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Old 08-03-2013, 03:38   #1
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Autopilot advice

Hello,

Can you please advice for an autopilot system in a Hatteras 37 ?

Is it possible to setup it with a notebook ?

The helm is open so I prefer portable.

Thank you

B
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Old 08-03-2013, 03:51   #2
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Re: Autopilot advice

Below deck autopilot controls with a above deck mounted control panel is the typical solution. Nothing I know of is capable of being setup via a notebook.

Any autopilot from the big four will do ( though Garmins range of actuators is limited). Go along to any exhibition or big dealer and you should see a selection.

Dave
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Old 08-03-2013, 04:33   #3
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pirate Re: Autopilot advice

If you don't like being outside.. get one with a remote control...
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Old 08-03-2013, 04:40   #4
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Re: Autopilot advice

I have autopilot but when it is on, someone is always on deck. outside. The autopilot doesn't releave you of watching out for othr ships. I've been using one for 4 years and use it constantly when the seas are calm.
I will sleep on deck with an alarm going off every 15 minutes to have a look around on a long night sail by myself.
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Old 08-03-2013, 04:55   #5
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Re: Autopilot advice

Pretty much any Hatteras I have worked on (And I have worked on hundreds!) has a hydraulic drive autopilot. The pump would be mounted under the helm making for a simple and neat installation. The hardest part would be running the wire for the rudder angle indicator to the bridge. I would also mount the compass down low close to the center of the boat. A good unit for this boat is the Raymarine ST6000+ or a Simrad unit. I am not sure the sport pilot which attaches to the wheel would work well on a boat this heavy. Any boat this size really wants a hydraulic drive.
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Old 08-03-2013, 06:49   #6
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Re: Autopilot advice

I don't know about others but I really don't understand your questions so it's hard to answer. What would you set up from a notebook? What does "the helm is open, I prefer portable" mean? We just installed a Garmin on our 34 foot trawler and posted it here, The Trawler Beach House: Installing Our Garmin GHP 10 Autopilot. The Garmin like every other autopilot has a weatherproof display head and it also can be operated with a handheld remote. Chuck
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Old 08-03-2013, 12:54   #7
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Re: Autopilot advice

Sorry for my English and thank you for the advice.

B
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Old 08-03-2013, 12:57   #8
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Re: Autopilot advice

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Originally Posted by Hatteras37 View Post
Sorry for my English and thank you for the advice.

B
No need to apologize. It's just hard to answer if you don't understand the question. I highly recommend the Garmin GHP10 for a boat your size and steering configuration. Chuck
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Old 10-03-2013, 20:57   #9
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Re: Autopilot advice

Take a look at the simplicity of units by Si-Tex and ComNav. Great, solid, and proven units that aren't into the wiz-bang software arms race the bigger manufacturers are in. There are a lot of neat features in units like Garmin and Raymarine that you will pay for, but never use. I paid less than $1800 for a full unit including a second station hook-up (it's just a plug, no need for a full second control head) that would cost well over $3000 from the bigger guys. Si-Tex and ComNav are proven reliable and will last thousands of hours. Just take a look. It's worth it.
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Old 10-03-2013, 21:27   #10
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Re: Autopilot advice

Tom.B +1 Comnav is one solid unit! Ive used Si-Tex, they work well but Ive never installed one ! I have and installed a ComNav on my new boat, works like a charm the boat is 51 ft and has a bigger unit then you would need but a smaller one we had on the Colvin we owned worked for over 10 yrs of hard use and was still working well when we sold her ! just my 2 cents
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Old 13-05-2013, 04:18   #11
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Re: Autopilot advice

I've been curious about autopilots as well. I'm used to large commercial ships, which in my experience, all work by keeping the same heading on the gyro compass. How would a setup work on a smaller boat? Does it tie into the magnetic compass or do you need to install a gyro? Or does it just use COG from a GPS? That seems like the best way, since it should then automatically compensate for set and drift.
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Old 13-05-2013, 04:21   #12
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Re: Autopilot advice

Also all use magnetic heading from a fluxgate compasses, sometimes stabilised using a rate gyro.

COG in a small boat is far too damped to be of any use whatsoever in an autopilot,

dave
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Old 13-05-2013, 04:54   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave0549jv View Post
I've been curious about autopilots as well. I'm used to large commercial ships, which in my experience, all work by keeping the same heading on the gyro compass. How would a setup work on a smaller boat? Does it tie into the magnetic compass or do you need to install a gyro? Or does it just use COG from a GPS? That seems like the best way, since it should then automatically compensate for set and drift.
The Simrad pilots outperform anything else. First the wiring is much easier because it is NMEA2000 based, meaning that something like a rudder position sensor may now be a NMEA2000 rudder position sensor so no extra wiring needed. Same for heading sensor: you can use top quality stabilized magnetometers or install the Simrad version if you don't have a good one yet.
On using GPS data for compensating for drift caused by wind and current: the Simrad pilots have that fully implemented. You just point the bow where you want to go and press a button, and the AP will steer a straight line over ground no matter what. Non-Simrad owners normally don't realize the benefits of this until they experience it... it's magical like a plane landing with cross wind. Most other pilots need a waypoint setup on a plotter for this but I heard that some are now copying this functionality.
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Old 13-05-2013, 05:08   #14
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Re: Autopilot advice

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
The Simrad pilots outperform anything else. First the wiring is much easier because it is NMEA2000 based, meaning that something like a rudder position sensor may now be a NMEA2000 rudder position sensor so no extra wiring needed. Same for heading sensor: you can use top quality stabilized magnetometers or install the Simrad version if you don't have a good one yet.
On using GPS data for compensating for drift caused by wind and current: the Simrad pilots have that fully implemented. You just point the bow where you want to go and press a button, and the AP will steer a straight line over ground no matter what. Non-Simrad owners normally don't realize the benefits of this until they experience it... it's magical like a plane landing with cross wind. Most other pilots need a waypoint setup on a plotter for this but I heard that some are now copying this functionality.
I think all pilots these days have that function, and I think nearly all of them are NMEA2000, too. My old Raymarine pilot had it -- called "track mode", and it worked very well. Yes, you have to set up a waypoint, but is that such a big problem? Can be done with a single click, and you know a lot better where you're going than if you just point the bow.

I'm not knocking Simrad; I just installed a new one myself. Still getting to know it.

As to heading data (to one of the posters above) -- good heading data is crucial to autopilot performance, and is important for lot of other functions as well -- MARPA, radar overlay on a chart, etc.

The best heading sensors these days have rate gyros built into them. The best of the best of the magnetic ones is the Airmar H2183, according to the data. It has a three-axis rate gyro and is accurate to about 2 degrees in dynamic conditions.

Simple fluxgate compasses without any gyro compensation are cheap, but will give much worse results. Now that gyro compensated heading sensors are mass produced there is hardly any reason to use one of these anymore.

Even better is a satellite heading sensor, but these are very expensive and quite bulky and so hard to find a place for. In my opinion, the optimal solution at this stage of development of the various technologies, is the Airmar H2183, which costs less than $1000. That's what I've put in my new system.
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Old 13-05-2013, 05:25   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post

I think all pilots these days have that function, and I think nearly all of them are NMEA2000, too. My old Raymarine pilot had it -- called "track mode", and it worked very well. Yes, you have to set up a waypoint, but is that such a big problem? Can be done with a single click, and you know a lot better where you're going than if you just point the bow.

I'm not knocking Simrad; I just installed a new one myself. Still getting to know it.

As to heading data (to one of the posters above) -- good heading data is crucial to autopilot performance, and is important for lot of other functions as well -- MARPA, radar overlay on a chart, etc.

The best heading sensors these days have rate gyros built into them. The best of the best of the magnetic ones is the Airmar H2183, according to the data. It has a three-axis rate gyro and is accurate to about 2 degrees in dynamic conditions.

Simple fluxgate compasses without any gyro compensation are cheap, but will give much worse results. Now that gyro compensated heading sensors are mass produced there is hardly any reason to use one of these anymore.

Even better is a satellite heading sensor, but these are very expensive and quite bulky and so hard to find a place for. In my opinion, the optimal solution at this stage of development of the various technologies, is the Airmar H2183, which costs less than $1000. That's what I've put in my new system.
Navigating to a waypoint requires a chart plotter and somebody plotting a waypoint on that, activating a goto for it and then acknowledge it on the autopilot. This is also supported by the simrad and called Nav Mode. But it isn't what I mean. I mean AP only. Normally you point the bow to a heading and switch the pilot to Auto mode to maintain this heading. All AP's support that. With the Simrad and this magic mode, you point the bow not to a heading, but physically where you want to go, like in between the piers of a harbor entrance and then activate this mode. No plotter needed/used. But it does need positioning data on the N2K bus.
They call this "No Drift Course" mode.

I would say the preferred heading sensors are Maretron, Airmar, Simrad, in that order, although I understand it when you swap Airmar with Maretron I don't know who all have rudder position sensors for N2K but Simrad have a nice one and Maretron has a converter for old sensors based on resistance value (which is not the older non-N2K Simrad which is based on frequency).
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