After purchasing the Motorguide Xi5, I bought the LiftSaver and Ron Duran (BlueNitro) came over and installed it and the new Xi5. I thought I'd report my findings after having used this setup for a while (Nov 2017).
First the LiftSaver. Solid, excellent workmanship and performs as advertised. Ron does an excellent install and it is obvious he does and wants it done 'right'. He ignored my 'why don't we just....' suggestions. No, he would say. This is the right way even if it takes longer. Previously, I had a Terrova, which I had bolted directly to the bow. The skeds on the front broke on three different occasions. Fortunately, replacements are easily found, not expensive, and easily installed. I would always cringe when getting near docks and trees. The Xi5 protrudes even more than the Terrova but the front point is more solid and rounder, so less likely to get caught on something. I now don't worry because of the LiftSaver. I've posted some pics below. Craftsmanship should be evident. I like the confidence I have now going across water knowing and feeling the TM is solidly mounted to the boat.
The Xi5 also performs as advertised. At the Jan CAT tournament (we fished Sandlin), my partner Jason Ewton and I sat on the same tree in 46' of water. Winds were probably variable in the 15mph range. The Xi5 held us on spot the whole time. Lines were vertical and when it was doing its thing, lines were no more than 8" - 12" off angled, then would settle vertically.
I tested the accuracy of Xi5's the other week on Lewisville. Here are the results.
First, my setup. At the bow, HDS-9 G3, console HDS-10 G2. Both are connected to their own LSS-1. The units are not tethered via Ethernet. They are connected via NEMA2k with a Point-1 at the stern. So Xi5, bow unit, console unit and Pt-1 are on the NEMA network.
I set the bow unit to use GPS from the BOW unit, Console to Pt-1.
The test area was a fixed post, not a buoy. Wind was negligible.
The post was first approached by TM while I sat at bow. When the bow was about 2' SSE from the post I set a wpt (001).
The second approach, I was at the console unit and steered the boat to the post but did not create wpt (002) til the Pt-1 was in the same place positioned as above.
Then I moved away from the post, went to the bow and said go to 001 - it's using the internal GPS from the HDS -9. The bow went about five feet past and as I waited it settled back to near the marker where 001 was set, but not exactly, but also not too far either. Maybe a foot or two.
I moved away again. Sitting at the console, I told the unit (HDS-10, it's using Pt-1) to go to 002. Went right to it, no passing it up. I moved away, still using the console and told it to go to 001. BINGO, went to exactly where 001 was set (which is the same as 002). I had looked up the Lat/Long readings in one of the screens that list wpts.
Once again, I moved off the target, changed the bow unit to use the Pt-1 GPS, and from this unit to go to 001. BINGO, right on the mark - not the five feet passed it and then resettling near where it should be.
1. The LiftSaver
is exactly that; a TM lift saver that works, high quality, and safer. No worries about smashing the unit on the trailer nose roller when loading or unloading the boat.
2. MG Xi5 is the real deal; and turns fast and quietly. I miss not having a display on the remote. I still screw up the buttons because of the six years of using a Terrova remote. I do find the MG remote molds to the hand better - a small consolation. I really like having the TM's status on the HDS units and the capability of driving the TM from the units. I don't do this often, but it does come in handy. I have no comment on the foot pedal as it is unused and stored as backup in the boat - batteries are not even installed.
3. Point-1 is more accurate than the internal GPS in HDS units, even if the refresh rate is the same (G3).