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Old 22-02-2011, 09:10   #1
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Auto Pilot

Hi, I'm thinking of installing the raymarine St2000 auto pilot on my 28' Person mostly because of it's cost. Has anyone or does anyone use this model? Is it a good unit I want to use it when I embark to the Caribbean in a few months. Thanks
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Old 22-02-2011, 10:15   #2
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Re: Auto Pilot

I had what I think is the predecessor to that model but they're basically the same. It worked great for what it was: a compass guided auto pilot. It lasted a few years before failing suddenly. Having the vessel trimmed properly will greatly reduce the power consumption as it won't have to steer as much. If I remember, it was <1 amp in stand by and about 5+ amps when it needed to move the boat. As such we primarily used it when the engine was on.

But I think you know what you're looking for. It's not a multi thousand dollar wind vane set up, and it's not a big hydraulic rig. It's an inexpensive autopilot that will probably give you at least a couple years of reliable service.
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Old 22-02-2011, 14:47   #3
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Re: Auto Pilot

I used the 1000 early model and it was good as long as the sea was flat. Any rolling and the machine went nuts. We only used it to power and when/if our windvane packed (but then it was horrible - noise).

I also used a couple of much newer Simrads and they were hopeless.

The tiller model I did like was the 4000 GP Ray with "G" brains - smooth, relatively silent, capable of steering the rolly downwind passages. And it did not break. EXPENSIVE.

On the cheap, I would pick up a Ray, because Simrads failed on me too many times.

b.
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Old 22-02-2011, 17:17   #4
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Re: Auto Pilot

I've got one. Came with my 27' boat. Only had the chance to use it once for a trip of 8 hrs. Some motoring some sailing. Worked fantastic. The sea was a bit choppy and on one leg heading somewhat into the wind, the occasional big wave would swing the bow around quite strongly. Funnily enough, I tried with the autopilo off and found it very difficult steering so put the autopilot back on and let it go. I was solo and back at port I decided that the autopilot was my new best friend : ).

My only concern was the current it was drawing as I had also inherited with the boat some electrical problems. I was concerned I would get to port and not have enough power to start the motor, not so nice with the squally winds. But I had no problems. Probably if I was sailing all day with the autopilot on, I would want to have my solar panel working properly and check the amps in and out of the battery plus have the start battery properly isolated.

From my limited experience, I found the unit to work very well even when manual steering was not easy. If I get a few years solid work out of it, I would probably buy another one.
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