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Old 30-12-2010, 19:18   #1
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Autopilot Advice

Anyone have a coherent preference for any particular brand of autopilot on a sailboat around 40 feet long/15 tons gross?
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Old 30-12-2010, 19:26   #2
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ComNav 1101. A good all-round pilot.
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Old 30-12-2010, 19:43   #3
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W-H Pilot. Will out last the boat! Talk to Wil Hamm in owner and designer. Only pilot Steve Dashew ever had on his boats. Installed one on our CSY 44.
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Old 30-12-2010, 21:08   #4
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I'm looking at the ComNav as recommended above but I don't think the 1001 is designed to use the wind/sailing option, the Commander model does and also the 1500. Simrad makes a very good AP as well, and the WH is legendary. I don't think you would be making a mistake with any of these.
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Old 31-12-2010, 05:09   #5
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In my experience raymarine make a very good autopilot particularly the inboard ones. Did two atlantics using them.

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Old 31-12-2010, 07:21   #6
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See also the CF
AUTOPILOT SURVEY
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Old 31-12-2010, 07:55   #7
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I am a fan of Benmar, they are keeping a 29 year old Coursekeeper running for me and, of course, they make newer models. But I think it speaks well for a company that they maintain their older models and the older models perform well.
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Old 31-12-2010, 09:11   #8
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Motley, It's likely that you would get better advice if you include the type of steering system you have,--quardrant, worm gear, hydraulic. I'm very pleased with the Benmar drive on my hydraulic system, but about ten years ago I "married" it to a Nexus control head,- 'still pleased.
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Old 31-12-2010, 09:51   #9
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Thanks everyone for your prompt replies. Ihave been working as a delivery skipper but I'm so disillusioned with the condition of the boats I'm sailing that I've decided to quit and return to my true profession (engineering). In particular I've seen a lot of unreliable autopilots and I want to know which system to recommend to my clients.

The last boat I delivered came closer to killing me than I've been in 35 years of sailing and I want to make my clients as safe as possible. I know the AP is only one aspect of that but, in my experience, it's the system most likely to fail.

A happy new year to all and may God watch over you always.

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Old 31-12-2010, 10:07   #10
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I was noting in that autopilot survey that of the Raymarine owners 49 of 63 said their autopilot was very reliable but only 30 of 63 said it worked well in rough seas. That doesn't make sense to me.
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Old 31-12-2010, 10:42   #11
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Yes Deepfrz, also 2 out of 20 Simrad owners said theirs was unreliable and the % says 1.59. To my simple eye, that looks quite like 10%!

Also, what are "rough conditions"?

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Old 31-12-2010, 10:57   #12
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Motley;
I think the percentage is total overall, not just for the individual makes. I thought after I posted that maybe some users had never been in rough water, so that could skew the numbers. And you make a good point, what some might consider rough conditions others might not. Could also depend on the boat. All very subjective.
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Old 31-12-2010, 11:25   #13
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I second the opinion of WH autopilot. I can't say I have used it in real rough conditons yet though.
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Old 01-01-2011, 07:00   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motley
Thanks everyone for your prompt replies. Ihave been working as a delivery skipper but I'm so disillusioned with the condition of the boats I'm sailing that I've decided to quit and return to my true profession (engineering). In particular I've seen a lot of unreliable autopilots and I want to know which system to recommend to my clients.

The last boat I delivered came closer to killing me than I've been in 35 years of sailing and I want to make my clients as safe as possible. I know the AP is only one aspect of that but, in my experience, it's the system most likely to fail.

A happy new year to all and may God watch over you always.

Motley.
I've done deliveries and that problem is an occupational hazard. Owners want boats delivered in situations they'd never sail in a 1000s years. Yet they expect you to risk your life for very small amounts of remuneration. ( as if it's fun for you )

Dave
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Old 01-01-2011, 07:31   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
I was noting in that autopilot survey that of the Raymarine owners 49 of 63 said their autopilot was very reliable but only 30 of 63 said it worked well in rough seas. That doesn't make sense to me.
It may be that, for 26 Raymarine users (49-33), the autopilot could be relied upon to "fail" to steer in rough seas.
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