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Old 08-11-2015, 12:57   #16
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Re: Auto pilot for 27ft Hunter with wheel

Navionics is so cheap and good for chart software and works great with raymarine chartplotters. Heck you could get away with an iPad these days. I ran a passenger ferry in Auckland and used my iPhone with Navionics for goodness sakes :-) (the unit on the actual ferry was early 90s vintage and the company saw no reason to upgrade)

The wheel unit plenty for 27 and yes it increases the enjoyment factor dramatically.

Have a blast!
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Old 08-11-2015, 13:34   #17
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Re: Auto pilot for 27ft Hunter with wheel

Autopilot electronics inst. are fairly straightforward.
The hydraulic/mechanics are the harder part.


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Old 08-11-2015, 13:43   #18
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Re: Auto pilot for 27ft Hunter with wheel

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I just purchased my first sailboat and will have many questions. I will mostly sail around lake superior and Apostle islands and I wanted to invest in an autopilot. My budget is up to 3k and I will be doing the install myself. I been reading about the wheel mounted units seem to be debatable less reliable then a rudder mounted one. What about that open source chart plotter software. Will that work with most autopilots? Any other things I should look for?
I was once onboard but not sailing on, a large offshore yacht which had an auxiliary transom mounted rudder in addition to the main wheel operated rudder.


The transom rudder was tiller operated and they used a tiller type Autohelm on that rudder, similar to but larger than I have for my own tiller steered yacht.


I've never bothered to connect my chart plotter to the Autohelm although the capability is there. I just sit and watch. OK for a Boeing 777, though, even if it can fly the plane to somewhere in the Indian Ocean.
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Old 08-11-2015, 13:51   #19
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Re: Auto pilot for 27ft Hunter with wheel

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I was once onboard but not sailing on, a large offshore yacht which had an auxiliary transom mounted rudder in addition to the main wheel operated rudder.


The transom rudder was tiller operated and they used a tiller type Autohelm on that rudder, similar to but larger than I have for my own tiller steered yacht.


I've never bothered to connect my chart plotter to the Autohelm although the capability is there. I just sit and watch. OK for a Boeing 777, though, even if it can fly the plane to somewhere in the Indian Ocean.
XTE & automatic electronic course changes are highly over rated IMHO
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Old 08-11-2015, 14:01   #20
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Re: Auto pilot for 27ft Hunter with wheel

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Navionics is so cheap and good for chart software and works great with raymarine chartplotters. Heck you could get away with an iPad these days. I ran a passenger ferry in Auckland and used my iPhone with Navionics for goodness sakes :-) (the unit on the actual ferry was early 90s vintage and the company saw no reason to upgrade)

The wheel unit plenty for 27 and yes it increases the enjoyment factor dramatically.

Have a blast!
And I was once a passenger on an excursion ferry in Auckland and the skipper was using an iPad with Navionics.


I have an old Navman chartplotter on my boat as well as a cellular iPad ( GPS equipped) for a map view. The cellular iPad is great ( pyou don't need a sim) and can have a variety of programs which can easily be updated. In my experience it is just as accurate as the dedicated plotter in the boat.


I've also used it going Amtrak across the USA and it was correct all the time even at 79.5 mph, but for some reason didn't work in the 6 mile tunnel in the Rockies out of Denver.


My Navman is so old that their new owners, Navionics refused to replace the memory battery as "there were no spare parts". I found a suitable and larger replacement battery for $5 and soldered it in myself, taking less than 30 minutes.
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Old 08-11-2015, 23:50   #21
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Re: Auto pilot for 27ft Hunter with wheel

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Do you have any instruments on the boat now? If you do, you may want to look at an auto-pilot by the manufacturer of those instruments. Most newer instruments should be NMEA 2000 or 0183 compatible, so in theory it doesn't matter. I've found that it is sometimes easier to get support when all are the same. I wouldn't let that be an overriding concern, but it is something to consider.


Also, how old are any instruments and/or chart plotter? You want to be sure that they will work with any auto-pilot you buy.
I'd put a little more weight in favour of selecting a single brand.

All manufacturers treat communications differently (despite protocol standards).

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Old 09-11-2015, 06:07   #22
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Re: Auto pilot for 27ft Hunter with wheel

Since I been looking at Raymarine EV 100 wheel pilots, what is the Garmin equivalent?
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Old 09-11-2015, 17:56   #23
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Re: Auto pilot for 27ft Hunter with wheel

Used the Raymarine evo on my IP 31 and it worked fine.
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Old 09-11-2015, 21:24   #24
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Re: Auto pilot for 27ft Hunter with wheel

I will chime in with some recent use of new to to our boat autopilot function. Integration to instruments for holding a near zero XTE is almost useless. So instrument integration is not all that important.

We just did over 1,000nm outside from New England to Florida in sometimes nasty waves and wind. Last generation raymarine spx10 did a fantastic job of holding heading in 10-12 seas, with 30+ knots of wind. Put it on "track" and it was steering all over the place trying to keep XTE at 6 feet.

By integrating we get other useful information in that heading is sent to to chart plotter/radar which allows for chart->radar overlay, MARPA calculations, etc. Which of course is of value but not necessarily a reason to choose a particular brand because NMEA can do that too. Control of the autopilot from the chart plotter is often more annoying than helpful (cancel - I am just just looking to see what next waypoint looks like, cancel I am just going back to original waypoint, etc.)

If you can afford below deck installation (3k should allow for that) you will be happy. If you go that route don't forget to budget for (expense and time) - tiller arm, modifying below deck superstructure, wiring, etc.


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Old 09-11-2015, 21:25   #25
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Re: Auto pilot for 27ft Hunter with wheel

It's funny when you search Garmin wheel auto pilot just the raymarine stuff comes up.
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Old 09-11-2015, 21:40   #26
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Re: Auto pilot for 27ft Hunter with wheel

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It's funny when you search Garmin wheel auto pilot just the raymarine stuff comes up.
I don't think Garmin has a wheel pilot. Hydraulic or steer-by-wire (power boat electronic integration).
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Old 10-11-2015, 06:18   #27
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Re: Auto pilot for 27ft Hunter with wheel

So what I am finding is with Garmin it's going to cost roughly 4k to get a system up and running, possibly even more.
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Old 10-11-2015, 06:32   #28
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Re: Auto pilot for 27ft Hunter with wheel

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Originally Posted by TurboTim View Post
So what I am finding is with Garmin it's going to cost roughly 4k to get a system up and running, possibly even more.
Definitely more expensive than the Ray... All day long... I promise you'll get along with the wheel pilot just fine... A few times forgetting to disengage and you'll have it down pat... Like the rest of us...
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Old 10-11-2015, 07:33   #29
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Re: Auto pilot for 27ft Hunter with wheel

As mentioned by others a wheel drive for 27ft boat will work fine, but if you would like to keep the installation under the deck, maybe look at direct drives? For example: Jefa direct drive unit type I
Installation is pretty straightforward but pricing is rather high..
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Old 10-11-2015, 08:02   #30
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Re: Auto pilot for 27ft Hunter with wheel

I have and love my CPT, but if I had a Hunter 27, I don't think I would go for anything other than a Raymarine wheel pilot, probably would have used one myself, but it didn't have enough torque for my boat, but it has plenty for yours.
Anything more is probably a waste of money.
A CPT can only hold a heading, nothing else, can't slave it to anything and I think it's a whole lot more money than a Ray wheel pilot, but no better in this application
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