The Raymarine autopilots still ship with gimbaled flux gate compasses, not modern solid-state compasses, although they can use data from N2K compasses if the flux-gate is not attached. Their compass
is the same one they have offered for at least a couple of decades. From my perspective, aside from the controllers, the autopilot hardware
development stopped a long time ago. With the abysmal reliability
of the cockpit
autopilots one could have hoped for better.
While I do like some of the features that come with the modern controllers, in truth my old Autohelm
2000 (the first 6-button digital unit with separate drive and integrated controller/compass) held a course better then anything since. Such is progress...
If I do go back out cruising with this boat I will have to adapt a below-decks autopilot
. As expensive as they are, they are a bargain compared to continual replacement/repair of the current
Perhaps with the new ownership
of Raymarine there will be more investment in R&D. I'm not holding my breath...