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Old 13-01-2010, 20:04   #16
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I have a 13000 pound boat and the wheel pilot works just fine so long as I am in the Chesapeake. You arent going to get waves that are too big in there and if you do you can always go anchor somewhere since there is going to be someplace not too awfully far away. But I am putting a below decks pilot on this winter since we are planning to go to the Caribbean next fall. Will keep the wheel pilot as backup though
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Old 13-01-2010, 21:29   #17
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We dont plan to take it offshore. We will just be sailing along the US eastern coast and through the caribean islands. We also wouldnt rely on the AP during a storm or in high winds. I dont think id feel comfortable letting any electronic control my boat in adverse conditions.

The Smart Pilot X-5 says it can handle boats up to 16,500lbs
I wouldn't have an autopilot if I couldn't rely on it in a storm or high winds. That's when you really need it.

If your sails are balanced, you will have a light helm, and the autopilot should steer the boat just fine in a storm. If quartering seas are pushing your stern around, you can trail a drogue to give your boat additional directional stability.

Our autopilot steered Exit Only 99% of the way around the world. There were only a couple of times when I trailed a drogue to assist the autopilot and increase the directional stability of the yacht.

You can read about our autopilot experience at:
CRUISING MULTIHULLS - TAKE CARE OF YOUR AUTOPILOT AND IT WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU.* CAPTAIN DAVE - CATAMARAN SAILOR and at MULTIHULL VIDEOS FROM AROUND THE WORLD.* SURVIVING THE SAVAGE SEAS. ABBOTT DROGUE .

These articles will give you an idea what an autopilot can do for you in a storm, and how you can augment the power of an autopilot and protect it by trailing drogues so it doesn't have to work so hard in a storm.
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Old 13-01-2010, 21:35   #18
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As I said warranty is of no help in the middle of the Atlantic or Pacific ocean reliability is and when mentioning RM I am talking the whole range not just autopilot. Yes maybe the back up is great in the US but the US is not the world.
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Old 14-01-2010, 07:35   #19
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Thanks for all the advice!

When I google Raymarine 6000, I dont get any direct hits, just a bunch of related items Raymarine 6000 - Google Product Search

Can someone send me a link to this Raymarine 6000?

Also, I guess it's just me but I have very little faith in any electronics running my boat. We have had Bright Eyes almost a year now and still don't have a chartplotter, windlass, or auto-pilot. We plan to get all of these eventually, but for the right price. The auto-pilot will just be used on nice calm days when we both want to relax on deck. I'm still novice enough not to want to leave the helm...
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Old 14-01-2010, 07:56   #20
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I have a 13000 pound boat.... But I am putting a below decks pilot on this winter since we are planning to go to the Caribbean next fall.
sck5 - What model below deck are you getting? Can you send me a link? Thanks!
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Old 14-01-2010, 08:22   #21
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I am not sure if I had missed it or not but you have a wheel Helm, so I guess it is Hydrolic? if this is what you have you do not need the same power as another boat with the same gross Tons, A friend installed the Raymarine X5 Wheel helm the boat 10 Ton, I got to use it and fell in love with it, I must add the boat had very little weather helm.

I plan to use the same X-5 Auto Pilot from Defender on my boat.


Best of luck

Dutch
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Old 14-01-2010, 08:36   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bright Eyes View Post
Thanks for all the advice!

When I google Raymarine 6000, I dont get any direct hits, just a bunch of related items Raymarine 6000 - Google Product Search

Can someone send me a link to this Raymarine 6000?

Also, I guess it's just me but I have very little faith in any electronics running my boat. We have had Bright Eyes almost a year now and still don't have a chartplotter, windlass, or auto-pilot. We plan to get all of these eventually, but for the right price. The auto-pilot will just be used on nice calm days when we both want to relax on deck. I'm still novice enough not to want to leave the helm...
Bright Eyes,

The easiest is to go to www.raymarine.com and try the 'products' tab. There, you'll find their product line with all device details and compatibility with other components. They even have the MSRP listed but you can typically buy these for a lot less if you look around (eBay, for instance)

Unlike some of the other posters, I have had excellent response (& not just marketing fluff) from RM technical support to date. As far as reliability goes, everything has a way of breaking down when you least need it to break (per Murphy.. ) the key is to think ahead and be prepared with parts & plans (I realize it's easier said than done, but... )

Also, if you create a login for the RM support (free) - you'll have access to all questions/responses to date (like an FAQ) so you can research what kind of issues the component you are interested in has historically suffered from.

Good luck - happy shopping!

Sailndive
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Old 14-01-2010, 08:46   #23
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A few remarks about the X5,

After my first use the things I seen and in my option, The gear/plate that goes on the wheel looks to be made cheap, The lock to engage the Autopilot is also made cheap it would slip at times. The drive motor seams to be on a float mount I did not like that at all.

Even with all this said I still like the unit.


Dutch
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Old 14-01-2010, 08:47   #24
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Samd boat

I have the same boat. 1981 S37, hull # 65. Have a Raymarine wheel pilot on it. I wanted an X-5, but got tired of waiting for them to be released, so went with out the built in gyro. Read the manual, and take your time in getting it set up. Make sure you have sufficient wire size to the unit and motor. If you do this id does fine. The problem is that if you can't balance the sail plan and have a lot of weather helm then it does get overpowered. If you get the boat balanced it does well. Does have some problems handling large following seas, does best when close hauled. I actually brought my boat home from New Jersey to New Orleans after purchase, with an old Raymarine 3000. I had to use close pins on the belt at the wheel to keep the belt from slipping, but it did do the job.
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Old 14-01-2010, 10:36   #25
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If you want a comfortable cruise don't neglect the items you mentioned. The autopilot chartplotter and windlass are areas you definately don't want to skimp on. Along with these are the power generation and batteries to operate them. I've done cruises in the past without back in the days of loran, but with enough crew capable of doing rotations on the helm in inclement weather. These days its usually just wife and I. Overnighters when hand steering can be a real pita on dog watches when overcast and you only have the compass to guide you. In even moderate following seas it takes near full time concentration and the eyes closing syndrom in the wee hrs can be tough after only a short time.
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Old 14-01-2010, 10:43   #26
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Ps we went with furuno navpilot. Its done well in all conditions we've encountered. When the helm indicator starts getting towards 10deg weather, its time to lessen sail.
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Old 14-01-2010, 15:04   #27
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Furuno is an excellent brand with a high level of reliability and just for more assurance look what the commercial boats use, fishing fleets etc.
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Old 14-01-2010, 18:13   #28
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I would be very careful if damning Raymarine. Reasons:

- a well sized (upsized;-)) Ray WILL perform - things with rate gyre and inner motor or hydraulics do deliver,
- they have service points in many places of the world,
- many, many problems come from bad choice of the unit, lack of calibration (as per Raym's instruction book) and owners poor installation, lack of maintenance.

I am not defending Raymarine, they have their sins, but I have seen unexpected failures and BRILLIANT performance from their equipment.

Bad things can be said about any autopilot makes, NKE inclusive.

b.
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Old 31-01-2010, 13:17   #29
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We are replacing our ancient CETREK 721 below deck linear drive auto pilot and most of what we read indicates a hydraulic drive is the best way to go. We are completely replacing all our ancient instruments with Garmin and would like to use the Garmin auto pilot. However, all the Garmin literature says the GHP10 is for power boats. The techs at Garmin say no problem using it on our 28,000 lb displacement Irwin 43 sailboat. Just have to use a larger hydraulic unit. Does anyone have experience with the Garmin GHP10 system? Does it make sense that a unit described for use on a powerboat can be used on our cruising keeled sloop? Are the steering characteristics of a sailboat so significantly different that it might not work? Garmin says no problem? Sure would appreciate any comments you may have on this subject. I am still working and putting the finishing touches on our boat which we anticipate cruising for many years. Fortunately the pay checks are still coming for a couple more years so we can still afford the better equipment and want to take the plunge now. Any comments on Garmin and other suggestions on below deck auto pilots greatfully accepted. Thanks much for your input.
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Old 31-01-2010, 14:01   #30
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We are replacing our ancient CETREK 721 below deck linear drive auto pilot and most of what we read indicates a hydraulic drive is the best way to go. We are completely replacing all our ancient instruments with Garmin and would like to use the Garmin auto pilot. However, all the Garmin literature says the GHP10 is for power boats. The techs at Garmin say no problem using it on our 28,000 lb displacement Irwin 43 sailboat. Just have to use a larger hydraulic unit. Does anyone have experience with the Garmin GHP10 system? Does it make sense that a unit described for use on a powerboat can be used on our cruising keeled sloop? Are the steering characteristics of a sailboat so significantly different that it might not work? Garmin says no problem? Sure would appreciate any comments you may have on this subject. I am still working and putting the finishing touches on our boat which we anticipate cruising for many years. Fortunately the pay checks are still coming for a couple more years so we can still afford the better equipment and want to take the plunge now. Any comments on Garmin and other suggestions on below deck auto pilots greatfully accepted. Thanks much for your input.
The things you need to be sure that the Garmin autopilot can do is adjust the helm for weather helm conditions, since a sailboats rudder will act differently than a power boat when you are under way, under sail, and it has the ability to adjust for yaw. The more the wind blows the more the autopilot needs to adjust the rudder angle and many power boat specific autopilots can not handle this. I am not sure if it has been mentioned in this thread, but one of the finest autopilots we have owned and we have received the same feedback from other owners, is the Whalepilot from WH Autopilots. The Dashews have been circumnavigating with this autopilot for years. WG
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