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Old 23-11-2013, 07:19   #1
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auto pilot system

Need direction to put auto pilot on 1982 37' Irwin cc. Need best brand and model numbers if anyone can help. Currently has older CPT model on it. Gross weight is 20,000 empty. Thanks John
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Old 23-11-2013, 13:35   #2
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Re: auto pilot system

What have you found from your search on Goggle?
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Old 23-11-2013, 13:42   #3
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Re: auto pilot system

A lot more questions...
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Old 23-11-2013, 14:43   #4
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Re: auto pilot system

what do you need your autopilot to do. are you cruising around calm watters and never going out when its blustery? are you planning on doing a solo no stops RTW ? what company are the rest of your electronics? do you want your Autopilot to integrate with your chartplotter? .. as with everything about boats there is no one correct answer for all situations.
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Old 23-11-2013, 15:08   #5
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Re: auto pilot system

for distance traveling, any weather. Open to any brand..looking for whats best.
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Old 23-11-2013, 16:17   #6
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Nothing wrong with cpt pilots. Simple and easy to repair. Cheap if you have to replace it.
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Old 23-11-2013, 16:20   #7
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Re: auto pilot system

Have you done a search of the forums using "google custom search". Lots of posts on autopilots.
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Old 23-11-2013, 18:18   #8
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Re: auto pilot system

been using a cpt autopilot on my 37 foot 20000lb cruising boat for ten years now. we just do florida/bahamas but use it to steer the boat anytime we're out of narrow waters.

i think you should give the cpt a try before abandoning it. they have excellent support at www.cptautopilot.com
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Old 23-11-2013, 18:28   #9
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Re: auto pilot system

Several names come up consistently in Autopilots. Simrad for fancy, all the bells and whistles. WH not so fancy, used by a lot of commercial fishermen. Alpha, basic AP with many fans and uses less power than others.

Be ready to shell out at least $4-$5 K.
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Old 23-11-2013, 18:53   #10
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Re: auto pilot system

I don't get Alpha autopilots. For a bit more money than a top Simrad, Raymarine or Garmin system, you get an autopilot without a rate gyro compass, no ability to steer to wind or navigation data, no connectivity to the rest of your electronics, a complicated drive engagement mechanism, a complicated heading setting mechanism and a non-waterproof control head that looks like a 1960's Heathkit.

If you pay twice as much as for a modern system, and provide your own PC and interface card, you can get a rate compass and ability to use your wind input and Loran with it. Yes, these systems are designed for Loran input via a PC and interface card. I must admit that our Simrad will not take Loran input.

But there is an entire cult following with these, so I keep thinking I am missing something. I have been on boats using them, and still fail to see what I am missing.

Mark
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Old 23-11-2013, 19:04   #11
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Re: auto pilot system

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I don't get Alpha autopilots. For a bit more money than a top Simrad, Raymarine or Garmin system, you get an autopilot without a rate gyro compass, no ability to steer to wind or navigation data, no connectivity to the rest of your electronics, a complicated drive engagement mechanism, a complicated heading setting mechanism and a non-waterproof control head that looks like a 1960's Heathkit.

If you pay twice as much as for a modern system, and provide your own PC and interface card, you can get a rate compass and ability to use your wind input and Loran with it. Yes, these systems are designed for Loran input via a PC and interface card. I must admit that our Simrad will not take Loran input.

But there is an entire cult following with these, so I keep thinking I am missing something. I have been on boats using them, and still fail to see what I am missing.

Mark
Never used one but yes most of the owners love them. I have heard a few unhappy reports about problems with service and repair but seems rare.

The complex engagement system is so the drive is totally disconnected from the system when not in use so you get no additional friction or loss of sensitivity when hand steering.

They also have a very low power draw at least last time I was able to find any comparative data. And plenty of boaters don't care about integrated systems. Not sure if I would care about integrating an AP with Loran???? anyway. (Did you mean GPS? Your age is showing. )
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Old 24-11-2013, 06:10   #12
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Re: auto pilot system

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Squirrel01
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Old 24-11-2013, 07:32   #13
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Re: auto pilot system

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Never used one but yes most of the owners love them. I have heard a few unhappy reports about problems with service and repair but seems rare.

The complex engagement system is so the drive is totally disconnected from the system when not in use so you get no additional friction or loss of sensitivity when hand steering.

They also have a very low power draw at least last time I was able to find any comparative data. And plenty of boaters don't care about integrated systems. Not sure if I would care about integrating an AP with Loran???? anyway. (Did you mean GPS? Your age is showing. )
Their website talks specifically about interfacing with Loran.

Yes, a complete disconnect takes out all friction, but modern drive units have almost no friction now. I certainly cannot tell the difference between our drive connected with the clutch off and disconnected completely from the quadrant arm. I would certainly find it a pain, if not downright dangerous, to have to align the rudder and drive unit, then pull a cable and rock the wheel each time I needed to engage the AP.

Power draw is a function of the drive unit, the boat balance and the steering qualities. Other modern units use ball drives, etc and have low power consumption. When we replaced our old B&G system with a new Simrad AP, our power draw dropped from 13-15A to 3-5A!

I understand some do not want integration capabilities, but I don't understand why they would pay up to twice as much to not have them.

Again, I'm sure to take heat on this, but I fail to see any reason to get one of these systems - particularly since better performing and more feature-rich systems exist for less money.

I have actually heard from users that Alpha's support and service is very good.

Mark
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Old 24-11-2013, 08:00   #14
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Re: auto pilot system

Maybe Alpha's are like WH pilots, super reliable and trouble free, thats worth paying for....what else can there be when people speak do highly of them.
If I was this owner and I was watching my pennies I would get his present pilot rebuilt.
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Old 24-11-2013, 09:56   #15
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Re: auto pilot system

I've helped a few buddies with their Simrad setup in the past and we've always had really good experiences with their customer support. I highly recommend Simrad, they do offer quite a few bells and whistles and you can easily integrate the autopilot into your other systems. This might not be a bad setup for what you're looking for. Simrad AP2402 PM me if you have questions!
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