if he was closer. I prefer to do everything myself so that I know for sure that it is done properly. It did not take long to install and is easy as long as you don't mind drilling holes in your boat.

I would absolutely connect everything with a NMEA 2000 network and buy the largest touch screen you can afford. Nobody wishes that they had bought a smaller screen. Just get the older model at a largely discounted price. I have a gen 2 HDS 12 touch and have no remorse that I didn't buy a much more expensive gen 3. I have everything on my boat that is compatible connected to my NMEA 2000 network. I can scan an area with my side scan using my trolling motor while sitting at my console and then send the trolling motor directly to any structure that I see and anchor on that spot w/o leaving my seat. I also drift a ton for blue cats this time of the year and use my HDS 12 to set my drift direction and control prop speed or just set the exact MPH that I want to drift and again never leave my seat. Everyone that sees how mine is networked wants to do the same thing to their boat. If you don't network, you are not using all of the tools that you have at your disposal with the Xi5.

My trolling motor has never thrown me off balance, but I had it hard wired directly to the battery and ended up installing a plug to use as a kill switch in case I ever drop my remote overboard.

On a final note, if you do decide to buy a new graph, NMEA 2000 network, and Xi5, I would consider a Point 1 antennae too. Makes finding and staying on brush piles easier when you are not using your graph to send you directly to the pile. You could possible get a better deal if you buy all things from one dealer and also have them install you products. Congrats on your trolling motor decision. You will love it!

#12015777 - 01/02/17 09:37 AM Re: Need some guidance from Motorguide Xi5 owners [Re: jp24]
DFW-fisherman Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 04/01/11
Posts: 1343
Loc: DFW
You will be happy with the Xi5 for sure. I too bought mine from David, and am very happy. The longer shaft is a plus for the reasons noted by other posters, and the nice mount that BlueNitro came up with is a real plus! If you are a handy person with tools - which sounds like you are, David can give you some help and you can more than likely be successful installing it yourself. I installed mine and networked it on my Ranger Reata, then moved it to my pontoon without any real problems. Just don't get in a hurry and be sure you understand everything before you start, and then talk to others that installed it themselves so that you can benefit from their lessons learned - before you drill any holes.

I too have Lowrance, and like Ernest said - you don't have to network them, but it is nice to have them work together. Your Gen 2 unit should work with the Xi5, but I admit it is better with a Gen 3. I've got both on my boat and my Gen 3 Touch is much easier to use than the Gen 2 Touch.

Good luck, and Happy New Year! bouncy

flag texas

#12017484 - 01/03/17 07:14 AM Re: Need some guidance from Motorguide Xi5 owners [Re: jp24]
BlueNitro Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 06/08/10
Posts: 5140
Loc: Lewisville
I love my Xi5 and am sure you will be happy with yours as well. I would also get the 54" shaft and would give David a call if you haven't already.

Thanks for all the kind words about the LiftSaver. One thing to keep in mind is that it not only lifts and retracts the motor for launching and docking to protect your expensive trolling motor but also provides a larger and more secure mounting platform for these electric steer motors (both MotorGuide and Minn Kotas). On most boats, you are going to only get four bolts into the bow and the motor/bolts will be very close to the edge of your boat. I personally know of three boats that have had the trolling motors rip off the bow and ended up on the lake floor which also cost $1,000's to repair the bow of their boats. The LiftSaver base gives you 133 sq inches of mounting surface as compared to 23 sq inches without so I can get 6+ bolts to mount the TM. Think about how much stress is put on this reduced surface mounting area during trailering and running across the lake. You can also adjust the position of the control head to assure that it stays within the confines of the side of your boat and you can also cover any existing holes from other installations.

When you look at it this way, it really is a small investment to help protect your expensive trolling motor as well as your boat.

PM me if you have any questions and I would be more than happy to give you any help I can.

I love this video!!! Slide bracket which was not a LiftSaver.

Edited by BlueNitro (01/04/17 11:29 AM)
Edit Reason: Added 2nd video

#12017704 - 01/03/17 09:35 AM Re: Need some guidance from Motorguide Xi5 owners [Re: jp24]
jp24 Offline

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 134
Loc: Texas
Thanks everyone.

I'm going with the 54", buying from David and letting him do the install. Can't wait to use it.

#12017828 - 01/03/17 10:38 AM Re: Need some guidance from Motorguide Xi5 owners [Re: jp24]
TexExp Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/13/10
Posts: 1433
Loc: Lake Lavon


(I wuz gonna recommend David also.) lol

Good fishing!
You will love it.

#12019814 - 01/04/17 11:34 AM Re: Need some guidance from Motorguide Xi5 owners [Re: jp24]
BlueNitro Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 06/08/10
Posts: 5140
Loc: Lewisville
Originally Posted By: jp24
Thanks everyone.

I'm going with the 54", buying from David and letting him do the install. Can't wait to use it.

Good call. David will set you up right. thumb

#12021739 - 01/05/17 09:35 AM Re: Need some guidance from Motorguide Xi5 owners [Re: jp24]
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 05/31/06
Posts: 6757
Loc: Arlington
Sharing some points from my experience w/ the Xi5 and graph....

54" is the right move. You can always cut it down, but can't stretch it longer if needed. Most people don't fish in choppy water, but when needed, the extra length will do you right.
Also, just assume that you don't fish in choppy water, hence you don't need a longer shaft. However, what if your main motor die while out there in choppy condition, the longer shaft will at least help you get to the shore line.

Whether you are installing it yourself or have it done, as long as it is done right, it is all good. David is the man if you aren't a good handyman. Some of us install everything ourselves so we know where all the wiring come from, and where all the fuses are to check to trouble shoot at times.
The lift saver is a plus.

Graph upgrade:
Sticking with Lowrance is a plus plus since you can connect via gateway to control everything from your screen (not just from the remote).
Size does matter when it comes to graph as one said earlier in this thread that no one ever regret of purchasing too big of a graph. The bigger the better, the later the model the better (later model has faster chip and is faster in responding time), as long as your pocket book allow you to without foolishly overspending.

Point One antennas:
If you are going with the Lowrance Gen3 or the New Lowrance Carbon, you don't have to get a Point One since the built in GPS of the Gen3 or later is very accurate (I got rid of my front Point One because it seemed to be not as accurate as the head unit Gen3).

NMEA 2000:
You will want to include the NMEA 2000 within your networking system at time of installation of new graph. The NMEA 2000 should connect to both graphs. Then when you are ready to step up with the Motor Guide Gateway, it is ready to connect to your NMEA 2000 already there.

Transducer basic:
As far as transducer for the front graph, it is very tricky for all those who owns any electric steering trolling motor, whether it is Minn Kota or Motor Guide.
The easiest solution is to purchase the Xi5 with built-in universal transducer. Although you won't have Sidescan or Downscan on your front graph this way, at least you will have chirp sonar (assuming you are upgrading to the chirp capable graph). Note: When purchasing your graph, don't purchase the LSS2 combo to save money.

Transducer enhanced:
Now if you want more than sonar at your front graph, you can always go with the Totalscan transducer.
Keep in mind that if you know for sure that you want all from the git-go, and your pocket book allowed (meaning: front graph showing map/Downscan/Sidescan/Chirp Sonar), then don't purchase the Xi5 with built in transducer. This would save you some money on the trolling motor and spend it on the Totalscan transducer.

Possible interference:
We are now opening up a can of worm. Some people have lots of issues with interference when mounting an external transducer to the trolling motor rather than the built-in. There are grounding solution which would help. I wasn't happy with my interference until I bit the bullet and went with the Transducer Saver for my Totalscan. It seemed to help alot, but the Transducer Saver is proud of their pricing. I am not 100% sure, but I believe the Transducer Saver help separate the transducer from the trolling motor main motor. So if you can find a way to insulate and mount your transducer in such a way that it not directly contact to the main motor of the trolling motor, this should help greatly.

Transducer wire rigging: (This can be a big issue!)
Since the electric steer of the Terrova, Uterra, and Xi5 hinder the transducer wire to be zip-tied to the shaft, there are several ways to solve this issue. I've tried many of them, and they all work to a certain extend. Look up on YouTube. PM me if you need help since this is another blog all together... This is getting longer than expected, and I didn't mean to bore

#12023056 - 01/05/17 07:56 PM Re: Need some guidance from Motorguide Xi5 owners [Re: SLABmeSILLY]
j791 Offline

Registered: 03/07/12
Posts: 202
Loc: Georgetown Texas
Do you have a TotalScan on your HDS Gen3? I am thinking about putting one on my Xi5 along with a Transducer Saver. That is about a $500 investment so I was curious if you like it.

#12023772 - 01/06/17 08:47 AM Re: Need some guidance from Motorguide Xi5 owners [Re: j791]
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 05/31/06
Posts: 6757
Loc: Arlington
Originally Posted By: j791
Do you have a TotalScan on your HDS Gen3? I am thinking about putting one on my Xi5 along with a Transducer Saver. That is about a $500 investment so I was curious if you like it.

Yes that's how I rigged mine. To each his own, and it might be overkill for some, appreciated by others. I like to have all possible views at my disposal.
Many like myself have (had) the Lowrance Elite series with the DHI transducer. It is nice to see downscan and chirp sonar at once. However, the totalscan adds an advantage that I can sidescan the immediate area of where I just fished to see if there are any more brushpile near by. Often times, bps come in group. The totalscan makes it convenient to find more bps without having to go to the back unit and start the big motor.
Yes, I like it a lot more than the conventional DHI setup.

#12023903 - 01/06/17 09:48 AM Re: Need some guidance from Motorguide Xi5 owners [Re: jp24]
shut-up-and-fish Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/08/10
Posts: 10120
Loc: Lewisville Tx.

Hello Fellas,

Here is a recent installation job I did utilizing the 'Basic LiftSaver' - Black Powder Coated mounting bracket from LiftSaver.

Notice how we also installed the transducer to the trolling motor and ran the transducer cable.

Even though the MotorGuide Xi5 installed on this boat may not hit the trailer bow roller, the LiftSaver Mounting Bracket still serves a very valuable purpose as it allowed the owner to have his motor mounted with a larger footprint utilizing the existing pattern from the motor we replaced. As well as it allowed during the installation process to make adjustments and keep the trolling motor head from sticking out over the gunnel of the boat by making a slight adjustment.

Thank you all for the kudos. I only utilize quality products and conduct my services with great attention to detail.

David @ shut-up-and-fish
It's all coming together and we have you covered @ Shut-Up-And-Fish LLC
From *Sales *Installation Services *On the Water Education & Instructional Trips
we are your One-Stop-Shop for all Humminbird MinnKota & Motorguide needs & more
972 822 9285

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